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💪 Good morning to everyone but especially ...
THE SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
There's beauty in the brutality. The 49ers are the perfect example. San Francisco pounded and pounded and pounded away at the Giants, finally breaking them down in a 30-12 win.
- Brock Purdy threw for 310 yards and a pair of scores -- Ronnie Bell in the second quarter and Deebo Samuel in the fourth.
- Overall, the 49ers have won 13 straight regular-season contests.
- The 49ers outrushed the Giants 141-29. Christian McCaffrey led the way with 85 yards and a score on the ground. He also had 34 yards receiving. McCaffrey has (playoffs included), tying Jerry Rice's franchise record.
- Overall, the big three of McCaffrey, Samuel and George Kittle were responsible for 340 of the 49ers' 441 total yards.
Here's a telling stat: On a short week, the 49ers ran 78 plays compared to just 46 for the Giants -- and it showed. After New York cut the lead to 17-12 in the third quarter, San Francisco ripped off scoring drives of 72, 51 and 70 yards.
These 49ers are no fun to play ever. The Giants found that out and then some.
👍 Honorable mentions
- Duke got a from five-star 2024 wing Kon Knueppel.
- The Rays are Junior Caminero.
- DeAndre Hopkins is from Clemson.
- Louisville football players .
- The USWNT said goodbye to Julie Ertz with a 3-0 win over South Africa.
- The Tigers Jeff Greenberg as GM.
🤕 And not such a good morning for ...
TREVON DIGGS AND THE DALLAS COWBOYS
Add another star to the list of season-ending injuries: Cowboys two-time Pro-Bowl cornerback Trevon Diggs.
- Diggs, who turned 25 on Wednesday, had been terrific this season. Opposing quarterbacks went just 2 of 8 passing for 26 yards and an interception when he was the primary defender. That's a 0.0 passer rating.
- Diggs' 15 interceptions since the start of the 2021 season are most in the NFL. Justin Simmons is second with 11.
- As noted in , the Cowboys have been absolutely dominant this season. The defense is best in the league in several categories, and Dallas is one of just three teams since the 1970 merger to score 70+ points and allow 10 or fewer points through its first two games of a season.
Diggs signed a. He entered the season eighth in our .
The good news for the Cowboys is that they have a ton of depth in the defensive secondary. Stephon Gilmore and DaRon Bland are a more-than-capable starting tandem outside, and Jourdan Lewis will reportedly take Bland's spot in the slot. As Garrett Podell writes, the
Still, they won't be as good as they would be with a healthy Diggs. And in the NFL, where margins are thin, that may be costly.
👎 Not so honorable mentions
- Joe Burrow , and Bryce Young ( ) is unlikely to play Sunday. injury report.
- The Sky are .
🏈 NFL Week 3 picks, previews: Vikings or Chargers to get first win?
After breaking through for 13 wins last year, the Vikings added Brian Flores as their defensive coordinator to fix a struggling unit. And after finally making the playoffs with Justin Herbert, the Chargers changed up their coaching staff, too, hiring Kellen Moore to take advantage of Herbert's awesome arm talent.
The results aren't great -- yet. Both teams are 0-2 with all four combined losses coming in one-score games. The good news? One of these teams will (almost certainly) win this weekend as they face each other in Minnesota. So, who will get that crucial first win, and who will fall to 0-3?:
- Prisco: "The Chargers are playing consecutive road games, while the Vikings will be playing on 10 days rest. That, coupled with the inability of the Chargers to stop anybody, will give the Vikings their first victory. Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson go nuts. Pick: Vikings 32, Chargers 30"
I definitely expect a lot of points in that one. I don't expect a lot of points in Patriots-Jets, which features 2021 NFL Draft classmates Mac Jones and Zach Wilson. Jones is 4-0 in his career against Wilson, and their last meeting was a 10-3 thriller that ended on a Marcus Jones punt return touchdown with 5 seconds left. That won't happen again -- Marcus Jones () went on IR Thursday -- but will Jones continue lording over Wilson? :
- Sullivan: "New York's defense will be a challenge for Mac Jones and the Patriots offense, but they are capable of putting up points (and could even get some from the defense). Projected score: Patriots 24, Jets 17"
Here are all of our experts' picks:
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🏈 Picks, previews for college football's loaded Week 4
Remember when we had zero top 25 matchups last week ... and it was still awesome? Well, this week we have SIX matchups featuring top 25 teams ...
