The Sports Feast

November 22, 2023

By: Carlos Alvarez

Happy Thanksgiving Team 

We have a lot to cover today as we gear up for the holiday weekend. Football rankings and basketball milestones are the story in today’s edition. A late-night surprise brought down #1 Kansas in the Maui Invitational, and we’ve learned that the Chiefs-Eagles clash was the most-watched Monday Night Football game in 25 years. It\’s a sports feast on the way. Dig in. 

 Scheduling Note: The Sportsletter will not be sent from Thursday (Nov. 23) to Sunday (Nov. 26). We’ll return to your inbox on Monday (Nov. 27).

Letter Rip!


Thanksgiving Power Rankings

Image via Joe Stella / Media Mobilize

Eagles Retain No. 1 After Monday Night Football Game With Chiefs Set NFL Viewership Records

No turkeys allowed in this week\’s top-10. It’s another rendition of the power rankings to send us into the holiday break! After Monday Night Football, our No. 1 team remains the same — the Philadelphia Eagles. Doesn’t matter if it’s ugly, the Birds might be the grittiest 9-1 team ever. Six of their nine wins have been by one score or less, and the other three wins weren’t exactly blowouts (by 14, 9 and 14). Even so, their 9-1 record is unmatched, and only the Lions are within one game.

Monday Night Football’s Super Bowl LVII rematch between the Eagles and Chiefs averaged 28.9 million viewers, making it the most-watched MNF game in over 25 years, and the most-watched game of the 2023 regular season, by far. Two miscues — a red-zone fumble and a late-game drop — doomed the Chiefs, or we’d be seeing Kansas City atop today’s power rankings. Here’s how we view the NFL hierarchy heading into Thanksgiving break.

NFL Power Rankings (Week 12)

1. Eagles (9-1) | —

2. Lions (8-2) | ↑2

3. Ravens (8-3) | —

4. 49ers (7-3) | ↑1

5. Chiefs (7-3) | ↓3

6. Dolphins (7-3) | —

7. Cowboys (7-3) | ↑1

8. Jaguars (7-3) | ↑2

9. Browns (7-3) | ↓2

10. Texans (6-4) | ↑3

Teams 11-20

11. Bills (6-5) | ↑5

12. Seahawks (6-4) | ↓2

13. Broncos (5-5) | ↑2

14. Steelers (6-4) | ↓2

15. Vikings (6-5) | ↓1

16. Bengals (5-5) | ↓5

17. Colts (5-5) | ↑1

18. Saints (5-5) | ↑3

19. Raiders (5-6) | —

20. Chargers (4-6) | ↓3

Teams 21-32

21. Jets (4-6) | ↓1

22. Falcons (4-6) | —

23. Buccaneers (4-6) | —

24. Rams (4-6) | ↑1

25. Packers (4-6) | ↑1

26. Commanders (4-7) | ↓2

27. Titans (3-7) | —

28. Giants (3-8)  | ↑3

29. Bears (3-8) | ↓1

30. Patriots (2-8) | —

31. Cardinals (2-9) | ↓2

32. Panthers (1-9) | —

Read More

SI: Eagles On Top of Power Rankings After Escaping Arrowhead With a Win

B/R: Power Rankings: Where Does Every Team Stand Entering Week 12?



Playoff Rankings: Here Comes \’The Game\’

Image via @CFBPlayoff Twitter

Washington Enters CFB Playoff Top-4 After FSU Injury, But The Big One (Ohio State vs. Michigan) is Coming This Weekend

Just in time for a little holiday chaos! The first big change in the top-4 of the College Football Playoff came Tuesday when the committee pushed Washington over Florida State for the No. 4 spot. FSU didn’t lose last Saturday, but they did see their star quarterback Jordan Travis carted off the field with a season-ending injury. That was enough to help the committee lean toward the Huskies. The top-5 teams are undefeated, but that’ll change this Saturday.

