- Big Man, Big Injury: JJ Watt is without question one of the best, if not the best, defensive player in the NFL. He is simply a dominant force for the Houston Texans defense and single-handedly makes them a better team. It’s unfortunate, therefore, that the Texans will be without Watt for the remainder of the season. After suffering a tibial plateau fracture in Houston’s loss to Kansas City on Sunday, Watt has confirmed he has played his last game of football this season. Watt already missed the bulk of last season with a back injury costing him 13 games in the 2016 season. This season he has not been quite the force he usually is with 13 tackles and no sacks, however, his presence is felt, and absence even more so. Watt, clearly emotional about the injury, took to twitter saying: I can’t sugarcoat it, I am devastated. All I want to do is be out there on that field for my teammates and this city. I’m sorry.
- The Girardi Saga: Game 2 of the ALDS between the Indians and Yankees was a thriller. It ended up being a heartbreaking loss for the Yankees, on a walkoff single in the 13th inning. It was especially demoralizing for the Bombers because they led the game 8-3 at one point. The Yankees jumped on Cy Young favorite, Corey Kluber, early and often tuning him up for six earned runs.It looked like the Yankees would coast to a win, until the sixth inning. With two outs in the sixth, Yankees reliever Chad Green threw inside to Lonnie Chisenhall, appearing to hit him to load the bases. Upon further review it showed the ball had hit the knob of the bat and caught by Gary Sanchez, for a foul-tip K. However, Girardi declined to review the play. The next batter, Francisco Lindor drove a Grand Slam off the Right Field foul pole. After the Yankees lost, the Yankees fans booed Girardi in the first game back in the bronx.
- Happy Trails John Farrell: The Boston Red Sox announced early Wednesday that they would be parting ways with John Farrell, their manager of five years. Following a disastrous turn at the helm by Bobby Valentine, Boston hired Farrell for the 2013 season. He immediately impressed, leading the Sox to a championship in his first season. What makes the firing unique is the success that Farrell has enjoyed as Manager, amassing a 432-378 win-loss record to go with a Commissioner’s Trophy and two consecutive Al East titles in 2016 and 2017. Interestingly, Farrell had two consecutive bad seasons in Boston in 2014 and 2015 where his Red Sox finished in last place each year. After those season’s his job was safe, yet after twice making the playoffs and being defending AL east champs, Farrell is on to a new dugout, after twice being ousted from the playoffs in the division series.
- Peterson Experiment Done: Adrian Peterson’s Saints career is officially over as he has been traded to the Arizona Cardinals. The trade makes a lot of sense for both sides, as Arizona is without their running back David Johnson with a wrist injury. For their part, the addition of Peterson to the Saints roster never really seemed like a perfect fit. The trade is not why this is on the bad list, Peterson’s tenure in the Big Easy is. Peterson always seemed like a poor fit for the Saints’ passing first offense, as such a dominant rushing force simply wouldn’t get the work he deserves. Granted, Peterson is no longer a young man, nor is he the force he was in Minnesota, but he still has more than enough to make noise in the NFL. Certainly he is worth more than the 27 carries for 81 yards he amassed in his four games in New Orleans.
- I Really Hate to Keep Doing This: But the Giants are having a dreadful season. Five weeks into the 2017-’18 season and the Giants remain winless. After losing the winless bowl to the Los Angeles Chargers, New York fell to a truly uninspiring 0-5. If only to compound this horrific season, superstar receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is out for the season. In the fourth quarter of Sunday’s loss Beckham Jr’s left ankle was pinned to the turf as Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward fell on him. Beckham requires surgery and will not play for the rest of the year. Beckham’s injury is likely the final nail in the coffin of this tumultuous season of Giants football, as the team can lose no more than two games to still have a chance at a winning record. For a team that had playoff aspirations on the season’s outset, now only faces dysfunction and doesn’t even have it’s best player to lean on.
- The Dodgers: Are for real. They are very much for real. I mean, certainly most people knew that when they had a historic midseason run which saw them lose just about never. However, they faltered down the home stretch of the season, losing 11 straight at one point. This downturn lead many, including this writer to count them out of the playoffs, perhaps even being foolish enough to bet on the Diamondbacks over LA. How very silly Dave Roberts’ club has made the doubters look as they very simply outplayed Arizona, sweeping them in three games and never really letting any game get close. They won and they won comfortably. Moreover, they now perhaps have a new bridge to Kenley Jansen in the form of Kenta Maeda who distinguished himself in relief duty. Don’t count them out again.
- Jose Altuve Makes History: Jose Altuve came into game one of the ALDS with a daunting task. He would have to face Red Sox ace Chris Sale at least twice. He more than acquitted himself well as he homered twice off of Sale. In the first inning Alex Bregman and Altuve went back-to-back to start Sale’s first postseason game. Then in the fifth, Altuve took Sale to the bridge again, in just about the same part of the ballpark. Then he went deep again in the seventh, and got a well earned curtain call from the Houston faithful. Altuve became the first player since Pablo Sandoval in 2012 (Yes, 2012 was that long ago), to homer three times in a postseason game. After this game it became clear that Boston was simply outmatched. Houstone ended up ousting the Sox in 4 games, due in part to another Alex Bregman homer. Off of Sale.
- Leonard Fournette Runs Through Steelers: Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette has scored at least one touchdown in every game this season. Fournette was a major factor in Sunday’s 30-9 trouncing of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Fournette had a career-high 28 carries for 181 yards and contributed two touchdowns in the Jacksonville victory. Fournette also had a 90 yard touchdown run which came on his final carry of the game. Fournette has been a big cog in Jacksonville’s success thus far and don’t look now but their 3-2 record is tops in the AFC South.
Header Photo: Michael Ciaglo/Houston Chronicle