Play-by-Play: What to Watch this Week in Sports
The World Series, Saints vs. Vikings, Celtics vs. Thunder, and More
It’s a big week in sports! Baseball fans rejoice as the World Series is upon us with two powerhouse teams battling for the Commissioner’s Trophy. College football is coming off a major upset last week as fans look forward to an annual SEC showdown in Jacksonville. The NFL features a rematch of two teams that were involved in a thrilling playoff game last January. And the NHL and NBA are shaking off the cobwebs and getting their seasons rolling. Let us not forget the PGA: Justin Rose defends his World Golf Championship title in China.
The Houston Astros took game one of the ALCS, but the Boston Red Sox took over and dispatched them 4-1. The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Milwaukee Brewers took their series all the way to game seven with the Dodgers prevailing with a 5-1 victory to take the series 4-3.
So, the World Series is a traditionalist’s dream with two of the most storied franchises in baseball, one from each coast, squaring off. It will be a 2-3-2 series, with the first two games scheduled at Fenway Park on Tuesday, October 23, and Wednesday, October 24, before they fly to Los Angeles to play game 4 and beyond (if necessary) at Chavez Ravine. All the World Series games can be seen on Fox.
The upset of the week was undoubtedly Purdue’s trouncing of Ohio State 49-20. The Boilermakers QB David Blough threw for 378 yards and three touchdowns, and the Buckeyes didn’t help their own cause with 10 penalties for 86 yards. It was no surprise that Alabama handled Tennessee in the marquee SEC game of the week, trouncing them in Knoxville 58-21. The Tide took a quick 14-0 lead, and the game felt basically like it was over before it really got started. And 16th-ranked North Carolina State showed that they aren’t quite an elite football team, losing to No. 3 Clemson 41-7 in Death Valley.
On Saturday, October 27, Clemson, now ranked No. 2, goes into Tallahassee to play unranked Florida State at noon on ABC. This is often one of the most anticipated games of the season, but Florida State is struggling this year and a victory for them would be a huge upset. In a Big Ten rivalry game, No. 20 Wisconsin travels to Northwestern for a noon game on FOX. And the game of the week is the traditional SEC rivalry between No. 9 Florida vs. No. 7 Georgia in their annual game in Jacksonville. Look for that one on CBS at 3:30 p.m.
Week 7 is in the books, and the trends are shaping up in the National Football League to give a clear picture of what the teams are really about. The Kansas City Chiefs destroyed the Cincinnati Bengals 45-10, showing the world that they are going to be a tough team to beat when their defense is clicking like they did in that game. The Los Angeles Chargers squeaked by the Tennessee Titans 20-19 in this week’s London game when the Titans failed to convert a two-point conversion in the last minute of the game.
Both teams now head into a bye week with the Chargers riding a four-game winning streak. The Carolina Panthers bested the Philadelphia Eagles 21-17. The Eagles blew a 17-0 lead in the fourth quarter at home, and they now sit at 3-4, not looking much like they’re going to repeat last season’s Super Bowl championship win. The Minnesota Vikings hung 37 points on the New York Jets in a 37-17 win. The Vikings offense is showing off with a potent passing game led by receiver Adam Thielen, who posted his seventh consecutive 100-yard game.
Games of note this week include the Eagles and the Jacksonville Jaguars in London as both teams try to salvage what are currently sub .500 seasons. That game is scheduled for a 9:30 a.m. ET kickoff on Sunday, October 28, on CBS. The hot and cold Denver Broncos go into Kansas City for a 1 p.m. game on Sunday on CBS. Arrowhead is a tough place to play, and the Broncos will have their hands full in the divisional rivalry game. And it will be the New Orleans Saints vs. the Vikings in Minnesota in week 8. This is a rematch of the two teams that played a playoff game last year with one of the wildest finishes in NFL history. That game is at 8:20 p.m. on Sunday on NBC.
The season is just starting to heat up with the hottest start belonging to the Nashville Predators, who have come out of the gate at 7-1. Games to look for this week include the Winnipeg Jets, who are also off to a good start at 5-2-1, against the struggling Detroit Red Wings (1-5-2) in a 7:30 p.m. matchup on NHL Network on Friday, October 25. And in a Central Division rivalry game, the Chicago Blackhawks (4-2-2) roll into St. Louis to play the Blues (2-3-2) at 8 p.m. on Saturday. Watch that game on ESPN and catch all the other action on NHL Center Ice.
Like the NHL, the NBA season is just getting underway. The teams off to a hot start who have yet to lose are Toronto, Milwaukee, Detroit, Denver and New Orleans. But don’t read too much into that — they’ve only played a handful of games. NBA games to watch this week include a strong Boston Celtics vs. Thunder, a team that’s making a strong showing in Oklahoma City. The two potential playoff teams play on Thursday, October 25., at 8 p.m. on TNT. The following game on TNT at 10:30 p.m. is the Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles, a game that has the potential to be LeBron James’ first win at home as a Laker.
Coming off winning the Player of the Year honor for last season, Brooks Koepka came storming out of the gate with a win in his first start at the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in Korea with a score of -21, making him the No. 1–ranked golfer in the world. The world’s top players head to Shanghai, China, this weekend for the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions and its $10 million purse, while the rest of the PGA TOUR schedule will give players an opportunity to earn some FedEx points at the Sanderson Farms Championship in Jackson, Mississippi. Both of those tournaments will be carried on the Golf Channel.
Catch all these games, highlights, and more on your favorite sports channel on Xfinity X1.