Nov 4, 2019

Axios Sports

πŸ‘‹ Good morning!

  • 🚨 Just in: Silver Lake Partners, a Silicon Valley buyout firm, is looking to acquire major stakes in the Knicks and Rangers, the New York Post reports.
  • 🏈 Tonight: Dallas Cowboys (4-3) at New York Giants (2-6), 8:15pm ET on ESPN.
  • πŸ€ Tomorrow: Axios Sports Special: 2019-20 College Basketball Preview.

P.S. ... I moved the trivia question down from the No. 7 spot to the No. 9 spot. Let me know what you think.

Today's word count: 1,764 words (6 minutes)

1 big thing: 🏈 Home teams complete Sunday sweep

Photo: Todd Olszewski/Getty Images

Following a World Series that defied everything we know about home-field advantage, order appears to have been restored to the universe in one fell swoop.

What happened: On Sunday, NFL home teams not only won all 11 games, but they also went 11-0 against the spread. (Meanwhile, the Texans beat the Jaguars in London).

Ravens (6-2) def. Patriots (8-1), 37-20

  • MVP: Lamar Jackson, QB, BAL: 17/23, 163 yds, 1 TD; 16 car, 61 yds, 2 TD (28.6 fantasy points, per standard ESPN scoring)
  • What they're saying: "The Patriots defense got its first real test ... and they didn't fail as much as the Ravens passed with flying colors." (Danny Heifetz, The Ringer)

Chiefs (6-3) def. Vikings (6-3), 26-23

  • MVP: Tyreek Hill, WR, KC: 1 car, 5 yds; 6 rec, 140 yds, 1 TD (20.5 pts)
  • Highlight: Chiefs RB Damien Williams took it 91 yards to the house, but the most impressive part of the play was Hill running 22.64 mph to catch up with him.

Chargers (4-5) def. Packers (7-2), 26-11

  • MVP: Melvin Gordon, RB, LAC: 20 car, 80 yds, 2 TD; 3 rec, 29 yds (22.9 pts)
  • Been a while: The Chargers beat the Packers for just the second time in 12 meetings and the first time since 1984, the same year Ronald Reagan was re-elected.

Bills (6-2) def. Redskins (1-8), 24-9

  • MVP: Josh Allen, QB, BUF: 14/20, 160 yds, 1 TD; 8 car, 12 yds, 1 TD (17.6 pts)
  • Fun fact: 12.5% of yesterday's starting QBs were Allens (Josh in Buffalo, Kyle in Carolina and Brandon in Denver,) and they all won! It was the biggest day for same-name QBs since Week 17 of the 2016 season, when six Matts started.

Dolphins (1-7) def. Jets (1-7), 26-18

  • MVP: Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, MIA: 24/36, 288 yds, 3 TD (23.7 pts)
  • Food for thought: The Dolphins are 1-7 and thrilled because they're "tanking." The Jets are 1-7 and miserable because they're just ... bad. Bottom line: Expectations are everything, and there's nothing worse (for fans or players) than a team with no direction.

Seahawks (7-2) def. Bucs (2-6), 40-34 (OT)

  • MVP: Russell Wilson, QB, SEA: 29/43, 5 TD; 1 car, 21 yds (39.2 pts)
  • The actual MVP: Heading into the weekend, Aaron Rodgers (+225) was the MVP frontrunner, per Bovada, followed closely by Wilson (+275). Safe to say they'll swap positions this week.

Broncos (3-6) def. Browns (2-6), 24-19

Panthers (5-3) def. Titans (4-5), 30-20

  • MVP: Christian McCaffrey, CAR, RB: 24 car, 146 yds, 2 TD; 3 rec, 20 yds, 1 TD (34.6 pts)
  • Fun fact: McCaffrey is the first player with multiple games of 150 scrimmage yards and 3 TD in a single season since Darren McFadden (woah, haven't heard that name in a while) in 2010.

