EDMONTON, Alberta (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – The Dallas Stars could get nothing going offensively Monday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning and lost 2-0 in a must-win Game 6.
Tampa Bay won the Stanley Cup Final 4 games to 2.
Brayden Point scored his playoff-best 14th goal and helped the Lightning finish off the most unusual NHL postseason in history, staged nearly entirely in quarantine because of the pandemic.
The clock hitting zeros in an empty arena nonetheless set off a joyful celebration for a team that endured years of playoff heartbreak and two months in isolation.
“It takes a lot to be in a bubble for 80 days or whatever long it was,” said defenseman Victor Hedman, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. “But it’s all worth it now, we’re coming home with the Cup.”
Goals from Point and Blake Coleman and a 22-save shutout by Andrei Vasilevskiy in Game 6 were enough to power the Lightning to their second championship after winning it in 2004. That also came with the league on the verge of a labor stoppage, a lockout that wiped out an entire season, and similar uncertainty hangs in the air now because of the coronavirus.
Questions about the future were put off for a celebration, by the Lightning and the NHL. Getting this done was a triumph of sorts, financial woes notwithstanding. The NHL is the first of the four major North American professional sports leagues to crown a champion since the start of the pandemic.
Tampa Bay’s core group closed out the final with an almost poetic display of what got the Lightning to this point over the past several years and months. Their new star in Point scored a power-play goal in the first period with assists from longtime standouts Nikita Kucherov and Hedman, key addition Coleman killed a penalty and scored on an odd-man rush in the second, and Vasilevskiy did his job on a relatively slow night in net.
Patrick Maroon #14 of the Tampa Bay Lightning reacts after goaltender Anton Khudobin #35 of the Dallas Stars couldn’t make a save on a shot for a goal by Blake Coleman #20 of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second period of Game Six of the NHL Stanley Cup Final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Dallas Stars at Rogers Place on September 28, 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
It was more of a coronation than a challenge as the dominant Lightning outshot the Stars 29-22 and looked like the powerhouse they’ve been for much of the past decade.
“The beauty of our team is everyone was chipping in,” Point said. “We got tremendous depth. We got contributions from anyone and everyone at different times, and that’s what makes this win so special.”
In the final alone, Tampa Bay’s power play was clicking and turned the series around. Point’s goal made it 7 for 16 over the past five games to decimate the Stars, who were undone by their lack of discipline and couldn’t get enough “Dobby” magic from goaltender Anton Khudobin.
The Stars simply ran out of gas after injuries piled up. Rick Bowness, an assistant for Tampa Bay for five years who was part of their 2015 run that fell short in the final, faced his own uncertain future as interim head coach.
The Lightning did to the Stars what Chicago did to them in the ’15 final, when injuries built up. Tampa Bay had Point and No. 2 center Anthony Cirelli playing hurt this time, didn’t have injured captain Steven Stamkos for almost all of the playoffs — and still survived.
The painful playoff losses look like mile markers now — losing four consecutive games to Chicago after going up 2-1, blowing 3-2 series leads in the Eastern Conference final in 2016 and 2018, and last season’s jaw-dropping, first-round sweep by Columbus after the Lightning had tied the NHL single-season wins record and won the Presidents’ Trophy.
Coach Jon Cooper thought the attitude needed to change from wanting to beat every opponent 9-0 because that’s not realistic in playoff hockey. His team went 12-3 in one-goal games this postseason.
Commissioner Gary Bettman was on hand to present the Lightning with the Stanley Cup exactly 200 days after his dismal if hopeful announcement that the season was being put on pause with 189 games left unplayed.
The league and players’ union worked for nearly four months to iron out where, how and when to play so 2020 wouldn’t join 1919 and 2004 as a year in which the Cup wasn’t awarded. The plan they came up with was unusual. Like the NBA, it called for walling off teams from the public for months on end. Unlike the NBA, it called for doing it in two spots — Toronto and Edmonton, while the U.S. grappled with spiking coronavirus cases in too many places for NHL leadership to feel comfortable.
And it worked. After more than 31,000 tests, there were zero positive coronavirus cases reported among players, coaches and staff inside the bubbles and just a handful among hotel, arena or restaurant employees. There was nothing close to a breakout.
Bizarre as it was with no fans and manufactured crowd noise and light shows, the hockey was often top notch. The expanded, 24-team playoffs meant there was hockey nearly every day, sometimes from midday until past midnight, including a five-overtime marathon that was the second longest in modern hockey history. And in this unprecedented postseason, there were even two elimination games on the same day in the same arena.
By the conference finals, Rogers Place, a nearby JW Marriott and the rest of a heavily fenced bubble in downtown Edmonton became the center of hockey for fans thousands of miles away with Dallas and Tampa Bay, two of the southernmost teams in the league, settling the Cup in the NHL’s northernmost arena.
In all, the NHL played 130 games in a bubble, 25 of them going into overtime, before the final horn set off a celebration by Tampa Bay that simply had to do with no fans in the stands, and few loved ones allowed on the ice to share the moment.
NOTES: Tampa Bay is the first team to win the Cup without a captain dressed for the clinching game since the 1977 Montreal Canadiens Yvan Cournoyer missed the playoffs because of back surgery. … Kucherov’s 27 assists are the third most in a single postseason behind only Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux. … Alexander Volkov made his NHL playoff debut in the clincher for Tampa Bay.
The NHL has targeted a tentative Dec. 1 start date, but even Bettman acknowledged a later December or January start is possible. And even that is no guarantee given the uncertainty.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)Continue Reading
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – SMU played its first home game on Saturday since the COVID-19 pandemic began, beating Stephen F. Austin.
Even at 25% capacity, Ford Stadium buzzed with school spirit.
But eliminating COVID-19 remains the bigger challenge, which is why fans over the age of 3 were required to wear a face covering. Many did not.
“I kept it on,” said freshman Max Brandt. “It was like 50/50 of people who did. There were places where you could sit and couldn’t sit. They were all like 10 feet apart.”
SMU fans at football game. (CBS 11)
But some fans crowded together, mask-free – and not just while eating or drinking.
SMU asks fans to sign a “good teammate pledge,” which includes social distancing and wearing a facial covering, though it’s not contractually binding. The university said most students have also signed a “pledge to protect,” promising to limit risky behavior.
“I don’t have any complaints. I feel safe,” said Brandt.
Some of the 1,000 students who attended the game said masks or not, they weren’t bothered.
“I totally don’t care. People can do whatever they want,” said freshman Julia Young. “It’s a personal thing for me. I’m just going to wear it because it feels right for me, but if they don’t want to, I don’t care.”
