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The Lookaround: Arizona FINALLY loses their first game

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Plus 49ers slip past the Bears and the Seahawks dominate the hapless Jaguars

The Los Angeles Rams destroyed the Houston Texans earlier this afternoon in a 38-22 performance. Other NFC West action from this weekend included the Cardinals dropping a close matchup against the shorthanded Packers, the 49ers slipping past Justin Fields and the Bears and the Seahawks cruising past the Jaguars.

TGIF* Turf Show Family!

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*Thank Goodness It’s Football

CARDINALS ARE LOSERS FOR ONCE! (PRAISE THE LORD!!)

It took eight weeks to happen but the Arizona Cardinals have finally lost a game this season. Too bad it didn’t occur against the Rams because then they’d hold the tiebreaker but a loss is a loss. The way short-handed Green Bay Packers were able to hold on to a 24-21 win complements of cornerback Rasul Douglas:

I should’ve alerted any Seahawks fans reading this based on its similarities to their Super Bowl-losing goal-line interception. If I triggered any PTSD for any of you, shift your blame to Pete Carroll for his stupid decision to pass it in the first place.

Anyways, Kyler Murray had easily his worst game of his MVP-caliber season. Murray was 22-of-33 for 274 yards with no touchdowns, two picks and a 67.0 passer rating. The Packers limited his rushing abilities as well by holding him to 22 yards off four carries.

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DeAndre Hopkins led the Cardinals in receiving yards with 66 yards on two catches before being becoming a benchwarmer due to lingering hamstring issues. Hopkins got into hot water with Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury after going against his coach’s wishes by checking himself back into the game. The decision by Hopkins didn’t sit well with Kingsbury:

“We wanted him to stay off the field but he’d just run on,” Kingsbury said via ESPN. “He wants to play, super competitive and made some plays there, and we just want him to be smart, but he was definitely hurting.”

In Hopkins’ limited snaps (13 in total), he gave the Redbirds a huge boost as the team averaged 10.9 yards per play when he played versus 4.6 yards per play when he didn’t. Either way, it was a tough loss but Arizona is still a great team regardless. They should still be an NFC favorite as they’re still a quality unit. The Packers just had the perfect game plan to defeat them.

Next Week: The Cardinals will travel to San Francisco to play the 49ers in a game they hope will be another step towards their goal of fighting for the Lombardi Trophy. The Packers game was a bad loss for them, but I don’t see it becoming a sign of concerning things to come as long as the injuries don’t mount much more on them.

49ers slip past the Bad News Bears in the Windy City

The San Francisco 49ers were able to light up the scoreboard to run the Chicago Bears off the Fields in a 33-22 victory. Despite all the heat on quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for the majority of this season, he put together quite an effective performance. Garoppolo went 17-of-28 for 322 yards and a 100.6 passer rating.

Even though Jimmy G didn’t throw any touchdowns, he had two rushing scores and was still operating Shanahan’s offense to perfection, something I hadn’t written for a while now. The Niners leading pass catcher was Deebo Samuel who had another monster game with six receptions for 171 yards and this 83-yard scamper:

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Samuel has had a major breakout campaign and with his huge game against Chicago, he passed a franchise legend in the process:

Rookie running back Elijah Mitchell continues to make his mark as the top back on the roster after rushing 18 times for 137 yards, his third 100-yard game in five career games. His touchdown made him look like the Bay Area equivalent of prime Marshawn Lynch:

Next Week: The 49ers will host the Arizona Cardinals who will surely be looking for revenge after their first loss.

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Seahawks grind out a strong win over Urban Meyer and Jags

The Jacksonville Jaguars apparently need to play in London from now on to have a chance at another win considering they were far from one against Seattle. Jacksonville was dominated 31-7 against the Hawks which would make anyone wonder how much worse the result would be with Russell Wilson under center.

One week after appearing so offensively challenged against the Saints, Seattle put together their most efficient outing since Wilson went down. Geno Smith went 20-of-24 for 195 yards and two touchdowns. Both his touchdown passes went to receiver DK Metcalf who channeled Randy Moss on his first snag:

Metcalf finished with six receptions for 43 yards including the two scores. The Seahawks leading pass catcher was Tyler Lockett who had 12 catches for 142 yards. His big day marked his 13th career 100-yard receiving day. Lockett’s catch off a trick play in the third quarter set up Metcalf’s second score of the day:

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Flipping to the defensive side of the ball, safety Quandre Diggs recorded his third interception of the season early in the second quarter off rookie Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence:

Diggs’ big defensive play placed him in some interesting NFL history lore (at least within the last five seasons).

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Next Week: The Seahawks have their bye week before traveling to Green Bay to take on the Packers. Russell might wait a week before coming back considering Lambeau Field is his house of horrors.





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Aaron Judge Continues To Pace A Dominant MLB Group

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(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

 

Each month, MLB writers update their hitter power rankings, an unofficial way to point out who are the hottest and more productive batters in the league.