Raiders (4-4) def. Lions (3-4-1), 31-24

  • MVP: Josh Jacobs, RB, OAK: 28 car, 120 yds, 2 TD (24 pts)
  • Fun fact: Jacobs (740 yards) has already broken Hall of Famer Marcus Allen's single-season rushing record for a Raiders rookie.

Steelers (4-4) def. Colts (5-3), 26-24

  • MVP: Chris Boswell, K, Steelers: 4/4 FG (long 51), 2/2 XP (14 pts)
  • Poor guy: NFL legend Adam Vinatieri cost the Colts a likely win for the second time this year (as in, they'd be 7-1 if he hadn't missed kicks he usually makes).

Eagles (5-4) def. Bears (3-5), 22-14

  • MVP: Zach Ertz, TE, PHI: 9 rec, 103 yds, 1 TD (16.3 pts)
  • Not great: Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky has failed to throw a TD pass in 22 of the 24 quarters he's completed and has yet to pass for more than 260 yards in a game. He also has a grand total of 31 yards rushing. The struggle is real.

Texans (6-3) def. Jaguars (4-5), 26-3

  • MVP: Deshaun Watson, QB, HOU: 22/28, 201 yds, 2 TD; 7 car, 37 yds (19.7 pts)
  • What to watch: Minshew Mania might have ended in London. The rookie had the worst start of his career and Nick Foles should be healthy after the bye week.
2. ⚾️ This decade's WAR leaders
Expand chart
Data: Baseball Reference; Photos: Getty; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

On Friday, we looked back at the champions and MVPs of the last 10 years in the four major U.S. sports. In keeping with that theme, here are MLB's WAR leaders this decade.

  • Reminder: WAR (wins above replacement) measures a player's value in all facets of the game by defining how many more wins he's worth than a replacement-level player at his position.
3. 🏈 Top 25: Georgia jumps, Florida falls
Expand chart
Data: AP; Table: Axios Visuals

With nine ranked teams on byes, including four of the top five, there was very little movement at the top of this week's AP poll.


  • ICYMI: Georgia jumped two spots to No. 6 after beating Florida, 24-17, in the weekend's biggest matchup. Story of the game: The Bulldogs were 12-for-18 on third downs.
  • AAC on the rise: Navy moved into the top 25, giving the AAC four ranked teams (also No. 17 Cincinnati, No. 19 Memphis, No. 23 SMU), more than all but the Big Ten and SEC.
  • Taggart fired: Florida State fired Willie Taggart following a 27-10 loss to Miami despite a buyout worth just over $18 million.

Coming up:

  • Tuesday night: First College Football Playoff selection committee rankings come out.
  • Saturday afternoon: LSU visits Alabama in the first regular-season AP No. 1 vs. No. 2 meeting since their 9-6 game in 2011.
4. πŸ“Έ This weekend in photos
Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

WASHINGTON, D.C. β€” "Washington threw a party 95 years in the making Saturday afternoon, with baseball fans gleefully lining downtown streets for a World Series parade and rally that covered the Mall in a sea of red." (WashPost)

Photo: Horsephotos/Getty Images

ARCADIA, CALIF. β€” Mongolian Groom (pictured above) was euthanized after running in the $6 million Classic at the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita Park, the 37th horse to die at the track since December.

  • What they're saying: "I'll tell you β€” talk about a sport whose time is up unless they reform," California Gov. Gavin Newsom recently told reporters. "[T]he willingness to just to spit these animals out and literally take their lives is a disgrace."
Photo: Ohannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

NEW YORK β€” "It's entirely possible that every big city is at its best on marathon day," writes the New York Times' Matthew Futterman.

