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This Week in Sports: MLB playoffs, the Lions win and mayhem in college football’s top 10

Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops during a news conference for the Rose Bowl game, on Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

Welcome to another weekly roundup in the world of sports. This week, Major League Baseball’s playoffs are underway. Four teams had to play an extra game last Monday to crown a division champion in two National League divisions. One Wild Card game thrilled while the other was over from the start. One team has already swept their opponent in the divisional round to move on to the League Championship Series. In the NFL, the Detroit Lions tried to recover from their close loss to Dallas last week while the Kansas City Chiefs tried to remain perfect on the year. In college football, three top 10 teams went down Saturday forcing one of the teams to fire a coach. And Michigan and Michigan State were both in action on Saturday, but only one of them escaped the day unscathed.

Major League Baseball

October is here which means playoff baseball, but before the playoffs could start, two National League divisions still needed to decide a division winner.

Last Monday, there was a 163rd game for the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs, and the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers. The Brewers won their game in Wrigley field 3-1 to claim the NL Central and force the Cubs to wait for the loser of the second game to see who their opponent would be. The Dodgers were home and dominated the Rockies’ bats in a 5-2 win. This was the Dodgers’ sixth straight NL West title.

So the stage was set and the very next night, the Rockies went to Chicago to play in a winner-take-all NL Wild Card game. What ensued was the longest both in innings and time winner-take-all game in MLB playoff history. This was one of the greatest pitching duels in postseason history as the game went to extra innings tied at one. The Rockies ended up scoring a run on a Tony Wolters two-out single in the top of the 13th inning. The Cubs couldn’t record a run in the bottom half of the inning and the Rockies moved on to face the Milwaukee Brewers.

In the American League, the New York Yankees hosted the Oakland A’s for the AL Wild Card game. Unlike the NL Wild Card game, this one was not a nail-biter. The Yankees got on the board almost immediately in the bottom of the first with a two-run homer by Aaron Judge. The Yankees added a four-run sixth inning before winning the game 7-2 to move on and face the Boston Red Sox.

One team has already moved on the League Championship Series. The Brewers swept the Rockies in three straight games capped off by their 6-0 win over the Rockies yesterday afternoon at Coors Field in Denver. They’ll await the winner of the Dodgers and Braves series to see who they’ll play in the NLCS.

The Los Angeles Dodgers were going for the three-game sweep over the Atlanta Braves last night in Atlanta. The Braves got off to a hot start with a five-run second inning. The Dodgers fought their way back into the game though and had a two-run third and and a three-run fifth to tie the game at five a side. The Braves added a run in the bottom of the sixth inning that ended up being the game winning run. The Braves avoided the sweep and will look to stay alive today when they host the Dodgers for a game four matchup at 4:30 p.m. on Fox Sports 1.

Today at 1:30 p.m., the Houston Astros can move on as they look for a sweep of the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland. Later tonight at 7:40 p.m., The Boston Red Sox will visit the New York Yankees with the series tied 1-1. This is the only series in the divisional round where the teams split the first two games of the series.

To keep up with everything happening in the MLB postseason, click here.

National Football League

The Detroit Lions can’t seem to make up their minds if they want to be good this year or not. The first two weeks they were laughably bad, then they beat the Patriots. Last week they lost to the Cowboys and this week they hosted Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

In this game, it appeared that they decided to be good and the Packers decided to be terrible. The Lions led at halftime 24-0 due in large part to two Packers’ turnovers and Mason Crosby missing three first half field goals. Rodgers came out firing in the second half and led the Packers to three touchdowns to make it close.

The Lions only managed one second half touchdown but it ended up being the all important one that helped the Lions seal a 31-23 win. Crosby is one of the all time great kickers in NFL history, but he had an all time bad day. He missed four field goals and an extra point leaving 13 points on the field for the Packers.

Rodgers ended up with big numbers in the loss. He had 442 yards and three touchdowns. The Packers are now 2-2-1. Matt Stafford’s numbers were pretty minimal but the Lions didn’t need him to be great. Stafford threw for 183 yards and two touchdowns in the win. The Lions now head into their bye week with a record of 2-3 and will travel to Miami to take on the Dolphins on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 1 p.m. on Fox.

The matchup of the day was the Jacksonville Jaguars visiting Arrowhead Stadium to face the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs were one of two undefeated teams left in the NFL heading into the game. The Chiefs had the No. 1 scoring offense while the Jaguars had the No. 1 scoring defense.

