Friday, December 1, 2023

Braves stage wild comeback to even NLDS, Raiders cause headaches for Jordan Love. Plus, the NHL is back!

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⚾ Good morning to everyone but especially …


If you’re really good, you can keep the Braves offense quiet for a bit — the Phillies certainly did — but you’re not going to keep them down forever. Atlanta got off the mat and rallied for five late runs and an incredible game-ending double play to win 5-4 and even the NLDS at one game apiece.

  • Zack Wheeler was dominant — no hits through 5 2/3 innings — until he wasn’t. Travis d’Arnaud homered on Wheeler’s final pitch of the night to make it 4-3 for Philadelphia.
  • One inning later, Austin Riley hit the go-ahead homer on a hanging slider.
  • For the final outs, Michael Harris II made a terrific leaping catch at the wall, and Bryce Harper couldn’t beat the relay back to first base. It was the first 8-5-3 double play in postseason history.
  • The four-run comeback ties the largest in Braves postseason history.

The Braves tied the all-time home run record with 307 home runs this season. That power came through when it mattered most, writes Mike Axisa.

😃 Honorable mentions

⚾ And not such a good morning for …


Getty Images


The Dodgers have the most wins in baseball over the past three seasons. This year, they beat the Diamondbacks in eight of their 13 meetings and outscored them by 25. They’re one game away from it all going for naught … again.

Arizona once again got a big first inning and a strong bullpen effort, beating Los Angeles 4-2 and pushing the NL West champs to the brink.

  • One game after tagging Clayton Kershaw for six runs while recording just one out, the Diamondbacks pushed across three in the first inning off Bobby Miller and forced him out of the game after just 1 2/3 innings.
  • Zac Gallen delivered 5 1/3 quality innings, and four relievers finished things off without allowing a run.

The Dodgers just can’t deliver in big moments. They’re 2-12 (.166) with runners in scoring position this series; the Diamondbacks are 7-19 (.368). Near the top of the lineup, Mookie Betts has no hits; Corbin Carroll has three and has scored nearly as many runs (three) as the Dodgers have as a team (four).

Ultimately, the Dodgers’ many stars are failing to shine, and the rest of the roster isn’t picking up the slack. The Diamondbacks’ comparatively few stars are shining, and the rest of the roster is, too. The Diamondbacks were regarded as a nice story and a massive underdog. The Dodgers are finding out these snakes can bite, too.

😬 Not so honorable mentions

🏈 Raiders pick off Jordan Love three times to win in prime time


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It wasn’t pretty. At times, it seemed like the Raiders — and their coach — were handing the Packers as many chances as possible to win. Jordan Love and his teammates refused to take them. Love threw three interceptions, including the game-sealing underthrow to Christian Watson caught by Amik Robertson in the end zone, and Las Vegas escaped with a 17-13 win on “Monday Night Football.”

  • Josh Jacobs scored what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter.
  • Love’s other two interceptions went to Robert Spillane, who entered the night with one career pick.
  • Love’s the first quarterback with no touchdown passes and three interceptions against the Raiders since Drew Brees … back in 2002! Love was 2 years old.
  • In his “one thing we learned about every team this week” column, Jeff Kerr says Love has hit a wall.

To me, there are two headlines. The biggest is Love, who has been awful following his strong Week 1 against the Bears. Since then, he is …

  • Tied for the league lead in interceptions (six)
  • Last in completion percentage (55.6%)
  • Second-to-last in passer rating (only Mac Jones is worse)

The second headline doesn’t show in the record because he got bailed out, but Josh McDaniels continues to make baffling decisions. The only reason the Raiders needed a game-saving interception was because, with 2 minutes left facing fourth-and-2, McDaniels opted for a field goal … and Daniel Carlson missed.

Here’s the thing: After Carlson missed, they needed a touchdown. If he had made it … the Packers needed a touchdown! According to the Next Gen Stats Decision Guide, it was the worst decision of the season. McDaniels has had plenty of head-scratchers this season. He’s lucky this one didn’t cost him.

