Primetime Heros: DeVito & Levis?

December 12, 2023

By: Carlos Alvarez

Good Morning 

Two four-win NFL teams just upset playoff contenders on Monday Night Football behind two rookie QBs who are winning hearts. And just like that, 30 out of the 32 NFL teams are still playoff-eligible after Week 14… Thirty! I don’t think that’s happened before in NFL history. We’ll look into it and get back to you. Parity prevails in the NFL.

Letter Rip!


DeVito & Levis Pull Off MNF Shockers

Photo: Michael Owens / Getty Images

MNF Doubleheader: Giants Stun Packers (24-22), Titans Rally Past Dolphins (28-27) in Night Where Rookie QB Stars Are Born

Anything can happen in the NFL, and I mean anything. Two teams with abysmal seasons — Titans and Giants — looking for a spark from their rookie gunslingers — Will Levis and Tommy DeVito — just upended two teams currently in the playoff picture. Levis has captured Nashville, and there\’s DeVito-mania in NYC. Both the Titans and Giants now have win streaks going in this bizarre “second half” of the NFL season. Against all odds, there are still 30 (out of 32) NFL teams still technically playoff eligible coming down the stretch. The only teams officially eliminated are the Panthers and Patriots. Wild stuff. Let’s rewind a pair of mayhem-filled MNF finishes.

Giants def. Packers (24-22) Behind DeVito Magic

Both the Packers and Giants entered MNF on low-key win streaks, but MetLife Stadium had some extra juice on Monday night thanks to their underdog-to-be quarterback, Tommy DeVito. The New Jersey native was an undrafted free agent who got the chance to start for the G-Men in recent weeks following multiple quarterback injuries to Daniel Jones and Tyrod Taylor. DeVito (17/21, 219 yards, 1 TD) efficiently put the Giants in front by eight after a third-quarter surge. The Packers marched for a go-ahead touchdown in the final minutes (22-21), but DeVito’s Hollywood script isn\’t stopping. He completed a huge pass to Wandale Jones with less than a minute to play that set up the game-winning field goal from Randy Bullock (37 yards), and the Giants (5-8) are suddenly one game out of the playoff picture.

Titans def. Dolphins (28-27) With Levis Rally

Did you turn this game off with five minutes to go? I almost did. The Titans and Dolphins were deadlocked in a 13-13 contest early in the 4th quarter before Tennessee coughed away two fumbles to give the Dolphins a short field, twice — one muffed punt and a fumbled pitch. Miami scored on both miscues to take a 27-13 lead. It looked over, but Titans QB Will Levis had something to prove. Tennessee put together back-to-back touchdown drives in the final five minutes (13 total plays, 139 total yards, 15 points) and a two-point conversion to take the lead (28-27). Miami had one last possession, but Tua Tagovailoa was sacked on a 4th-and-2 near midfield. And just like the Giants, the Titans (5-8) are still kicking in the AFC.

*Check tomorrow’s edition for our final regular-season NFL Power Rankings of 2023 (we’ll switch to playoff picture only when we return in 2024).

Read More

Yahoo! Sports: New Giants Folk Hero Tommy DeVito Leads Game-Winning Drive to Beat Packers

CBS Sports: Will Levis Leads Titans to Shocking Upset Road Rally Over Dolphins



Deferred Dodger: Ohtani\’s Game-Changing Move

Photo: Megan Briggs / Getty Images

Shohei Ohtani’s Record $700 Million Contract Has One Mind-Blowing Caveat — $680 Million in Deferred Payments

Long game, personified. Bobby Bonilla is laughing somewhere…

If you didn’t have enough reasons to love Shohei Ohtani (not you, Angels fans… sorry), you might now. The newly-anointed highest-paid athlete in the world signed a 10-year, $700 million contract with the Dodgers on Saturday. You probably heard about it. But you might not have heard the tricky little caveat that makes the Dodgers downright unstoppable in the years ahead — deferred payments. As the details of Ohtani’s mega-contract continue to unfold, the two-way superstar reportedly wants just $2 million of his $70 million annual salary to be paid out each year. That means Shohei will make just $20 million over the next 10 seasons (2024-2033) with the remaining $680 million to be paid out from 2034-2043. A contract this size was always going to include deferred payments, but this much?

Sho Me The Money… Later On

The unique contract twist isn’t the first of its kind. Many baseball players have done something similar in the past. Most notably, the Mets pay Bobby Bonilla $1.19 million every July due to a deferred contract, and he hasn’t played since 2001. So why would Shohei do it with the world’s largest contract? Off-the-field sponsorships and a team-first mentality. The decision was reportedly Ohtani’s idea, according to multiple league sources, and it makes sense. Ohtani is the MLB’s highest-paid off-the-field earner from sponsorships. He also wants the Dodgers to be able to afford talent and keep winning. They could be downright unstoppable during his 10-year window. After he’s done playing, the bill comes due.