Players like the New York YankeesAaron Judge and Houston Astros’ Yordan Alvarez have been in the ranking (the league usually publishes the top-ten on Twitter) several times now, and with good reason: they are, together with Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani, the strongest MVP candidates in the American League.

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The ranking, however, has some fresh faces.

Francisco Lindor is having quite the resurgent season and is leading an underrated New York Mets offense.

Speaking of the Mets, trade addition Daniel Vogelbach is also a new face in the ranking.

He has been performing admirably ever since the Mets brought him to Queens.

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Others Have Been Hot, But Judge Is On Another Level

Another NL East powerhouse, the Philadelphia Phillies, got two hitters in the top-ten: first baseman Rhys Hoskins and catcher J.T. Realmuto.

The Phillies have won eight of their last 10 games, and they have been getting a lot of help from both sluggers.

Judge, however, keeps showing why he is the premier power threat in MLB.

He is slashing 304/.396/.681 with 45 home runs, a 199 wRC+ (a number that leads the league) and an incredible 7.3 Wins Above Replacement (WAR).

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Judge was stellar in 2017, his rookie year (when he hit 52 homers), but he is well on his way to shatter all kinds of franchise records in the power department.

Roger Maris hit 61 blasts in 1961, but Judge is currently on pace to knock 65 balls out of the park.

All we know is that Judge will be a very rich man when the World Series ends: he is slated to hit the free agent market.

The Yankees, or some other team, will pay big bucks for his services.

The post Aaron Judge Continues To Pace A Dominant MLB Group appeared first on The Cold Wire.

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Braves Remind Fans That Vaughn Grissom Is Here To Stay

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(Photo by Brian Fluharty/Getty Images)

 

The Atlanta Braves called up infield prospect Vaughn Grissom out of necessity to start Wednesday’s game.

They are currently dealing with several injuries in the middle of the infield, so they picked Grissom from their Double-A team.

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This doesn’t mean that Grissom isn’t talented: he is, and it’s evident.

Injuries presented him with an opportunity: it will be up to him to take advantage of it.

Apparently, the team is willing to give him an extended look, as they search for solutions.

The most important thing is that the player didn’t seem rattled during his MLB debut on Wednesday.

Quite the contrary, in fact: he looked like a natural.

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That day, he went 2-for-4 with a home run (a 412-foot shot off Darwinzon Hernandez) and a stolen base to fuel a Braves win over the Boston Red Sox.

 

Part Of The Braves’ Future (And Present)

Grissom joined Michael Harris III as the two 21-year-olds in Atlanta’s lineup.

Harris has progressed nicely since being called up a few months ago: can Grissom do the same?

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A bat-first prospect, he had been having a stellar season in the minors before getting the call.

He started the year in High-A, and was slashing an impressive .312/.404/.487 with 11 home runs and 20 stolen bases before being promoted to Double-A.

There, he was even better, hitting .363/.408/.516 with three long balls and seven thefts in 98 trips to the plate.

That earned himself a call-up to Atlanta.

It’s likely that he still needs some more at-bats in the high minors, but as long as Grissom can produce, he will likely keep playing for the Braves.

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He is off to a tremendous start, and the organization seems ready to give him playing time, which is all that a young player needs.

The post Braves Remind Fans That Vaughn Grissom Is Here To Stay appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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The Mets Continue To Celebrate Their Elite Duo

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(Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)

 

The New York Mets and their fans should consider themselves lucky.

We have said it many times in this space, but the fact they were able to pair Max Scherzer with Jacob deGrom in the same rotation is incredibly impressive, and should be celebrated.

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The two pitchers have five Cy Young awards between them, and lots and lots of pitching knowledge and expertise to share.

When they are both healthy, there is little doubt they are the best one-two punch in MLB.

They have both been hurt a lot in 2022, particularly deGrom, but they are both healthy now and ready to make sure the Mets can return to the postseason.

New York is one of the best organizations in MLB, with a 73-39 record that only the Los Angeles Dodgers have been able to surpass.

 

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The Mets Aces Are Healthy And Dominating

Now that both Scherzer and deGrom are healthy and in a groove, they are in a position to challenge the Dodgers for the “best team in MLB” unofficial crown.

In fact, both teams are extremely likely to face each other in the playoffs, perhaps even the National League Championship Series.

Having deGrom and Scherzer pitch in three or four of those games would be huge.

The Mets posted a cool picture of the two aces having a chat.

They look like they are enjoying their conversation.

Hopefully, both can stay healthy for the remainder of the season and gift fans some of the most impressive stretch run and playoff performance we have seen in recent memory.

Mets fans are in for a real treat watching those two guys starting consecutive postseason games.

They hope they can deliver their first World Series title since 1986.

The post The Mets Continue To Celebrate Their Elite Duo appeared first on The Cold Wire.

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