By”: Robert Bishop
Back again, and on Monday night, running back Derrick Henry continued to carry the Tennessee Titans on his shoulders as he led the team to a hard-earned win over the Buffalo Bills. On a mere 20 carries, Henry racked up 143 yards—including 126 after contact—and reached the end zone three times. Yet, even with Henry’s heroics, the Titans needed a failed fourth-and-short in the red zone by the Bills in the closing minutes to secure the win, highlighting the team’s issues on the defensive side of the ball. But, failings on defense or not, Monday night illustrated that as long as Henry is healthy and rumbling, the Tennessee Titans (4-2) are a contender in the AFC.
Tomorrow night, a disappointing season for the Browns teeters on the brink of disaster. Injuries have ravaged Cleveland’s star-studded roster, and the Browns enter tomorrow’s showdown against the Denver Broncos amid a two-game losing streak. Running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt are out for the game. Offensive tackles Jack Conklin and Jedrick Wills missed Week 6, and their status for Week 7 is unclear. Star rookie linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah hit IR after suffering an ankle injury on Sunday, and quarterback Baker Mayfield has been horrendous as he plays through a shoulder injury. Fully healthy, the Browns are a Super Bowl contender. Unfortunately, Cleveland could not be further removed from boasting a fully healthy roster.
In the NBA, the Philadelphia 76ers and Ben Simmons have been at odds since last year’s epic playoff collapse, and with the All-Star’s trade demand going ignored, the situation is coming to a head as the NBA season begins. Simmons proved inattentive at a recent practice, forcing Philadelphia to suspend him for tonight’s season-opening contest. It isn’t easy to foresee this situation having a happy ending without the two parties going separate ways. Still, at this point, it’s unclear whether or not there is even a market for Simmons. The best-case scenario would find Simmons returning to the court, playing at a high level despite his displeasure with the franchise, and a trade occurring mid-season. However, the reality looks to be teetering ever closer to a worst-case scenario for everyone involved, including basketball fans. Depending on the next few days, this situation could devolve into an absolute nightmare for Philadelphia.
Tuesday’s slate of MLB playoff games developed into late-inning nightmares for the Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox, respectively. In the early evening game, Atlanta’s bullpen squandered a three-run lead when Cody Bellinger launched a game-tying home run in the bottom of the eighth, and L.A. would eventually score a go-ahead—eventual game-winning—run later in the frame. Turning a three-run lead into a Game 3 loss is a harsh result for Atlanta, who now leads the series 2-1 instead of possessing a daunting 3-0 lead over the defending World Series champions. The Braves will be looking for better fortune tonight, while L.A. sends left-hander Julio Urias to the bump to spearhead a series-tying win.
In the American League, a tie game heading into the ninth inning became a disaster for the Red Sox as Houston scored a touchdown in the top of the inning, turning a 2-2 game into a 9-2 demolition. Adding further insult to the proceedings is that Houston’s offensive onslaught came largely against Red Sox ace starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, who was used in relief during the ninth inning. Eovaldi allowed four runs while getting a meager two outs. Houston’s offensive onslaught ties the series at 2-2 heading into tonight’s pivotal Game 5 in Boston. The Red Sox will turn to Chris Sale while Houston is countering with Framber Valdez. Boston teed off against Valdez in Game 1 (2.2 innings, nine baserunners, three runs), and the Red Sox are hoping for an encore performance in the early window of tonight’s slate.