2 L\’s in \’Jacksonville\’

December 5, 2023

By: Carlos Alvarez

Good Morning 

It’s been a rough few days for Florida sports fans. Florida State\’s CFB Playoff omission caused an uproar to start the week, and now the Jaguars have lost QB Trevor Lawrence (maybe for a while). A win would\’ve made the Jags the current No. 1 seed in the AFC. Instead, they\’re 5th and without their star QB. Sports can be cruel.

It\’s not all gloom and doom, though. How about a natty in women\’s soccer? Florida State beat Stanford 5-1 for their fourth national championship. Stay positive there, Sunshine State.

Letter Rip!


A Lose-Lose Night for the Jags

Photo: Mike Carlson / Getty Images

Jaguars Fall to Bengals on MNF (34-31, OT) & Lose QB Trevor Lawrence to Ankle Injury

Can\’t spell \’Jacksonville\’ without two L\’s, and that\’s what they got on Monday Night Football. The highly-anticipated MNF matchup between the Jaguars and Bengals was already without Joe Burrow. By night\’s end, it was also without Trevor Lawrence. Instead, fans were watching Jake Browning — who played an incredible game — dueling with C.J. Beathard. And that’s indicative of how cruel injuries have been for star quarterbacks this season in the NFL. Burrow suffered a broken hand a few weeks ago, but Lawrence had his right ankle stepped on by his own lineman before getting twisted like a pretzel in the 4th quarter. He limped to the locker room and did not return. Early reports are calling it a sprain, but it looked ugly. When Lawrence left, so did the Jags\’ spirits.

MNF: The game was tied 28-all when Lawrence went out. Both teams tacked on two late field goals to reach overtime at 31-all. The Jags hit a huge pass play to get inside the red zone on their first possession, but it was called back for a holding penalty. The drive ended without points, and Browning delivered. He led a drive down the field to set up the game-winning field goal by Evan McPherson (48 yards), and the AFC just got a bizarre plot-twist in the playoff picture. The Bengals (6-6) are alive with Browning, and the Jags (8-4) might be in trouble without Lawrence.

Fun Facts: The Jaguars-Bengals game featured five different ties, the most of any NFL game this season. It\’s also the Bengals\’ first Monday Night Football road win since 1990 (snaps 9-game road losing streak).

QB Comparison

J. Browning (CIN): 32/37, 354 yards, 2 TDs

T. Lawrence (JAX): 22/29, 258 yards, 3 TDs

C. Beathard (JAX): 9/10, 63 yards

Other Top Performers

WR J. Chase (CIN): 11 receptions, 149 yards, 1 TD

RB J. Mixon (CIN): 25 touches, 117 yards, 2 TDs

RB T. Etienne Jr. (JAX): 15 touches, 79 yards, 1 TD

LB J. Allen (JAX): 7.5 tackles, 1.5 sacks

Watch: Browning, Bengals Stay Alive With MNF Thriller (34-31, OT)

Read More

SI: Trevor Lawrence’s Health in Question After Suffering Ankle Injury

CBS Sports: Who is Jake Browning? Everything to Know About Bengals Rookie Who Stunned Jaguars in Place of Joe Burrow



NBA IST: Pacers & Pelicans Prevail

Photo: Dylan Buell / Getty Images

Pacers Top Celtics (122-112) & Pelicans Beat Kings (127-117) in 1st NBA In-Season Tournament Knockout Games

Survive and advance! The first-ever NBA In-Season Tournament continues to be a success, and last night’s knockout games were no exception. The atmosphere felt playoff-esque, and the energy looked better than typical December regular-season games. Our first two teams are through the semifinals, and we’ll find out who joins them tonight.

East: Pacers def. Celtics (122-112)

Tyrese Haliburton and the high-speed Pacers kept their early-season race car rolling with a knockout punch to the Celtics Monday night in Indianapolis. Indiana used a huge third-quarter stretch (37-19 run) to flip the scoreboard before closing it out in the 4th. The game was tied 105-105 with 1:33 left, but a four-point pay from Haliburton ignited a 9-0 run in just 45 seconds. Haliburton notched his first career triple-double (26-13-10), and the Pacers await the winner of the Knicks-Bucks clash tonight.


