Must-Win Season

November 18, 2021

By: Carlos Alvarez

Good Morning,

A busy night in the NBA and a pair of Cy Young winners were just about all we had on Wednesday. In light of the mid-week lull, we’re taking the day to catch you up on the NFL playoff picture — one that has 23 of the league’s 32 teams separated by just three games. Must-win season is here…

Letter Rip!



Xbox Series S, On Us

To kick off the holiday season, the Sportsletter team is giving away an Xbox Series S bundle that includes:

– A New Xbox Series S

– 3-Month Game Pass Subscription

– $350 Towards New Games


All you have to do is refer three friends to the Sportsletter using your unique referral link (found here) and you\’ll be enrolled.


The winner will be announced in the 11/22 edition of the Sportsletter.


Good luck Sportsletter readers!



Week 11: The NFL Playoff Picture


Snapshot of the NFL Playoff Picture Before Week 11


With only eight weeks left in the NFL’s regular season, the playoff races are beginning to heat up. Ten weeks of football have brought us to a place of questions, answers and parity.  Nearly every NFC team except the Lions (0-8-1) is still alive in the playoff picture. The AFC goes about 12 deep in the hunt. There’s plenty to be determined down the stretch, so we’ll take a look at where they stand heading into the stretch run. Remember: 14 teams will make the playoffs under the new format, and the first 17-game season could provide drama with the extra week.


Fun Fact: 23 of the NFL’s 32 teams are separated by three games between a 6-3 or 3-6 record.


NFL Playoff Picture



1. Packers (8-2) | North

2. Cardinals (8-2) | West

3. Cowboys (7-2) | East

4. Buccaneers (6-3) | South

5. Rams (7-3) | Wild Card

6. Saints (5-4) | Wild Card

7. Panthers (5-5) | Wild Card


In the Hunt: Vikings (4-5), 49ers (4-5), Falcons (4-5), Eagles (4-6), Washington (3-6), Giants (3-6), Seahawks (3-6), Bears (3-6)



1. Titans (8-2) | South

2. Bills (6-3) | East

3. Ravens (6-3) | North

4. Chiefs (6-4) | West

5. Steelers (5-3-1) | Wild Card

6. Patriots (6-4) | East

7. Chargers (5-4) | West


In the Hunt: Bengals (5-4), Raiders (5-4), Colts (5-5), Browns (5-5), Broncos (5-5)


Thursday Night Football (Week 11)

Patriots at Falcons (8:20 pm ET)


Additional Storylines

NFL: 5 Underdogs Who Can Beat the Odds in Week 11

CBS Sports: NFL Week 11 Injury Report: Kyler Murray Trending Toward Return

B/R: 5 Dark-Horse NFL Teams Who Could Make Super Bowl Runs



Ray & Burnes Capture Cy Young


Robbie Ray (Blue Jays) & Corbin Burnes (Brewers) Win 2021 Cy Young Awards


MLB Awards Week rolls on, and two of the game’s best flamethrowers are taking home Wednesday’s hardware. Robbie Ray (Blue Jays) and Corbin Burnes (Brewers) were announced as the winners of the 2021 Cy Young Award. Ray won the AL honor with a runaway — 29 of 30 first-place votes — while Burnes edged out Zack Wheeler (Phillies) with 12 first-place votes each. Burnes had more second-place votes (14-9) to swipe the award.


AL Voting

1. Robbie Ray (TOR)

2. Gerrit Cole (NYY)

3. Lance Lynn (CWS)


NL Voting

1. Corbin Burnes (MIL)

2. Zack Wheeler (PHI)

3. Max Scherzer (WAS/LAD)


Cy Young Winners by the Numbers

R. Ray (TOR): 13-7 WL | 2.84 ERA | 193.1 IP | 248 Ks

C. Burnes (MIL): 11-5 WL | 2.43 ERA | 167 IP | 234 Ks


Additional Storylines

MLB: Final Cy Young Award Vote Totals

ESPN: Brewers’ Corbin Burnes Edges Phillies’ Zack Wheeler for NL Cy Young

NY Times: Cy Young Awards Go to Pitchers Who Never Stopped Believing



Greek Freak Goes for 47


Top Highlights & Performances From Wednesday in the NBA


A busy night in the NBA saw a number of stellar performances, but none were bigger than Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 47-point outing in the Bucks’ win over the Lakers (109-102). Antetokounmpo made history with a 78-percent shooting night (18-for-23), including 75 percent from deep (3-for-4). Giannis became the only player to go for 45-plus while shooting above 75 percent more than once in the last 30 years. And after a brutal start, the Bucks have won three of their last five to get back within a game of .500 (7-8).


Watch: Giannis Drops 47 in Bucks’ Win Over Lakers (109-102)


Other NBA Highlights


Suns Win 10th Straight: The Suns used a 37-point fourth quarter to rally against the Mavericks (105-98) and secure their 10th straight win after a 1-3 start. Devin Booker led the way with 24 points while Chris Paul tossed 14 assists.


Jimmy’s Triple Double: The Heat won their third straight with a blowout against the Pelicans (113-98) behind Jimmy Butler’s 31-10-10 triple double.


Other Top Performers

J. Tatum (BOS): 34 points, 9 rebounds

L. Dort (OKC): 34 points, 8 rebounds

J. Harden (BKN): 27 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists



The Ridge

The Perfect Gift for the Holidays


Looking for the perfect gift? Look no further. 40,000 5-star reviews make The Ridge a surefire gift for the holidays. The Ridge has hand-picked new releases and premium materials so you can give those on your list — and yourself — the perfect gift this year.

Get up to 40% off today! Take 15% off sitewide with code FRIDAY15.

Get The Ridge



\"🏈\"  Stock Up, Stock Down for NFL Rookies

At the halfway point of the 2021 NFL season, several notable rookies are trending in opposite directions. Some have exploded onto the scene as budding household names by matching or exceeding their pre-draft hype in terms of production. (Bleacher Report)


\"⚾️\"  MLB Free Agent Tracker

Major League Baseball\’s free agency period is officially open. While the potential for a lockout come Dec. 1 could cause there to be a pause in activity for some unknown amount of time, teams who are eager to add to their rosters are getting their shopping started. (CBS Sports)


\"🏀\"  NBA Panic Meter

Which underperforming teams should hit the panic button? Nearly 15 games into the 82-game NBA season, five teams are off to surprisingly slow starts, including the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks. (ESPN)




Share The Sportsletter with family and friends using your unique Team ID and you\’ll get rewarded with team gear as you rack up points and climb the ranks!


Support The Sportsletter