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😄 Good morning to everyone but especially ...
THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AND THE CINCINNATI BENGALS
These Eagles don't rebuild. They reload and, in spots, improve. Led by a mix of newcomers and familiar faces, Philadelphia cruised past Tampa Bay, 25-11.
- After a slow start, the Eagles took control late in the second quarter with Jalen Hurts finding Olamide Zaccheaus on a 34-yard touchdown pass, consecutive turnovers forced and then a field goal to take a 13-3 halftime lead.
- Those turnovers came from Reed Blankenship (interception) and Jalen Carter (forced fumble recovered by James Bradbury). Last season, Zaccheaus was on the Falcons, Blankenship was a backup and Carter was at Georgia.
- Another key newcomer, D'Andre Swift, had 138 yards total, while another star holdover, A.J. Brown, had 131 yards receiving.
- Hurts added his 34th career rushing touchdown, passing Randall Cunningham for most by an Eagles quarterback.
The passing game isn't humming -- Hurts was intercepted twice -- but Swift is more than making up for it.the Lions this offseason, Swift has always had obvious talent but hadn't put it all together. Now, behind an awesome offensive line, Swift has 305 yards rushing in his last two games, the most by any Eagles player in a two-game span since Bryce Brown in 2012. Overall, the Eagles have out-rushed their last two opponents 460-69, their largest difference in a two-game span since 1949. Add in an overwhelming defense, a tremendous quarterback and two star wide receivers, and the Eagles are sitting pretty at 3-0.
The Bengals also have a lot of those ingredients, but with their quarterback ailing, they had to rely on their defense -- which finally proved reliable -- in a 19-16 win over the Rams.
- Joe Burrow was but played ... though not very well, completing just 26 of 49 passes for 259 yards, no touchdowns and an interception.
- His friends helped out: Ja'Marr Chase had several remarkable catches en route to 141 yards on a career-high 12 receptions, Joe Mixon scored the team's lone touchdown, and the defense sacked Matthew Stafford six times and picked him off twice -- both by Logan Wilson.
The Bengals will go as far as Burrow's calf goes. He saidMonday night, though he has acknowledged it's something he'll deal with throughout the year. His trademark accuracy and play extension are glaringly absent currently. The Bengals' three touchdowns are tied for fewest in the league. But they're finally in the win column thanks to the rest of their roster, and they'll take that for now.
👍 Honorable mentions
- The Raptors are reportedly the in the Damian Lillard sweepstakes.
- Bill Belichick says Taylor Swift would be Travis Kelce's . Yes, that's a real sentence I wrote in a real sports newsletter.
- If you're a Swiftie getting into football, 1) thanks for reading this newsletter, and 2) .
- Mike Trout says he the Angels next year.
- Jerome Tang got a from Kansas State.
- Here are from the USWNT friendlies.
👎 Not so honorable mentions
- It was a tough day for the Chargers: Mike Williams ( ) is done for the season, and there's an for J.C. Jackson after he violated probation terms and no-showed for court following a criminal speeding charge.
- Jimmy Garoppolo is .
- The Steelers had an ... but eventually got home.
- Tyler Shough ( ) could miss the rest of the season.
- The Padres are next year.
👀 Jets remain committed to Zach Wilson; assessing other options
Oct. 31, 2022: One day after an awful performance by Zach Wilson in a five-point loss to the Patriots, Robert Saleh commits to Wilson as "our quarterback."
Sept. 25, 2023: One day after an awful performance from Zach Wilson in a five-point loss to the Patriots,as "our unquestioned quarterback."
Sorry for the déjà vu, Jets fans. Among 34 qualified quarterbacks this season, Wilson ranks ...
- 34th in passer rating, completion percentage and expected points added per dropback
- 32nd in yards per attempt and interception rate
It's not just that Wilson isn't good. It's that the Jets don't trust him. Or he doesn't trust himself. In the first half Sunday, Wilson threw the ball -- on average -- nearly 7 yards short of the first down line. Only Dak Prescott -- who lost to the Cardinals -- had a lower average. Wilson struggles immensely when pressured to the point whereJoe Namath even and, Monday, said
The Jets have roster issues beyond quarterback, but a good quarterback can overcome that. The Jets also have a ton of talent being dragged down by a bad quarterback. And that's why I'm starting to come around on the Kirk Cousins idea.
Cousins is in the final year of his deal with the Vikings, who are 0-3 this season. They're by no means out of it, but Jordan Dajani.
You may say ...
- "What about the Jets' poor offensive line and running game?" Well, Cousins is already playing with both in Minnesota. He's also playing with a bad defense; he'd get one of the league's best in New York.
- "What about Cousins' no-trade clause?" If the Jets can stay afloat and the Vikings continue to lose, wouldn't Cousins envy a playoff chance in the final year of his deal?
- "Why would the Vikings eat money to do this?" GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said ahead of last season he'd be overseeing a "competitive rebuild." The Vikings were very competitive last year, winning 13 games. Now, maybe, comes the rebuild. It doesn't seem like Cousins will be back in Minnesota next season, and they could get great value.
Cody Benjamin has been, and while it might be tough for the Jets to swing another big quarterback trade, throwing away an entire season of a very talented roster (outside quarterback) is an even tougher idea to swallow. For now, Wilson is the guy. But just keep the Cousins idea -- and the reasons it makes sense -- in mind down the road.
⛳ Ryder Cup preview: How U.S. can end streak
Yes, I know it's already Tuesday, but now that football's over, I'm officially declaring it Ryder Cup week, and, my goodness is it a big one. Team U.S. is at Marco Simone Golf in Italy looking for its first Ryder Cup victory in Europe since 1993.
, and while the U.S. may have the talent edge, , writes Kyle Porter.
- Porter: "You know how a college basketball team that's never been to Allen Fieldhouse or Cameron Indoor gets down 18-4 at the first TV timeout and starts looking like they would rather be literally anywhere other than that arena? That's what the last two Ryder Cups in Europe have felt like for this American team. ... It's easy to talk about how much you love playing with your teammates when you're rolling over everything in sight in Wisconsin. ... But it's an entirely different concept to step back through the tunnel and get punched in the mouth by Rory, Rahm and Hovland off the top. It's another thing to be down 4-0 after the first session and begin staring at a 34-year drought."
Here's the, here are , and here's .
🏈 CBS Sports 133: Pacific Northwest impressing
We've spilled plenty of ink (well, digital characters) talking about the disintegration of the Pac-12. But in its final season, the Pac-12 is giving us plenty of reasons to talk about its actual football prowess. The conference has five top-15 teams in the latest CBS Sports 133.
2. Washington (prev: 5)
7. Oregon (prev: 10)
9. USC (prev: 7)
12. Utah (prev: 11)
15. Washington State (prev: 25)
I'm super impressed by Washington State, and
- Patterson: "Maybe the focus should not be on whether Washington State can be a stumbling block for Oregon or Washington, but rather whether we should start taking Cam Ward and the Cougars seriously as a playoff dark horse themselves."
The Cougars' 10-spot jump is tied for third-largest this week. You can see the entire 133 here.and
📺 What we're watching Tuesday
⚾ Cubs at Braves, 7:20 p.m. on TBS
🏀 Sun at Liberty, 8 p.m. on ESPN
🏀 Wings at Aces, 10 p.m. on ESPN
⚾ Astros at Mariners, 10:05 p.m. on TBS