Fun Fact of the Day: The Minnesota Vikings’ defense is on fire! They have allowed 50 points through their first 4 games. That’s the fewest points the Vikings have allowed in 4 games since 1988.
Minnesota Vikings beat N.Y. Giants (24-10). The Vikings look like the team to beat! Their lockdown defense was the star of the show and their offensive line gave QB Sam Bradford plenty of time to get rid of the ball. The Giants’ star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. got frustrated that he wasn’t getting the ball and once again flashed his bad attitude. The Vikings now are one of 3 teams that remain undefeated (with the Philadelphia Eagles and Denver Broncos), despite losing running back Adrian Peterson to a knee injury and former starting QB Teddy Bridgewater to a torn ACL.
Trial by fire. This weekend marked the end of the regular season. While some teams were celebrating the start of the playoffs, other teams were trying to figure out how to break some bad news to their managers. Over the past couple days, these teams with disappointing seasons decided to opt for a coaching change: the Arizona Diamondbacks fired their GM Dave Stewart and manager Chip Hale, the Chicago White Sox fired manager Robin Ventura, the Miami Marlins fired home run king and hitting coach Barry Bonds, and Colorado Rockies manager Walt Weiss “resigned” after his contract expired on Sunday.
Seen and Heard
He’s with her. This weekend, Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James wrote an op ed for Business Insider explaining why he’s endorsing Hillary Clinton for president. He pointed to Clinton’s career as a champion for children and advocated for her as the best candidate to address the country’s racially charged violence. Over the past year, LeBron has increased his involvement in tackling social issues, including joining the NBA’s biggest stars at this year’s ESPY awards to promote social change.
Head bangers. Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton may not play in next Monday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He suffered a concussion while trying to run in a 2-point conversion, during last weekend’s loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Now, he’s taking it day-by-day and waiting to be cleared by the NFL’s concussion protocol. At least the refs learned from their mistakes; they were widely criticized for not initiating the concussion protocol when Newton suffered 4 big helmet-to-helmet hits in Week 1. Who can feel his pain? Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer also suffered a concussion, when he was sacked in Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Rams.
AL Wild Card Game. The postseason kicks off tonight with the Baltimore Orioles v. Toronto Blue Jays! The winner of tonight’s game will advance to the AL Division Series against the AL’s top team, the Texas Rangers. Here’s a quick reminder of what the playoff bracket looks like:
Who’s going to win the Battle of the Birds? It’s anyone’s guess! The Orioles are great at power hitting. They had the league-best 253 regular season home runs thanks to stars RF Mark Trumbo, 1B Chris Davis, and SS/3B Manny Machado. But the Blue Jays are no slouches on offense either. They have one of the best lineups in baseball with reigning AL MVP Josh Donaldson, DH Edwin Encarnacion, and RF Jose Bautista. P Chris Tillman will start tonight’s game for the Orioles. Even though he doesn’t have the best track record against the Blue Jays, he’s managed to hold them at bay this season. The Blue Jays will start P Marcus Stroman, who has had a rough season statistically but has steadily improved since August. 8pm ET on TBS
Q&A with Kim Donaldson and Cat Osborne
Read our feature on Excelle Sports cofounders Kim Donaldson and Cat Osborne. They launched Excelle earlier this year as a media platform dedicated to covering a wide range of women’s sports all year round. Read on to find out more about what sets them apart from other sports sites, their early challenges, and what we should be reading on Excelle this fall.