Patrick Mahomes struggled for the first time this year against Jacksonville’s stout defense. Mahomes had yet to throw an interception this season, but yesterday threw two of them. He still put up good numbers throwing for 313 yards but failed to record a touchdown pass. He did rush for a touchdown in the game and that got the Chiefs’ scoring started.

Fortunately for the Chiefs, as good as Jacksonville’s defense was, their offense was that bad. Kansas City led at one point 23-0 because Blake Bortles was throwing more passes to Chiefs’ defenders than he was Jaguars’ receivers. Bortles threw four interceptions in the game. Don’t be fooled by the large numbers Bortles ended up with as most of those came in garbage time at the end of the game when the Chiefs were in prevent defense.

Bortles threw for 430 yards and only one touchdown on 33-of-61 passing. The Chiefs held on for the 30-14 win to remain undefeated and move to 5-0 on the season. The Jaguars are now 3-2 and are tied for first place in their division.

Week five concludes tonight when Alex Smith and the Washington Redskins head to New Orleans to take on Drew Brees and the Saints 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 six in the college football season featured a big shake-up on Saturday as three different top 10 teams lost over the weekend.

The Red River Shootout lived up to the hype as the 19th ranked Texas Longhorns played the undefeated No. 7 Oklahoma Sooners at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

Texas dominated most of the game and going into the fourth quarter, the game seemed to be all but over. However, Oklahoma Heisman contender Kyler Murray wasn’t going down without a fight.

OU scored three unanswered, fourth quarter touchdowns to storm back and tie the game at 45. Texas got the ball back with just over two and a half minutes remaining in the game. Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger led his team down the field and got them in position for a game-winning, 40-yard field goal attempt. Texas kicker Cameron Dicker nailed the kick with only nine seconds left to seal the victory for the Longhorns.

Murray finished with 304 yards passing, four touchdowns and an interception. He also had 92 yards rushing and a touchdown on 11 carries. Ehlinger finished with 314 yards and two touchdowns through the air. Oklahoma announced late last night they decided to part ways with their long time defensive coordinator Mike Stoops due to the struggles of OU’s defense as of late.

The No. 8 Auburn Tigers visited the unranked Mississippi State Bulldogs on Saturday, but their offense apparently didn’t make the trip with them.

Auburn failed to score a touchdown in the game and could only manage nine points off of three field goals. The Bulldogs’ quarterback Nick Fitzgerald only threw for 69 yards but had an astonishing 195 yards rushing to help the Bulldogs control the clock. Mississippi State had the ball for 41:53 and won the turnover battle. Auburn’s quarterback Jarrett Stidham was 19-of-38 for 214 yards in the 23-9 loss.

The LSU Tigers have been one of the more surprising teams so far this season. They had worked their way all the way up to the No. 5 ranking in the polls. On Saturday, they traveled to The Swamp in Gainesville, Florida to take on the No. 22 ranked Florida Gators.

This game was close throughout, and in fact, the final score of the game was the largest lead by either team. LSU quarterback Joe Burrow struggled in this game only throwing for 191 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions.

Despite one of those interceptions, early in the fourth quarter, LSU led 19-14. The Gators scored a touchdown on a Lamical Perine two-yard run to bring the score to 20-19. In a bold move, the Gators went for two to take the lead instead of kicking the extra point to tie the game. The two-point attempt failed and they remained down by one.

Burrow’s second interception for LSU was the back breaker for his team. With a 1:45 left, Brad Stewart Jr. of the Gators picked off Burrow’s throw and returned it to take the lead and win the game for the Gators 27-19. Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks had a sub-par game but got the job done with 161 yards, a touchdown and interception.

The Michigan State Spartans dropped their game to the Northwestern Wildcats. The Spartans were ranked 20th but have looked less than stellar this season. MSU quarterback Brian Lewerke had a solid game in the loss throwing for 329 yards on 31-of-51 passing with a touchdown and an interception. Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson had three touchdowns, two interceptions and threw for 373 yards in the Wildcats’ 29-19 win. The Spartans are now 3-2 and will have a tough game to try and regroup as they’ll travel to Penn State to take on the No. 8 Nittany Lions on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

The No. 15 ranked Michigan Wolverines had little resistance in their game against the Maryland Terrapins. Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson had three touchdowns and 282 yards passing in the 42-21 win. With the win, Michigan moves to 5-1 and will host the Wisconsin Badgers this Saturday in Ann Arbor at 7:30 p.m. on ABC.

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

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