SMU fans at football game. (CBS 11)
In a statement, SMU said, “If you watched the game, you could see that the majority of fans in the stadium behaved responsibility and were well-distanced and masked. We will be working to correct the behavior of a small subsection of student fans who did not follow our pledge to protect.”
They also said future student violators could face disciplinary action or lose their game attendance privileges. Other students said – it’s not worth it.
“I would just have them wear the mask. It’s annoying, but I think everyone has to do it for now,” Brandt said.
An SMU spokesperson also said they will increase security and monitoring in the student section going forward and will add more questions in their contract tracing interview process.
SMU is currently at a moderate operational level, based on its COVID numbers. It currently has 109 active student cases. That’s down about 35 percent from the end of last month.Continue Reading
Aleshia Ocasio On Athletes Unlimited Softball: ‘I Feel An Obligation To Play & Use My Voice To Fight Social Injustice’
(CBS Local Sports)– Aleshia Ocasio is one of the best softball players in the world and she’s had the opportunity to show the country how great she is in the new professional softball league called Athletes Unlimited Softball. The final two games of the inaugural season are on CBS Sports Network on Monday and Ocasio currently sits in 11th place with 1496 points.
The league changed the game of softball by creating an alternate fantasy-style points system where athletes pick up points for leading at the end of each inning, individual stats and wins. Athletes Unlimited Softball features many big names like U.S. Olympian Cat Osterman, former Oklahoma State star Samantha Show and 2018 NCAA champion Jessie Warren. Ocasio was one of the captains for the last weekend of games and she is incredibly grateful for the opportunity on a personal and professional level.
ROSEMONT, ILLINOIS – AUGUST 29: Jessica Warren #30 and Aleshia Ocasio #8 of Team Warren bump elbows after scoring in the fifth inning against Team Fagan at Parkway Bank Sports Complex on August 29, 2020 in Rosemont, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
“Getting to know these athletes that I’ve played against and played with has been an incredible experience,” said Ocasio, in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “To get to know these people outside of the field and to be able to connect with them. We’re in a shield and we have no choice but to get to know each other. It’s been amazing and the competitiveness on the field has been second to none. It’s been a great experience overall.”
The former University of Florida star is one of the few players in the league that has pitched and hit for her teams. While Ocasio has excelled on the field, she’s also used this opportunity to speak out on matters of racial and social injustice. In fact, she got some love on Twitter recently from NBA superstar LeBron James for her work with his More Than A Vote initiative.
“Amidst all this craziness with COVID and racial injustice, I feel obligated to play and to use my voice. This is so much greater than our sport. I feel an obligation to play, be seen, be visible and to use my voice to fight social injustice and to be visible to younger generations of girls who look like me. I told the larger group the other day that we are individuals, but we are a unit at the same time. Although we can’t reach the whole entire world, we can change the world around us. To have the greatest athlete in the world tweet back at me is amazing. I’m partnered with his coalition More Than A Vote. He stands with us and he is doing his part to create these initiatives.”
Watch Athletes Unlimited Softball on Monday at 4 p.m. EST & 8 p.m. EST on CBS Sports Network.Continue Reading
ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Playoff games and the World Series will be played this October in the new Texas Rangers ballpark, Globe Life Field.
The home team is far from being part of the postseason festivities.
In this most unusual of seasons, delayed and abbreviated by the pandemic and now with most of the MLB playoffs at neutral sites, the Rangers got to play only 30 home games, and without fans, in the debut season of the $1.2 billion stadium with a retractable roof that was constructed over 2 1/2 years.
They are now early in the process of another major rebuilding project. This one will be much more cost conscious and has no certain timeline.
On the final day of a 22-38 season, the Rangers had three 22-year-old rookies in the starting lineup — center fielder Leody Taveras, shortstop Anderson Tejeda and catcher Sam Huff. Shin-Soo Choo, in a farewell appearance at the end of a $130 million, seven-year contract, was the only player over 26.
“I think it’s the start of something. It’s a beginning,” second-year manager Chris Woodward said.
Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward (8) and his coaching staff watch from the dugout during the game between the Texas Rangers and the Houston Astros on September 27, 2020 at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
With no minor league games, most top prospects were at the alternate training site.
When the big league season got derailed by early injuries to two-time AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber and closer Jose LeClerc, then an eight-game losing streak in August, nine players made their big league debuts — five had never played above Class A. Texas used 17 rookies overall.
While the Rangers had the American League’s worst record, and were 6-24 on the road, they avoided the worst winning percentage in team history by closing the year winning three out of four against playoff-bound defending AL champion Houston.
“None of us are happy where we are in the standings. That part’s embarrassing,” general manager Jon Daniels said. “But that is a huge positive for this year, to be able to give these guys that opportunity and then to see them kind of grow and come together as a team a little bit, and be able to determine what they want to be going forward.”
UP THE MIDDLE
Elvis Andrus, at 32 the longest-tenured Ranger after 12 seasons, played only 29 games because of lingering back issues. The shortstop is owed $28.5 million over the next two seasons, but the only player remaining from their back-to-back World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011 will have to go to spring training healthy and play well to be assured that spot.
Second baseman Rougned Odor, at 26 and signed for two more seasons, led Texas with 30 RBIs in 38 games, and matched Joey Gallo with a team-best 10 homers. But Odor hit only .167, with seven of his 11 hits in September being homers, and struck out 47 times in 138 at-bats.
“He’s going to have very opportunity to win the job, but he’s going to have to earn it,” Woodward said of Odor, similar to the message sent to both middle infielders before this unconventional season.
Nick Solak led all MLB rookies with 56 hits while primarily playing in the outfield. But his best position is second base, where he had 16 starts.
THIN AFTER LYNN
The Rangers last offseason bolstered a rotation headed by Lance Lynn and Mike Minor by trading for Kluber and signing free agents Kyle Gibson (2-6, 5.35 ERA) and Jordan Lyles (1-6, 7.02) to multiyear deals.
Kluber pitched one scoreless inning before a muscle tear in his right shoulder — the same injury that sidelined LeClerc days later. The Rangers certainly won’t exercise the $18.5 million club option for Kluber, but could try to rework a new deal.
Gibson did finish strong with a four-hit shutout at Houston before six scoreless innings in his last game.
Minor was traded to Oakland, but no team met the high deadline price Texas had for Lynn (6-3, 3.32 ERA in 13 starts), who is signed for 2021 but could again be in trade talks this offseason.
GALLO GOOD — AND BAD
Gallo finally got settled in the field as the primary right fielder after switching between positions the previous three seasons, and became a top defender.
