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Pre-Snap Reads 11/2: Geno Smith gets first win as starter since 2014

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Seahawks News

Seattle Seahawks QB Geno Smith Basks in First Win as Starter Since 2014 – Sports Illustrated Seattle Seahawks News, Analysis and More
After failing to finish in close games against Pittsburgh and New Orleans, Smith toyed with perfection while producing one of the finest performances of his career in a bounce-back win over Jacksonville, giving Seattle a boost heading into the bye week. (Editor’s note: Technically it’s 2016 but he was injured early and missed most of the game)

Clayton: Why Seahawks are trending up going into their bye week
John Clayton takes a close look at what the Seahawks got right in Sunday’s win and why things are looking up for when they return from a bye.

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Carroll: Seahawks are ‘getting better at what we’re doing’ heading into bye
The Seahawks got a much-needed win over the Jaguars on Sunday. On Monday, Pete Carroll broke down the positives he’s seeing from his team.

Seahawks Injuries: Russell Wilson ‘really close,’ Chris Carson aims to play
The Seahawks could get Russell Wilson and Chris Carson back from injured reserve after a bye, Pete Carroll told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Mike Salk.

“Most Complete Game” & Other Takeaways From Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll’s Monday Press Conference
News and notes from Seahawks coach Pete Carroll’s Monday press conference following a Week 8 win over the Jaguars.

Monday Round-Up: Media Reactions To Seahawks’ Week 8 Win Over The Jaguars
Local and national media had plenty to cover from the Seahawks’ huge home victory over the Jaguars.

Monday notes: Why are the Seahawks saving money? « Seahawks Draft Blog
According to Over the Cap, the Seahawks have $13,382,838 in available cap space at the moment.

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NFC West News

Kliff Kingsbury: Arizona Cardinals Quarterback Kyler Murray Day-to-Day – Sports Illustrated Arizona Cardinals News, Analysis and More
The Arizona Cardinals quarterback reportedly suffered an ankle sprain late against the Green Bay Packers Thursday night.

Arizona Cardinals offensive snap count in loss to Green Bay Packers – Revenge of the Birds
What do the snap counts in a loss look like for the Arizona Cardinals?

Well, they do tell us a big story on why the Cardinals lost the game to the Green Bay Packers.

Let’s get to it.

5 Takeaways from 49ers-Bears: Are the Boys back in town? – Niners Nation
The 49ers won with an explosive offensive performance after losing four consecutive games.

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Best 49ers Memes for October 2021 – Sports Illustrated San Francisco 49ers News, Analysis and More
Let’s take a break from the morbid reality that comes with being a 49ers fan and have a laugh for once at the team’s expense.

5 Takeaways From the Los Angeles Rams’ Week 8 Win Over Houston Texans – Sports Illustrated LA Rams News, Analysis and More
What are the main takeaways we learned from the Los Angeles Rams’ Week 8 game against the Houston Texans?

With the Rams dealing for Von Miller, the Cowboys should be calling Denver next
Von Miller would have made sense for the Dallas Cowboys. After all, who doesn’t need a high-level veteran edge rusher with Super Bowl experience — let alone one who’s a Dallas native?

Von Miller trade: Grades, reactions following Rams’ blockbuster deal – Turf Show Times
What Von Miller, Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, and Broncos fans had to say about Monday’s shocking deal.

Around The NFL

NFL Power Rankings: After Sunday night, Cowboys can start eyeing NFC’s No. 1 seed
Nobody would have blamed the Dallas Cowboys for losing on Sunday night.

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2021 NFL season, Week 8: What we learned from Chiefs’ win over Giants on Monday night
The Chiefs got back on the winning track and back to .500 on the strength of a late Harrison Butker field goal that them to a 20-17 win over the Giants.

Giants-Chiefs final score: New York falls, 20-17, to Kansas City – Big Blue View
Missed opportunities haunt the Giants as they drop a close contest in Kansas City.

Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry to undergo foot surgery; no timetable for return
Titans running back Derrick Henry will undergo foot surgery Tuesday morning and there is no timetable for his return, coach Mike Vrabel said.

Titans, Steelers, Saints Notch Key Divisional Wins | Football Outsiders
In a crazy week full of upsets and surprises, it was Tennessee (who practically clinched a division title with a victory over the Colts), along with Pittsburgh and New Orleans (who gained ground in the wild-card standings with upset triumphs over Cleveland and Tampa Bay) who may have won the most. The FO staff tries to sort through the insanity.

FMIA Week 8: Trevor Siemian Leads Big Day For NFL Backups – Peter King, NBC Sports
Peter King’s Football Morning In America column leads with a big week for NFL backups, including Trevor Siemian helping the Saints beat the Bucs.

