1st Down: The San Diego Padres have ended the New York Mets’ once-magical season in the very first round of the playoffs. The NL Wild Card round, the only Wild Card series that needed a third game, wrapped up on Sunday night as the visitors stunned the Citi Field crowd with a comfortable 6-0 win. Joe Musgrove, confident and shiny as could be, shone on the mound by giving up just one hit in seven nearly flawless innings. Juan Soto and Aaron Nola each had two RBI’s apiece, and the Padres booked a spot in the NLDS against their NL West rivals in the process. The Dodgers prevailed 14-5 in the regular season, but they will now have to take three over a confident bunch to move forward.
2nd Down: The Georgia Bulldogs are back to the top of the college football pile, taking top spot in the AP Poll on Sunday following a decisive win over Auburn on Saturday. The Bulldogs have been on top before, but they lost their place to Alabama after a couple of subpar performances. The Tide, meanwhile, slipped from #1 to #3 as Ohio State jumped to #2. The Buckeyes handily defeated Michigan State this weekend while the Tide struggled to overcome Texas A&M at home. Clemson and Michigan round out the top five while Tennessee, USC, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, and Penn State comprise the top-ten teams.
3rd Down: Christopher Bell wasn’t much of a factor for much of Sunday’s race at the Charlotte Roval. In a must-win situation, however, his crew chief made a call to give him four tires late, allowing the #20 to drive his way through the field and win at the road course in stunning fashion to book his ticket to the round of eight. Bell was essentially out of the playoffs as Chase Elliott led with six to go, but a caution, the only of the day, caused chaos late. Bell joins the aforementioned Elliott as well as Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Ross Chastain, William Byron, Ryan Blaney, and Chase Briscoe in the next round which begins next week at Las Vegas.
4th Down: Arsenal are English Premier League title contenders, signaling their intentions to the world on Sunday by beating Liverpool 3-2 in London. The Gunners came into the game undefeated, and they remain so despite twice giving up a lead to the visitors. Bukayo Saka’s late penalty ended up being the difference, sending Mikel Arteta’s side to the top of the pile once more. In other action, Cristiano Ronaldo scored again for Manchester United in a 1-2 win at Everton. It was his 700th club goal, a remarkable achievement for certain.