Monday Night Madness 

September 12, 2023

By: Carlos Alvarez

Good Morning 

Did you fall asleep at halftime of Monday Night Football? Bills up, 13-3. Aaron Rodgers out with an injury. Surely this thing was over. What started as a Monday Night Football disaster for the Jets ended up being an early game-of-the-year candidate.

A walk-off, punt-return TD to win it in overtime? Are you kidding me?!

The Aaron Rodgers saga gets a cruel twist. MRI pending. We’ll keep you posted as we turn the page to Week 2.

Letter Rip!


Jets\’ Bittersweet Monday Night of Madness

Photo: Mike Stobe / Getty Images

After Aaron Rodgers Injury, Jets Win MNF Thriller Against Bills on Xavier Gipson\’s Walk-Off Overtime Punt Return TD (22-16, OT)

The Monday Night Football clash of Week 1 had a little bit of everything, except Aaron Rodgers. Jets fans started the night ecstatic to see their new Hall of Fame QB after a shelter-in-place order due to weather prior to the game. The order was lifted just in time for kickoff, but Rodgers went out with an injury on the first series. QB Zach Wilson was efficient enough to keep things interesting, and the Jets made big plays in the second half to overcome a 13-3 halftime deficit and force overtime (16-16). That’s where rookie undrafted free-agent Xavier Gipson ran back a 65-yard punt-return TD for the walk-off win (22-16). An absolute stunner to wrap up Week 1! But the biggest news of the day is Rodgers\’ injury. Here’s how Monday night went down.

Aaron Rodgers InjuryAfter an offseason full of chaos, \’Hard Knocks\’ and an emotional buildup to Week 1 for Jets fans, their new quarterback played just four snaps and threw one pass (incomplete) before getting injured on a sack. He immediately popped up before sitting back down on the Metlife turf. Rodgers later appeared in a walking boot and did not return. Sources speculated a sprained ankle (best case) or a torn Achilles (worst case). The severity of the injury will likely become clear this morning with an MRI scheduled, but no injury at 39 years old is good news. Jets personnel later said they think it\’s an Achilles injury and \”it\’s not good.\” Stay tuned.

Jet’s D Does Damage: Bills QB Josh Allen had plenty of great moments in the first half, but safety Jordan Whitehead (3 INTs) had his number all night. LB Quincy Williams was flying all over the field (10 tackles). The Jets tallied five sacks and forced a fumble inside five minutes left with the game tied (13-13). And in overtime, they forced a three-and-out before special teams found the dagger.

The OT Punt ReturnThe quick three-and-out from the stifling Jets’ defense earned the ball back just minutes into OT, but no offense was necessary to finish the job on this chaotic night in New York. Rookie Xavier Gipson took the punt down the left sideline and got a caravan of blockers before bouncing into the end zone. Jets fans released an evening of emotions in one loud gasp. Good night, New York!

MNF Stats (QBs & Top Performers)

QB J. Allen (BUF): 29/41, 272 yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs

QB Z. Wilson (NYJ): 14/21, 140 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT

RB B. Hall (NYJ): 11 touches, 147 yards

WR S. Diggs (BUF): 10 receptions, 102 yards, 1 TD

WR G. Wilson (NYJ): 5 receptions, 34 yards, 1 TD

S Jordan Whitehead (NYJ): 3 INTs

Watch: Jets Beat Bills Without Rodgers in Stunning MNF Opener (22-16, OT)

Bonus Highlights 

Jets’ WR Garrett Wilson Hauls In Miraculous 1-Handed TD

Bills’ K Tyler Bass Doinks In 50-Yard Field Goal to Force OT

Jet’s Rookie Xavier Gipson Springs Walk-Off Punt-Return TD

Read More

USA Today: Aaron Rodgers’ Injury is Latest Unforgettable Moment in Jets History

CBS Sports: Jets Fear Aaron Rodgers Has Torn Achilles With MRI Looming

SI: Jets’ Radio Call of Xavier Gipson’s Game-Winning Punt Return TD Was So Good

B/R: Relive the Moment Jets WR Xavier Gipson Found Out He Made the Jets on ‘Hard Knocks’ (Video)



Power Rankings: The Final 20

Photo: Todd Kirkland / Getty Images

MLB Power Rankings With 20 Games to Play: Braves Clinch, Matt Olson Hits 50th HR, Blue Jays-Rangers in Crucial AL Wild Card Series

In the midst of a busy early-September stretch, our MLB coverage has taken a backseat. October is coming fast, and the playoff field is getting clearer. As of today (Sept. 12), there are roughly 20 games left in the regular season. The Braves are the first (and only) team to clinch, and Matt Olson is the first batter to 50 home runs. They’re safely into October. Everyone else? It’s crunch time. The Orioles and Rays are inching closer to clinch day, and the Blue Jays and Rangers are in a critical series that could decide the AL Wild Card. The Marlins are also ticking back up in the NL race. Here’s how we see ‘em with three weeks of baseball left until October.

