Fantasy football sizzlers, fizzlers: No one can keep up with Marvin Jones

These players saw their fantasy values increase or decrease most based on their performances in Week 7:

Sizzlers

QB Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers: Playing without star receiver Davante Adams for a third consecutive week, Rodgers spread his 429 passing yards among eight different receivers — throwing for five touchdowns and running for another.

QB Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis Colts: Brissett was efficient and unafraid to throw the ball in the red zone, which resulted in season highs of 326 yards and four touchdown passes.

WR Marvin Jones, Detroit Lions: Jones seems to have one "blow-up" game like this every season, but it doesn't usually come with four touchdown catches. With the Lions in catch-up mode, the targets (13) were more plentiful than usual.

Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones finds the end zone for one of his four touchdown catches on Sunday vs. the Vikings. (Photo: Tim Fuller, USA TODAY Sports)

RB Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals: It was a surprise when David Johnson was active and only had one carry. Edmonds definitely picked up the slack, rushing for 126 yards and three touchdowns. All three of the scores came from at least 20 yards out.

TE Darren Waller, Oakland Raiders: Waller is more a big wide receiver than a tight end, and he catches almost everything thrown his way. With Oakland's wide receivers struggling badly, Waller has been the only dependable option in the passing game.

Fizzlers

WR Will Fuller, Houston Texans: A significant hamstring injury cut Fuller's week short and may now cause him to miss several weeks. As a result, Kenny Stills becomes an interesting waiver wire target. 

TE Evan Engram, New York Giants: Engram had a quiet week, managing just one reception from five targets. The concern with Engram is that he just isn't utilized as much with Daniel Jones at quarterback as he was with Eli Manning.

RB David Montgomery, Chicago Bears: It was a bad afternoon for Montgomery as he only rushed twice for six yards and lost a fumble. Game flow may have been a contributing factor with the Bears trailing most of the game, but the rookie's involvement seems to be going in the wrong direction.

RB Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons: Freeman was ineffective against the Rams before being ejected for throwing a punch at Aaron Donald. The frustration in Atlanta is palpable as the entire offense is sputtering and quarterback Matt Ryan is dealing with an ankle injury.

WR Terry McLaurin, Washington Redskins: Maybe it was the steady rain or maybe interim coach Bill Callahan has a firm commitment to the run, but QB Case Keenum had just 12 pass attempts and McLaurin was held to one catch for 11 yards.

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Ex-Arsenal defender Justin Hoyte relives the club's last league visit to Sheffield United 13 years ago

JUSTIN HOYTE was just 21-years-old when he first experienced a trip to Bramall Lane as an Arsenal first team player.

It was December 30, 2006 – an injury-hit Arsene Wenger side were hoping to ensure they kept up their title challenge against Neil Warnock’s top-flight newbies in Sheffield United.

But it’s an away day Hoyte has little memory of – perhaps because he has been trying to wipe his mind of it ever since.

He told SunSport: “If I’m honest I can’t really remember the game itself.

“My dad had come up to watch but I got substituted after 64 minutes.

“All I can remember is that it was really, really cold and rainy and my hands were frozen.

“It’s such a tough and horrible place to go, and Arsenal found it especially tough.

“Warnock loved those games. If you were taking a throw-in near the dug-out he would walk up to you and be shouting at you or making little comments and jokes.

“The crowd get behind them from the off and make an incredible atmosphere and the pitch was never 100 per cent perfect, especially on that night.”

‪Last few posts and thank you’s before I turn my attention to my next step, challenge, experience and chapter in ⚽️#notdoneyet 💭really excited for what’s next for me, not only on the pitch but off it asWell. 💭time to use my experience and knowledge in ⚽️ for a longer term soccer project. #futureisbright ⚽️#JH32 #Hoyte32 ‬

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That night ended up being a Premier League classic, in Sheffield United’s eyes at least.

Christian Nade scored just before the break for the Blades after the Gunners missed a whole host of chances.

And to cap off an embarrassing outing for Wenger, defender Phil Jagielka spent the last 30 minutes donning the goalkeeper jersey for almost 30 minutes after Paddy Kenny’s injury after a goal kick went wrong.

Jagielka produced a heroic performance, including a spectacular close-range save to deny Robin van Persie late on.

Hoyte continued: “I was sat behind Arsene on the bench and it was the most agitated and frustrated I have ever seen him.

“Back in the changing rooms after the game you could just tell he was angry. He would always try to hide his true feelings to the players and try not to shout.

“But you could just see it on his face that he was disgusted with the result.”

Hoyte had started at right back in a young team that included the likes of Gael Clichy, Philippe Senderos and a teenage Cesc Fabregas.

And as Unai Emery’s Arsenal prepare to head back to Bramall lane in a league match for the first time since that rain-sodden trip 13 years ago, it could once again be a youthful line-up.

Bukayo Saka, Joe Willock, Matteo Guendouzi and Rob Holding are currently Arsenal’s young generation coming through the ranks.

Hoyte remembers the feeling, and admits there was an element of frustration with the perception that it was the young players who were at fault for Arsenal’s struggles away from home in the years following their move to the Emirates.


He continued: “It was a different dressing room full of different characters as we had players moving on at that time but it was still a great dressing room.

“There were a lot of young guys in that team and none of us had really experienced a situation like Bramall Lane.

“People would always say it was the younger players who couldn’t cope but at the end of the day we would always give it our all.

“Sometimes we got the result, and sometimes we would create 100 chances and fail to score – so it’s a bit unfair to say the younger players couldn’t grind results out.”