🏒 NHL returns tonight! Power Rankings, Stanley Cup picks, more


Kim O’Reilly, CBS Sports

Throw on the sweater and lace up the skates: It’s hockey season! The NHL returns tonight with a trio of games, including the reigning-champion Golden Knights hosting the Kraken. Chris Bengel says Vegas has what it takes to repeat, but history suggests it won’t be easy: There have been two repeat champions in the past quarter-century.

The Golden Knights aren’t in the top five of Austin Nivison’s season-opening Power Rankings.

  1. Oilers
  2. Hurricanes
  3. Stars
  4. Devils
  5. Avalanche

Also not in the top five? The Bruins, who followed the best regular season ever with a first-round exit to the Panthers. Then Patrice Bergeron retired, and Austin assesses whether they can bounce back from last year’s disappointment … or whether they’re due to regress.

One team nowhere near the top of the Power Rankings — 29th to be exact — is the Blackhawks. But No. 1 overall pick Connor Bedard could have a massive season and give Chicago hope, Chris writes.

  • Bengel: “In the 2023 Tom Kurvers Prospect Showcase … Bedard recorded a hat trick and made a few jaws drop in a 5-0 Blackhawks win over the St. Louis Blues. … The 18-year-old can score from just about anywhere on the ice, whether that be uncorking a shot or getting into those gritty areas around the crease to deposit goals. Bedard also possesses spectacular vision on the ice, which allows him to get the puck to his teammates. He also is capable of using his 5-foot-10 frame to be physical and deliver some bone-jarring hits.”

So, who will win the awards and who will win it all? Austin and Chris have made their predictions.

Here’s everything else to get you ready:

🏈 New No. 1 in CBS Sports 133, updated College Football Power Rankings


Keytron Jordan, CBS Sports

It’s that wonderful time of year when we get football, football and more football. Yes, Week 7 of the college slate starts tonight, and we have FBS or NFL games every day until Nov. 22. So we’re bumping up Dennis Dodd’s Power Rankings and the CBS Sports 133 to Tuesdays.

Let’s start with the CBS Sports 133, where our CBS Sports college football experts rank every single team in the sport. This week, they are seeing things a little differently at the top with Michigan usurping Georgia for the No. 1 ranking. It’s the first time the two-time reigning champion Bulldogs have fallen out of the top spot, though their hold on the top of the rankings has decreased over each of the last four weeks. Here’s the top five.

  1. Michigan (previous: 2)
  2. Georgia (1)
  3. Florida State (5)
  4. Ohio State (4)
  5. Washington (6)

You can see Chip Patterson’s analysis of the biggest risers and fallers here.

Now let’s take a look at Dodd’s Power Rankings where the top two may remain the same, but Dennis has Oklahoma crashing the party next.

  1. Georgia (previous: 1)“Finally, we’re writing about Carson Beck being a difference maker.”
  2. Florida State (2)“The Seminoles just keep getting stronger.”
  3. Oklahoma (11)“It only took two seasons for Brent Venables to get himself and the Sooners on their feet.”
  4. Michigan (4)“The Wolverines are in line for their third straight playoff berth.”
  5. Ohio State (5)Kyle McCord (career-high 320 yards, pick six) is still arriving. Marvin Harrison Jr. (163 yards) is all the way back.”

Oklahoma wasn’t the biggest riser, though. That honor belongs to Louisville, which jumped from 23rd to 11th as Jeff Brohm‘s magical first season continued with an upset of Notre Dame.” Dennis writes. The Fighting Irish were the biggest fallers, going from eighth to 22nd.

📺 What we’re watching Tuesday

Astros at Twins, 4:07 p.m. on Fox
🏒 Predators at Lightning, 5:30 p.m. on ESPN
🏈 Louisiana Tech at Middle Tennessee, 7 p.m. on CBS Sports Network
🏈 Liberty at Jacksonville State, 7:30 p.m. on ESPNU
🏒 Blackhawks at Penguins, 8 p.m. on ESPN
Orioles at Rangers, 8:03 p.m. on Fox
🏒 Kraken at Golden Knights, 10:30 p.m. on ESPN

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