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Your guide to every Week 6 game, with predictions and fantasy tips

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The Week 6 NFL schedule is stacked with great matchups. Our NFL Nation reporters bring us the keys to every game, a bold prediction for each matchup and final score picks.

Additionally, ESPN Stats & Information provides a stat to know for each game, and the Football Power Index (FPI) goes inside the numbers with a matchup rating (on a scale of 1 to 100) and a game projection. ESPN Fantasy‘s Kyle Soppe and ESPN Chalk‘s Dave Bearman hand out helpful nuggets as well. It’s all here to help get you ready for a loaded weekend of NFL football.

Let’s get into the full Week 6 slate, including a showdown between Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers.

Jump to a matchup:
BAL-PHI | CLE-PIT | HOU-TEN
ATL-MIN | CHI-CAR | DEN-NE
CIN-IND | DET-JAX | WSH-NYG
NYJ-MIA | GB-TB | LAR-SF
KC-BUF | ARI-DAL

Bye: LV, NO, LAC, SEA

1 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating:
67.2 | Spread: BAL -7.5 (47.5)

What to watch for: Opposing tight ends have racked up 32 catches for 323 yards and five touchdowns through five games against the Eagles, with much of that damage coming against a struggling linebacking corps. Enter Baltimore’s Mark Andrews, who is tied for third in the NFL with five receiving scores. — Tim McManus

Bold prediction: Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson will throw at least four TD passes. Jackson, last season’s NFL leader in touchdown passes, hasn’t thrown for more than three in a game since his MVP season. But the Eagles have allowed 10 touchdown passes this season, and only five teams have given up more. — Jamison Hensley

Stat to know: Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has a 53.1 Total QBR this season (25th in the NFL) and a league-leading nine interceptions. No Eagles QB has led the NFL in picks over a full season since the 1970 merger.

Injuries: Ravens | Eagles

What to know for fantasy: Jackson had just one game last season with fewer than 19 fantasy points. But he has been under 19 fantasy points in three of his past four games. See Week 6 rankings.

Betting nugget: Jackson is 8-0 outright and 6-0-2 against the spread (ATS) in his career as a road favorite. Read more.

Hensley’s pick: Ravens 31, Eagles 23
McManus’ pick: Ravens 33, Eagles 20
FPI prediction: BAL, 73.5% (by an average of 8.6 points)

Matchup must-reads: D is the new MVP: Ravens’ D upstaging JacksonFrom QB play to his contract, a look at what’s ailing Eagles’ ErtzEagles cleared to host limited fans at home games“Biggest” Eagles fan sends well-wishes after Prescott’s injury


1 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating:
61.2 | Spread: PIT -3 (51)

What to watch for: After adequately controlling the run game in their first three games, the Steelers saw Miles Sanders and the Eagles exploit some of the weaknesses opened up by their aggressive blitzing. They’ll have to stop the rush better to be successful against a hot Browns team. Even though Nick Chubb will be out, the Browns have a solid ground game with Kareem Hunt — and quarterback Baker Mayfield‘s mobility makes him a running threat too. — Brooke Pryor

Bold prediction: Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool will catch two more touchdowns, rewarding fantasy owners who added him after his four-TD outburst last weekend. — Jake Trotter

Stat to know: The Browns have four consecutive wins for the first time since 2009, but they have not won five straight since 1994, when Bill Belichick was the head coach. One reason for the string of victories: Mayfield has tossed two touchdown passes in all of those four wins, his longest multi-TD streak since his five straight games back in 2018.

Injuries: Browns | Steelers

What to know for fantasy: Cleveland’s Hunt has been a top-27 RB in 11 of 13 games since joining the Browns. He caught 11 of 13 targets for 65 yards and a touchdown in his two games against the Steelers last season. See Week 6 rankings.

Betting nugget: All four of Cleveland’s wins have gone over the total, and the team covered in the past three. Read more.

Trotter’s pick: Steelers 28, Browns 24
Pryor’s pick: Steelers 30, Browns 27
FPI prediction: PIT, 57.0% (by an average of 2.5 points)

Matchup must-reads: Hurting Browns QB Mayfield still plans to face SteelersBrowns vs. Steelers: Behind the turnarounds, return of Garrett and what win meansBrowns’ Garrett playing at elite level going into Steelers rematchSteelers coach Mike Tomlin focused on facing Browns, not GarrettSteelers’ Roethlisberger “proud” of Smith-Schuster’s selflessness


1 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating:
50.3 | Spread: TEN -3.5 (53.5)

What to watch for: The Titans will be creative in finding ways to pressure Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. Tennessee coach Mike Vrabel was very aggressive last time out, sending defensive backs on the blitz. The Titans will also have Jeffery Simmons back to team up with Jadeveon Clowney on the inside, with Vic Beasley Jr. and Harold Landry III coming off the edge in their NASCAR package. They’ll have to be disciplined and keep Watson from extending plays and finding his speedy receivers down the field. — Turron Davenport

Bold prediction: Titans defensive lineman Clowney will get his first sack of the season against his former team. Clowney didn’t get to face the Texans after they traded him to the Seahawks just before the 2019 season. His former defensive coordinator, Texans interim head coach Romeo Crennel, called the former No. 1 overall pick “a very disruptive player,” adding, “I expect a great game from him, and he’s going to try to play his best.” Watson has already been sacked 17 times, third most in the NFL. — Sarah Barshop

Stat to know: With Ryan Tannehill starting at quarterback, the Titans are 11-3 (.714) and have averaged 30.4 points per game. That’s the best win percentage (minimum 10 starts) and most team points per game for a Titans/Oilers QB since the 1970 merger.

Injuries: Texans | Titans

What to know for fantasy: In his first season without DeAndre Hopkins, Watson is on pace to set new career highs in both passing touchdowns and passing yards. See Week 6 rankings.

Betting nugget: Tennessee is 3-11 ATS in games that follow fewer than six days’ rest since the start of the 2013 season. Read more.

Barshop’s pick: Titans 31, Texans 21
Davenport’s pick: Titans 34, Texans 20
FPI prediction: TEN, 61.8% (by an average of 4.2 points)

Matchup must-reads: Cooks enjoys a breakthrough with WatsonTitans have been dominating in the red zone behind TannehillMcKinney expected out for seasonUnhappy LB Correa traded by Titans to JaguarsTexans hire search firm to assist GM search


1 p.m. ET | Fox
Matchup rating:
48.5 | Spread: MIN -4 (54.5)

What to watch for: What does an 0-5 team look like with a new coaching staff but a season likely past the point of being salvaged? Do the Falcons uncover a new identity or form of motivation to rattle off a series of wins under interim coach Raheem Morris? The scheme might not change, but what kind of stops does Atlanta pull out against a Vikings team scratching to keep its playoff hopes alive? — Courtney Cronin

Bold prediction: Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan will throw three touchdown passes, tripling his total from the past three weeks combined. But it won’t be enough, as Vikings running back Alexander Mattison does his best Dalvin Cook impersonation with more than 100 rushing yards and two scores of his own. — Mike Triplett

Stat to know: Atlanta wide receiver Calvin Ridley has an NFL-high four 100-yard receiving games this season.

