For the first time in the 2018/19 NFL season, the Los Angeles Rams have lost. And it was in a titanic match up as well, losing on the road to the New Orleans Saints in the late afternoon game by a score of 45-35. It had all looked rosy for the previously 8-0 Rams, with the score knotted up at 14 early in the second quarter. However, the Saints, 6-1, ahead of the game, started to pile on the pressure and would score two TD’s to make it 28-14 before a late drive by the Rams made it 28-17 at the half. From there, the Rams never gave up, but they never got close enough to truly trouble the Saints. Drew Brees was his usual brilliant self under center, throwing for four touchdowns and 346 yards, while wide out Michael Thomas had 211 yards receiving, 72 of which came on one play, and they each helped the Saints get closer to challenging for the top seed and home-field advantage in the playoffs.
The race for home-field advantage in the AFC continued as it has been for weeks now. The Kansas City Chiefs, who once again got three touchdowns from quarterback Pat Mahomes, remain in pole position after a 37-21 win over the Cleveland Browns on the road. It had been a close game in the first half, but a 13-0 third quarter put the Chiefs up by a lot, and they would make it last. That takes them to 8-1, a game better than the New England Patriots. But the Pats remained in the race thanks to a classic performance from Tom Brady in their 31-17 win in Foxborough on Sunday night. It was the sixth straight win for the Patriots, who are just going to have to hope they win out and see the Chiefs drop a game sometime in order to play a potential meeting with them at home.
In NBA action, Giannis Antetokounmpo recorded his second triple-double of the season when he grabbed 26 points, 11 assists, and 15 rebounds in the Milwaukee Bucks’ 144-109 win over the now 6-4 Sacramento Kings. The Bucks, meanwhile, have made their best start ever to a season- 8-1- and have the Greek Freak to thank. He is playing much better now, and that is a scary thought for the rest of the league. The other big result of the day came as Serge Ibaka led the Kawhi Leonard-less Toronto Raptors to a win over LeBron James’ Lakers by scoring a career-high 34 points in a 121-107 win at the Staples Center. Is this Raptors team for real? It’s starting to look like a definite YES.
MLS Cup Playoffs action continued on Sunday with the Conference Semi First Legs. The Columbus Crew will take a 1-0 lead to New York when they face the Red Bulls in the second leg thanks to Gyasi Zardes. The Portland Timbers won 2-1 over the Seattle Sounders after coming from behind, but they will have to hang on come Thursday night there. Atlanta United got a massive road win at Yankee Stadium to take a 0-1 lead over New York City FC into the second leg at Mercedes Benz Stadium. And finally, Real Salt Lake drew 1-1 at home to Sporting Kansas City to set up an interesting one in that second leg.