T. Haliburton (IND): 26 points, 13 assists, 10 rebounds

J. Tatum (BOS): 32 points, 6 assists, 12 rebounds

J. Brown (BOS): 30 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks

West: Pelicans def. Kings (127-117)

Remember how good the Pelicans were last season when they were healthy? They’re showing glimpses of it again in the early stages of this season. New Orleans went into Sacramento and survived a 30-ball from De’Aaron Fox and a triple-double from Domantas Sabonis (26-13-10) to move on to the semifinals. The Pels took a double-digit lead in the 2nd quarter and held the Kings at arm’s length throughout. Zion Williamson (10 points) was held in check, but Brandon Ingram (30-8-6) had the hot hand. New Orleans will get the winner of tonight’s Suns-Lakers clash.


B. Ingram (NO): 30 points, 6 assists, 8 rebounds

D. Fox (SAC): 30 points, 4 assists, 5 rebounds

D. Sabonis (SAC): 26 points, 10 assists, 13 rebounds

Tonight’s Schedule (In-Season Tournament)

East: Knicks at Bucks (7:30 pm ET, TNT)

West: Suns at Lakers (10:00 pm ET, TNT)

Read More

The Ringer: The End of Celtics’ IST Run Looks a Lot Like Their Recent Playoff Losses

SI: Pacers’ Buddy Hield Found Perfect Way to Rub In Win Over Celtics With Pettiest Buzzer-Beater

AP: Brandon Ingram Leads Pelicans Past Kings to Advance Ito IST Semis



Hoops Polls: Arizona the New #1

Men’s Top-10

1. Arizona (7-0) | ↑1

2. Kansas (7-1) | ↑3

3. Houston (8-0) | ↑3

4. Purdue (7-1) | ↓3

5. UConn (7-1) | ↓1

6. Baylor (8-0) | ↑3

7. Gonzaga (6-1) | ↑4

8. Marquette (6-2) | ↓5

9. North Carolina (7-1) | ↑8

10. Creighton (7-1) | ↑5

Full AP Top-25

Women’s Top-10

1. South Carolina (7-0) | —

2. UCLA (7-0) | —

3. N.C. State (9-0) | ↑2

4. Iowa (8-1) | —

5. Texas (9-0) | ↑5

6. USC (7-0) | —

7. LSU (8-1) | —

8. Colorado (8-1) | ↓1

9. Stanford (8-1) | ↓6

10. Baylor (7-0) | ↑3

Full AP Top-25



 NCAA Transfer Portal Tracker

Ohio State QB Kyle McCord was one of many Buckeyes to enter the transfer portal on Monday. The ongoing trend of college football free agency continues to change the landscape. Here are some of the biggest names in the portal. (CBS Sports)

 2023 MLB Winter Meetings

MLB\’s winter meetings begin Monday in Nashville, and it figures be an action-packed week of rumors, signings and trades. The hot stove is starting to catch fire, so what will we see this week? (ESPN)

 NBA’s In-Season Tournament is Working

By all measures, the NBA’s midseason experiment has been a hit so far, but a slew of questions about its long-term relevancy remain. Can it gain enough traction to become a thing? Or will the novelty wear off? (The Ringer)





Today\’s Must-Watch List

 NBA (In-Season Tournament)

Knicks at Bucks (7:30 pm ET, TNT)

Suns at Lakers (10:00 pm ET, TNT)


Rangers at Senators (7:00 pm ET, ESPN+)

Devils at Canucks (10:00 pm ET, NHLN)


USWNT vs. China (8:00 pm ET, TruTV)


M: #11 Florida Atlantic at #20 Illinois (6:30 pm ET, ESPN)

M: #9 N. Carolina at #5 UConn (9:00 pm ET, ESPN)

Download The Sportsletter\’s Must-Watch Calendar