The Patriots already really miss Cam Newton

Well, I gotta say, as a guy who’s been spoiled enough to get to watch Tom Brady and now Cam Newton every weekend for much of the last two decades, I’m not a fan of the despair that comes with rooting for a dude who’s completely lost under center. As I mentioned yesterday morning, I wasn’t expecting last night’s game to go well for the Patriots… but Brian Hoyer? Woof. I’m gonna just say it: That guy stinks.ย 

Watching that game was a real sobering reminder of what half of NFL fanbases have to deal with on a regular basis, and also a pretty good reminder why so many people despise the Pats. That game was essentially the antithesis of what the Patriots have been in this era. However, unfortunately for your hatin’ self, this misery I’m feeling is probably just temporary — a one-week blip on the radar. A minor setback for a major comeback, as they say. (Please come back soon, Cam. I miss you so much.)

But on a weird Monday, that was not the only NFL game last night. We also have some exciting MLB action to go over. Let’s get to it.

๐Ÿ“ฐ What you need to know

1. Recapping a rare double dose of football on Monday ๐Ÿˆ

We got to watch two NFL games last night thanks to the rescheduled Patriots-Chiefs game that preceded the originally scheduled matchup of Falcons-Packers. As you might have gathered by now, I’m a Pats fan and I had VERY low expectations heading into last night’s matchup. Not only are the Chiefs just better, but the Pats also traveled yesterday morning and had Brian Hoyer starting. Not a whole lot to feel great about there.

That being said, Monday’s game was more frustrating than I expected. KC came away with a 26-10 victory, but it was a closer game than that scoreline probably suggests. Some takeaways from our Tyler Sullivan:

  • Why the Chiefs won: Kansas City’s offense had a slow start, scoring just six points on two field goals in the first half, but Patrick Mahomes & co. finally broke through a bit in the second half and their defense forced four turnovers
  • Why the Patriots won: They made too many mistakes. Hoyer cost them at least six points thanks to his lack of awareness on two red zone failures, and then Julian Edelman dropped a pass that led to a dagger pick-six in the second half. They also weren’t helped by an embarrassing botched officiating job that cost them prime field position off a would-be turnover in the first half

In the other MNF game, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers cruised to a win against the Falcons, which shouldn’t come as much of a shock given what we’ve seen from both of those teams early in the season.

  • Rodgers had an incredible night, going 27-of-33 for 327 yards and four touchdowns
  • The Packers were without top receivers Davante Adams and Allen Lazard
  • Through the first four weeks of the season, Rodgers has 1,214 passing yards, 13 touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 92.8 QBR

The Falcons continue to be an absolute disaster this year and now they’re 0-4 to start the year, leading us to wonder when Dan Quinn is going to reach the end of the line in Atlanta. We’ve already seen one winless NFL coach fired this week (more on that in a bit) so could Quinn be next? In all honesty, he probably should be. It feels like the Falcons should probably just blow this thing up soon.

On the bright side, Atlanta never led yesterday, which means they never had an opportunity to choke that lead away. Progress!

2. Division Series begin with bangs โšพ

The MLB playoffs were back in action on Monday night with the start of the American League Division series. It proved to be a pretty explosive first day back in action, too, as the AL games packed a punch and brought plenty of power. Here’s what you might’ve missed:

  • The Yankees got four home runs in their 9-3 Game 1 win over the Rays, including a ninth-inning grand slam from Giancarlo Stanton that helped seal the victory
  • New York’s offense continues to do damage and they now have 31 runs scored through three postseason games — a new MLB record. They’ve scored at least nine runs in each game and have done it against the two teams with the best ERA in the AL during the regular season (Cleveland and Tampa Bay)
  • The Astros and A’s combined for six home runs in Game 1 of their series, but it was Houston that came away with the 10-5 win despite trailing 3-0 and 5-3 at different points
  • Carlos Correa had two home runs and four RBI in the win for Houston

Great, one step closer to my worst nightmare: A Yankees-Astros ALCS. Hasn’t 2020 punished us enough already?

Even as a Red Sox fan myself, I have to admit that Yankees-Rays is probably a better rivalry than Boston-New York these days. The Yanks and Rays have some legitimate bad blood so, as an agent of chaos, I’ll be waiting and rooting for that to boil over in this series. Feel free to join me.

Both National League series (Marlins-Braves, Padres-Dodgers) will join in on the fun today and we’ll have a full day of baseball with all four series in action. You love to see it.

3. Breaking down the Bill O’Brien firing in Houston ๐Ÿˆ


So, you know how I mentioned a coach got fired this week? Well, not just any coach… a coach who is also his own GM! Pack your bags, Bill O’Brien, your time’s up in Houston.

Our Will Brinson delivered a great deep dive into how O’Brien and the Texans got to this point and what might be next for both sides, but it’s safe to say things are a sizable mess in Houston right now. And let’s be honest here: The Texans should have fired O’Brien the second he made that DeAndre Hopkins trade earlier this year. There was no coming back from that.

After some of his coaching blunders, I’m not sure why they thought it’d be a great idea to hand him the keys to the front office but that proved to be extremely unwise and now they’re gonna have to figure out a way to clean up this mess.ย 

I will say this: They’re getting dangerously close to tank territory, which isn’t ideal considering the fact that their payroll is so high, they already have their franchise QB entering his prime and they’re without their first- and second-round draft picks this year. Whoops!

4. Why the Rangers will likely take Alexis Lafreniere at the top of the NHL Draft ๐Ÿ’

The Stanley Cup is still probably filled with booze and being passed around to germy strangers in Florida right now, but the NHL is on to its next order of business: The draft. The 2020 NHL Entry Draft gets underway with the first round tonight and there’s really only one name that you need to know: Alexis Lafreniere.ย 

Lafreniere is the consensus top prospect in this year’s class and it’s pretty much a given that he’s going to go to the New York Rangers with the No. 1 overall pick. With that in mind, you should probably get familiar with him considering he projects to be hockey’s biggest new star. Here’s a little of what you need to know about Lafreniere:

  • The Canadian winger is coming up through the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, where he has dominated over the past few years
  • In his rookie season in the QMJHL he scored 42 goals in 60 games, the highest total for a rookie since Sidney Crosby (ever heard of him?)
  • He’s an elite, well-rounded offensive playmaker who has unbelievable hands and vision. He also combines skill with physicality and is capable of playing in the tough areas of the ice

We’re going to be hearing plenty of Lafreniere’s name for years to come, and the Rangers announcing that name with the first overall pick will simply be a formality at this point. You may have to start giving yourself some reps at the French pronunciation from now until the start of next season.

๐Ÿ“ Odds & Ends

๐Ÿ“บ What to watch tonight

โšพ Astros vs. Athletics, 4:37 p.m. | OAK -111 | TV: TBS

๐Ÿ€ Lakers vs. Heat, 9 p.m. | MIA +7.5 | TV: ABC

โšพ Padres vs. Dodgers, 9:38 p.m. | LAD -200 | TV: FS1ย 

๐Ÿ“ Top scores from last night

๐Ÿˆ Chiefs 26, Patriots 10

Patrick Mahomes started slow but went 19-for-29 for 236 yards and two touchdowns.
๐Ÿ’ต Winning Wagers: KC -11.5, Under (48.5)

๐Ÿˆ Packers 30, Falcons 16

Green Bay tight end Robert Tonyan caught three of Aaron Rodgers’ four touchdown passes in the victory.
๐Ÿ’ตย Winning Wagers: GB -5, Under (56.5)

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