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Move The Sticks: Reaction to Von Miller trade, Week 8 big games, building blocks & rookie QB report card
Bucky Brooks and Rhett Lewis look back at the weekend and all the action from Week 8 of the NFL season.

NFL true or false: Titans cooked without Derrick Henry? Jimmy Garoppolo off 49ers’ hot seat?
Does Derrick Henry’s foot injury bury the Titans? Is Jimmy Garoppolo off the hot seat in San Francisco? Are the Vikings stuck in competitive purgatory with Kirk Cousins? Adam Schein plays NFL true or false.



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C.J. Stroud, Caleb Williams highlight Joel Klatt's Heisman Tiers

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Joel Klatt released his Heisman Trophy tiers on the latest episode of “The Joel Klatt Show.” See who made the cut.



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NBA pre-season roundup: Raptors maintain perfect record with win over Celtics

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BOSTON (AP) — Pascal Siakam and Precious Achiuwa scored 13 points apiece and Toronto used an early burst in overtime to beat Boston 125-119 on Wednesday.

Josh Jackson also had 13 points for the Raptors. Siakam recorded six rebounds and Achiuwa seven boards as the Raptors improved to 2-0 in the preseason.

Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with 23 points and Sam Hauser had 22, connecting on 8 of 12 shots, including 5 of 8 from outside the arc. Jayson Tatum finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds for Boston, now 1-1 in the preseason.

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Payton Pritchard scored 17 points and had five assists

The teams were tied at 110 at the end of regulation after Jeff Dowtin (10 points) converted a 9-footer for the Raptors. Pritchard’s 18-footer was off the mark as time in regulation ran out, sending the game to the extra period.

The Raptors outscored the Celtics 11-4 to open overtime and never relinquished the lead.

76ERS 113, CAVALIERS 112

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Joel Embiid and James Harden were done with their preseason debuts long before Montrezl Harrell scored the go-ahead basket with 26 seconds left to lift Philadelphia over Cleveland.

Embiid had 12 points and six rebounds in 18 minutes before taking a seat after halftime. Harden played 19 minutes and scored nine points, going 3 of 9 from the field but adding five assists.

Tyrese Maxey, who had 20 points in Monday’s win over the Nets, continued his good start to the preseason, leading Philadelphia with 21 points in the first half. He went 9 of 11, making all three of his 3-pointers. Harrell, who signed a two-year contract with Philadelphia during the offseason, scored 13 points.

Mitchell scored 16 points in his first game since being traded from Utah, while Darius Garland and Raul Neto each had 12. Dean Wade and Sharife Cooper finished with 11 points apiece.

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Cleveland played without second-year big man Evan Mobley, who is expected to be out a couple of weeks with a right ankle sprain suffered this week.

The Cavaliers got an optimistic glimpse of the backcourt tandem of Mitchell with Garland in the first half. Mitchell was 6 of 9 for the game, including 3 of 4 from outside the arc to go with five assists. Garland, meanwhile, made 4 of 7 shots and handed out four assists.

Shake Milton had 12 points for Philadelphia, while De’Anthony Melton, picked up from Memphis in a draft night trade, had 11 points, four rebounds and three assists.

PACERS 122; HORNETS 97

Aaron Nesmith scored 16 points, rookie Benedict Mathurin, the No. 6 pick in the draft from Arizona, added 15 and Indiana beat Charlotte.

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Isaiah Jackson finished with 13 points for the Hornets, while Myles Turner and Chris Duarte contributed 12 points apiece. Mathurin was 5 of 10 from the field, despite missing all four of his 3-pointers over 19 minutes.

Terry Rozier led the Hornets with 18 points and P.J. Washington finished with 13. Kelly Oubre Jr. had 11 points and nine rebounds, while LeMelo Ball scored 12 points and handed out seven assists.

MAVERICKS 98; THUNDER 96

Jaden Hardy scored 21 points, Christian Wood finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds, and Dallas used a fourth-quarter rally to beat Oklahoma City.

Dwight Powell finished with 13 points and five rebounds for the Mavericks in their opening game of the preseason.

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Josh Giddey led the Thunder with 13 points, shooting 6 for 10. Rookie Jalen Williams, the 12th overall pick out of Santa Clara, finished with 10 points.



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After a long season grind, the Blue Jays are ready for another

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BALTIMORE – There is achievement in baseball by simply completing the grind, showing up day in and day out, putting in the work, getting after it on the field and fighting through the cumulative toll. The relentlessness of the schedule makes finding and sustaining success all the more difficult, so to be among the last teams standing at the end really means something.

“You know, 162 is tough,” interim manager John Schneider said after a 5-1 win by his Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday, securing a final-day, doubleheader split with the Baltimore Orioles and a 92-70 finish.