But his .181 batting average was 141st out of 142 qualifying big leaguers (Odor didn’t qualify). Gallo had one homer every 5.7 games — maybe because of a bigger home field, especially with the roof closed — after one homer every 3.5 games when going deep 103 times from 2017-19.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)Continue Reading
(CBSDFW.COM) – Carrollton native and current NFL free agent defensive end Ryan Russell joins Living Room Sports to talk about his career so far and how he has opened up about his sexuality.
Full interview:Continue Reading
SEATTLE (AP) — DK Metcalf made up for a huge first-half blunder by catching a 29-yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson with 1:47 remaining, and the Seattle Seahawks held off the Dallas Cowboys 38-31 on Sunday.
Wilson threw five touchdown passes, setting a record for most scoring passes in the first three games of a season with 14. Patrick Mahomes threw for 13 TDs in his MVP season of 2018. Wilson became the first QB to have at least four TD passes in each of the first three games.
It was Metcalf who found redemption in the closing minutes.
Metcalf appeared to have a walk-in touchdown after hauling in a deep pass from Wilson late in the first quarter. But he was careless with the ball in the final few steps before the goal line, and Dallas cornerback Trevon Diggs came up from behind and knocked the ball free. It went out of the end zone for a touchback.
Instead of a touchdown and 16-3 lead for Seattle, it was a 62-yard reception and a forgettable moment.
Metcalf was mostly quiet after his mistake as Tyler Lockett became the favorite target for Wilson. But when Seattle needed a big play late, Wilson floated a pass into the end zone and allowed Metcalf to run underneath it for the deciding touchdown.
Wilson was 27 of 40 for 315 yards. His latest bit of fourth-quarter magic ruined Dak Prescott’s attempt at a second straight major comeback.
Dallas trailed 30-15 after Prescott fumbled on the first play of the second half and Wilson subsequently threw his fourth TD pass. But Prescott threw TD passes of 42 yards to Cedrick Wilson and 43 yards to Michael Gallup, and Greg Zuerlein’s 42-yard field goal with 4:03 left gave Dallas a 31-30 lead.
Prescott had one last chance after Metcalf’s TD reception. He led the Cowboys to the Seattle 22 but was sacked by rookie Alton Robinson on second down, and Dallas had use its final timeout with 16 seconds left. On third down, Prescott’s desperation throw to the end zoned was intercepted by Ryan Neal.
Prescott finished 37 of 57 for 472 yards, with three touchdowns and two interceptions.
(© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)Continue Reading
EDMONTON, Alberta (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – More than a decade since Corey Perry won the Stanley Cup as a young player and years after Joe Pavelski fell two wins short, the veteran pair wasn’t ready to leave the bubble and give up on another opportunity for a championship just yet.
Pavelski also tied it with 6:45 left in the regulation, laid out to block a shot in the first overtime and Perry’s second goal of the game came in double OT to give the Dallas Stars a 3-2 win over Tampa Bay and force a Game 6 in the Stanley Cup Final.
Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning can’t control the rebound as Joe Pavelski #16 of the Dallas Stars looks for the loose puck in the third period of Game Five of the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Final between the Dallas Stars and the Tampa Bay Lightning at Rogers Place on September 26, 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Pavelski gathered the loose puck and scored on the play. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)
“Get one, keep going,” Perry said. “We start building here, and I think we’re starting to do something special.”
Anton Khudobin made 39 saves and Perry’s winner 9:23 into the second OT was a manner of redemption for the Stars a night after they lost in OT on a questionable penalty call when Tampa Bay scored on the ensuing power play. Game 6 is Monday night.
The 36-year-old Pavelski and 35-year-old Perry have combined for the last six Stars goals.
So much for hockey being a young man’s game.
“With how they play, I don’t know if you can call them old,” Stars center Tyler Seguin said. “They seem to have the best endurance of all of us. Joe keeps getting the late goals and Perry played a great game.”
The Stars stayed alive despite going down to five defensemen for half of regulation when Andrej Sekera was injured blocking a shot midway through the first. Sekera returned for the third, a gutty performance that may have saved a team that looked to be running on fumes.
“That shows you his compete,” Stars coach Rick Bowness said. “Give him a ton of credit for coming back. That was tough.”
The Stars didn’t have much time to regroup from Friday night’s loss, not with the NHL scheduling the first back to back games in the final since 2009 and just the second time since the mid-1950s. On a night where both teams at times looked worn down, the Stars were able to respond in a big way against a healthier opponent.
“They’re a good team,” Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman said. “They fought back.”
Pavelski led the way. In the final for the second time in his career after losing in 2016 with San Jose, he followed his two-goal performance in Game 5 with a season-saver 24 hours later by scoring on a rare juicy rebound allowed by Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper compared his team’s situation now to the Eastern Conference final when an overtime loss to the New York Islanders in Game 5 extended the series. The Lightning finished that series off in six and will try to do so again.
“We’ve felt this feeling before,” Cooper said. “We have felt this sting and then we’ve rebounded.”
Pavelski felt it even worse getting to Game 6 of the 2016 final with the Sharks before falling short. Perry brought with him to Dallas a Cup ring from the 2007 Anaheim Ducks, a lifetime in hockey ago.
“I was a young kid coming into the league at 22 years old and I had the opportunity to win,” Perry said. “But here we are, 13 years later and we’ve got a chance to do it with this group.”
Thanks to him and to Pavelski, who is now tied with Tampa Bay’s Brayden Point for the most goals this postseason with 13. He also set the career playoff record for goals by an American with 61.
“We’ll recover,” Pavelski said. “We’ve played a lot of hockey the last 24 hours, and we’re having fun. We’re not ready to go home quite yet.”
Tampa Bay blew a 2-1 third-period lead and lost for just the third time in one-goal games this postseason. The Lightning must now figure out how to contain a suddenly dangerous Dallas top line led by Pavelski, along with Perry.
Another question is the health of Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh, who was slow to get up after a big hit in the first OT. That was around the same time Pavelski blocked a shot by Point to keep the game going.
No one kept the series going more than Khudobin, whose blocker-side save on Yanni Gourde from point-blank range early was just the start of him returning to form after allowing 13 goals the past three games.
Khudobin, who at 34 is playing the most consecutive games of his NHL career, told goalie coach Jeff Reese he wanted to be in net for the second half of the back to back. He kept Dallas alive.
“We’re not here without Dobby,” Bowness said. “He wanted that ball. He wanted that puck. He wanted to be in that net.”