The Game: #2 Ohio State at #3 Michigan

It’s the big one on Saturday between #2 Ohio State and #3 Michigan. Jim Harbaugh won’t be on the sidelines, but the Big House will be the biggest test for the second-ranked Buckeyes. The committee has two more sets of rankings before the final CFB Playoff announcement. Saturday is the play-in before the playoff.

CFB Playoff Rankings (4 of 6)

1. Georgia (11-0)

2. Ohio State (11-0)

3. Michigan (11-0)

4. Washington (11-0)


5. Florida State (11-0)

6. Oregon (10-1)

7. Texas (10-1)

8. Alabama (10-1)

9. Missouri (9-2)

10. Louisville (10-1)

Holiday-Week Games W/ CFB Playoff Implications

Texas Tech at #7 Texas (Fri. 7:30 pm, ABC)

#11 Oregon State at #6 Oregon (Fri. 8:30 pm, FOX)

#2 Ohio State at #3 Michigan (Sat. Noon, FOX)

#8 Alabama at Auburn (Sat. 3:30 pm, CBS)

#5 Florida State at Florida (Sat. 7:00 pm, ESPN)

*All Times ET



NBA Cup: Milestone Moments

Photo: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

Pacers, Lakers 1st Teams to Clinch In-Season Tournament; Indy Scores 157, LeBron Hits 39K Points

Tuesday’s NBA in-season tournament games were full of excitement as basketball fans everywhere try to wrap their heads around the format and those wild court designs. As with anything new, it takes some getting used to. But last night was full of firsts — the first-ever group play clinches in NBA in-season tournament history. The first two teams to clinch spots in the knockout bracket were the Pacers (3-0) and Lakers (4-0), and both teams got there with some milestone moments.

Pacers Top Hawks in Historic Shootout (157-152)

Tyrese Haliburton (37 points, 16 assists) and the high-octane Pacers put up a franchise-record 157 points on Tuesday as they held off the Hawks in a track meet. Indiana (3-0) clinched the first spot in the quarterfinals, and the Pacers-Hawks battle was just the ninth game in NBA history where the teams combined for more than 300 total points in regulation (309).

Lakers Smack Jazz (131-99), LeBron Hits 39K Points

A blowout in Los Angeles was the scene for the Lakers to reach a 4-0 record in group play and become the first team in the West to advance to the knockout stage. In the process, LeBron James had 17 points (7 rebounds, 9 assists) to become the first player in NBA history with 39,000 points. King James is still elite, even at 38 (almost 39) years old.

Other NBA In-Season Tournament Highlights

Magic def. Raptors (126-107)

Cavaliers def. 76ers (122-119)

Suns def. Blazers (120-107)

*Blazers 1st Team Eliminated

View In-Season Tournament Bracket



 NCAAM (Maui Invitational)

#2 Purdue def. #7 Tennessee (71-67)

*Fletcher Loyer (27 points) Fuels Boilers

#4 Marquette def. #1 Kansas (73-59)

*Iso Ighodaro (21 pts, 9 rebs) Leads Golden Eagles

 International Soccer

Jamaica def. Canada (3-2)

Mexico def. Honduras (2-0)

Argentina def. Brazil (1-0)

Colombia def. Paraguay (1-0)

Ecuador def. Chile (1-0)



 2024 NFL Mock Draft

Seven weeks remain in the 2023 NFL regular season. As the Eagles and Chiefs lead a group of Super Bowl contenders, other teams are in play for a very different prize: the future. (FOX Sports)

 Shohei Ohtani: Beyond the Dream

The two-way star won his second MVP last week, but now the focus shifts to free agency. However, fans can get their Ohtani fix with a new documentary about the star\’s upbringing and baseball career. (Sporting News)

 Messi & Ronaldo’s “Last Dance”

World football legends Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will cross paths one more time. Both Inter Miami and Al-Nassr announced yesterday that they’ll face off February 2024 in the Ryadh Cup. (Bleacher Report)





The Sports Equinox Champ


Before We Sign Off For the Holidays…

We held a jersey contest to celebrate the Sports Equinox in October, and we had a lot of fun challenging our audience to a friendly competition. The superstar you see pictured above is Fortune Erondu, the champion of the jersey challenge. Congrats, Fortune!