Injuries: Falcons | Vikings

What to know for fantasy: After throwing four touchdown passes on 36 attempts in Week 2 against the Cowboys, Ryan has just one touchdown toss over the past three weeks (114 attempts). Over that stretch, Ryan is QB24 in total points, just 0.5 points ahead of a struggling Sam Darnold, who missed Week 5. See Week 6 rankings.

Betting nugget: Minnesota is 23-10-1 ATS at home over the past five seasons, the best mark in the NFL. Read more.

Triplett’s pick: Vikings 33, Falcons 27
Cronin’s pick: Vikings 30, Falcons 27
FPI prediction: MIN, 62.8% (by an average of 4.5 points)

Matchup must-reads: Falcons shut down facility after positive coronavirus testVikings’ Mattison ready to step in for injured CookTeacher, coach, No. 1 receiver: Vikings’ Thielen relishing new roles


1 p.m. ET | Fox
Matchup rating:
42.2 | Spread: CAR -1.5 (44.5)

What to watch for: This game is all about pressure. Can the Panthers, who have not allowed a sack in two straight games, keep quarterback Teddy Bridgewater clean against Chicago’s Akiem Hicks and Khalil Mack, who have 3.5 sacks each? And can the Panthers muster a pass rush with defensive end Brian Burns (concussion) doubtful and tackle Kawann Short now out for the season with a shoulder injury? — David Newton

Bold prediction: Bears rookie tight end Cole Kmet will catch at least five passes and one touchdown. Chicago’s second-round pick (No. 43 overall) out of Notre Dame, Kmet has just one reception for 12 yards though five games. Quarterback Nick Foles attempted 42 passes in Week 5, but Kmet finished the game with zero targets and played just 21 of 63 offensive snaps. That has to change. The Bears have too much invested in Kmet for him to be a bystander, so look for Foles to target the rookie early and somewhat often on Sunday. — Jeff Dickerson

Stat to know: Panthers wide receiver Robby Anderson now has three 100-yard receiving games through five games this season. He had three such games all of last season with the Jets.

Injuries: Bears | Panthers

What to know for fantasy: Carolina running back Mike Davis has a 15-yard rush, a 10-yard reception and at least five receptions in three straight games. Christian McCaffrey did not have such a streak last season. See Week 6 rankings.

Betting nugget: Carolina is 3-0 both straight up and ATS in its past three games. Read more.

Dickerson’s pick: Panthers 17, Bears 16
Newton’s pick: Panthers 24, Bears 20
FPI prediction: CAR, 54.3% (by an average of 1.5 points)

Matchup must-reads: Bears stun BradyMcCaffrey doesn’t have to rush back for PanthersCan Foles shed relief pitcher rep?Panthers’ Short to have season-ending shoulder surgeryHow COVID-19 put everything on the line for Panthers’ Reed

play

2:01

Mike Clay feels good about David Montgomery’s volume this season, and against a bad run defense in Carolina, he believes Montgomery can maintain his fantasy productivity.

1 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating:
41.8 | Spread: NE -9.5 (45)

What to watch for: The Patriots totaled more than 200 rushing yards in each of their first two home games, and if they hit the mark again Sunday, they would match the 1976 and 1978 teams as the only ones to rush for 200 or more in three consecutive games. Quarterback Cam Newton‘s return, and his rushing prowess, will stress the Broncos’ defense. — Mike Reiss

Bold prediction: The Broncos will force two turnovers. Why? Well … because they’re really, really due. And if they don’t, this game could get ugly. The Broncos have been one of the league’s worst in takeaways this season — one interception and one fumble recovery in four games — but the Patriots are tied for eighth in giveaways with seven. — Jeff Legwold

Stat to know: Newton posted a Total QBR of 73 in the Patriots’ first two games of the season. But then the quarterback play hit a snag, as Newton, Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham combined to post a Total QBR of 28 in the past two outings. That was the worst team QBR in the league combined in Weeks 3 and 4.

Injuries: Broncos | Patriots

What to know for fantasy: When he gets at least 15 touches, Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay has averaged 15.6 fantasy points per game over his career. See Week 6 rankings.

Betting nugget: Pats coach Bill Belichick is 23-11 ATS at home as a favorite over the past five seasons. Read more.

Legwold’s pick: Patriots 24, Broncos 17
Reiss’ pick: Patriots 30, Broncos 13
FPI prediction: NE, 63.6% (by an average of 4.8 points)

Matchup must-reads: “A student of everything”: What a 26-year-old Bill Belichick learned as a Broncos assistantPatriots’ Newton comes off COVID-19 listBroncos coach Fangio forced to take more risks on defenseBroncos RB Gordon cited for DUI


1 p.m. ET | Fox
Matchup rating:
37.3 | Spread: IND -8 (46.5)

What to watch for: Keep an eye on the Colts’ pass rush against Bengals QB Joe Burrow. One of the things the Colts, who have the NFL’s No. 1-ranked defense, have struggled with this season has been getting to the quarterback; they’re tied for 15th in the league in sacks (11). But leave it to the Bengals to come along at just the right time. Burrow has been sacked a league-high 22 times through five weeks. — Mike Wells

Bold prediction: The Colts will have a plus-five sack differential. The matchup in pass protection is heavily tilted toward the Colts. Indianapolis protects the quarterback well, and the Bengals are depleted on the defensive line. On the flip side, Burrow has been sacked more than any other QB in the NFL. — Ben Baby

Stat to know: Colts quarterback Philip Rivers has thrown four passing touchdowns this season, the fewest through his team’s first five games of a season in his career. His low through six games is seven (2007 and 2011). Rivers has also gone under 250 passing yards in four straight; he hasn’t done so in five straight since 2013-14.

Injuries: Bengals | Colts

What to know for fantasy: Bengals running back Joe Mixon is on pace for 384 touches this season, a number that only Ezekiel Elliott, Le’Veon Bell, Christian McCaffrey and Derrick Henry have hit since 2015. See Week 6 rankings.