NOTES: Khudobin became the fifth goaltender since 1956 to make 700-plus saves in a single postseason. … Justin Dowling made his NHL playoff debut replacing injured Dallas forward Roope Hintz. … Tampa Bay again played without injured captain Steven Stamkos.
Monday night will mark just the second Game 6 the Lightning play in the playoffs after finishing their first two series out in five each.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)Continue Reading
LUBBOCK, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Texas was trailing Texas Tech by 15 points with a little more than 3 minutes to play when Sam Ehlinger walked over to his head coach and delivered a message.
The No. 8 Longhorns weren’t out of it, the senior quarterback told coach Tom Herman.
“(He) looked at me and said, ‘They left us too much time. We’re going to tie this thing up and win in overtime,” Herman said. “And I believed him.”
Evidently, so did the rest of the team.
Ehlinger delivered on his promise, rallying Texas from a 56-41 deficit in the final 3:13 with touchdown passes to Brennan Eagles and Joshua Moore to force overtime, then finding Moore for another touchdown in a wild 63-56 victory.
“That’s the Tom Brady of college football,” Texas defensive tackle Keondre Coburn said. “That’s the leader we have.”
Texas Tech thought it had the game put away late behind a diving touchdown catch by T.J. Vasher and a 75-yard touchdown run by SaRodorick Thompson Jr.
Ehlinger just looked at the clock and did his thing with a brilliant finish.
Ehlinger first connected with Eagles for a touchdown and the Longhorns snagged the onside kick when the ball bounced high and slipped through the hands of a Red Raiders player.
After finding Moore for another score to get within 56-54, Ehlinger passed to Eagles again for the 2-point conversion.
Texas got the ball first in overtime and the Ehlinger-to-Moore connection did it again. Texas Tech’s only possession ended with Alan Bowman forced to scramble before his pass was intercepted by Caden Sterns on fourth down.
“We learned we’re never out of it. You look around college football in 2020, there’s some weird things going on,” Ehlinger said. “All I can say is, ‘wow’.”
Texas (2-0, 1-0) is chasing its first Big 12 title since 2009 and is 2-0 for the first time in four seasons under Herman.
Ehlinger finished with 262 yards passing with five touchdowns and also ran for a score. Bowman passed for 325 yards and five touchdowns for the Red Raiders (1-1, 0-1) but also threw three interceptions.
Texas: Ehlinger keeps spreading the touchdowns around his receiving corps but Moore is rapidly turning into a go-to favorite target after missing the 2019 season while under team suspension. Moore finished with five catches for 73 yards and three touchdowns.
“I’m so proud of Josh, everything he’s gone through. I love him. I told him that after the game,” Ehlinger said.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders were on the brink of delivering second-year coach Matt Wells a signature win over a Top 10 team and big rival. Blowing a two touchdown lead in the final 3 minutes could crush a team’s confidence. Bowman’s big day was overshadowed by the three interceptions. The first two set up Texas touchdowns in the first half before the last one ended the game.
“We get a stop, we win the game. We force a turnover, we win the game,” Texas Tech linebacker Riko Jeffers said. “We fell short.”
The Longhorns could be rising. Although it wasn’t always impressive, the big comeback and two teams ranked higher than Texas losing Saturday only helps their chance to move up.
“We had a couple of players say in the locker room that great teams have a game or two like this,” Herman said.
The win and final defensive stand in overtime will overshadow an otherwise rough day for the Texas unit under new coordinator Chris Ash, Herman’s friend who was brought in after he was fired as head coach at Rutgers. Herman bemoaned an afternoon of missed tackles and five touchdown passes surrendered.
“To find a way to win this thing, a lot of confidence can come from that, but also a lot of humility,” Herman said. “Hopefully this humbles some guys.
It was a wild day on special teams for both teams. Both teams recovered onside kicks. Texas Tech scored on a punt return fumble and Texas scored off a touchdown off a blocked punt.
Texas returns home to host TCU next Saturday
Texas Tech travels to Kansas State next Saturday
SAN FRANCISCO (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Four-time All-Star outfielder and Arlington, Texas native Hunter Pence announced his retirement Saturday following 14 major league seasons.
The 37-year-old Pence tweeted: “Nothing can really prepare you for this part of your career when you have to say: I am retiring from baseball. Forever thankful and Gr8ful.”
Pence also released a video on Twitter Saturday, talking more about his decision and thanking fans.
Nothing can really prepare you for this part of your career when you have to say: I am retiring from baseball.
Forever thankful and Gr8ful. pic.twitter.com/XoYTsLkOlu
— Hunter Pence (@hunterpence) September 26, 2020
Most recently he was a fan favorite for the San Francisco Giants, helping the club to a pair of World Series championships after being acquired from the Phillies at the 2012 trade deadline.
A career .279 hitter, Pence had 244 home runs and 942 RBIs playing for Houston, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Texas.
The Giants released him last month from a second stint with the club after Pence batted just .096 with two homers and six RBIs in 17 games.
He always believed he would be back with the Giants — it just took a season-long detour with the Rangers last year for his reunion to come together.
Pence reinvented his swing during 2018 with San Francisco, played winter ball in the Dominican Republic to further perfect it, then batted .297 with 18 homers, 17 doubles and 59 RBIs over 83 games for Texas in 2019.
He was part of the Giants’ 2012 and ’14 World Series champion teams.
Pence signed a $3 million, one-year contract in February to return to San Francisco.
His retirement was hardly a surprise.
Pence had accepted his far lesser role that meant he worked more as a veteran leadership presence helping the young Giants prepare and know how to make it in the big leagues.
“I love sharing but I also love learning,” Pence said during spring training. “A lot of times the young guys have a lot to teach us because they have new perspectives and the new coaches that they’ve learned from are so much different than what I grew up with. There’s so much more information out there. To me it’s about growing together and having that growth mindset and that culture of playing with passion and playing smart and getting a little better every day. Those are the things I look forward to doing.”
FORT WORTH, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Breece Hall ran for 154 yards and three touchdowns, JaQuan Bailey had 3 1/2 sacks to become Iowa State’s career leader and the Cyclones opened Big 12 play with a 37-34 win at TCU on Saturday.
Bailey’s strip sack and recovered fumble just before halftime set up Brock Purdy’s 17-yard touchdown pass to Darren Wilson for the Cyclones (1-1), who bounced back from a 17-point home loss to Louisiana-Lafayette in their opener two weeks ago.
“The biggest thing that you saw … we played in a really good rhythm,” Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said. “Now unfortunately, there’s still a lot out there for this team to continue to grow. We left a lot out there again in terms of putting the nail in the coffin, finishing the game and doing some things we need to do to be better. But I thought there it was a warrior’s effort from our kids.”