Can the MLB Do Anything?

Nope. The league’s collective bargaining agreement states: “there shall be no limitations on either the amount of deferred compensation or the percentage…” So you go, Sho. The Dodgers have Ohtani on $2 million per year. That’s less than half the MLB average ($4.2 million).

Just like “Bobby Bonilla Day” every July 1, we’ll be having “Shohei Ohtani Day” in the 2040s. The Dodgers just rigged the system. Or did Ohtani just rig baseball?

Read More

Forbes: Shohei Ohtani’s $700 Million Deal Reportedly Includes $680 Million in Deferrals

The Athletic: Shohei Ohtani’s Massive Deferrals, Dodgers Contract Explained



Poll Pulse: Arizona & South Carolina Still Reign

Photo: Icon Sportswire / Getty Images

Purdue Climbs to #3 Ahead of Saturday Battle With #1 Arizona; Women’s Top-10 Stays Steady as Gamecocks Hold Top Spot

A slow and steady push into the holiday season will start to bring conference games to the forefront, but the early slate in college basketball has separated the elites from the pretenders. We’re ten games in, and we’re learning who’s who. This weekend features big games with #5 UConn at #10 Gonzaga (Fri. 10:00 pm ET), #1 Arizona at #3 Purdue (Saturday, 4:30 pm ET), and a fun one between #9 UNC and #14 Kentucky (Saturday, 5:30 pm ET). There are no top-10 battles in women’s hoops in the week ahead, so we could see the same top-10 (again) next week.

Men’s AP Top-10

1. Arizona (8-0) | —

2. Kansas (9-1) | —

3. Purdue (9-1) | ↑1

4. Houston (10-0) | ↓1

5. UConn (9-1) | —

6. Baylor (9-0) | —

7. Marquette (8-2) | ↑1

8. Creighton (8-1) | ↑2

9. North Carolina (7-2) | —

10. Gonzaga (7-2) | ↓3

Full Men’s AP Top-25

Women’s AP Top-10

1. South Carolina (9-0) | —

2. UCLA (9-0) | —

3. NC State (10-0) | —

4. Iowa (10-1) | —

5. Texas (10-0) | —

6. USC (8-0) | —

7. LSU (9-1) | —

8. Colorado (9-1) | —

9. Stanford (8-1) | —

10. Baylor (7-0) | —

Full Women’s AP Top-25




Pelicans def. Timberwolves (121-107)

*Zion Williamson Answers Critics With 36 Points

Mavericks def. Grizzlies (120-113)

*Luka Doncic (35-8-6) Shines Again

Pacers def. Pistons (131-123)

*Pistons Lose 20th Straight Game


Stars def. Red Wings (6-3)

*Miro Heiskanen (2G, 1A) Leads Dallas

Islanders def. Maple Leafs (4-3, OT)

*Bo Horvat Scores OT Winner for Islanders’ 4th Straight

Avalanche def. Flames (6-5)

*Mikko Rantanen (1G, 2A) Leads Avs in 3rd Period Rally



 LeBron’s Legacy Boost

Has James, a four-time MVP, four-time champion and four-time Finals MVP, actually added to his legacy by winning the NBA\’s In-Season Tournament? He may not have added anything substantial to it, but it certainly didn\’t hurt. (Sporting News)

 The Chiefs’ Blame Game

The Chiefs’ game-winning touchdown-that-wasn’t exemplified much of their season: moments of brilliance surrounded by self-induced missteps. Patrick Mahomes boiled over on the refs, but it’s the KC offense that’s truly frustrating. (Yahoo! Sports)

 MLB Offseason Reset

With Shohei Ohtani (Dodgers) and Juan Soto (Yankees) accounted for, the rest of the winter can begin. Here are the top names left in free agency, on the trade block, and the biggest storylines to watch. (CBS Sports)





Today\’s Must-Watch List


Cavaliers at Celtics (7:30 pm ET)

Lakers at Mavericks (7:30 pm ET, TNT)

Nuggets at Bulls (8:00 pm ET)

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

Kings at Clippers (10:30 pm ET)


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

Red Wings at Blues (7:30 pm ET, ESPN)

Blackhawks at Oilers (10:00 pm ET, ESPN)

Lightning at Canucks (10:00 pm ET, ESPN+)

Flames at Golden Knights (10:00 pm ET, ESPN+)

 UEFA Champions League (Matchday 6)

PSV vs. Arsenal (12:45 pm ET, CBS/Paramount+)

Man. United vs. Bayern (3:00 pm ET, CBS/Paramount+)

Union Berlin vs. Real Madrid (3:00 pm ET, CBS/Paramount+)

Inter vs. Real Sociedad (3:00 pm ET, CBS/Paramount+)

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