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Jonathan Taylor had a better Sunday than you, plus what kind of suspension is LeBron James facing?

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Hello everyone, it’s Shanna McCarriston, back to deliver the newsletter today. I told you guys I’d be back eventually and here I am happily updating you on all the biggest stories. For those new to the newsletter, I am a trending writer for CBS Sports and occasionally take over the email. I am from Boston, which means I am a little obnoxious, but I promise to have no Boston sports bias here.

Now to the news.

We saw another interesting day of football, with a ton of underdogs winning. At this point I’ve just come to expect multiple top teams to have shocking losses every week. We have NFL news and a lot more to get to today.

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Let’s get started.

Good morning to everyone but especially to…

THE COLTS AND JONATHAN TAYLOR

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That’s right. The Indianapolis Colts defeated the Buffalo Bills by a very convincing score of 41-15. With the win, the Colts improved to 6-5 and remain second in the AFC South. The Bills fell to 6-4 and are now second in the AFC East behind the 7-4 New England Patriots.

The player of the game was undoubtedly Colts running back Jonathan Taylor, who had a franchise record five touchdowns on the day (he had four scores on the ground and one receiving touchdown.) To add to his exceptional day, Taylor had 185 yards rushing. With that, he became the first running back this season to record 1,000 yards rushing.

Not being able to stop Taylor was one issue the Bills had, but another was Josh Allen not playing at his usual level. Allen had two interceptions with many other close calls.

Here’s our NFL writer Tyler Sullivan on why the Bills lost:

  • Sullivan: “Not only did Buffalo’s defense come out flat against an aggressive Colts ground game, but the offense wasn’t able to make much of anything going on that side of the ball either. Josh Allen’s early turnover and Isaiah McKenize’s fumble before the half both resulted in points for the opposition and that led to Indy going on a 38-7 run to begin the game and effectively put the game out of reach as early as the second quarter.”

Honorable mentions:

LeBron James ejected after hitting Isaiah Stewart in the eye 🏀


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There was some series drama last night when the Los Angeles Lakers played the Detroit Pistons. LeBron James was ejected after hitting Detroit Pistons’ center Isaiah Stewart in the eye, which left the big man’s face bloody. 

  • The incident took place in the third quarter, as Jerami Grant was shooting a free throw
  • James and Stewart were battling for the rebounding position
  • James then took a swing with a closed fist, backwards, which resulted in Stewart’s injury
  • Stewart, bleeding from his face, was quite upset. He was held back by his team as he was tryied to head towards James and other members of the Lakers

After things calmed down a bit, James received a Flagrant-2 and was ejected from the gameStewart was also ejected from the game — he was called for a loose ball foul and assessed two technical fouls for his reaction to the punch. The situation ended with Russell Westbrook also receiving a technical foul

This was James’ second ejection of his career and, as our NBA scribe Brad Botkin explained, history shows he could get a 2-3 game suspension for his actions

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  • Botkin: “How long will LeBron’s suspension be? Based on precedent, my best guess would be two to three games, and I would lean toward the two. You can at least argue LeBron didn’t fully intend to hit Stewart in the face (though I’m not sure what he thought was going to happen swinging that high within that proximity).”

Who will be the next football coach at Florida? 🏈


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So long, Dan Mullen. Florida fired their football coach after four seasons with the team and now the Gators in search for their next leader. Florida was doing well, but the emphasis is on the word “was.” They went from being in the top 10 less than two months ago to needing to mend many aspects of their team. 

There is no clear answer on who should replace Mullen, but there are some options that might work

Here are some of their options, according to our Dennis Dodd:

  • Bob Stoops, Fox analyst, former Oklahoma coach
  • Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss coach
  • Billy Napier, Louisiana coach
  • Dave Clawson, Wake Forest coach
  • Dave Aranda, Baylor coach
  • Luke Fickell, Cincinnati coach
  • Matt Campbell, Iowa State coach
  • Mark Stoops, Kentucky coach
  • Mike Elko, Texas A&M defensive coordinator
  • Jeff Hafley, Boston College coach

The latest college football Top 25 🏈


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Let’s continue the college football talk for a minute. The AP Top 25 poll is out for Week 12, and there was some serious movement following a week that saw two top 10 teams lose.

Ohio State made a jump from No. 5 to No. 2, while Georgia remains the unanimous No. 1. With the Buckeyes moving up, Alabama and Cincinnati each moved down a spot, at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively.

One of the biggest drops of the week was Oregon falling seven spots to now sit at No. 11 after a loss to Utah. Michigan State is another team that saw a drop after a loss to Ohio State. Michigan State is down five spots to No. 12.

Here is a look at the AP top 10:

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  • No. 1: Georgia (62 first-place votes)
  • No. 2: Ohio State 
  • No. 3: Alabama
  • No. 4: Cincinnati 
  • No. 5: Notre Dame
  • No. 6: Michigan 
  • No. 7: Oklahoma State 
  • No. 8: Ole Miss 
  • No. 9: Baylor
  • No. 10: Oklahoma

Check out the full top 25 list here and you can also peek at our latest bowl projections here.

What we’re watching Monday 📺





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Aaron Rodgers to the Jets? Giants' free agency options & Mike McCarthy's future with Cowboys | Ask Jay Glazer

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Jay Glazer discussed whether Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers will head to the New York Jets, the New York Giants’ free agency options, and breaks down Mike McCarthy’s future with the Dallas Cowboys.