Dee Winters #13 and Garret Wallow #30 of the TCU Horned Frogs combine to stop running back Breece Hall #28 of the Iowa State Cyclones at Amon G. Carter Stadium on September 26, 2020 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Max Duggan threw three touchdowns after halftime for TCU, but linebacker Mike Rose made a diving interception — grabbing the ball only inches off the ground — with less than four minutes left. The pass went through the hands and off the knee of Taye Barber, who had an earlier touchdown catch.
Taye Barber #4 of the TCU Horned Frogs tries t evade Kym-Mani King #19 of the Iowa State Cyclones at Amon G. Carter Stadium on September 26, 2020 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
That set up a 32-yard TD run by Hall on third-and-2 with 2:54 left that made it 37-28. The sophomore ran basically untouched 75 yards to open the scoring in the second quarter, and had a 1-yard score earlier in the fourth when he leaped high in the air over the line and came down on his feet in the end zone.
“Well, I felt like it was a huge statement win, it gave us a lot of confidence. We really wanted to come and kind of bounce back,” Hall said.
Kene Nwangwu had a 49-yard touchdown on his only carry for the Cyclones.
“You can’t play our defense if you’re not going to be accountable with what you do. We were not accountable,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said. “We missed tackles, had the ball thrown over our head.”
The Horned Frogs played their opener in Patterson’s 20th season as head coach. Their scheduled nonconference game against SMU two weeks ago wasn’t played after a cluster of TCU players and support staff tested positive for COVID-19.
“It’s definitely different going straight into Big 12 play,” running back Emari Demercado said. “You don’t have your games to get your kinks out.”
ABOUT QUARTER FULL
TCU announced an attendance of 11,852, just under the limited 25% capacity for the game in the stadium that can hold about 48,000 fans. It was also the first game some donors could utilize the new luxury boxes and club seats that weren’t completed in the middle of last season, as had been planned.
SOLE SACK LEADER
Bailey, limited to four games last season because of a leg injury, broke a tie with Shawn Moorehead for the most sacks in Iowa State history. Bailey now has 22. “You’re seeing a guy building,” Campbell said. “A senior year, an opportunity of the work ethic that he’s put in. … He’s showing just how talented he truly is.”
Iowa State: Purdy, 15-9 as a starter in Big 12 games, finished 18-of-23 passing for 211 yards and one touchdown. But he also had a huge mistake right after halftime, when he slung the ball in the air while in the grasp of a defender. La’Kendrick Van Zandt caught it and went 21 yards for a TCU touchdown. It was ruled a fumble and not an interception since it was behind the line. “That’s like freshman me trying to make a play,” Purdy said
TCU: Duggan started TCU’s final 10 games last season, but was limited early in camp after a previously undetected heart issue was revealed in preseason testing. Matt Downing, who appeared in four games as a walk-on freshman at Georgia in 2018, made his TCU debut completing 11 of 21 passes for 159 yards a touchdown. But he had the lost fumble just before halftime. Duggan finished 16-of-19 for 241 yards, including a TD on the game’s final play. Patterson said the Frogs needed to get “a guy who could take off and scramble more.”
Iowa State: Home next Saturday against five-time defending Big 12 champion No. 3 Oklahoma, which is coming off a 38-35 home loss to Kansas State.
TCU: At No. 8 Texas next Saturday. The Frogs have won five of the last six games in the series.Continue Reading
NORMAN, Oklahoma (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – A Kansas State team that lost its 2020 season opener to Arkansas State two weeks ago, had its roster depleted by COVID-19, and entered Saturday’s game against No. 3 Oklahoma as a four-touchdown underdog overcame it all to pull off one of the biggest stunners of the season.
Skylar Thompson passed for 334 yards and ran for three touchdowns, and the Wildcats rallied from 21 points down to beat the third-ranked Sooners 38-35, a 50-yard field goal by Blake Lynch with 4:32 remaining providing the margin of victory.
Kansas State coach Chris Klieman said he didn’t know until Friday if he’d have enough players available at all position groups to play the game. Turns out, the Wildcats had exactly what they needed.
“You find out a lot about a person and about a team from a challenge and adversity, and this team responded,” Thompson said. “I had no doubt going into this game that we were going to have a chance to win just by the way that we handled the last two weeks, the way we practiced, the way we came together and corrected our mistakes.”
Freshman Deuce Vaughn caught four passes for 129 yards and ran for a touchdown for the Wildcats. It was Kansas State’s first-ever road win against a top-three team in the AP poll.
Kansas State upset Oklahoma 48-41 in Manhattan, Kansas, last year, making the loss especially disappointing for the Sooners. Oklahoma outgained the Wildcats 517 yards to 400 but had four turnovers to none for Kansas State.
“We just made critical errors that gave them a chance,” Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said. “Give Chris (Klieman) and Kansas State a lot of credit. When we made errors, he made us pay.”
Oklahoma freshman Spencer Rattler passed for 387 yards and four touchdowns, but he threw three interceptions.
Oklahoma Sooners QB Spencer Rattler (7) during a college football game between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Kansas State Wildcats on September 26, 2020, at the Gaylord Family Memorial Stadium in Norman, OK. (Photo by David Stacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
“He’s a young guy in his second start,” Riley said. “We’re going to continue to build on it and he’s going to continue to get better and get coached better as well.”
In the opening moments of the second quarter, Rattler threw into traffic and found Drake Stoops for a 32-yard touchdown. It was the first career score for the son of former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, and it gave the Sooners a 14-0 lead.
Thompson’s 39-yard touchdown pass to Chabastin Taylor in the second quarter cut Oklahoma’s lead to 14-7, but the Sooners answered with Marvin Mims’ 9-yard touchdown reception in the final minute of the first half.
Rattler’s 53-yard pass to Stoops led to Seth McGowan’s 5-yard touchdown run and gave the Sooners a 35-14 lead late in the third quarter.
“We knew when we were down 21 we were just like, we’re going to get our chance, we’re going to get our shot,” Vaughn said. “We’re going to see how good we are at battling adversity. That’s exactly what we did. When things started to turn our way, we were like we can’t get too high. We never got too low. We stayed even-keeled.”
Two short rushing touchdowns by Thompson got the Wildcats back in the game.
Kansas State’s Nick Allen blocked Reeves Mundschau’s punt, and the Wildcats took over at the Oklahoma 38. Vaughn’s 38-yard touchdown run on the Wildcats’ second offensive play and the critical extra point tied it at 35 with 8:17 to play.
Kansas State’s Jahron McPherson intercepted Rattler in the final minute to help close out the win.