  • "[T]his mass of humanity lining up and traversing 26.2 miles ... as another mass of humanity cheers them on, is unique to this period in human history. This sort of thing didn't happen 200 or 500 or 10,000 years ago. Their loss."
  • The winners: Geoffrey Kamworor (2:08:13) and Joyciline Jepkosgei (2:22:38) completed a Kenyan sweep.
5. πŸ€ When the past, present and future collide


Through 76 career games, Luka DončiΔ‡ and LeBron James put up remarkably similar numbers:

  • DončiΔ‡: 21.4 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 6.0 apg
  • James: 21.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 5.8 apg

Fast-forward to Friday: In his 77th career game, the 20-year-old DončiΔ‡ faced off against his childhood idol for the third time β€” and it was glorious (Lakers won in OT):

  • DončiΔ‡: 31 points, 13 rebounds, 15 assists
  • James: 39 points, 12 rebounds, 16 assists

The bottom line: Entering Friday, we knew we were watching the past, present and future of basketball collide (to me, James is the past and the present, while DončiΔ‡ is the present and the future).

6. πŸ“Š By the numbers
Screenshot: Varsity Media via YouTube
🏈 61-13

Thanks to a county policy designed to prevent lopsided results, a high school football coach on Long Island has been suspended following his team's 61-13 win.

  • The details: The Plainedge Red Devils beat the South Side Cyclones by more than 42 points (48 in this case), triggering a Nassau County policy that subjects the winning coach to a one-game suspension.
⛳️ 26 years

Phil Mickelson will drop to No. 51 in the Official World Golf Ranking this week, the first time in 26 years that he won't be among the top 50 golfers in the world.

  • Never quite got there: Mickelson made his debut in the top 50 on Nov. 28, 1993 at age 23. Despite spending the next 1,353 weeks in that company, he never got to No. 1.
🏎 6 world titles

Lewis Hamilton came in second place at the U.S. Grand Prix (just over four seconds behind teammate Valtteri Bottas) to clinch his sixth championship.

  • Why it matters: Hamilton is just one title away from matching the all-time record held by racing legend Michael Schumacher.
7. Nov. 4, 2009: ⚾️ Yankees win World Series

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

10 years ago today, the Yankees beat the Phillies, 7-3, in Game 6 of the World Series to win their record 27th championship.

The big picture: The Yankees haven't been back to the Fall Classic since, with the 2010s marking the first decade since the 1910s that they didn't appear in one.

8. The Ocho: πŸ‰ South Africa wins World Cup

Photo: Michael Steele/Getty Images

South Africa beat England, 32-12, to win the Rugby World Cup β€” the eighth time in the last nine World Cups that a team from the Southern Hemisphere came out on top.

Why it matters: Siya Kolisi became South Africa's first black captain to lift the cup, 24 years after the Springboks' first participation postapartheid.

"We have so many problems in our country, a team like this β€” we come from different backgrounds, different races β€” and we came together with one goal. I really hope we've done that for South Africa, to show that we can pull together if we want to achieve something."
β€” Siya Kolisi (video)
9. ⚾️ MLB trivia

Colorado's Nolan Arenado won a Gold Glove Award for the seventh time last night (see all winners) and has now won the award in every season of his career.

  • Question: Only three third basemen have won more Gold Gloves than Arenado's seven. Can you name them?
  • Hint: Their initials are BR, MS and SR.

Answer at the bottom.

10. πŸ₯Š Poll: UFC, boxing or both?

Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

There were two massive fights on Saturday night:

Driving the news: In a decision intended to maximize subscriptions, DAZN delayed the start of the Alvarez fight until after the Masvidal fight was over. That resulted in a 98-minute wait between the co-main and main events in Vegas, and some viewed it as an insult to boxing.

Question for you: What I find most interesting here is a general assumption by DAZN that boxing fans are also UFC fans or that, at the very least, there's enough crossover appeal that they wouldn't mind a 98-minute delay. Is this true? Let's find out.

Which best describes you:

Talk tomorrow,

Kendall "RIP, Jared" Baker

Trivia answer: Brooks Robinson (16), Mike Schmidt (10), Scott Rolen (8)