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This Week in Sports: MLB playoffs, Lions stumble and Ohio State’s big win

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Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh on the sidelines in the second half against SMU on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, at Michigan Stadium, in Ann Arbor, Mich. The host Wolverines won, 45-20. (Kirthmon F. Dozier/Detroit Free Press/TNS)

Welcome to another weekly roundup in the world of sports. This week, the Major League Baseball regular season has come to an end, but four teams still don’t know where they stand in the playoff picture. Find out which National League teams will have to play in a one-game playoff to win their division. In the NFL, the Lions had an exciting game with the Cowboys on Sunday. It came down to the final seconds. See how the game ended and who came out on top. In college football, there were two top 10 matchups on Saturday. See who solidified their spot in the top 10 and who fell out. Plus, Michigan and Michigan State both won on Saturday in a closer fashion than they were expecting.

Major League Baseball

For the first time in MLB history, there will be two tiebreakers to decide division winners both in the National League.

Game 162 wasn’t enough to decide things for the NL Central and NL West. The Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers, who won seven straight games to earn the tie with the Cubs, both finished at 95-67. The Cubs will host the Brewers for the tiebreaker game at Wrigley Field at 1 p.m. today on ESPN.

In the West, it was the same story, different teams. The Colorado Rockies finished the season winning nine of their last 10 games to tie the Los Angeles Dodgers for the NL West lead. Both teams finished with a record of 91-71. The Dodgers will host Rockies in LA at 4 p.m. also today on ESPN.

The two teams that win this one-game playoff will win their division while the two losers will play each other the very next day in the one-game Wild Card playoff game. The difference with the Wild Card game though, the team that loses goes home for the winter.

The winner of the Rockies and Dodgers game will host the Atlanta Braves in the NL Divisional round. The winner of the Cubs and Brewers game will claim the No. 1 seed in the NL which means they’ll host the winner of the Wild Card game.

In the American league, things are a whole lot easier. The teams and their positions have been set for a while now. The Boston Red Sox won the most games in the majors this year with a 108-54 record which means they will have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Boston will host the winner of the of the AL Wild Card game. That Wild Card game will feature the 97-65 Oakland A’s traveling to take on the 100-62 New York Yankees in the Wild Card playoff game on Wednesday night.

The other matchup in the AL is the defending champion Houston Astros who posted a 103-59 record hosting the 91-71 Cleveland Indians. The first round of the playoffs are a best-of-five series.

One other topic of note came out of Anaheim, California. Mike Scioscia announced he will not return as the Angels manager next Season. Scioscia has been the Angels’ skipper for 19 years and was the longest-tenured manager in baseball. Scioscia helped lead the Angels to the 2002 World Series title.

National Football League

The Detroit Lions traveled to Arlington, Texas to take on the Dallas Cowboys early Sunday afternoon.

The game was close throughout, and featured one of the most exciting finishes of the day. With just over two minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Lions trailed 23-17. Lions’ quarterback Matt Stafford needed to lead his team on a touchdown drive to win the game. Stafford did what he needed to by hitting Golden Tate on a 38-yard touchdown pass. The problem however, they scored too fast and left time on the clock for the Cowboys.

The Cowboys now trailed 24-23 and had two minutes to get in field goal range. Dak Prescott lead the Cowboys down the field while also bleeding the clock out so as not to leave any time for a Lions response. Cowboys’ new kicker Brett Maher came in with three seconds left to kick the game-winning 38-yard attempt. Maher split the uprights as the clock hit double zeros giving the Cowboys the 26-24 win. Stafford threw for 307 yards and two touchdowns on 24-of-30 passing. Cowboys’ running back Ezekiel Elliott had a career day rushing for 152 yards and receiving for 88 yards and a touchdown. The Lions are now 1-3 while the Cowboys move to 2-2.

The New England Patriots were 1-2 coming into their match up with the undefeated Miami Dolphins. Many have been saying that the Patriots’ dynasty is coming to an end. Well, the Patriots must have heard the criticism after their loss to the Lions last week because they came ready to play against the Dolphins.

The Patriots defense held Dolphins’ quarterback Ryan Tannehill to just 100 yards through the air on 11-of-20 passing. Tom Brady had 274 yards and three touchdowns but he had two uncharacteristic interceptions. Patriots’ rookie running back Sony Michel had 112 yards on the ground and a touchdown. The Patriots routed the Dolphins 38-7 giving Miami their first loss of the year, moving them to 3-1. The Patriots’ win puts them back to .500 at 2-2.

Week four concludes tonight when Patrick Mahomes and the 3-0 Kansas City Chiefs invade Denver to take on Von Miller and the 2-1 Broncos on Monday Night Football at 8:15 p.m. on ESPN.

For a list of all NFL matchups, gameday finals, stats and standings, click here.

NCAA Football

Week five of college football offered a bevy of intriguing games including not one, but two top 10 matches.

The No. 7 ranked Stanford Cardinals traveled to South Bend, Indiana to face off against the No. 8 ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish. In a game that had plenty of hype going in, it failed to live up to that hype.

Notre Dame had a seven-point lead through most of the game until the fourth quarter where they ran away with it. The Irish were up 24-17 heading into the fourth quarter. The Cardinals were held to a scoreless fourth quarter while giving up 14 to the Irish. Notre Dame ended up with the sizable win 38-17. Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book threw for 278 yards and four touchdowns in the win.

The biggest matchup of the weekend was the No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes visiting the No. 9 Penn State Nittany Lions.

Both teams were lead by Heisman hopeful quarterbacks, but both teams started slow. Penn State eventually jumped out to a 13-0 lead in the second quarter that was capped off by a 93-yard touchdown pass from Trace McSorley to KJ Hamler.

The Buckeyes got on the board with a touchdown of their own just 1:50 before halftime to get back in the game. After half, Ohio State seized momentum and scored another touchdown early in the third quarter to take a 14-13 lead.

Penn State responded and regained the lead with two consecutive touchdowns to make it 26-14. Unfortunately for Penn State, the Buckeyes did the exact same thing scoring two touchdowns consecutively, the second of which gave them the lead and eventual win 27-26.

McSorely had 286 yards and two touchdowns for Penn State while Dwayne Haskins had 270 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.

The No. 14 Michigan Wolverines had a scare on Saturday when they went on the road to face the Northwestern Wildcats. Northwestern jumped out to a first half 17-0 lead. Shea Patterson, the Michigan quarterback, couldn’t get his offense going and his team had a few dropped passes on key downs.

Michigan refused to say die though. They chipped away at the Wildcats’ lead slowly and with four minutes left in the fourth quarter, scored a touchdown to go on top 20-17. That score would end up being the final. Michigan shut out the Wildcats in the second half to help their struggling offense do just enough to get the job done. Patterson was 15-24 for 196 yards.

The No. 21 Michigan State Spartans hosted the Central Michigan Chippewas on Saturday for an in-state matchup.

Michigan State was expected to win easily and for the most part, they did. The concern for the Spartans was the fourth quarter. After the third quarter ended, the Spartans had the game in hand up 31-3.

Central scored 17 unanswered in the fourth quarter to, at the very least, make the score appear closer than it actually was. MSU held on to win the game 31-20. Spartans’ quarterback Brian Lewerke was 16-for-25 with 185 yards and an interception.

For a list of all other games, scores, news and rankings, click here.