“For me, I dream about this all the time,” McPherson said. “For me, I was just so happy and happy for my team. I do everything for my team. I was just happy for all of us.”
Oklahoma had a regular-season loss each of the four times it has reached the College Football Playoff. The Sooners hope they can bounce back again.
“We’re very disappointed, but the resolve is very strong,” Riley said. “We know how to respond to a loss around here, and we’ll do it, and it’s going to take every single one of us.”
Kansas State: The Wildcats didn’t fold when they fell behind and the defense improved in the second half against Rattler.
“It’s a great offense,” Klieman said of Oklahoma. “The quarterback’s an exceptionally good player. We had to keep trying to pressure him to get him off schedule.”
Oklahoma: The defense fell apart much like it has many times in recent years.
“Defensively, it would be some of the busted coverages on the big plays and then a few missed tackles,” Riley said. “Give Kansas State credit. Those are tackles they didn’t miss. They tackled better than we did.”
Thompson reminded his teammates at halftime that they were “overlooked, unappreciated, have been slept on and not given a chance.”
Then, he laid out the opportunity in front of them.
“What better position could you ask for right now? I think when I was saying that, looking around you could see it in everybody’s eyes, that they believed. That’s special. That’s special. I don’t know how else to put it.”
Lynch bounced back from a 1-for-3 effort on field goals against Arkansas State to connect on his career long for the game-winner.
“I wouldn’t say it was nerves, but I definitely had some adrenaline,” he said.
In the fourth quarter, Kansas State outscored Oklahoma 17-0. The Wildcats gave up 455 yards the first three quarters and 62 yards in the fourth.
Kansas State: Hosts Texas Tech on Saturday.
Oklahoma: Travels to Iowa State on Saturday. The Cyclones beat the Sooners three years ago and nearly upset them last year before falling 42-41.
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Kevin Shattenkirk scored in overtime on a controversial power play, Brayden Point had two goals and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Dallas Stars 5-4 Friday night to take a 3-1 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final and move to the cusp of winning the title.
With Game 5 Saturday night, Tampa Bay is potentially 24 hours away from its second championship in franchise history. The Lightning won the Cup in 2004, but this core has so far been unable to get over the hump despite being one of the best teams in the NHL for much of the past decade.
They’re on the verge thanks to Shattenkirk’s goal 6:34 into OT and another dominant performance by top players who looked like they wouldn’t be denied after getting this far. Point, the Lightning’s top center, scored consecutive goals at the end of the first period and start of the second, creating and sustaining the kind of momentum that has been so important in the playoffs.
The Lightning got the winning power play when Dallas captain Jamie Benn was called for tripping Point on a play where Benn’s skates never made contact with Points’ as the referee called it.
Fellow playoff MVP Victor Hedman showed why, saving a goal in the third period. With the puck slowly sliding in the crease toward the goal behind Andrei Vasilevskiy, Hedman swept it out of harm’s way.
Instead of the plucky Stars reclaiming the lead, Alex Killorn put the Lightning ahead a few shifts later with a play that was half hard-working power and half sublime skill. He won a puck battle behind the net, cruised to the right faceoff circle and fired a perfect shot into the top left corner.
There wasn’t much Stars goaltender Anton Khudobin could do on that one, and Vasilevskiy was the victim of two bad bounces that almost allowed Dallas to even the series. John Klingberg’s goal that opened the scoring came after his initial shot went off Tampa Bay’s Jan Rutta and through Hedman’s legs, and Joe Pavelski’s second that tied it in the third pinballed in off the goalie and Lightning defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.
But the Lightning carried the play for much of the night and showed the depth and talent that has made them a Cup contender for several years. Their core players are closer to the Cup than they ever have been, five years after taking a 2-1 series lead in the final and losing in six to Chicago.
It would take an impressive comeback by a suddenly beaten up Stars bunch to keep Tampa Bay from another sunshine state title, this time won in the NHL’s northernmost city with no fans in the stands.
The Lightning came in with more important players fighting through injuries, including Point and No. 2 center Anthony Cirelli. But the Stars lost another key piece in forward Roope Hintz, who was injured when Tyler Johnson’s stick got stuck in his left skate and he crashed hard into the boards.
Penalties remain Dallas’ undoing. The least disciplined team in the playoffs took five more in Game 4 and allowed three power-play goals.
The Lightning survived a penalty kill of their own minutes early in OT after defenseman Mikhail Sergachev was whistled for holding Tyler Seguin.
(© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)Continue Reading
ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Football is back Friday for some of the largest high schools in Texas. Some of those 5A and 6A teams are starting their seasons at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
Arlington Martin and Denton Ryan kicked off at 4 p.m. This is a month later than the original start date of their seasons.
For Jatavion Sanders, his arrival at AT&T Stadium ends a long month of waiting. His brother is a wide receiver for Denton Ryan.
“It’s actually been kind of boring for me because I want to see him play football,” Sanders said.
“I just feel really hyped, a lot of energy right now, ready to see my brother play,” he added.
Buses carried the teams, bands and cheer squads to the stadium in the afternoon, with gates opening at around 3 p.m.
One of the first fans came to the stadium all the way from San Marcos. Wendell Hethcock’s son in law in the coach of Denton Ryan, and his grandson is the starting quarterback.
“We were playing the fifth game last year at this time time. It feels wonderful being here. We are looking forward to being here watching,” Hethcock said.
Longview and Temple will take the field at 8 p.m. Friday.Continue Reading
(CBS Boston) — The New England Patriots left Seattle last Sunday night with a loss to the Seahawks. But they have to be pleased with how the 2020 version of the team is shaking out. The Las Vegas Raiders can say the same after winning their first two games. The Raiders used an efficient night from Derek Carr and the offense to neutralized the New Orleans Saints in their first home game in Vegas. The Patriots and Raiders will square off in Week 3.
The outcome of the Patriots-Seahawks came down to a matter of inches and a matter of seconds. Down 35-30, Cam Newton started the Pats’ last drive inside their own 20-yard line, with under two minutes left. After 80 yards, Newton and company found themselves at the Seahawks one-yard line with just three seconds left. They couldn’t put it across the goal line. On the game’s last play, Newton was upended in the backfield, and the game ended.
The Patriots are getting what they hoped for from their new starting quarterback in the post-Tom Brady era. Newton went 30-44 for 397 yards and a touchdown. He carried the ball 11 times for 47 yards and two more touchdowns. Julian Edelman caught eight of his 11 targets for a career-high 179 yards. Aside from Newton, the rushing games was basically nonexistent, with Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead totaling 21 yards. (James White missed the game due to the death of his father.)