Betting nugget: Indianapolis is 6-3 ATS as a home favorite since the start of last season, tied for the second-best cover percentage over that span. Read more.

Baby’s pick: Colts 23, Bengals 14
Wells’ pick: Colts 27, Bengals 17
FPI prediction: IND, 67.6% (by an average of 6.3 points)

Matchup must-reads: Inability to keep Burrow upright is problem Bengals must fix quicklyColts sticking with Rivers at QB despite turnover troubleBengals lose Reader for season with quad injuryRivers’ turnovers responsible for nine points in Colts’ loss


1 p.m. ET | Fox
Matchup rating:
14.8 | Spread: DET -3 (55)

What to watch for: Look for Jaguars running back James Robinson to carry the ball more than 20 times. Jacksonville offensive coordinator Jay Gruden admitted he has abandoned the run way too soon in each of the Jaguars’ past two games, so expect him to commit to Robinson pretty heavily against the Lions. And it makes sense because the Lions are giving up an NFL-worst 170.3 yards per game rushing. — Mike DiRocco

Bold prediction: Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford will look like the quarterback he was last season, throwing for 330 yards and three touchdowns, in a game that will still come down to the final possession due to Detroit’s poor defense against Gardner Minshew — who will also throw for 300 yards and two scores. — Michael Rothstein

Stat to know: Minshew needs 235 passing yards to have the most ever by a Jaguars QB through six games. He can also join Mark Brunell (1999) as the only players in Jaguars history with three straight 300-yard passing games.

Injuries: Lions | Jaguars

What to know for fantasy: Robinson has at least 17 touches in every game this season, totaling at least 90 yards in four of those five games. See Week 6 rankings.

Betting nugget: Detroit is 7-1 ATS coming off a bye since the start of the 2012 season. Read more.

Rothstein’s pick: Lions 27, Jaguars 24
DiRocco’s pick: Lions 28, Jaguars 20
FPI prediction: DET, 60.2% (by an average of 3.6 points)

Matchup must-reads: What’s wrong with Stafford’s feet?Titans deal unhappy LB Correa to JaguarsJaguars to use fifth kicker of season in BrownJaguars among NFL teams using silver to fight COVID-19


1 p.m. ET | Fox
Matchup rating:
9.0 | Spread: NYG -3 (43)

What to watch for: We get Washington defensive end Chase Young up against Giants left tackle Andrew Thomas — the No. 2 overall pick from April matched against the struggling No. 4 overall selection. It’s been a rough start for Thomas, as he’s ranked 61st out of 68 tackles in pass-block win rate (79.4%), an ESPN metric powered by NFL Next Gen Stats. Young, meanwhile, flashed his form early before missing some time with a groin injury. He returned last weekend and should be close to 100 percent and a handful for Thomas off the edge. — Jordan Raanan

Bold prediction: Washington defensive end Montez Sweat will take advantage of a weak New York offensive line and beat right tackle Cameron Fleming for a sack/fumble that leads to a deciding touchdown for Washington. Furthermore, Washington will record four sacks to break a three-game skid against the Giants. It ranks fifth in sacks with 15, but eight occurred in the opener. Against this line, Washington’s pass rush will get healthy. — John Keim

Stat to know: The Giants are last in the NFL in rushing, with just 79.0 yards per game. But Washington is second to last at 81.4 rushing yards per game.

Injuries: Washington | Giants

What to know for fantasy: In Weeks 2-4, Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton totaled 134 yards on nine catches. In Week 5, he racked up 129 yards on eight catches against a divisional foe in the Cowboys. In Week 6, he gets another NFC East rival that has been routinely challenged deep down the field by opponents. See Week 6 rankings.

Betting nugget: In the past 35 seasons, when a team with an 0-5 or worse record is favored, the under is 12-6. Read more.

Keim’s pick: Washington 21, Giants 20
Raanan’s pick: Giants 23, Washington 22
FPI prediction: WSH, 52.7% (by an average of 1 point)

Matchup must-reads: Resetting Washington’s QB situation: What’s next for Allen, Smith and HaskinsGiants’ Jones continues to be haunted by last-minute failuresSmith favored to win comeback player awardGiants lose LB Carter for season with ruptured Achilles

play

1:26

Mike Clay believes that Washington’s No. 1 WR Terry McLaurin will have his hands full on Sunday when he is likely shadowed by CB James Bradberry.

4:05 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating:
28.7 | Spread: MIA -10 (47)

What to watch for: The Dolphins are favored for the first time in 21 games (December 2018) and favored by more than a touchdown for the first time since November 2016. They haven’t won back-to-back games by double digits since 2015, before the Brian Flores and Adam Gase eras in Miami, while the Jets have lost every game this season by at least nine points. Something has to give! — Cameron Wolfe

Bold prediction: The Jets won’t convert more than five third downs. They’re 28th in third-down percentage, and the Miami defense is seventh. This will mean a long day for QB Joe Flacco, whose undefeated record against Miami (6-0) will be history. — Rich Cimini

Stat to know: The Jets have started 0-6 only once in franchise history, in 1996. That team finished 1-15. As of now, the Jets have a league-high 43.6% chance to get the top pick in the 2021 NFL draft, according to FPI.

Injuries: Jets | Dolphins

What to know for fantasy: Miami quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has scored at least 21 fantasy points in four straight games, the longest streak of his career. See Week 6 rankings.

Betting nugget: Miami is 4-0 ATS against the Jets since the start of the 2018 season. Read more.

Cimini’s pick: Dolphins 31, Jets 13
Wolfe’s pick: Dolphins 30, Jets 17
FPI prediction: MIA, 73.5% (by an average of 8.6 points)

Matchup must-reads: How Bell ouster affects Jets’ locker room and future capDolphins’ Howard, Jones show potential to be top CB duoJets to again start Flacco at QB; Gase to still call playsSource: Dolphins’ Godchaux has biceps tearBell’s ugly ending with Jets raises serious questions


4:25 p.m. ET | Fox
Matchup rating:
85.0 | Spread: GB -1.5 (55)

What to watch for: The Bucs are hopeful that Tom Brady can get back some of his weapons, such as wide receiver Chris Godwin and running back Leonard Fournette, along with a healthier Scotty Miller and Mike Evans. But the big question is how they’ll replace 347-pound defensive tackle Vita Vea, who was a key reason the Buccaneers have had the league’s top-ranked rushing defense over the past two years and why their pass rush has improved to be among the best. Who will try to rattle Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers now? — Jenna Laine

Bold prediction: The Packers’ defense will finally make a stand. Aaron Rodgers & Co. have carried the team to a 4-0 start, but after a bye week to figure out what has gone wrong, Mike Pettine’s defense will find a way to come up big. Look for the Smiths (Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith) to have success against the statuesque Brady, and Kenny Clark‘s return will help a run defense that so far has allowed nearly 5 yards per carry. — Rob Demovsky

Stat to know: The Packers’ 93.3 offensive efficiency is the second highest through four team games since 2008 (95 by the Rams in 2018). And per the Elias Sport Bureau, Green Bay now has four consecutive games scoring at least 30 points with zero turnovers, tied for the second-longest streak in NFL history (2010 Patriots, seven straight).