- No. 19 Colorado at No. 10 Oregon ( )
- No. 22 UCLA at No. 11 Utah ( )
- No. 15 Ole Miss at No. 13 Alabama ( )
- No. 14 Oregon State at No. 21 Washington State ( )
- No. 6 Ohio State at No. 9 Notre Dame ( )
- No. 24 Iowa at No. 7 Penn State ( )
It's a college football lover's dream, and I absolutely can't wait. Ohio State-Notre Dame might just be my favorite, especially because of the intriguing quarterback battle: Sam Hartman, the Wake Forest transfer who has been lighting it up this year and is the subject of, battles Kyle McCord, who was only recently named the Buckeyes starter -- a .
Ohio State has won five straight against Notre Dame, and if OSU wantS to make it six straight,, writes Will Backus.
- Backus: "Feed Marvin Harrison Jr. to open up the offense: In Ohio State's season opener against Indiana -- in which the Buckeyes were held to their lowest scoring total against the Hoosiers since 1993 -- Harrison had just two catches for 18 yards. Ohio State has scored an average of 49 points per game since, and Harrison had 100-plus yards receiving in each of the last two contests. That isn't a coincidence. Find ways to get Harrison the ball early and often and other options will open up as the game progresses."
Will hasas well as .
If Ohio State-Notre Dame looks like the best game, Colorado-Oregon might be the most anticipated. Deion Sanders and the Buffaloes are the talk of college football. Will that talk be good or bad come Sunday morning? Tom.
- Fornelli: "No. 19 Colorado at No. 10 Oregon -- The Travis Hunter injury makes this game so much more difficult to figure out. ... So, I'm going to lean on the one thing I have no doubt about: the Oregon offense. How many stops do you think Colorado will get in this game? My guess is that unless the Ducks turn the ball over, the Buffaloes might get one, maybe two. Well, Oregon hasn't turned the ball over yet this season. Bo Nix doesn't get greedy, and the Oregon offensive line should feast against this Colorado front. The Pick: Oregon Team Total Over 45.5 (-105)"
Elsewhere in the soon-to-be defunct Pac-12, Oregon State and Washington State -- the two teams left out of that stunning realignment -- meet one another, and Shehan Jeyarajah has a.
📺 What we're watching this weekend
🏈 Wisconsin at Purdue, 7 p.m. on FS1
🏈 NC State at Virginia, 7:30 p.m. on ESPN
🏈 Boise State at San Diego State, 10:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network
🏈 No. 4 Florida State at Clemson, Noon on ABC
🏈 No. 19 Colorado at No. 10 Oregon, 3:30 p.m. on ABC
🏈 No. 22 UCLA at No. 11 Utah, 3:30 p.m. on Fox
🏈 No. 15 Ole Miss at No. 13 Alabama, 3:30 p.m. on CBS, Paramount+
🏈 Arkansas at No. 12 LSU, 7 p.m. on ESPN
🏈 No. 14 Oregon State at No. 21 Washington State, 7 p.m. on Fox
🏈 No. 6 Ohio State at No. 9 Notre Dame, 7:30 p.m. on NBC
🏈 No. 3 Texas at Baylor, 7:30 p.m. on ABC
🏈 No. 24 Iowa at No. 7 Penn State, 7:30 p.m. on CBS, Paramount+
🏈 Broncos at Dolphins, 1 p.m. on CBS, Paramount+
🏈 Patriots at Jets, 1 p.m. on CBS, Paramount+
🏈 Bills at Commanders, 1 p.m. on CBS, Paramount+
🏈 Chargers at Vikings, 1 p.m. on Fox
🏀 Sun at Liberty, 1 p.m. on ESPN
🏀 Wings at Aces, 5 p.m. on ESPN2
⚾ Giants at Dodgers, 7 p.m. on ESPN