👋 Happy Friday! Playoff baseball is on the menu for lunch and dinner. Peep the schedule (all times ET):
P.S … Every quarter, Axios journalists highlight the trends they're watching in politics, technology, business and more. You'll see that in your inbox from Mike Allen tomorrow.
Today's word count: 1,426 words (5 minutes)
On Sunday, the NFL will play its 25th regular-season game in London. And for the 25th straight time, the game will not feature 2 winning teams (3-1 Bears vs. 2-2 Raiders).
Think about that: The NFL has been going to London since 2007 — the same year that the first iPhone debuted and "Superbad" came out — and they have yet to organize a single football game between 2 teams with winning records.
The bottom line: Whatever the case, it's an absurd streak, and unless the Panthers (2-2) and Buccaneers (2-2) both win on Sunday, it will climb to 26 when they meet across the pond in 2 weeks.
Go deeper: Every NFL game in London
ATLANTA — Kolten Wong and Marcell Ozuna each hit 2-run doubles in the 9th inning as the Cardinals overcame a 3-1 deficit to hold off the Braves, 7-6, in a wild and wacky Game 1.
LOS ANGELES — Max Muncy drove in 3 runs, Joc Pederson hit a pinch-hit homer and Walker Buehler, "the most confident human being on the planet," tossed 6 scoreless innings in a 6-0 shutout of the Nationals in Game 1.
Photo: Mike Stobe/Getty Images
Last season, the Yankees set an MLB record with 267 bombs. This season, 4 teams broke that record, and 3 of them are in the ALDS: the Twins (307), the 2019 version of the Yankees (306) and the Astros (288).
Rays at Astros, 2pm ET (FS1)
Twins at Yankees, 7pm ET (MLBN)
Last season, Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa set an FBS record with a 199.4 passer rating. So far this season, his rating is 225.1 (!) and his former teammate Jalen Hurts' rating is 249.9 (!!) — on pace for the best ever.
This weekend's biggest game will take place at 3:30pm ET on Saturday afternoon in Gainesville, Fla., with No. 7 Auburn in town to take on No. 10 Florida in a battle of undefeated SEC teams.
The undefeated SMU Mustangs are No. 24 in this week's AP poll, the first time they've been ranked since 1986 — before the NCAA's death penalty crippled the program for decades.
Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Fresh off landing the nation's No. 1 recruiting class, Memphis coach Penny Hardaway has a message for the rest of college basketball: "We're going to win a national championship," he told The Athletic (subscription).
Rewind: While weighing the young Tigers' championship potential, I found myself reminiscing about this decade's title-winning teams. So I ranked them.
1. 2012 Kentucky
2. 2015 Duke
3. 2018 Villanova
4. 2013 Louisville
5. 2019 Virginia
64 years ago today, the Brooklyn Dodgers won their first World Series with a 2-0 Game 7 victory over their rival New York Yankees.
Russell Wilson has only been with the team since 2012, but he's already staked his claim as the best QB in Seahawks history.
Answer at the bottom.
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🏀 NBA prepares for India slam dunk (Manoj Bhagavatula, ESPN)
"Two preseason games between the Sacramento Kings and the Indiana Pacers [will be played in Mumbai] on October 4 and 5, the first NBA games of any kind to be played in India."
🏈 Can defenses keep up in the NFL's offensive revolution? (Kevin Clark, The Ringer)
"I've spent the past couple of months asking the NFL's top defensive minds a question: Can NFL defenses ever stop offenses from setting leaguewide records every season? The short answer, I found, is no."
🏟 Two playoff teams, two stadiums and one great divide (Brian Burnsed, SI)
"[B]ehind those crosstown success stories is a sense of division, of otherness, fueled by one team's exodus and decades of racial and political disharmony."
Odile Ahouanwanou (Benin) congratulates her fellow competitor, Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Britain), after she clinched gold in the Heptathlon at the world championships in Doha. You love to see it.
Enjoy the weekend,
Kendall "Yogi Berra, what a guy" Baker
Trivia answer: Jim Zorn (coached the Redskins 2008–09)