Injuries: Packers | Buccaneers

What to know for fantasy: Tampa Bay running back Ronald Jones is the only player in the NFL this season with multiple games of 100 rushing yards and five targets. See Week 6 rankings.

Betting nugget: Green Bay is 4-0 ATS, making it the only undefeated team ATS left this season. Read more.

Demovsky’s pick: Packers 27, Buccaneers 24
Laine’s pick: Buccaneers 31, Packers 27
FPI prediction: TB, 53.0% (by an average of 1.1 points)

Matchup must-reads: One night in Atlanta 10 years ago, Rodgers became a starBrady pokes fun at himself while congratulating LeBronBrady’s fourth-down gaffe joins list of other interesting errors with time and turnovers


8:20 p.m. ET | NBC
Matchup rating:
81.8 | Spread: LAR -3.5 (51.5)

What to watch for: The 49ers’ struggling offensive line gets its toughest test yet with Aaron Donald & Co. coming to town. The Rams are tied for the NFL lead with 20 sacks, and the Niners have allowed 18, fourth most in the league. Donald is capable of wrecking games by himself, and the Niners’ interior line has been of particular concern. If San Francisco can’t get it figured out in a hurry, it could be another long night. — Nick Wagoner

Bold prediction: Donald will turn in his third multi-sack performance of the season. The defensive tackle is coming off a four-sack performance and will continue to wreak havoc in the backfield against the 49ers, whom he has 11.5 career sacks against. — Lindsey Thiry

Stat to know: Rams quarterback Jared Goff has a 70% completion rate in three consecutive road games, the second-longest streak in Rams history (Kurt Warner, five).

Injuries: Rams | 49ers

What to know for fantasy: Los Angeles running back Darrell Henderson has three games with at least 14 touches this season. He has rushed for a score in all three of those games, and he even caught a touchdown last weekend at Washington. See Week 6 rankings.

Betting nugget: San Francisco is 0-3 ATS and straight up at home this season. The Niners’ only two wins have come at MetLife Stadium (defeating the Giants and Jets). Read more.

Thiry’s pick: Rams 28, 49ers 24
Wagoner’s pick: Rams 30, 49ers 27
FPI prediction: LAR, 53.0% (by an average of 1.1 points)

Matchup must-reads: Rams’ Sean McVay remains a football junkie even as he attempts to step backHow Kyle Shanahan has kept the 49ers from falling apartRams have a sack party in Washington as they prepare for NFC West49ers CB Sherman suffers setback in recovery from calf injury49ers QB Garoppolo practices, on track to start


Monday, 5 p.m. ET | Fox/NFL
Matchup rating:
85.5 | Spread: KC -5 (57.5)

What to watch for: Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs is averaging a career-high 101.8 yards per game in 2020, good for second in the NFL. The Chiefs, on the other hand, have allowed two 100-yard receivers through five games this season. Look for quarterback Josh Allen and Buffalo offensive coordinator Brian Daboll to push that number to three come Monday. — Marcel Louis-Jacques

Bold prediction: Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire will again become a prominent part of the Chiefs’ offense and will score his first touchdown since Week 1. While he might not have a huge game against Buffalo’s rushing defense, the Chiefs will feature him more than they did last weekend against the Raiders, when he had 10 carries and three catches. The Chiefs abandoned their running game far too early against Las Vegas and won’t make that mistake two weeks in a row, particularly with Sammy Watkins out of the lineup. — Adam Teicher

Stat to know: Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes began his 2018 MVP season by completing 64% of his passes for 1,513 yards, 14 touchdowns, two interceptions and an 86.1 Total QBR through five games. That stat line isn’t too far from what Allen has done through five games this season: 69% passing, 1,589 yards, 14 touchdowns, three interceptions and an 85.2 Total QBR.

Injuries: Chiefs | Bills

What to know for fantasy: Mahomes has 235 passing yards, 20 rushing yards and multiple passing scores in four straight games. He is the first quarterback with a streak like that since Aaron Rodgers in 2016. See Week 6 rankings.

Betting nugget: Kansas City is 7-1-1 ATS in Monday games under Andy Reid and 4-0-1 ATS on Monday night with Mahomes at quarterback. Read more.

Teicher’s pick: Chiefs 31, Bills 27
Louis-Jacques’ pick: Chiefs 38, Bills 34
FPI prediction: KC, 67.5% (by an average of 6.2 points)

Matchup must-reads: Mathieu is changing the gameMissing starters evident in Bills’ humbling loss on national stageSource: Hamstring injury could sideline Chiefs WR Watkins a couple of gamesBiggest surprises for every AFC team thus far in the 2020 season


Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET | ESPN
Matchup rating:
37.4 | Spread: ARI -1.5 (55)

What to watch for: Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray is 6-0 all time at AT&T Stadium. He went 5-0 while at Allen High School, including three state championships, and 1-0 with Oklahoma, winning the Big 12 championship. The Cowboys are well aware of what he means to Arizona’s offense. “He has a unique skill set. He’s so quick and explosive, and he can get the ball out of his hand very quickly,” Dallas coach Mike McCarthy said. “Obviously he can make any throw, he can hit all the quadrants of the field, and he’s leading the league in rushing as quarterbacks. So I think that in itself tells you the stress that he puts on your defense. … He’s a dynamic player and he’s definitely the centerpiece of that offense.” — Todd Archer

Bold prediction: Murray will throw for 350 yards and run for another 100 in a reminder to everyone in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex that he’s a legend there for a reason. — Josh Weinfuss

Stat to know: The Cowboys have 11 turnovers this season, tied for most in the NFL. But the Cardinals have only three takeaways, tied for the third fewest.

Injuries: Cardinals | Cowboys

What to know for fantasy: Cardinals running back Chase Edmonds has 6.8 more points this season than Kenyan Drake … on 54 fewer touches. See Week 6 rankings.

Betting nugget: Arizona is the only team in the NFL to see all five of its games go under the total. Read more.