If you don’t know by now, The Sportsletter is an independent, bootstrapped publication that relies on our awesome readers to keep the train moving forward… full steam ahead! Jersey giveaways and our weekly pick ‘em prizes are a small way we stay connected and continue to attract a community of sports readers built on fun, not just the bottom line. Even though The Sportsletter has grown to a six-figure subscriber count (and beyond), we like to maintain that tight-knit community feel by growing and evolving through our readership. 

If you want to help support the team in our ongoing mission, you can make a donation or do us a favor and share The Sportsletter with friends or family.

Thanks for joining us on the journey, and Happy Thanksgiving!



Thanksgiving Must-Watch List

It’s the big one! For the first time since July 4th, we’re stepping away for an extended break and bringing you a massive feast of a must-watch list. Here’s a look at everything we’ll have our eyes on over the next five days.

Reminder: The Sportsletter will not be sent tomorrow (Thursday, Nov. 23) through Sunday (Nov. 26). We’ll return to your inbox on Monday (Nov. 27).

 NFL Thanksgiving Day (Thursday)

Packers at Lions (12:30 pm, FOX)

Commanders at Cowboys (4:30 pm, CBS)

49ers at Seahawks (8:20 pm, NBC)

 NFL Friday

Dolphins at Jets (3:00 pm, PRIME)

 NFL Sunday

Jaguars at Texans (1:00 pm, CBS)

Browns at Broncos (4:05 pm, FOX)

Bills at Eagles (4:25 pm, CBS)

Ravens at Chargers (8:20 pm, NBC)

Full NFL Week 12 Schedule

 College Football

#13 Ole Miss at Miss. State (Thurs. 7:30 pm, ESPN)

Texas Tech at #7 Texas (Fri. 7:30 pm, ABC)

#11 Oregon State at #6 Oregon (Fri. 8:30 pm, FOX)

#2 Ohio State at #3 Michigan (Sat. Noon, FOX)

#8 Alabama at Auburn (Sat. 3:30 pm, CBS)

#4 Florida State at Florida (Sat. 7:00 pm, ESPN)

Full College Football Schedule


Bucks at Celtics (Wed. 7:30 pm, ESPN)

Warriors at Suns (Wed. 10:00 pm, ESPN)

Heat at Knicks (Thurs. 7:30 pm, ESPN)

Full NBA Schedule


Bruins at Panthers (Wed. 7:00 pm, TNT)

Golden Knights at Stars (Wed. 9:30 pm, TNT)

Penguins at Sabres (Fri. 6:00 pm, TNT)

Avalanche at Wild (Fri. 8:30 pm, TNT)

Full NHL Schedule

 MLS Playoffs

Orlando City vs. Columbus Crew (Sat. 5:30 pm)

FC Cincinnati vs. Philadelphia Union (Sat. 8:00 pm)

Houston Dynamo vs. Sporting KC (Sun. 7:00 pm)

Seattle Sounders vs. LAFC (Sun. 9:30 pm)

 European Soccer

EPL: Man. City vs. Liverpool (Sat. 7:30 am)

EPL: Everton vs. Man. United (Sun. 11:30 am)

ITA: Juventus vs. Inter (Sun. 2:45 pm)

 NCAA Basketball

M: #7 Tennessee vs. #1 Kansas (Wed. 2:30 pm, ESPN)

M: #2 Purdue vs. #4 Marquette (Wed. 5:00 pm, ESPN)

M: #11 Gonzaga vs. UCLA (Wed. Midnight, ESPN2)

M: #3 Arizona at #21 Michigan State (Thurs. 4:00 pm)

W: #19 Tennessee at #21 Indiana (Thurs. 6:00 pm)

W: #6 UConn at #2 UCLA (Fri. 7:30 pm)

*All Times ET

Download The Sportsletter\’s Must-Watch Calendar