Football\’s Power Struggle

October 18, 2023

By: Carlos Alvarez

Good Morning 

In case you missed it, yesterday brought some crazy headlines. Terrell Owens was the victim of vehicular vengeance. The Eagles added WR Julio Jones to fix their red-zone woes. Neymar went down in a World Cup qualifier for Brazil. And those stories were just the beginning of a day riddled with click-worthy captions…

In Today\’s Edition: There’s a new No. 1 in this week’s power rankings (can you guess?), and a Phillies-Rangers World Series looks almost inevitable. Sports isn\’t stopping in this mid-week edition, and neither are we.

Letter Rip!


NFL Power Rankings 7.0

Image: Joe Stella / Media Mobilize

Five Teams Are 5-1 Through 6 Weeks — But It’s Time to Drink the Detroit Kool-Aid

With five teams all 5-1 through six weeks, there’s a lot of possibilities in this week’s top-5. All five teams have shown their weaknesses, but the Lions have earned their place at the top. They’re balanced on both sides and the play of QB Jared Goff is MVP-level through six weeks. Goff’s 2023 season to date: 1,618 yards, 11 TDs, 3 INTs, 73.3 QBR. He’s top-10 in every category (top-5 in some), and his defense is stacked. This team is for real.

Deeper on Detroit: Detroit’s lone loss was an OT defeat to the Seahawks. They beat the Chiefs, and the 49ers and Eagles are banged up now. Kansas City is still winning repeatedly, but they\’re not dominating. And the Dolphins still need to prove their defense can beat elite teams. A lot of the top teams not named Detroit will cannibalize each other in the weeks ahead. Matchups between the Dolphins-Eagles, Dolphins-Chiefs, Chiefs-Chargers, Eagles-Cowboys, and 49ers-Jaguars could see a lot of the top squads hurt each other in the month ahead. The Lions have the Ravens in Week 7, but the following month looks peachy with the Raiders, Packers and Bears at home (three likely wins). Dan Campbell’s crew gets our No. 1 spot, and they have an opportunity to hold it for quite awhile while the 49ers and Eagles battle injuries.

Fun Fact: The season-opener was a one-point decision between the Lions and Chiefs (21-20). Could that have been a Super Bowl preview right out of the gate?

NFL Power Rankings (Week 6)

1. Lions (5-1) | ↑3

2. Chiefs (5-1) | ↑1

3. 49ers (5-1) | ↓2

4. Dolphins (5-1) | ↑1

5. Eagles (5-1) | ↓4

6. Bills (4-2) | —

7. Jaguars (4-2) | ↑2

8. Cowboys (4-2) | —

9. Ravens (4-2) | ↑3

10. Browns (3-2) | ↑3

Teams 11-20

11. Bengals (3-3) | ↑8

12. Rams (3-3) | ↑3

13. Chargers (2-3) | ↓3

14. Seahawks (3-2) | ↓7

15. Jets (3-3) | ↑8

16. Steelers (3-2) | ↑2

17. Texans (3-3) | ↑4

18. Buccaneers (3-2) | ↓7

19. Saints (3-3) | ↓5

20. Packers (2-3) | —

Teams 21-32

21. Falcons (3-3) | ↓5

22. Colts (3-3) | ↓6

23. Raiders (3-3) | ↑1

24. Commanders (3-3) | ↑3

25. Vikings (2-4) | —

26. Titans (2-4) | ↓4

27. Bears (1-5) | ↓1

28. Cardinals (1-5) | —

29. Broncos (1-5) | —

30. Patriots (1-5) | —

31. Giants (1-5) | —

32. Panthers (0-6) | —

Read More

The Ringer: NFL Power Rankings: Who Belongs on Top?

SI: NFL Power Rankings: Upset-Filled Sunday Provides Shakeup



NLCS Gm 2: Flight Night in Philly

Photo: Tim Nwachukwu / Getty Images

Kyle Schwarber (2 HRs) & Trea Turner (1 HR) Launch Phillies Into Home-Run History With Game 2 Shutout Against Diamondbacks (10-0)

We all knew the Phillies had unfinished business after last year’s World Series runner-up finish, and it’s playing out in these playoffs. Philadelphia launched another barrage of home runs on Tuesday night in Game 2 of the NLCS, starting with Trea Turner in the 1st inning and picking up steam with a pair of blasts from Kyle Schwarber in the 3rd and 6th. Aaron Nola was simply spectacular, and his raised level of pitching could be the key to a Phillies World Series run. Nola (6 IP, 7 Ks, 3 Hits, 0 Runs) was downright deadly with the backdoor sinker. Philly held a 2-0 lead when Nola exited, then they slammed the door on Game 2 with eight runs in the 6th and 7th frames. Citizens Bank Park was a madhouse, but we’re heading to the desert for Games 3, 4 and 5. PHI Leads Series (2-0)