Weinfuss’ pick: Cardinals 34, Cowboys 24
Archer’s pick: Cardinals 33, Cowboys 31
FPI prediction: ARI, 54.3% (by an average of 1.5 points)

Matchup must-reads: Cardinals LB Jones to have season-ending surgeryEven without Prescott, Cowboys say plan stays the same on offenseHopkins credits Murray, Cardinals’ playcalling for hot startCould Dak still get $100 million? NFL execs, coaches weigh in on QB’s future

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Sports

Way-too-early 2021 MLB Power Rankings: What’s next for Dodgers, Rays and all 30 teams

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We can only hope 2021 will be a more normal season, with 162 games and fans in the stands and hot dogs to eat and overpriced beer to drink. We don’t know what the state of things will be come April 1, when the 2021 season is scheduled to begin, but we can speculate on the state of the 30 franchises.

Yes, we’re back with our annual Way-Too-Early Power Rankings. There are a few obvious teams at the top, a handful at the bottom and a whole bunch in the middle. Throw in the difficulty of analyzing a 60-game season and the uncertainty of how the offseason will play out due to the financial losses of this season, and these are the most difficult rankings we have had to do. But we fearlessly move forward.

(Title odds for 2021 from Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill)

2020 record: 43-17
Won World Series
2021 title odds: 4-1

They’re reigning champs. They’ve won eight straight division titles. They have Mookie Betts signed for the long term. They have young starters such as Walker Buehler, Dustin May, Julio Urias and Tony Gonsolin to keep the rotation strong for years to come. They have players capable of better seasons (Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy, Gavin Lux). They have a good farm system. They have financial flexibility, with only Betts signed past 2022 and all those young players to help them keep the payroll in check. Justin Turner is a free agent, but he would be a nice DH option if the NL makes that permanent. We know they will be good. But we know it’s really all about October.


2020 record: 35-25
Lost NLCS to Dodgers
2021 title odds: 12-1

The offense gives them a high floor:Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies, Dansby Swanson, even Travis d’Arnaud and Adam Duvall raked in 2020. Marcell Ozuna is a free agent and it would be nice to bring him back, but rookie center fielder Cristian Pache is ready and he looks like he’ll be valuable on both sides of the ball. The rotation will see the return of Mike Soroka from his Achilles injury and a full season of Ian Anderson to back up Max Fried. Kyle Wright and Bryse Wilson have potential, and Atlanta will probably bring in a veteran starter on a one-year deal the way they did with Dallas Keuchel in 2019 and tried to do with Cole Hamels in 2020. The Braves will be favored to win a fourth straight division title even if they don’t do anything this offseason.


2020 record: 37-23
Lost Division Series to Dodgers
2021 title odds: 17-2

Sure, an argument can be made to put the Padres ahead of the Braves, but I think we have to first make sure Dinelson Lamet and Mike Clevinger are completely healthy in spring training. San Diego brings back essentially every significant player after running out the youngest lineup in the NL, with Jake Cronenworth and Trent Grisham looking like foundation additions alongside Fernando Tatis Jr. (All were acquired in trades; good job, A.J. Preller!) We’ll see if Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers can match their 2020 rate of production, but if Luis Patino and MacKenzie Gore become impact starters, the Padres are poised to make a multiyear run in challenging the Dodgers for NL West supremacy.


2020 record: 40-20
Lost World Series to Dodgers
2021 title odds: 10-1

The Rays won their first division title since 2010 and did it in quite remarkable fashion, with 12 different relievers recording a save and the pitching staff overcoming a slew of injuries along the way. They were able to pull that off because of the depth of their staff, but having expanded rosters over the 60-game season made it possible to rely so heavily on the bullpen. Of course, you can argue that pitching depth will be even more valuable over 162 games. The offense isn’t elite, although we can’t wait to see what Randy Arozarena will do over a full season or if super rookie Wander Franco is ready to make an impact at some point in 2021.


2020 record: 35-25
Lost Wild Card Series to A’s
2021 title odds: 12-1

Much like the Braves, the offensive firepower of the White Sox should give them a high floor. Even if you see some regression coming from Jose Abreu or Tim Anderson, Luis Robert and Yoan Moncada should improve and a full season of Nick Madrigal will help. Michael Kopech, who opted out of 2020, will hopefully be back, but he hasn’t pitched in two years, so finding another veteran arm to go with ace Lucas Giolito and Dallas Keuchel will be key. Closer Alex Colome is a free agent, but the White Sox have several power arms in their organization, including 2020 first-round pick Garrett Crochet, who could be a dominant reliever right away. Manager Rick Renteria and longtime pitching coach Don Cooper got the boot, with A.J. Hinch a possible replacement for Renteria. That would be an upgrade.


2020 record: 33-27
Lost Division Series to Rays
2021 title odds: 6-1

You can make an argument to put them a couple of spots higher, but not winning the AL East in 2020 points to some flaws. They simply can’t count on Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton being healthy for an entire season, plus DJ LeMahieu and Masahiro Tanaka are free agents, two important players to re-sign or replace. Of course, we know the Yankees will do something big, perhaps signing J.T. Realmuto and moving on from Gary Sanchez or trading for Francisco Lindor and shifting Gleyber Torres to second. Getting Luis Severino back from Tommy John surgery will be a big boost as well.


2020 record: 36-24
Lost Wild Card Series to Astros
2021 title odds: 14-1

The Twins didn’t do it quite like they did in 2019, when they bashed a record 307 home runs (although their 162-game pace for 2020 was still 259), as their team batting average dropped nearly 30 points, and they fell from second in the AL in runs to 10th. Still, they’ve established a foundation of success with three playoff appearances in four seasons. The big issue is they have a lot of free agents to replace or re-sign, starting with 40-year-old Nelson Cruz, but also Jake Odorizzi, Marwin Gonzalez, Rich Hill, Tyler Clippard, Trevor May and Homer Bailey. Those players were minor contributors, but with Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton and Taylor Rogers getting more expensive in arbitration, the Twins may not be able to fill out the roster with minor free agents the way they’ve done of late. They need a healthy Josh Donaldson, especially if Cruz leaves, and they will have to discard the emotional baggage of 18 consecutive playoff losses to get revved up for 162 games just to get back to October again.


2020 record: 36-24
Lost Division Series to Houston
2021 title odds: 14-1

The A’s weren’t as impressive as they were in 2019 — Matt Olson morphed into an extreme “three true outcomes” slugger, Matt Chapman‘s OBP dipped to .276 and Marcus Semien declined from his third-place MVP performance. They still coasted to the AL West title though, and the division projects as being pretty soft, at least right now. Semien and closer Liam Hendriks are free agents as are several other key role players, so this ranking is not presented with a high degree of confidence. The A’s always seem to maximize their talent, and I do think the rotation will be much better, making up for some of the likely bullpen regression.


