Ahead of Thursday Night Football this week, the amount of excitement wouldn’t have exactly been palpable. Two teams with 1-6 records met in a game that had very little on the line, in truth. Other than some fantasy and possible draft ramifications down the line, there wasn’t much going. But one man did make the most of the opportunity, and that was debuting San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens, who produced the most efficient NFL debut since the merger years ago. He only had found out hours before, but that didn’t stop him from throwing for 262 yards and three touchdowns in a lopsided 34-3 win over the Oakland Raiders, who according to Jon Gruden are building a title contender. So far, that looks like a pipe dream, to say the least. As for Mullens: be careful. With no Khalil Mack coming after him, he was made to look better. It’s not time to make him out to be the next Tom Brady… as least yet.
After a great start to the season, the Milwaukee Bucks have finally lost their first game. The previously 7-0 Bucks ran into a determined Boston Celtics squad in the TD Garden on a night where they shot the lights out on them. The Celtics (now 6-2) set a franchise record for most three-pointers made by drilling 24 of them in total. They were just one away from tying the NBA record for the most all-time, which is surprisingly NOT held by the Golden State Warriors… as of now at least. On top of the treys, it also took big performances from returning stars Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving to push them over the top. Hayward had 18 points, a season-high in 27 minutes of action, while Irving hit six threes on his way to scoring 28 points. And in the end, it was only enough to win 117-113 over the Giannis Antetokounmpo-led Bucks. The Greek Freak is even better than most expected, and he will continue to keep the Bucks in most games they play as a result.
The MLS Conference Semis are now set after Thursday night’s Knockout Round games concluded. And it was a familiar theme on the night, with both road teams coming away with wins. In the East, the Columbus Crew went to DC United and knocked out the higher seed for the second year running on penalties after a wild game. Federico Higuain, still alive and kicking scored twice, including once in extra time, but saw his goal canceled out by a wonder strike from Nick DeLeon. But penalties would occur, and DeLeon became the goat, missing the final spot kick high over the goal after goalkeeper Zack Steffen had saved twice for the Crew. The Crew move on to face New York Red Bulls. In the West, meanwhile, Los Angeles FC’s first season came to an end at home against Real Salt Lake in a high-scoring affair. A huge underdog ahead of the game, RSL led twice before finally getting a 2-3 lead they could hang onto, and they now have moved on to take on Sporting Kansas City.