“People that do it every day, they realize that and it’s something they don’t take for granted. So it’s a collective effort, from start to finish, today being the exclamation point. But 162 games, winning 92 of them, very, very proud of the guys, everyone that is here, everyone that has been here. Really looking forward to the post-season.”

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That was universal around the Blue Jays clubhouse, as was a sigh of relief that they had emerged unscathed from the unexpected – and unwanted – twin-bill. With Game 1 of the wild-card series against the Seattle Mariners set for Friday at Rogers Centre – and yes, Alek Manoah is starting, official and announced – covering 18 innings could easily have upended their plans, especially after clinching home-field on Monday.

Instead, everything unfolded as they had mapped out, with relievers Trevor Richards, Adam Cimber, Yimi Garcia and Jordan Romano each throwing a shutout inning ahead of Mitch White in a 5-4 loss in the opener, while David Phelps, Anthony Bass and Tim Mayza getting an inning each in front of Casey Lawrence, Yusei Kikuchi and Trent Thornton in the nightcap.

Some, if not most of their primary bullpen arms would likely have been used Wednesday to stay sharp even if Tuesday’s contest hadn’t been rained out, but the key is that no one sure to be on the wild-card roster Friday was overextended.

The same applied on the position player front, as only bench players started both contests with Otto Lopez, with a combined five hits and three RBIs, and Gabriel Moreno, with four hits including his first major-league home run, leading the way.

“The pitchers were pretty efficient with their pitch count,” said Schneider. “Guys got the at-bats they needed. We’ve been talking and it’s such a different animal come Friday night, whether you haven’t played in four or five days or if you played 18 innings today, you’re going to be ready to go. But all things considered, we wanted to get guys in, stay sharp, get guys at-bats. That worked out well.”

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As did the ability to put players in different spots for a quick look, from Moreno playing catcher, left field, second and third, to Lopez getting reps at both second and shortstop, to Whit Merrifield at first. With Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (hamstring) and Santiago Espinal (oblique) flying back to Toronto early in order to get their work in at Rogers Centre on Wednesday, the Blue Jays still have to figure out which position players will be on their roster come Friday, which will impact how many pitchers are selected.

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Moreno is one of those calls, and while there are merits to carrying a third catcher, particularly with how Danny Jansen and Alejandro Kirk are used, a display of his versatility and offensive skill-set adds to the considerations.

“I had the feeling that could happen at some point during those two games and it happened and I was ready for that,” Moreno said of playing around the diamond through interpreter Hector Lebron. “Grateful to have the opportunity to play all of these positions. I can say I have the ability to play different positions and I worked for that. Just having fun, I’m full of emotions. But I did have fun.”

White, who allowed five runs in four innings, was optioned between games for Thornton, meaning he’ll be ineligible for the next 15 days, barring an injury. The same applies to Nate Pearson, who was reinstated from the 60-day injured list after his rehab assignment expired and optioned back to triple-A.

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Intriguingly, Kikuchi has put himself back into consideration for the post-season roster with four straight scoreless appearances, including 1.2 clean innings with two strikeouts in the second game versus the Orioles. Since moving to the bullpen in mid-August, he’s struck out 33 batters in 18.1 innings over 12 outings, although he’s also had a few rough ones in there as he’s adjusted to a new role.

The swing and miss stuff is tempting though, and “I feel like I’m able to attack and get in that attack mindset” as a reliever, Kikuchi said through interpreter Kevin Ando.

“We’ve all talked about it from the beginning of the year, but I just wasn’t quite able to do it,” he continued. “But now I really do feel like I’m able to focus on one pitch at a time, focus on that moment and that moment only, and just go out and attack.”

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Kikcuhi isn’t sure yet about his status for the post-season and Schneider was careful not to tip his hand, although his comments left things open to speculation.

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“Love how he’s looked against left-handed hitters out of the bullpen. He’s throwing strikes, striking guys out. Today was just another example of it,” he said. “What he’s proven down the stretch is, we’re not afraid to put him in spots that matter, spots that are big. He also provides length, too.”

The Blue Jays, barring a surprise, shouldn’t need that bulk from him in the post-season if their rotation pitches to expectation. Schneider didn’t divulge whether it would be Kevin Gausman, who left his last start with a cut on his right middle finger but was said to be fine, or Ross Stripling in Game 2, but either is a fine complement to Manoah, the obvious choice for Game 1.

“Seeing him in those really big moments and obviously the month of September that he’s had,” said Schneider, “like the way he matches up against anybody but confident in him just embracing the atmosphere and doing what he’s been doing all year.”

The same goes for the rest of the Blue Jays, who completed one grind and are now set for another.

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