2020 record: 26-34
Tied for fourth in NL East
2021 title odds: 30-1

I feel like we need another National League team here, but let’s be honest: There is a wide gap between the NL’s top three teams and the block of mediocre teams in the middle. Let’s roll the dice on the Mets with new owner Steve Cohen to the rescue (once he gets formally approved). Let’s just say Mets fans are pumped about Cohen’s WAW (wins above Wilpon). There have already been reports about all the money he’ll sink into the franchise, not just on players but things like building out a more robust analytics staff. Aside from any splashy moves Cohen may make — trading for Nolan Arenado or Francisco Lindor? Signing J.T. Realmuto or Trevor Bauer? — there is a strong base of talent here. They ranked third in the majors in wOBA (behind the Braves and Dodgers) and fifth in the majors in pitcher strikeout rate. They should be better — a familiar refrain for Mets fans, unfortunately.


2020 record: 34-26
Lost Wild Card Series to Marlins
2021 title odds: 25-1

Everyone was down on the Cubs, especially after that sad two-and-out to the Marlins, but we do need to point out Chicago still won the NL Central despite Javier Baez (59 OPS+), Kris Bryant (73) and Kyle Schwarber (88) all producing well below an average major league hitter and Anthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras performing below their career norms. That continues a downward trend for this once-great offensive core, from second in the NL in runs in 2016 and 2017 to fourth in 2018, fifth in 2019 and 10th in 2020. Baez, Bryant, Schwarber and Rizzo are all free agents after 2021, but frankly, the trade value for Bryant and Schwarber — and even Baez, to a lesser extent — has cratered. Theo Epstein also hinted that 2021 will be his last season with the Cubs. Does this group get one last chance? In a weak division, with some bounce-back potential, the Cubs could be better than everyone believes. Or maybe the front office will just tear it all down.


2020 record: 29-31
Lost ALCS to Rays
2021 title odds: 20-1

It promises to be a busy winter for the Astros. George Springer, Michael Brantley and Josh Reddick are all free agents, while Carlos Correa, Lance McCullers Jr. and Zack Greinke are set to be free agents after 2021, as are Justin Verlander and Roberto Osuna, both of whom will likely miss the season following Tommy John surgery. They’ll need more from Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman (and don’t forget about Yordan Alvarez) but they could have a strong rotation if they keep McCullers and Greinke to go with Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier and Jose Urquidy. The outfield free-agent market is thin, so if Springer and Brantley sign elsewhere, the Astros may have to scramble to find help for Kyle Tucker.


2020 record: 35-25
Lost Wild Card Series to Yankees
2021 title odds: 20-1

We start with one of the biggest questions of the entire offseason: Will Cleveland trade Francisco Lindor? It seems weird to say this, but there isn’t an obvious fit, as most of the top teams are set at shortstop. It will be interesting to see if a team tries to pull the Mookie Betts maneuver: trade for Lindor, then sign him to a big extension before he hits free agency after the 2021 season. Aside from the Lindor issue, it’s going to be a similar Cleveland team as we’ve seen the past two years: enough starting pitching to be a playoff team, but an offense that may prevent them from getting there. Please, find some competent outfielders. Cleveland’s outfielders hit .196/.270/.304.


2020 record: 30-28
Lost Wild Card Series to Padres
2021 title odds: 30-1

In one sense, it’s harder to evaluate what the Cardinals did in 2020 than any other team, with them having to play 11 doubleheaders after the team’s COVID-19 outbreak early in the season. On the other hand, they were exactly what we thought they would be: below-average offense with no power, good defense, good bullpen, decent starting pitching. I just don’t how they’re going to get better, especially given that some of their pitching peripheral numbers don’t quite match the ERA figures. Look, as always, you can never discount the Cardinals. They haven’t had a losing season since 2007. The division is wide open. Jack Flaherty will be better. Dylan Carlson could give them an impact outfielder. The bullpen projects as a big strength.


2020 record: 26-34
Tied for fourth in NL East
2021 title odds: 30-1

No team had less incentive in 2020 than the Nationals, and once Stephen Strasburg went down, it kind of felt like the entire team went down with him. Juan Soto played at an MVP level for 47 games, leading the NL in batting average and the majors in OBP and slugging. It wasn’t a full season so I’m not saying it compares, but his 212 OPS+ was the best since Barry Bonds in 2004.

There are concerns in the starting rotation, however, beyond Strasburg’s nerve issue. Anibal Sanchez fell apart, Patrick Corbin got knocked around (85 hits in 65⅔ innings) and even Max Scherzer had his highest ERA since 2012.The real problem may have been the defense: The Nationals ranked last in the majors with minus-43 defensive runs saved. As always, depth is an issue and they need youngsters Carter Kieboom (no home runs in 99 at-bats) and Victor Robles (.608 OPS) to contribute at the plate. If Strasburg is healthy, don’t ignore the 2019 champs.


2020 record: 32-28
Lost Wild Card Series to Rays
2021 title odds: 50-1

The Blue Jays face a very interesting offseason after making the playoffs as a wild card and ranking third in the AL in runs. The offense potentially looks even better if you’re buying the breakouts of Teoscar Hernandez and Rowdy Tellez. Worth noting: The Jays hit much better at their temporary home in Buffalo, so we have to be careful about overrating the offense. Hyun-Jin Ryu was terrific (at least until his playoff start), but the rest of the rotation was so problematic that the Jays acquired Taijuan Walker, Robbie Ray and Ross Stripling for the stretch run. Walker and Ray are free agents, but Nate Pearson will help, and the Jays should have some money to spend in free agency.


2020 record: 28-32
Third in NL East
2021 title odds: 40-1

It’s hard to see the Phillies much better than the .500 team they’ve been the past three seasons, which led to general manager Matt Klentak being reassigned within the organization. They had two great starters in Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler and finished fourth in the NL in runs, but the bullpen (6.92 ERA, worst of all time) undermined all the positives. The Phillies allowed a .345 average on balls in play, and maybe that would drop over a full season, but it stands as the highest ever. This has been a multiyear problem. They were middle of the pack in BABIP allowed in 2019, but fifth-worst in 2018 and sixth-worst in 2017. They’ve been unable to fix the defense. Anyway, J.T. Realmuto and Didi Gregorius are free agents. The payroll would have been more than $200 million given a full season in 2020, so you wonder if there is room to re-sign Realmuto and fix the bullpen and replace/re-sign Gregorius and maybe add another starter.


