Welcome to another weekly roundup in the world of sports. This week, days after signing a new contract with the New Orleans Saints, Dez Bryant suffered a season ending injury and will not play in any games with the Saints this season. Le’Veon Bell was expected to report to the Steelers this week, but ESPN said that it now appears Bell will sit out the entire 2018 season. The Lions were sitting at .500 three weeks ago, but after three losses in a row, they face a huge uphill battle if they want to get into the playoffs. In college football, Alabama continues their dominance, Michigan scores 42 in back-to-back games and Michigan State can’t get anything going against Ohio State. In the NBA, Jimmy Butler has played his last game in a Timberwolves’ uniform and in the NHL, the Chicago Blackhawks fire their three-time Stanley Cup winning head coach.
National Football League
The big news in the NFL this week was the New Orleans Saints signing former Dallas Cowboys’ wide receiver Dez Bryant to a one-year deal on Wednesday.
Bryant showed up for his first practice on Thursday in preparation for the Saints’ game against the Cincinnati Bengals yesterday. On Friday however, Bryant left practice with an apparent lower leg injury. He went in for an MRI and it was revealed that Bryant tore his achilles tendon.
Two days after signing his contract, it was announced that Bryant was done for the season. The injury didn’t seem to slow down the Saints at all as they beat the Bengals 51-14 on Sunday.
In Pittsburgh, the questions about Le’Veon Bell have been surrounding the team all season. The assumption was Bell would report to sign his franchise tag before the Nov. 13 deadline. Late Saturday night, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that his sources confirmed to him that Bell will not be returning to the Steelers this season.
The Steelers have won five straight games and are currently in first place in the AFC North with a 6-2-1 record. Pittsburgh is coming off a Thursday night game where they set multiple records in their 52-21 win over the Carolina Panthers. Ben Roethlisberger pitched a perfect game for Pittsburgh with 328 yards on 22-of-25 passing with five touchdowns. Roethlisberger was the first quarterback in NFL history to have a perfect passer rating of 158.3 and five touchdowns in a game.
Bell’s replacement, James Conner, has stepped in and exceeded expectations. Conner is currently third in the NFL in rushing yards and has already surpassed the thousand total yard mark just nine games into the season.
The Detroit Lions’ struggles continued on Sunday as they lost their third straight game to fall to 3-6. They were visiting the first place Chicago Bears and half way through the second quarter, the game was already over.
Chicago jumped out to a 26-0 lead behind the stellar play of second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. He finished with 355 yards and three touchdown passes in the win. Allen Robinson was Trubisky’s go-to target in the win. He had had six catches for 133 yards and two scores.
Matt Stafford once again struggled with turnovers. He threw two touchdowns and two interceptions in the loss. The majority of Stafford’s yards came in fourth quarter, garbage time when the Lions were trailing 34-10. Stafford led the Lions to two fourth quarter touchdowns, but it was way too little too late.
With the 34-22 loss, the Lions remain in the NFC North cellar. The Lions will try to put an end to their losing streak when they host the 6-3 Carolina Panthers on Sunday at 1 p.m. on Fox. Chicago is now 6-3 and maintain their spot as the NFC North’s top team. They will host the second place Minnesota Vikings on Sunday Night Football at 8:20 p.m. on NBC.
Week 10 of the NFL season concludes tonight when Saquon Barkley and the 1-7 New York Giants visit Matt Breida and the 2-7 San Francisco 49ers 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.
For the second straight week, the No. 1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide shutout a ranked opponent. After embarrassing the third ranked LSU Tigers 29-0 last week, they welcomed the 16th ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs to Tuscaloosa, Alabama Saturday night.
In a game where Alabama’s offense struggled to put up the numbers we’ve come accustomed to, their defense shined. Nick Fitzgerald, quarterback of the Bulldogs, threw for only 125 yards. Alabama stopped the Bulldogs on all but one of their 13 third down attempts in the game. Mississippi State was held to a season low 169 yards of offense.
Alabama picked up 305 yards of total offense in the win. Josh Jacobs led the way for the Crimson Tide with 20 carries for 97 yards and a touchdown. Tua Tagovailoa threw for 164 yards, a touchdown and just his second interception of the year.
