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The Wolf Sports Newsletter: October 3, 2023

NFL teams begin to separate themselves, and the MLB postseason begins.


Week 4 NFL recap


The Bills dominated the Dolphins on both sides of the ball in a 48-20 home win. Miami deserved the hype they were receiving, but Buffalo shut that down quickly and convincingly behind a strong defensive performance and five total touchdowns from Josh Allen (three to Stefon Diggs). Damar Hamlin played in his first regular season game since his on-field cardiac arrest in January. And star pass rusher Von Miller will return to practice this week.



However, the Bills did suffer a massive loss in Week 4, with All-Pro cornerback Tre’Davious White done for the year due to a torn Achilles. White suffered a torn ACL on Thanksgiving 2021, so it’s obviously a crushing loss for him and for a team with Super Bowl hopes—he’s a difference-maker in the secondary, particularly against quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes.


With much of the media focus off the field on Taylor Swift, the Chiefs survived at MetLife Stadium against the Jets, 23-20. Zach Wilson was able to find a rhythm and was dropping dimes, arguably outplaying Patrick Mahomes, who was intercepted twice by the tough New York defense. On the Jets side, head coach Robert Saleh was very encouraged by Wilson’s play.



Many fans, as well as Sauce Gardner, were not happy with late-game officiating. And it doesn’t help when the NFL social media accounts indicate that they are happy the Chiefs continue to win with their new high-profile fan.



The Cowboys delivered the worst-ever loss for Bill Belichick, beating the Patriots, 38-3. Dallas scored twice on defense, with a fumble recovery by Leighton Vander Esch and a pick-six by Daron Bland. Mac Jones is struggling and was benched, but he’ll remain the starting quarterback—and just about everyone for New England’s offense must play better. The Pats defense will now be without stud pass rusher Matt Judson (biceps) and impressive rookie cornerback Christian Gonzalez (shoulder) for a stretch.


Led by rookie No. 5 overall pick cornerback Devon Witherspoon (two sacks, 97-yard pick-six), the Seahawks recorded a franchise record 11 sacks and handled the Giants on Monday night to conclude Week 4. Without star running back Saquon Barkley (ankle) and left tackle Andrew Thomas (hamstring), Daniel Jones and the Giants are struggling to do much offensively.



David Montgomery ran 32 times for 121 yards and three touchdowns to help power the Lions to a convincing TNF win at Lambeau Field. Detroit will now get blazing fast second-year receiver Jameson Williams back from his suspension (more later).


The Jaguars defense picked off Desmond Ridder twice, including a pick-six, to help Jacksonville win the first London game of 2023. Be sure to tune in this week at 9:30 AM ET when the Jags play again in London, this time facing the Bills. The Toy Story Funday Football on Disney+ seemed to be a major hit with kids:



Other Week 4 games:


  • Rams 29, Colts 23 (OT): Matthew Stafford hit rookie receiver Puka Nacua for the game-winning touchdown in overtime, bringing the Rams to 2-2 with Cooper Kupp (hamstring) potentially set to return. For Indy, Jonathan Taylor (ankle, hold-in) is expected to practice this week, and it looks like he will play for Indy as early as Week 5 despite the wild situation over the summer.
  • Ravens 28, Browns 3: Ravens linebacker Roquan Smith backed up his talk, with Baltimore shutting down the Deshaun Watson-less Browns. Lamar Jackson dazzled with two passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns. Oddly, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski admitted that Watson was cleared but didn’t feel he could play.
  • Vikings 21, Panthers 13: Justin Jefferson scored twice and the Minnesota defense took over after an early deficit, with the Vikings getting on the board with a much needed win in a battle of 0-3 teams.
  • Titans 27, Bengals 3: Cincinnati and a banged-up Joe Burrow (calf) continue to struggle on offense, and the Titans were able to get Derrick Henry (22 carries, 122 yards, touchdown) going again to complement strong defense.
  • Buccaneers 26, Saints 9: Baker Mayfield made enough plays, and the Bucs defense didn’t allow New Orleans—with Derek Carr playing through his shoulder injury—to do much. Alvin Kamara had one of the craziest receiving stats lines of all-time on his 2023 debut (13 receptions, 33 yards), and a frustrated Kamara said “it’s been two years since we had that offense rolling.”
  • Broncos 31, Bears 28: Down 28-7 and looking very bad again defensively, the Broncos came back at Soldier Field for a desperately needed win under Sean Payton. Unfortunately for Justin Fields, he threw four touchdowns in probably the best performance of his career but his team still couldn’t get a W.
  • Eagles 34, Commanders 31 (OT): Clutch kicker Jake Elliott nailed the 54-yard game-winning field goal for the Eagles, but the Philly defense had a surprisingly rough outing. On offense, star receiver A.J. Brown overmatched rookie cornerback Emmanuel Forbes and caught nine passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns.
  • Texans 30, Steelers 6: Houston’s rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud (306 yards, two touchdowns) continues the hot start to his career and has the Texans at 2-2. Not only was the Steelers’ offensive performance again highly disappointing, but quarterback Kenny Pickett is expected to miss at least this week due to his knee injury.
  • Chargers 24, Raiders 17: Facing a rookie quarterback (Aidan O’Connell) that held the ball far too long at times, Chargers pass rusher Khalil Mack recorded a franchise record six sacks to help LA get their second consecutive victory. Justin Herbert played through a bad injury to his left hand, and had a funny quote about it.



Also, the Raiders released disgruntled pass rusher Chandler Jones, who appears to be going through something and hopefully is OK.


  • 49ers 35, Cardinals 16: Niners running back Christian McCaffrey scored four touchdowns and is getting some deserved MVP chatter. San Francisco faces Dallas on Sunday night.



Nick Chubb also needs ACL repair


After reports last week that Browns superstar running back Nick Chubb was hopefully only dealing with an MCL tear with a six-to-eight month recovery time, surgery revealed that the ACL must also be repaired. Chubb will undergo ACL surgery in the coming months and is expected back at some point during the 2024 season.



NFL gambling punishment revision


The NFL has revised its gambling policy, leading to the early reinstatements of Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams and Titans offensive lineman Nicholas Petit-Frere (suspended six games).


  • Punishments for players, like Williams and Petit-Frere, that bet on other sports at team facilities has been decreased to two games.
  • The minimum punishment for betting on NFL games has been increased to one year.
  • Players that bet on their own teams will be suspended for a minimum of two years.


Other Sports Updates


⚾️ The MLB postseason begins today with wild-card matchups.



⚾️ More MLB news includes Miguel Cabrera (one of three players—Willie Mays, Hank Aaron—in history with a .300 career average, 500 home runs, and 3,000 hits) playing his final game and Terry Francona managing his final game. Also, the Mets fired manager Buck Showalter after hiring David Stearns as their new president.






College football highlights:


  • Caleb Williams threw six touchdowns as No. 8 USC held on against Colorado, 48-41.
  • No. 20 Ole Miss defeated No. 13 LSU in a shootout, 55-49.
  • Sam Hartman and Audric Estime led a 95-yard game-winning drive to lift No. 11 Notre Dame over No. 17 Duke.


Also in college football, Michigan State officially fired head coach Mel Tucker for cause.


⛳️ Team Europe beat Team USA in the Ryder Cup.



The USFL and the XFL intend to merge into one spring football league.


Canelo Alvarez won in a unanimous decision against Jermell Charlo to remain boxing’s undisputed super middleweight champion.


The sports world lost former Red Sox great pitcher Tim Wakefield and Calgary Flames assistant general manager Chris Snow.




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