2020 record: 26-34
Fourth in AL West
2021 title odds: 40-1

Billy Eppler is out as general manager after a five-year run that included no winning seasons. Yes, he inherited the bad Albert Pujols contract, but he also inherited Mike Trout and was never able to build a successful team around him, despite additions like Andrelton Simmons, Shohei Ohtani and Anthony Rendon. Simmons is a free agent, Pujols is finally down to his final season and Jared Walsh (.971 OPS, nine home runs in 99 at-bats, a low 13.9% strikeout rate) has to play. The immediate concerns are trying to turn Jo Adell into a major league hitter (.161, 55 strikeouts, seven walks in 132 PAs), figure out what happened to Ohtani (.190) and Justin Upton (.204) and — as always — address the pitching. Sounds like the same story as the past five years.


2020 record: 29-31
Lost Wild Card Series to Dodgers
2021 title odds: 50-1

This is a difficult team to read. The Brewers didn’t hit at all in 2020 (I think the NL must have stored its balls in Lake Michigan, because nobody could hit). Two-time batting champ and 2018 MVP Christian Yelich hit just .205, and I know it was just 58 games, but his strikeout rate went from 20.3% to 30.8%. Something doesn’t add up there.

They do have two great one-two combos in Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes in the rotation and Devin Williams and Josh Hader in the bullpen. Does Williams’ stunning breakout (53 K’s in 27 innings) make Hader trade bait? Burnes certainly looked like the real deal with his new cutter, but he’ll have to prove he can do it over 30 starts instead of 10. David Stearns is one of the more creative GMs around, although he’d probably like a do-over on the Trent Grisham/Zach Davies for Luis Urias/Eric Lauer deal.


2020 record: 24-36
Fifth in AL East
2021 title odds: 60-1

This was the hardest team to project. The pitching was so awful — 5.85 runs per game, the most for the franchise since 1932 — that it’s easy to assume it will be bad again in 2021. It was also bad in 2019 (5.11 runs per game), so we have a two-year track record. Maybe they get Chris Sale back at midseason and Eduardo Rodriguez returns from his COVID-related heart issue. There is a nice offensive core with Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, Alex Verdugo and Christian Vazquez (and J.D. Martinez if he bounces back). I’m not sure what Bobby Dalbec will be. I guess his upside is Joey Gallo, if that’s a good thing. More importantly, is Chaim Bloom playing the long game or will there be pressure to get the Red Sox immediately back into contender status?


2020 record: 31-29
Lost Wild Card Series to Braves
2021 title odds: 25-1

The Reds sneaked into the playoffs as a wild card with a late surge, but the team embarrassingly exited with two shutouts to the Braves, including a 13-inning defeat. The Reds have morphed into the most extreme example of a “three true outcomes” offense we’ve seen in this launch-angle era. They ranked fourth in the NL in home runs and first in walks, but hit a pathetic .212. The entire package added up to ranking just 13th in the NL in runs, then you dig deeper and realize they hit 55 home runs at home and 35 on the road, so much of their power was simply a result of their home park. It’s a bad offense, and I’m not sure it improves much in 2021. Trevor Bauer is a sure bet to sign elsewhere as a free agent, and we still don’t know if Nick Senzel is the solution in center field or an injury-prone role player.


2020 record: 31-29
Lost Division Series to Braves
2021 title odds: 60-1

It was a fun ride to their first postseason trip since 2003, but once you get past the starting trio of Sixto Sanchez, Sandy Alcantara and Pablo Lopez, holes remain. The pitching staff was next to last in the majors in strikeout rate, and the team’s top five relievers were all 30-something guys you can’t necessarily count on for 2021. There are no offensive stars as the lineup relied on stopgap veterans, while the young hitters still have trouble controlling the strike zone (and the young hitters aren’t really all that young). The minus-41 run differential is a little misleading as the Marlins had to use more players than any other team due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but I’m not sure I see another .500 season unless some of the young hitters suddenly develop into solid regulars.


2020 record: 29-31
Third in NL West
2021 title odds: 80-1

Call me skeptical. They went from the second-worst offense in the NL to a top-five offense — without making any significant additions. Brandon Belt with a 1.000 OPS? Mike Yastrzemski and Alex Dickerson over .900? Donovan Solano chasing a batting title? I smell a lot of regression coming on, and the Giants don’t have the rotation to back that up. They also had the oldest lineup in the league: Mauricio Dubon is the only returning regular who won’t be 30 or older in 2021. Maybe catcher Joey Bart makes an impact, but a 41 to 3 strikeout-to-walk rate suggests he’s not ready for prime time. Several of their big contracts come off the books after 2021 if you factor in buyouts, so look for the Giants to wait until that big 2021-22 free-agent class to start flipping over the roster.


2020 record: 27-33
Third in AL West
2021 title odds: 100-1

There were some nice positives in 2020: Kyle Lewis may win Rookie of the Year, Justus Sheffield was much improved, Marco Gonzales solidified himself as one of the most underrated starters in the majors, Dylan Moore turned into one of the best utility players as a power/speed combo. But there is still zero star power here, at least until Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez arrive as potential All-Star outfielders, Kelenic in 2021 and Rodriguez probably in 2022. Jerry Dipoto will have to reconstruct a bullpen that was one of the worst in the league (5.92 ERA). The Mariners are on the rise and have other potential impact prospects, including pitchers Logan Gilbert and Emerson Hancock, but look for them to hold the course in 2021 and push forward in 2022.


2020 record: 26-34
Fourth in AL Central
2021 title odds: 150-1

The Royals have some interesting young pitchers in Brad Keller, Brady Singer and Kris Bubic, with Josh Staumont as a potential closer, but there are still huge gaps across the roster, especially on the offensive side of things. They need to figure out center field, second base and left field, and even Adalberto Mondesi Jr. now looks like just a placeholder at short until Bobby Witt Jr. arrives in a couple of years. This ranking could be selling the Royals a bit short, as young pitching can carry a team if it comes fast (and 2020 top pick Asa Lacy may not need much time in the minors), but they need to find some hitters.


2020 record: 25-35
Fifth in NL West
2021 title odds: 60-1

That was ugly, and the fans are turning on the team after a couple of years of trades (Paul Goldschmidt, Zack Greinke and the deadline deals this season) that don’t appear to have returned any front-line talent. Ketel Marte and Eduardo Escobar, so good in 2019, fell off, with Marte inexplicably deciding he no longer wanted to walk. Robbie Ray couldn’t throw strikes and was finally traded. Merrill Kelly hurt his shoulder. Madison Bumgarner didn’t win a game. The problem for 2021? The Diamondbacks had the second-oldest lineup in the NL (six of their top eight regulars were 29 or older). Bumgarner now looks like a bad $80 million gamble. They’re only a season removed from going 85-77, so there is rebound potential, but the Snakes are a mess at the moment.