Alabama improves to 10-0 on the season and will host the Citadel Bulldogs Saturday at noon on the SEC Network. Mississippi State falls to 6-4 with the loss, and they’ll host the 2-8 Arkansas Razorbacks Saturday at noon on ESPN.
The No. 4 ranked Michigan Wolverines seem to be peaking at the right time. After blowing out the 14th ranked Penn State Nittany Lions 42-7 last week, they decided to do the exact same thing to the 1-8 Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Saturday.
Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson had a big day throwing for 260 yards and three touchdowns in the 42-7 win. Chris Evans led the way for the Wolverines with 75 yards and a touchdown on only six carries.
Michigan’s defense absolutely handled the Knights’ passing game only allowing 40 yards on 19 attempts from Rutgers’ quarterback Artur Sitkowski. One negative for Michigan was their normally reliable rushing defense. Michigan has the No. 1 ranked rushing defense in the country, but allowed 193 yards on the ground to the Knights. Isaih Pacheco had 16 carries for 142 yards and the only score for Rutgers.
Michigan is now 9-1 and controls their own destiny in the Big 10 conference. They will host the Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday at 4 p.m. on Fox Sports 1 before preparing for the big showdown with Ohio State on Nov. 24. Rutgers falls to a miserable 1-9 and will start planning for next season as this season is all but over for them.
The Biggest game of the weekend in the Big 10 took place in East Lansing where the 18th ranked Michigan State Spartans hosted the 10th ranked Ohio State Buckeyes.
The game was close throughout, but with the Spartans’ offense looking anemic, it never felt like MSU had a chance.
Late in the third quarter, the Buckeyes led 7-6. Brian Lewerke was struggling in the game for MSU and was pulled and replaced by Rocky Lombardi. Lewerke was 11-for-28 with 128 yards and an interception. Lombardi was no better in relief going 7-for-20 with 92 yards passing. Lombardi led the team in rushing with three carries for 49 yards.
Ohio State scored 17 in the fourth quarter to put the game away for good. Buckeyes’ quarterback Dwayne Haskins had 227 yards and a touchdown in the 26-6 victory. Mike Webber held down the ground game for OSU with 22 carries for 104 yards and a score.
MSU falls to 6-4 and will visit the 3-7 Nebraska Cornhuskers Saturday at noon on Fox. OSU improves to 9-1 and will travel to take on the 5-5 Maryland Terrapins Saturday at noon on ABC.
For a list of all other games, scores, news and rankings, click here.
National Hockey League
The NHL saw one of its longtime coaches relieved of his duties on Tuesday when the Chicago Blackhawks fired head coach Joel Quenneville.
Quenneville had been the Blackhawks’ head coach since the 2008 season. In his 10 years with the team, he led Chicago to three Stanley Cup Championships. After missing the playoffs last year, the Blackhawks are off to another slow start this season. They currently sit in last place in the Central Division with 15 points which is second worst in all of the Western Conference.
Replacing Quenneville in Chicago is 33-year-old Jeremy Colliton. Colliton has been the head coach of the Rockford IceHogs, the AHL affiliate of the Blackhawks, since May of 2017. He is the 38th head coach in the Blackhawks’ storied history and is now the youngest active head coach in the NHL.
National Basketball Association
Jimmy Butler made it known before the season started that he wasn’t happy in Minnesota and wanted to be traded. The Timberwolves seemed to ignore his demands, and started the season with him as the premiere player.
After the Timberwolves lost their fifth straight game on Friday night, the team finalized a deal sending the four-time all-star to the Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers sent Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless and a 2022 second-round draft pick to the Timberwolves. In addition to Butler, Philadelphia also received forward Justin Patton.
The move arguably moves Philadelphia to the top of the Eastern division with Toronto and Boston as the favorites to represent the East in the NBA Finals. Butler can opt out of the last year of his contract after the season and become a free agent. If Butler ends up fitting into Philadelphia’s system, they will be able to offer Butler a five-year max deal worth $190 million next summer.