Weekly sports review

A heavy dose of NFL as the Steelers playoff hopes fade, Army vs. Navy and more MLB big money contracts (not by the Pirates)

Brady McGuire and Sam Himrod

The NFL was highlighted by seven divisional games and all were with high playoff implications.

The NFL games kicked off Thursday Night with the Los Angeles Rams defeating the Los Vegas Raiders 17-16. Recently signed QB Baker Mayfield took over in the 2nd quarter of the game and showed the upside he has, being the former number 1 overall pick. He led the Rams on a 98-yard touchdown drive with 1:45 left in the game and no timeouts. This shows everything Baker is capable of when he has a strong coaching staff around him, something he lacked in both Cleveland and Carolina.

The Dallas Cowboys almost took a shocking loss at home to the 1-10-1 Houston Texans. A last-minute Ezekiel Elliot touchdown secured a 27-23 win for the Cowboys. The remainder of Dallas’ schedule will be a challenge, especially against the Philadelphia Eagles in two weeks. The Cowboys are a playoff lock in the fifth seed with no team within two games of them.

The upset of the week was the Detroit Lions beating the Minnesota Vikings 34-23. The biggest take from the week is both of these teams will be in the playoffs. This is not a shock for the 10-3 Vikings will make the playoffs, but the Lions are now 6-7. They are not in right now, but they are the next team in behind the New York Giants and Washington Commanders. Also, the Lions are the true definition of a wild card team, as they can beat anyone but they can lose to anyone.

The San Francisco 49ers blew out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 35-7. This game made history because Brock Purdy became the only rookie quarterback in his first start against Tom Brady to beat Brady. The 49ers are simply legit. Period. Purdy has shown he can handle the QB role and they continue to win. As long as they continue to let their stars be stars, they have a chance to win it all.

On Sunday Night Football, the Miami Dolphins took a road loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. A lot of people are thinking the Dolphins have been exposed, but let’s pump the breaks. Even with a harder remaining schedule consisting of the Bills, Packers, Patriots, and Jets, let’s not forget they are a good team. Teams are allowed to have a little sputter in the NFL and I think the Dolphins will respond and find a way into the playoffs.

The Steelers were defeated at home by the Ravens on Sunday. Kenny Pickett left the game with a concussion, and Mitch Trubisky just couldn’t get the job done. He led some nice drives, but his three interceptions, two of which came in the red zone, showed why he is a backup in the NFL. The Ravens ran the ball 42 times for 215 yards. Winning games is hard enough, but it’s almost impossible when you give up 200+ on the ground.

This loss showed the Steelers’ true colors. They can win close games against bad teams, but haven’t shown the ability to do it against better teams. The Ravens played with a backup and then a third-string QB in a pivotal division rival game on the road, and we couldn’t do anything about it. The defense didn’t play how they’re capable of, but neither did the other two units.

The special team units were terrible. Presley Harvin continued his inconsistent punting ability, punting three times for an average of 37 yards, and none of them inside the 20. Not what you would expect from the only punter selected last year. And kicking struggled for the first time this year, with Calais Campbell blocking a Chris Boswell field goal attempt in the first half.

When the defense only gives up 16 points in the NFL, you have to find a way to win the game. The reason the Steelers went on a win streak was because they didn’t turn over the ball. As a backup, you need to be able to step in and manage the game, but Trubisky was unable to do that. He didn’t value the ball, which ultimately cost us the game.

The highlight of the College Football weekend was the traditional Army v. Navy game. Army went on to win 20-17 in a double-overtime thriller. This game is great for College Football and the country. Even if both teams have a struggling record, the game still produces a highly competitive game. Also, the amount of people and veterans that attend this game creates a great environment.

Finally, in the baseball world, Carlos Correa signed a 13-year, 350 million dollar contract. In the short term, I don’t like this for the Giants because Brandon Crawford is still there. When Crawford retires, this will be great for a Giants team that has been up and down in years past. Also, I think this satisfies the San Francisco fan base after missing out on Aaron Judge.