2020 record: 25-35
Fourth in AL East
2021 title odds: 150-1

Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of positives in 2020, especially after losing 108 games in 2019 and 115 in 2018. Anthony Santander had a small-sample breakout with the metrics to back it up. Ryan Mountcastle looks ready to join the lineup in 2021 and Trey Mancini will hopefully be back at full strength after finishing his chemo treatment in September. Keegan Akin and Dean Kremer could be arms to watch for the rotation.

They do have financial flexibility, especially as they get closer to the end of Chris Davis‘ deal, and with Adley Rutschman close to the majors and starters D.L. Hall and Grayson Rodriguez perhaps ready in 2022, the farm is better than it’s been in at least 10 years. But the base level of talent here remains pretty low.


2020 record: 26-34
Fourth in NL West
2021 title odds: 100-1

Right now, Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story are still on the roster. Will they be there come spring training? The relationship between Arenado and the Rockies is strained, making him a trade candidate this winter. He won’t be easy to trade, though: He didn’t have a good 2020 at the plate, ended the season on the IL, has a full no-trade clause and can opt out of his deal after 2021. If Arenado is traded, you could see the Rockies dealing Story as well since he’s a free agent after 2021. Mostly, this team just needs a makeover. They ranked eighth in the NL in runs, and for a Rockies team, that’s horrible. (They had finished below fifth just one other time in franchise history.)


2020 record: 23-35
Fifth in AL Central
2021 title odds: 200-1

Sometimes you just have to point out the obvious: Jeimer Candelario was the team’s best player in 2020 — a 26-year-old first baseman who hit .203 the year before. Look, Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal project as good starters at some point, but their struggles in limited action in 2020 suggest that may not be in 2021. Along with Spencer Turnbull and prospect Matt Manning, there is a rotation to dream on, but there is no offense, and Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene, their top position player prospects, are more on a 2022 timetable.


2020 record: 22-38
Fifth in AL West
2021 title odds: 100-1

The Rangers continue to go backward. They were bad in 2020 in a year they thought they could contend, they weren’t particularly young and the farm system has struggled to develop pitchers and turn toolsy position players into quality hitters. The offense had a brutal year — and not just because of the new park. They didn’t hit on the road either. It’s time to admit that Joey Gallo and Rougned Odor are never going to be the core of a championship lineup, and if Lance Lynn is traded — he’ll be a free agent after 2021 — the rotation will have a huge hole to fill.


2020 record: 19-41
Fifth in NL Central
2021 title odds: 300-1

Let’s see, a small-market team coming off the worst record in the sport, won’t spend any money in free agency, and whose three best players in 2019 were all terrible in 2020. The first step is to hope Josh Bell, Bryan Reynolds and Kevin Newman rebound, but with most of the organization’s top prospects still a ways off, the short-term outlook looks bleak. Heck, the long-term outlook isn’t exactly full of roses and puppies.

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Bryant, out 2 years, joins Ravens practice squad

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Dez Bryant is back in the NFL.

The Baltimore Ravens signed the three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver to their practice squad, the team announced Tuesday. Bryant has been out of the league for two years.

Bryant appeared to acknowledge the deal in a tweet Tuesday: “My emotions running high right now… I’m thankful…I can’t stop crying”

The biggest question is when Bryant will suit up for the Ravens. Baltimore’s wide receivers rank last in the NFL in receptions (58) and receiving yards (737).

Bryant, 31, could become a physical possession-type receiver for reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson and can complement the speed of Marquise Brown.

The addition of Bryant might lead to a high-profile reunion on Dec. 3, when the Ravens play host to the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday Night Football. Bryant starred for the Cowboys for eight seasons, totaling 531 receptions for 7,459 yards and a franchise-record 73 touchdown catches.

“Obviously, that’s kind of like an ‘OG’-type guy,” Ravens tight end Mark Andrews said when asked about Bryant on Monday. “He’s been around the league for a long, long time. He actually followed me on Twitter a year or two ago, so I’m excited to meet him, and I’m excited to [be] around him hopefully, and just learn.”

This marked Bryant’s second workout with Baltimore in two months. When Bryant left in August without a contract, he was told to improve his conditioning, a source said.

The Ravens are off to a fast start at 5-1, but their passing game ranks 31st in the NFL. It looks as if Jackson would benefit from another target on the outside because Brown is the only Baltimore wide receiver with more than 11 catches this season.

Bryant is attempting to become the second Pro Bowl wide receiver to miss two full seasons and then return to the NFL since the 1970 merger, according to Elias Sports Bureau research. Josh Gordon was the first.

Bryant hasn’t played in a game since December 2017.

In November 2018, Bryant signed a one-year, $1.25 million deal with the New Orleans Saints. But he tore an Achilles tendon during his first practice with the Saints and has been out of the NFL since.

Bryant’s 531 career receptions would be the most by any wide receiver before missing two full seasons and then returning to the NFL, according to Elias’ data.

To make room for Bryant, the Ravens waived safety Marcus Gilchrist from the practice squad.

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Augusta National to host College GameDay during Masters

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ESPN’s College GameDay Built By the Home Depot show has originated from dozens of college campuses across the country since 1993.

On Saturday, Nov. 14, the show will combine two of sport’s greatest traditions — college football and the Masters.

ESPN announced on Tuesday that College GameDay will originate from Augusta National Golf Club, which is hosting the postponed Masters Tournament next month, Nov. 12-15.

Top matchups that day are No. 9 Wisconsin at No. 13 Michigan and No. 2 Alabama at LSU.

“Any time College GameDay travels to a new destination, it’s special, and the opportunity to be on the grounds of Augusta National Golf Club during the Masters is extraordinary,” said Jimmy Pitaro, chairman, ESPN and Sports Content. “As this iconic event coincides with the college football season for the first time, we look forward to getting fans ready for a football Saturday while also showcasing the Masters and the greatest golfers in the world.”

Longtime ESPN hosts Rece Davis, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and others will broadcast from the par-3 course from 9 a.m. to noon ET.

In its 13th year at the Masters, ESPN will once again televise the first and second rounds, Nov. 12-13, from 1 to 5:30 p.m. There will also be expanded coverage on ESPN+, including exclusive practice-round coverage Nov. 10-11.

Golf fans will also be able to watch featured holes coverage on ESPN+ on Nos. 4, 5 and 6 in each of the four rounds of the Masters.

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