The Patriots defense is another story. Aside from Devin McCourty’s interception return for a touchdown early, the Seahawks did basically whatever they wanted. Russell Wilson went 21-28 for 288 yards and five touchdowns, each to a different receiver. DK Metcalf caught four of those for 92 yards. The Seattle running game averaged 5.1 yards per carry, piling up 154 yards.
The Pats defense will have to figure out how to stop a Raiders offense that similarly leveraged its consistency to control the ball and keep Drew Brees and company off the field. A slow start put them down 10 points by the end of the first quarter. But then Carr found his rhythm, with short passes and a steady dose of Josh Jacobs keeping the chains moving. The Raiders moved methodically down the field on four straight scoring drives to take a 24-17 lead by the end of the third quarter.
Carr outclassed Brees, who seemed a little out of sorts without top receiver Michael Thomas. The Raiders’ signal caller finished the night 28-38 passing, with 282 yards and three touchdowns. Tight end Darren Waller was unstoppable, hauling in 12 of his 16 targets for 101 yards and a TD. But 10 other Raiders also caught passes. Jacobs’ 27 carries yielded only 88 yards, but balanced out an offense that the kept Saints defense on their backfoot for much of the game.
The questionable Raiders defense was able to contain Brees for the middle portion of the game. He still put up 312 yards on 26-38 passing, but wasn’t able to keep up on the scoreboard. The absence of Thomas, who was out with a high ankle sprain, certainly factored in. The Raiders struggled to slow the Saints’ Alvin Kamara, who led in both the rushing and passing games, with a combined 174 yards. Most important to the Raiders’ defensive effort was a Raiders offense that controlled the time of possession, limiting Brees’s opportunities.
The Patriots, unsurprisingly, have adapted their offense to Newton’s skillset at quarterback. And it’s already paying dividends. The Raiders will need to generate some sort of pass rush if they hope to slow them down, or at least limit their options. More ball control from Carr will help. But the Raiders will have to more heavily involve other pass catchers beside Waller, who has 18 catches in his first two games. (Their second-leading receiver is Jacobs with seven.) The Patriots seem likely to blanket him with cornerback Stephon Gilmore, last season’s Defensive Player of the Year.
The Patriots play the Raiders Sunday, September 27 @ 1:00 pm ET on CBS.Continue Reading
(CBSDFW.COM) – Dak Prescott has a friend in Aaron Rodgers, who this week voiced support for the Cowboy QB’s openness about his mental health struggles following the suicide of his brother last April.
The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman asked the Packers quarterback about Prescott’s admission during a press conference this week.
“I saw what Dak said. I applaud him. I think it’s phenomenal, speaking out, because that’s true courage and that’s true strength,” Rodgers said. “It’s not a weakness at all.” Other people’s opinions of Dak has nothing to do with him,” Rodgers added. “That’s their own insecurities about their inability to deal with their own s–t, probably.”
Thought I’d ask Aaron Rodgers today about mental health, specifically what he thinks the value of people like him and Dak Prescott talking about their headspace, happiness and mental well-being has in destigmatizing talking about that stuff.
His full answer: pic.twitter.com/OtZ4kN1915
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) September 23, 2020
Prescott described his bouts of depression while sheltering in place on the In Depth show with Graham Bensinger.
“All throughout this quarantine and this offseason, I started experiencing emotions I’ve never felt before,” the Dallas Cowboys quarterback said. “Anxiety for the main one. And then, honestly, a couple of days before my brother passed, I would say I started experiencing depression.”
Another sports commentator, FOX “Undisputed” host Skip Bayless had more of a visceral, negative reaction than Rodgers, saying he felt “no sympathy” for Prescott.
Rogers it seems, has nothing but empathy for the 27-year-old star player, saying: “I think it’s a beautiful thing when people start talking about it, because at the bare minimum it makes you more relatable to people. That we have the same struggles, and the same issues, and the same desires to grow and change and see things in a better, positive light that so many people out there do. And I think the more that we can connect with people, especially with conversations like this, the better our society can be moving forward as a connected society built around love and positivity.”Continue Reading
ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Things continue to go downhill for the Texas Rangers, as the Houston Astros are on the verge of clinching the American League’s last playoff spot.
Astros manager Dusty Baker was excited by the performance of some of the team’s mainstays.
“I’m just hoping that these guys are about to get hot,” Baker said.
Just in time for the postseason.
George Springer, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Josh Reddick all homered with runners on base, and each finished with three hits, as the Astros trimmed their magic number to one for clinching the American League’s last playoff spot with a 12-4 win over the Texas Rangers on Thursday night.
“I think that’s what we should be doing. We’re a very good offense,” said Bregman, who had three extra-base hits. “It’s repeating. We’ve had a few games this year I thought we swung the bat well, but we didn’t really repeat it, so now it’s time to repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, and keep doing that.”
The Astros (29-28) have to win only one of their three remaining games against Texas to secure second place in the AL West, and a spot in baseball’s expanded playoff during the pandemic-shortened season. They also get in if the Angels (26-31) lose any in their final three-game series against the NL-best Dodgers.
Houston’s three-year reign as AL West champion has already been ended by Oakland. Seattle had the day off when the Astros won to eliminate them from the playoff chase.
Bregman, Springer, Altuve and Reddick have been part of the recent playoff runs with the Astros, including their 2017 World Series title and another AL pennant last year.
A’s right-hander Mike Fiers was the whistleblower in the Astros’ offseason sign-stealing scandal. He publicly called out his former club for cheating in an article published by The Athletic last November. Manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow lost their jobs after MLB’s investigation into the claims.
Baker, hired just before spring training, is now in line to become the first major league manager to take five different teams to the postseason. He’s already managed the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals in the playoffs.
The Astros had a 10-0 lead in 5 2-3 inning against Texas workhorse Lance Lynn (6-3) before their rookie starter Cristian Javier (5-2) gave up a run.
“It’s kind of a sour taste in our mouths just to see the way that finished off,” Texas manager Chris Woodward said. “That doesn’t change the way he pitched for us all year.”
The 10 runs allowed were a career high for the 33-year-old Lynn, who has another year left on his Texas contract.
“I’d like to do a little better, but that happens,” Lynn said.
Javier struck out six while allowing three runs over 5 2/3 innings. The right-hander walked one, hit a batter and threw three wild pitches. He held the Rangers without a run until Willie Calhoun’s two-run homer in the sixth.
“Javier was exceptional for five innings, he ran out of gas a little bit,” Baker said.
Maybe it was all the sitting around during those big innings for the Astros.