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Super Bowl LVII: Chiefs and Eagles will meet for title in Arizona

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Patrick Mahomes finally got the best of Joe Burrow. 

All he needed was a little shove.

Harrison Butker made a 45-yard field goal with 3 seconds left — after Cincinnati’s Joseph Ossai was flagged for a 15-yard penalty for shoving Mahomes after he was out of bounds — and the Chiefs beat the Bengals 23-20 in the AFC championship game to make it back to the Super Bowl.

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Kansas City will face the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl on Feb. 12 in Glendale, Arizona. 

The Eagles opened as a 1 1/2-point favourite, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

There are no shortage of storylines: Kansas City coach Andy Reid goes against his old team — which he led to Super Bowl 39 — in a game that’s also the first matchup of Black starting quarterbacks in the Super Bowl with Mahomes and Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts. 

On top of that, there’s a brother-against-brother showdown between Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and Philadelphia center Jason Kelce.

“Officially done being a Chiefs fan this season!! ” Jason Kelce tweeted immediately after the Chiefs won.

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The Chiefs have been making deep postseason runs on a regular basis ever since Mahomes came to town as the franchise quarterback. 

This was their fifth straight trip to the AFC title game and will be their third Super Bowl appearance in that span. They beat the 49ers for the NFL title in the 2019 season, but lost to the Bucs the following season.

The Eagles clobbered the Niners 31-7 in the NFC title game earlier Sunday. They’ve looked dominant in the playoffs so far, also beating the New York Giants 38-7 in the divisional round.

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Philadelphia is back in the Super Bowl five years after beating the New England Patriots 41-33 on Feb. 4, 2018. 

Now a mostly new generation of Eagles — led by coach Nick Sirianni and Hurts — will come to Arizona to try and win another title.

The Chiefs-Bengals game looked as if it was going to overtime before Ossai’s ill-advised play. Mahomes — who was playing on a badly sprained ankle — was running to get a first down in the final seconds as Ossai desperately tried to track him down. 

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Mahomes was out of bounds when Ossai gave him a shove, sending both players tumbling to the turf. The ensuing 15-yard penalty was enough to push Butker into field-goal range and the kick split the uprights.

A distraught Ossai sat on the bench with his head in his hands, well after the game was over.

The Bengals and Chiefs were playing for the fourth time in less than 400 days and Cincinnati had won the previous three meetings — all by three points. This one was decided by a field goal, too, and all Burrow could do was watch.

The Bengals lost to the Rams in last year’s Super Bowl and they just missed another chance at returning to the title game.

NO DRAMA IN NFC

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Oddsmakers thought fans were in for some close conference championship games. 

They’ll have to settle for a 50% success rate.

The NFC title game was a blowout. Niners rookie quarterback Brock Purdy was injured in the first quarter when Eagles linebacker Haason Reddick drilled his right arm on a play that was ruled a fumble. The Eagles recovered that fumble and the injury proved to be a game-changer.

With Purdy hurt, San Francisco turned to 36-year-old journeyman Josh Johnson, who couldn’t do much before eventually leaving with a concussion. Purdy came back into the game, but could barely throw, and the Eagles cruised to the win.

The 49ers dealt with quarterback injuries all season, losing Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo before turning to Purdy, a seventh-round draft pick out of Iowa State. Purdy stepped into a starter’s role in December and won his first seven games before Sunday’s injury. 

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Here’s a few things to know about the upcoming Super Bowl:

WHAT’S THE UPCOMING SCHEDULE?

FEB. 5

Pro Bowl flag-football game, 3 p.m. EST, ABC/ESPN

FEB. 12

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Super Bowl LVII, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 6:30 p.m. EST, Fox

RIHANNA AT HALFTIME

Rihanna will take center stage as the headline act for this year’s Super Bowl halftime show.

With sales of more than 250 million records worldwide, Rihanna ranks as one of the best-selling female artists ever. Her most recent album was 2016′s “Anti.” Rihanna last performed publicly at the Grammy Awards in 2018.

The singer said she turned down a similar opportunity for the 2019 Super Bowl that was ultimately headlined by Maroon 5. At the time, many artists voiced support for Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who protested police brutality against Black people and minorities by kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

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Country music star Chris Stapleton will sing the national anthem, while R&B legend Babyface will perform “America the Beautiful.” 

PRO BOWL MAKEOVER

The Pro Bowl is getting a major makeover this year after the NFL eliminated its full-contact all-star game and replaced it with weeklong skills competitions and a flag football game.

The flag football contest is Feb. 5 in Las Vegas at Allegiant Stadium, one week before the Super Bowl.

The Pro Bowl debuted in January 1951 in Los Angeles and stayed there for 21 seasons before the game moved to different cities from 1972-80. Hawaii hosted from 1980-2009, and the game has had several homes in the years since, including Miami, Phoenix, Orlando and Las Vegas.

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“The game was kind of silly, I guess,” Saints two-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman Ryan Ramczyk said back in September when the news was announced. “Guys weren’t out there playing true football. Hopefully, there’ll be a lot of interactions with the fans and guys will get their opportunity to go out there and show some skills. I could see that being a good change.”

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Ohio State hires James Laurinaitis & Tennessee extends Huepel's contract | Joel Klatt Show

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Joel Klatt discussed Ohio State Buckeyes hiring former linebacker James Laurinaitis as a defensive GA. Joel believes that Laurinaitis can help transform the defense into a powerhouse like the offense is for wide receivers. He then discussed the Tennessee Volunteers giving Josh Huepel a contract extension after their 11-win season.



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