1st Down: It was far from pretty, much like many of the Thursday Night Football games we have gotten of late, but the Washington Commanders got the job done when the final whistle was blown. Coming into the game at just 1-4, they needed a win, and they got just that on the road in Chicago by a 12-7 score. Down 7-3 heading into the fourth, Washington scored ten unanswered points to hang on and claim the win. A last-ditch effort from the Bears came in the closing seconds as Darnell Mooney made a miraculous, circus-like catch but was ruled down at the one due to the juggling nature of it. The Bears, just like the Commanders, are now 2-4 following the result, leaving both teams with plenty of work to do if they want to make the postseason.
2nd Down: The West Virginia Mountaineers and Baylor Bears certainly went out and provided a ton of offense on Thursday night in college football action, didn’t they? Both quarterbacks totaled up at least 280 passing yards while WVU’s Tony Mathis had a career evening, rushing for 163 yards and two TD’s on 22 carries. Casey Legg, aptly named given his role, kicked the game-winning field goal with 33 seconds left on the clock, handing the Mountaineers a 43-40 win. Both teams are 3-3 on the year and are 1-2 in the Big 12 currently. In other college football action, UCF dismantled Temple 70-13 behind John Rhys Plumlee’s 373-yard night and four touchdown tosses. The Knights are 5-1 on the year.
3rd Down: Opening Nights took place for many more teams across the NHL on Thursday night, but the main focus has to be just how good the New York Rangers looked. After an impressive opening win over Tampa, they went on the road to Minnesota on Thursday and destroyed them 7-3 to move to 2-0. Artemi Panarin was brilliant with three assists and a goal while Adam Fox provided one of each for the visitors to take out the Wild. In Calgary, meanwhile, the Flames made a bit of a statement by winning their bow over the defending champion Avalanche, dispatching them 5-3 on home ice. MacKenzie Weegar had two assists and Dillon Dube scored when they were shorthanded, aiding their victory over a very proficient Colorado team.
4th Down: The Big 12 is going through some rather big changes, but they have moved to keep some stuff the same with news emerging on Thursday that the conference would be moving to a division-less format over the 2023 and 2024 seasons. That means that virtually anyone could be pitted against one another, but the league has moved to ensure that big-time rivalries like Oklahoma/Texas will be protected ahead of the duo departing for the SEC. The league will have 14 teams for the two seasons mentioned, but they will drop down to 12 when Oklahoma and Texas do leave for pastures new.