Bregman had an RBI triple and scored in the first to put Houston ahead to stay, and Springer’s 14th homer was a three-run shot on a 445-foot drive to straightway center in the second. Bregman hit a two-run homer in the fifth, an inning before Altuve’s three-run shot. Reddick had a two-run homer in the ninth.
FRISCO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott said Thursday he can’t wrap his head around a Kentucky grand jury’s decision not to indict any officers for the March shooting death of Breonna Taylor.
“Yeah that one’s disgusting,” he said. There are a lot of things I don’t understand in this country that we’re looking at right now, it’s about us educating ourselves, going out to vote, educated on who we’re voting for and what they’re going to do when they’re in office.”
Prescott said the Cowboys are having bigger conversations about those issues and not just in the locker room.
He said it’s important for the players’ voices to be heard throughout the community as well.
On Wednesday, the grand jury found two Louisville police officers, Myles Cosgrove and Jonathan Mattingly, justified in their use of force that resulted in Taylor’s death.
The grand jury charged a third officer, Brett Hankison, with three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, related to him firing his weapon into the walls of Taylor’s apartment and endangering people in another unit.Continue Reading
ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The 2020 Professional Bull Riders (PBR) World Finals is moving to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, and fans are expected to be in attendance.
The championship will be held from Nov. 12 through Nov. 15 during the Dallas Cowboys’ bye week.
The annual event has been in Las Vegas for the last 26 years, but the PBR could not get approval from Nevada to hold it during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Officials said the PBR, city of Arlington and other state leaders have been working in the last eight days to bring the event to North Texas.
“We wanted to make sure that wherever we went with the World Finals, we could do it safely and responsibly. And we are 100% confident that we can do that here,” said Sean Gleason, CEO of the PBR.
Tickets will go on sale on Oct. 5. The events will also be broadcast on CBS Sports Network.
Officials also said the Women’s Rodeo World Championship will be held at the Will Rogers Coliseum Complex in Fort Worth beginning on Nov. 9.
(CBS Local)- Now into Week 3 of the NFL season, there was plenty of scrambling this week after several big name stars went down with injuries. New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley was lost to a torn ACL, his season is over. Fellow Top 3 fantasy pick, Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, suffered a high ankle sprain that is likely to keep him out several weeks.
So, if you had one of those players, how do you stay afloat? You can of course pick up their backups now expected to take the workload in Dion Lewis/Devonta Freeman in New York or Mike Davis in Carolina. Or, the guys from Fantasy Football Today, Jamey Eisenberg and Heath Cummings have a couple ideas of players you should have in your lineup this week.
For Jamey, Los Angeles Chargers running back Joshua Kelley is among his starts of the week. The rookie back has averaged 11 fantasy points per game so far and he’s facing a Panthers defense that gave up big days to Leonard Fournette and Josh Jacobs in the first two weeks. Fournette is also among the starters though Heath is less sure about that pick.
“He looked like the guy, certainly in the fourth quarter of their most recent game and he might be the guy in the fourth quarter against the Broncos. I do not have confidence though that he is going to get even 50 percent of the total running back touches in this game. They’re still using LeSean McCoy a little bit. Ronald Jones is still allegedly going to start the game. I would like to stay away from all of the Tampa Bay running backs until we get a bit more clarity.”
The quarterback spot has another area of disagreement as Heath has Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson among his starts while Jamey is staying away due to the matchup with a tough Pittsburgh defense. For more on why each of the guys below are listed as a start or sit, check out the video above. And, you can catch the guys on the Fantasy Football Today podcast wherever you listen to podcasts.
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions @ Arizona Cardinals, Projected Points: 19.0
Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans @ Pittsburgh Steelers, Projected Points: 18.3
Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars @ Miami Dolphins, Projected Points: 23.9
Joshua Kelley, Los Angeles Chargers vs. Carolina Panthers, Projected Points: 9.1
Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Denver Broncos, Projected Points: 14.7
Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams @ Buffalo Bills, Projected Points: 10.6
Julian Edelman, New England Patriots vs. Las Vegas Raiders, Projected Points: 15.8
Golden Tate, New York Giants vs. San Francisco 49ers, Projected Points: 11.5
Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Houston Texans, Projected Points: 14.5
Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Cincinnati Bengals, Projected Points: 7.8
Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans @ Pittsburgh Steelers, Projected Points: 18.3
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints vs. Green Bay Packers, Projected Points: 21.0
Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams @ Buffalo Bills, Projected Points: 16.7
Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Denver Broncos, Projected Points: 14.7
Will Fuller, Houston Texans @ Pittsburgh Steelers, Projected Points: 7.2
Mo Alie-Cox, Indianapolis Colts vs. New York Jets, Projected Points: 5.2Continue Reading
FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Some things to watch Saturday in the Big 12, when conference play starts in the league’s 25th season. It will be the season openers for the TCU Horned Frogs and the Baylor Bears, who weren’t able to play their scheduled non-conference games because of COVID-19:
GAME OF THE WEEK
Kansas State (0-1) at No. 3 Oklahoma (1-0): The Sooners had a five-year road winning streak — until going to Manhattan last October, when Wildcats quarterback Skylar Thompson ran for four touchdowns in a 48-41 win. Thompson is now set to make his 29th career start, this time in Norman, where Oklahoma is 19-1 in coach Lincoln Riley’s four seasons. After that lone conference loss last season, the Sooners went on to win the Big 12 title for the fifth year in a row. Two weeks ago, Spencer Rattler became the first Oklahoma freshman to throw four touchdowns in his starting debut, a 48-0 win over Missouri State. Thompson threw two TDs as K-State fell 35-31 when Arkansas State scored in the final minute.
Dave Aranda’s head coaching debut with Baylor vs. Les Miles and Kansas. Miles was still LSU’s head coach in 2016 when he hired Aranda as defensive coordinator, after three years in that role at Wisconsin. Miles, already under pressure nine years after his national title with the Tigers, was fired along with his offensive coordinator after a 2-2 start in 2016. Aranda stayed at LSU through last season, when he was part of a 15-0 national championship before becoming Baylor’s coach. Miles is in his second year at Kansas (0-1).
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
TCU, which plays Iowa State, has won 18 home openers in a row. … Four Big 12 teams had 600 total yards in their non-conference games: No. 8 Texas, Texas Tech, West Virginia and Oklahoma. … Texas had five scoring drives of under 2 minutes in its opener against UTEP. Texas Tech, who the Longhorns play, surrendered four scoring drives of under 2 minutes against FCS team Houston Baptist. … The average margin of victory in Big 12 league games last season was 12.9 points, the slimmest among all FBS leagues.