Friday night, the New York Yankees will host the Detroit Tigers in Game 1 of the American League Division Series. The game features a marquee pitching matchup between five-time All-Star CC Sabathia and certain Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander.
Sabathia finds himself in a very familiar postseason position. The big lefty is pitching in the division series for the fifth straight season, with his third team (’07 CLE, ’08 MIL, ’09-’11 NYY). Sabathia will start Game 1 of the ALDS for the fourth time in five years, pitching in Game 2 of the NLDS with the Brewers in 2008.
Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings jumped out to a 20-0 halftime lead against the Lions, eventually losing 26-23 in overtime. Last week, the Vikings blew a 17-0 first half margin vs. the Buccaneers and in Week 1, Minnesota squandered a 17-7 halftime edge at San Diego.
As a result of Sunday’s latest meltdown, the Vikings became the first team in NFL history to lose three consecutive games after owning a double-digit halftime lead in each of those games.
The Indianapolis Colts have put together an unbelievable run since making Peyton Manning the first pick of the 1998 NFL Draft. From 2003-2009 specifically, the team set an NFL record by winning twelve or more games in seven straight years. The highlight of the Colts greatness was their victory over the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI, following the 2006 season.
This season, Indy’s fortunes appear to have changed dramatically with Manning out of action due to a neck injury. The team stands at 0-2 thus far in 2011 and with a loss to the Steelers on Sunday night, the Colts would begin a season 0-3 for the first time since Manning's rookie year.
Sunday, the New England Patriots defeated the San Diego Chargers 35-21, improving their record in home openers at Gillette Stadium to 10-0. The Patriots have now won 18 consecutive regular season home games, dating back to the 2008 season. The team’s last loss in Foxborough took place when Matt Cassel started at QB in place of injured superstar Tom Brady.
With the two touchdown victory, Brady accomplished an even more impressive feat, running his home regular season winning streak to 29 games, going all the way back to 2006.
Saturday, the No.1 ranked Oklahoma Sooners take on the No. 5 ranked Florida State Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, in one of the biggest games of the college football season.
This will be only the second time in school history that the Seminoles have hosted the No. 1 ranked team. The other occasion was in 1996, when they faced their arch in-state rival, the Florida Gators. On that day, the Seminoles won. But, later in the year, the Gators got the ultimate revenge, beating FSU in a national championship game rematch.
Saturday, Texas takes on UCLA at the Rose Bowl. This will be the fourth time since 2005 that the Longhorns have made the trip west to Pasadena. However, this upcoming battle will have a far different feel than the previous games, mainly because this contest will have nothing to do with a BCS Bowl.
In 2005, Vince Young led Texas to victory over Michigan in the Rose Bowl presented by Citi.
One year later, Young and the Horns outdueled USC to capture the BCS National Championship, in one of the most epic games in college football history.
In 2010, Texas lost to Alabama, amid Mack Brown’s quest for a second BCS National Championship. This game was far less entertaining than the Texas/USC classic.
Monday night, in the Patriots 38-24 victory over the Dolphins, Tom Brady threw for 517 yards and four touchdowns. Despite this incredible performance, Brady’s night did involve the ending of a very impressive streak.
Coming into the game, Brady had attempted 358 straight passes without throwing an interception. This mark was snapped in the third quarter when defensive end Jared Odrick picked off a Brady pass.
Last season, Brady broke the previous record of 308 consecutive passes without an INT, set by Bernie Kosar in 1991.
Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens defeated Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers by a resounding score of 35-7. The Ravens only recent success against their arch rival had been in games where "Big Ben" did not play.
Last season, the Ravens beat the Steelers 17-14, while Roethlisberger was serving a four-game league misconduct suspension. In 2009, the Ravens claimed a 20-17 overtime victory, when Rothlisberger was sidelined due to a concussion.
With Sunday's win, the Ravens ended a seven-game losing streak against Ben Roethlisberger, which dates all the way back to 2006.
Last April, the Carolina Panthers selected controversial Cam Newton with the first overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Sunday, the former Heisman Trophy winner made his rookie debut, throwing for a whopping 422 yards in the Panthers 28-21 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Newton’s 422 yards broke the rookie quarterback debut record of 302 yards, which was previously held by the currently sidelined Peyton Manning.