Phillies HRs in October

Nick Castellanos: 5 HRs

Bryce Harper: 4 HRs

Kyle Schwarber: 3 HRs

Trea Turner: 3 HRs

J.T. Realmuto: 2 HRs

Bryson Stott: 1 HR

Brandon Marsh: 1 HR

Philly HR History: The Phillies lead the postseason with 19 home runs in eight playoff games, but 15 of those have occurred in the last four outings. That’s the most HRs (15) in a four-game streak in MLB playoff history.

Watch: Phillies Rout D-Backs Behind Schwarber’s 2-HR Night (10-0)

Tonight’s Schedule

ALCS Gm 3: Astros at Rangers (8:03 pm, FS1)

TEX Leads Series (2-0)

Read More

MLB: Phillies Seize 2-0 NLCS Lead as Bats Ring D-Backs’ Bell in 10-0 Shutout

CBS Sports: Schwarber HR Party Rolls on as Phillies Win Game 2 Blowout



Women\’s Preseason Poll

Image: Jeff Yoder / The Sportsletter

Angel Reese & The LSU Tigers Start Their Repeat Bid at No. 1 Overall; Caitlin Clark’s Hawkeyes in at No. 3

It’s the women’s turn! The AP Preseason Poll for women’s college basketball was revealed on Tuesday, and there’s no surprise at the top. The defending champs from LSU, with superstar Angel Reese, earned 35 out of 36 1st-place votes to lead the opening poll. UConn comes in at No. 2, and the Fighting Caitlin Clarks (Iowa) round out the top-3. If you recall, it was LSU-Iowa in last year’s national championship, and both schools return their biggest stars. Could we see a repeat in 2024? Here’s a look at the preseason rankings:

Women’s NCAA Preseason Poll

1. LSU (35)

2. UConn (1)

3. Iowa


5. Utah

6. South Carolina

7. Ohio State

8. Virginia Tech

9. Indiana

10. Notre Dame

Rest of Top-25: 11. Tennessee | 12. Ole Miss | 13. Texas | 14. Maryland | 15. Stanford | 16. North Carolina | 17. Louisville | 18. Florida State | 19. Baylor | 20. Colorado | 21. USC | 22. Creighton | 23. Illinois | 24. Washington State | 25. Mississippi State | Full AP Poll Article

Read More

NCAA: LSU, UConn & Iowa Top Women’s Preseason Poll

USA Today: The Madness in Women’s College Basketball Will Continue, And That’s a Great Thing



 SOCCER: USMNT Routs Ghana (4-0)

The U.S. Men’s National Team fired four first-half goals in a 4-0 romp against Ghana on Tuesday. Gio Reyna scored two goals for the first time on the U.S. scoresheet since 2021, while Christian Pulisic and Folarin Balogun also found the net.

 NHL: McDavid Spins Oilers to 1st Win

It was an ugly opening week for the Oilers, but Edmonton went off against the Predators on Tuesday (6-1) thanks to two goals from Leon Draisaitl and a stunning, knee-swirling finish from Connor McDavid. Early goal of the year candidate?



 CFB Heisman Rankings

After edging ahead in Heisman Trophy odds one week ago, Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. is officially the clear favorite. Two candidates also exited the conversation, too. (B/R)

 Kim Ng’s Next Stop

The Miami Marlins’ former general manager declined her half of the mutual option with the club on Monday, and she immediately vaults to the top of the want list for several teams. (Sporting News)

 The Wemby Effect

The Spurs are set to play 19 games on ESPN, ABC, TNT, or NBA TV, including four of their first eight. They were on national TV just once last season. That’s the Victor Wembanyama effect. (ESPN)





Today\’s Must-Watch List

MLB Playoffs

ALCS Gm 3: Astros at Rangers (8:03 pm, FS1)

*TEX Leads Series (2-0)

WNBA Finals

Gm 3: Aces at Liberty (8:00 pm, ESPN)

*LV Leads Series (2-1)


Penguins at Red Wings (7:30 pm, TNT)


Inter Miami CF at Charlotte FC (8:00 pm, AppleTV)

*All Times ET

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