Photo by Josiah Day (for more of Josiah’swork go to https://unsplash.com/@josiahday)
September 16th, 2020
By Mishal Goel
This past weekend we saw the return of the NFL. As usual, there were 16 games starting on Thursday and ending on Monday with a double header. Also this weekend, we saw the return of English futbol – the English Premier League. From Saturday to Monday, we saw an unusual 8 number of games. This was because Manchester City and Manchester United were granted an extra week of rest time due to playing more recently than the other teams, as they made it far into the Champions League and Europa League. Between these 24 games, there are bound to be some highlights, right?
Let’s first look at the EPL. The season was kicked off by Arsenal facing Fulham. For those who are unaware, Fulham just recently got promoted to the EPL and boy did they sure look like a team that does not belong in the EPL. Although possession time was almost identical, Fulham only got 5 shots off. In the end, Arsenal won 3-0. Next, Crystal Palace scored in the opening minutes and didn’t look back to beat Southampton 1-0. Just like Fulham, Leeds United was another recently promoted team to face a “Big 6” opponent. I’m sorry Monty, but Leeds did not win. They did put up an amazing fight as both teams were tied 3-3 until the 88th minute. A defensive mistake led to a foul in the box and Mo Salah finished the game winning penalty kick. The last game of Saturday saw Newcastle beat West Ham 2-0. As mentioned earlier, Manchester United vs. Burnley and Manchester City vs. Aston Villa were suspended.
The opening game of Sunday featured my Tottenham Spurs facing Everton and man was I disappointed. A few good chances with lackluster finishes and good saves from Pickford allowed Everton to win 1-0. The other Sunday game featured Leicester City beating newly promoted West Brom 3-0. On Monday, Wolves beat Sheffield United 2-0 and the new look Chelsea team, without Ziyech, beat Brighton 3-1.
Enough of futbol, let’s talk about football. On Thursday, the world witnessed the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs beat the Houston Texans 34-20. Side note: Thursday was a rough day for Houston sports teams, as they lost a game in nearly every major sports league that the city has a team in. But yeah, Mahomes picked up where he left off and Deshaun Watson was definitely missing his old number 1 receiver – Hopkins.
The 1 o’clock EST games had a lot of really good games. Josh Allen threw for his first 300-yard passing game as the Bills beat the Jets 27-17. The Packers and Vikings were in a 4th quarter shootout as the Vikings were trying to stage a comeback. A 24 point 4th quarter was not enough as they fell 43-34. Eli, Sam, and my Washington Football team overcame a 17-0 first half deficit to beat Muf’s sorry bird Eagles 27-17. Monty’s Ravens mollywhopped the Browns to the tune of 38-6. Lamar Jackson was playing superbly. I usually joke around and say that Lamar can’t throw, but he definitely proved me wrong with this performance. Can we say Minshew Mania? The guy was 19-20 with 3 touchdowns as he led a comeback against the Chargers and won 27-20. We saw another shootout that helped my fantasy lineup as I had both Jacobs and McCaffrey. Both running backs popped off, but in the end, Bridgewater could not pull off the last minute touchdown drive and saw his Carolina Panthers fall to the Las Vegas Raiders 34-30 (almost wrote Oakland, but they moved cities. Shameless plug: Want to learn more about moving cities, go check out our podcast – “Are Sports Teams Worth the Cost?”). You guys remember the quarterback that was chosen before Watson and Mahomes? Oh yeah, Mitch Trubisky. After being down 6-23, he threw for 3 4th quarter touchdowns and beat the Lions 27-23. Maybe this is his year and he will show why he was picked before the other 2 QBs mentioned prior, or maybe this was just a really bad hot take. Only time will tell. The Seahawks beat the Falcons 38-25 and Cam Newton made his Patriots debut and rushed for 2 TDs. The Patriots beat the Dolphins 21-11.
The Bengals and Chargers kicked off the 4 pm EST games. Burrow made his Bengals debut and played pretty well. He was 23-36, 193 yards, 1 Rush TD, and 1 INT. Not bad for a debut, but in the end Randy Bullock missed a game tying kick as time expired. The worst part was not that it was very far right, but that Bullock seemed to pull his calf while kicking. America’s Game of the Week had Drew Brees and his Saints face Tompa Brady. Although Michael Thomas did not have a huge impact, the Saints ruined Brady’s Bucs debut 34-23. May I note that Mike Evans only had 1 reception… 2 yards… 1 TD. I know he was injured coming into the game, but he needs the ball more. My MVP winner (Shameless Plug: see last Thursday’s special blog post to see the team’s predictions) Kyler Murray played at an almost-MVP level. 230 yards throwing, 91 yards rushing, 2 TDs. He also staged a game winning 4th quarter drive to beat the Super Bowl runner up 49ers, 24-20.
Sunday Night Football had the new look Rams face “America’s Team.” This game was close throughout and it was anyone’s game going into the 4th quarter as the score was 20-17 Rams. However, both teams went scoreless in the 4th, and therefore, the Rams beat the Cowboys. The first Monday night game had Big Ben return to the field to face the 2nd year QB – Daniel Jones. After a rocky first quarter, Ben started to find his play makers and fostered a 16-10 halftime lead. In the end, the Steelers won 26-16. Don’t look now but the Washington Football Team is in 1st place in the NFC East and man am I excited! The final game has the Broncos facing the Titans, but I am writing this before the game starts, so if this is still in the article, I didn’t write about the last game (sorry guys!), but I am predicting a 27-21 Titans win. Let me know if I was right or wrong on any of our social media pages and we will see you on the next Midweek Matter!