MLB Power Rankings

1. Braves (94-50) | —

2. Orioles (91-52) | ↑1

3. Dodgers (87-56) | ↓1

4. Rays (89-56) | —

5. Astros (82-63) | ↑1

6. Blue Jays (80-64) | ↑5

7. Brewers (80-63) | ↑1

8. Mariners (79-65) | ↓3

9. Phillies (79-65) | ↓2

10. Rangers (79-64) | ↓1

Teams 11-20

11. Cubs (78-67) | ↓1

12. Twins (75-69) | ↑1

13. Diamondbacks (76-69) | ↑1

14. Marlins (74-70) | ↑4

15. Reds (74-71) | —

16. Giants (74-70) | ↓4

17. Yankees (71-72) | ↑2

18. Red Sox (73-70) | ↓1

19. Guardians (68-77) | ↓2

20. Tigers (66-77) | ↑4

Teams 21-30

21. Pirates (66-78) | ↑3

22. Angels (68-77) | ↓1

23. Padres (68-77) | ↓1

24. Mets (65-78) | ↓1

25. Nationals (65-79) | ↓5

26. Cardinals (63-81) | —

27. White Sox (55-88) | —

28. Rockies (51-92) | —

29. Royals (44-100) | —

30. Athletics (45-99) | —

Home Run Race

1. Matt Olson (ATL): 50 HRs

2. Shohei Ohtani (LAA): 44 HRs

T3. Pete Alonso (NYM): 43 HRs

T3. Kyle Schwarber (PHI): 43 HRs

5. Mookie Betts (LAD): 39 HRs

MLB Playoff Picture

(Tuesday, Sept. 12)

American League

DIV: Orioles (East), Astros (West), Twins (Central)

WC: Rays (WC1), Blue Jays (WC2), Rangers (WC3)

OUT: Mariners (0.5 GB), Red Sox (6.0 GB), Yankees (8.0 GB)

National League

DIV: Braves (East), Dodgers (West), Brewers (Central)

WC: Phillies (WC1), Cubs (WC2), Diamondbacks (WC3)
Marlins (1.5 GB), Giants (1.5 GB), Reds (2.0 GB)

MLB Quick-Hitters

Braves’ Matt Olson Belts 50th Homer, 1 Shy of Franchise Record

Orioles’ Cedric Mullins Bashes Grand Slam in 11-5 Win Over Cards

Rangers Roll Blue Jays (10-4) in Critical Series-Opener for AL Wild Card



Saving Team USA

Photo: Harry How / Getty Images

After Disappointing FIBA World Cup, LeBron James is Recruiting Stars to Revive Team USA in 2024 Paris Olympics

If you’re a basketball fan in America and you’ve been sadly disappointed by the under-performing international competition of Team USA, you’re not alone. One basketball player is, too, and he’s the one who can do something about it. On Monday, The Athletic reported that LeBron James is planning to join Team USA for the 2024 Olympics in Paris. It’s James’ final attempt at a gold medal, and he’s not alone. James is also recruiting some of the NBA’s veteran stars to try and right the sinking ship that’s become USA Basketball.

The list of stars reportedly open to a Team USA reunion include: Steph Curry, Anthony Davis, Chris Paul, Draymond Green, Jayson Tatum, Devin Booker, and Kevin Durant. That’s eight veteran superstars who could make a massive impact on the quality and experience of the Team USA roster. And while the FIBA World Cup isn’t always heralded as the truest measure of a nation’s best players, the Olympics certainly are. 

All eight players listed above have previously won a gold medal with Team USA. If they all jump aboard, expect more all-stars like Damian Lillard, Jaylen Brown and Jimmy Butler to potentially fill out the roster. Team USA failed to medal (finishing 7th & 4th) in each of the last two FIBA World Cups.

Read More

CBS Sports: LeBron James Wants to Play in 2024 Olympics, And He’s Recruiting

SI: LeBron James Recruiting New ‘Redeem Team’ for 2024 Olympics, Per Report



 Week 2 Fantasy Football Risers & Fallers

You\’re either really happy or really stressed about your Fantasy Football draft after Week 1. The good news is you can make some moves. Based on their Week 1 performance, you might want to sell high or buy low on some of these players. (Sports Illustrated)

 Djokovic 1 Step From ‘The Greatest’

Novak Djokovic won his third major of the year at the U.S. Open. His 24th career grand slam tied Margaret Court’s all-time record (men or women), and one more will give him the official title of ‘the greatest.’ (ESPN)

 Thoughts on Team USA’s Collapse

After failing to medal, the United States has work to do between now and the Olympics. Plus, Franz Wagner arrives on the scene, Dillon Brooks goes off, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander takes another step forward. (The Ringer)