Arsenal finished the season fourth – 21 points behind champions Manchester United.

But for Hoyte – who had been at the club since he was eight – it marked an incredibly successful breakthrough season with 18 Prem starts.

It did not last however – he made just five Prem appearances the season after before a permanent move to Middlesbrough in 2008 brought an end to his Arsenal dream.

He explained: “It was my dream to play for the club I supported, but at the same time as a young guy playing for a successful team there is so much pressure to do well instantly.

“You’re always worrying about how you played in a game and if you would be playing in the next one but 18 games was a huge achievement for me.

“I think I was in awe of too many of the big stars though. I was still in dreamland that I was simply a part of the team rather than wanting to fight and stay in the starting XI.

“In that sense, I let myself down.”

Hoyte found his feet at Boro, and saw glimpses of the future England boss in Gareth Southgate in his first venture into coaching.

And Hoyte saw first-hand the man-management skills that has seen Southgate create a Three Lions side with a refreshingly new identity.

Hoyte said: “He was great. From the first day to the day he left he was fantastic for me and my development.

“Still to this day I have a letter that he sent me after he was sacked. It was just full of words of encouragement for the future and it’s something I will cherish forever.”

Southgate’s actions off the pitch in recent weeks has also seen encouraging developments in the fight against racism – particularly out in Bulgaria.

Hoyte was subject to racist abuse when he was out in Serbia with the England U21s, and admires the way the country’s current stars have coped with the disgusting behaviour.

He said: “I felt they did the right thing. It’s never nice to be a part of something like that.

“I completely with what they are doing and how they are against it and handling the situation really well.

“Against Bulgaria, they put it behind them and proved people wrong.

“It’s so hard not to react when you’re trying to focus and still hearing things you shouldn’t be hearing.”

Waiting for another Nippert’s night with all fans 🙌🏾👏🏾 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #Justin #Hoyte #JH32 #Football #Soccer #MLS #Cincinnati #Cincy #fccincinnati #FCCiny #nippertstadium

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Hoyte spent six seasons at the Riverside before spells at Millwall and Dagenham and Redbridge – and then the MLS came calling.

He explains: “I’m in my third year in America with FC Cincinnati and I’ve loved every moment – it’s somewhere I have always wanted to play.

“It’s a different style of play and you’re playing on turf rather than grass. The flying to games is also something to get used to but at least you get to see the country.”

The 34-year-old added: “I’d like to play here for a few more years and stay out here as long as I can and transition into a coach.

“I’ve enjoyed watching different coaches and learning from them during my career.

“I’d love to come back to Arsenal and do that at some point so I will never say never, but it’s a growing sport out here and I’ve got a real knowledge of the game.

“I’ve played at the highest level and hopefully I can help younger players hoping to do the same.”

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Ezekiel Elliott and Cowboys ‘don’t give a f–k’ about Doug Pederson

Doug Pederson’s guarantee of an Eagles win didn’t fuel the Cowboys’ fire on Sunday, when Dallas snapped its three-game losing streak with a 37-10 victory over Philadelphia.

“We don’t need inspiration from him to go out there and play hard,” said Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, who rushed for 111 yards and one touchdown. “This rivalry is enough. Honestly, we don’t give a f–k about what Doug Pederson says.”

In the days leading up to the NFC East showdown, Pederson said he was getting his team ready to nab a W and take control of the division.

“We’re going down to Dallas, our guys are gonna be ready to play. And we’re gonna win that football game and when we do we’re in first place in the NFC East, we control our own destiny, we’re right where we need to be,” Pederson said on a radio appearance with Angelo Cataldi and 94 WIP’s Morning Team.

“All we need to do is try to be 1-0 this week, beat the Dallas Cowboys, we’re in first place,” he added.

The Eagles instead dropped to 3-4 on the season while the Cowboys are now 4-3.

“After a game like this, we got to take a step back and look in the mirror,” Pederson said, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. “It starts with me. I have to be better.”

The Eagles next face the Bills (5-1) on Sunday in Buffalo.

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Man Utd fan kicked out of Old Trafford for shouting racist abuse at Alexander-Arnold during Liverpool draw – The Sun

MANCHESTER UNITED ejected a fan for alleged racial abuse aimed at Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold.

SunSport can reveal that Old Trafford security teams stepped in after a supporter allegedly shouted "you f***ing black c**t" at the right back on Sunday.


The incident happened during the first half close to the players’ executive boxes in the Stretford End and caused fury among supporters who witnessed it.

They immediately called for stewards to throw out the fan and agreed to co-operate with anybody looking into what happened.

United acted at great speed and immediately launched an investigation into the incident.

They maintain that a range of options, including indefinite bans and police involvement, are available to them.

A United spokesman said: "We are aware of an incident at yesterday’s game where an individual in the home section has allegedly engaged in racial abuse.

"The individual was identified and ejected from the stadium.

"We are currently investigating the matter as a priority.

"Racism and all forms of discrimination are completely unacceptable and do not reflect the values of our club."

In a separate incident, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was told to "f*** off" by United fans as he had a fist bump offer rejected by a supporter.

While this was not a racist incident, it highlighted the tense atmosphere at the end of a 1-1 draw where the tone threatened to turn ugly.

Oxlade-Chamberlain, 26, laughed off the jibe and headed off the field.

The two sides drew 1-1 at Old Trafford, with Marcus Rashford giving the home side the lead before Adam Lallana equalised late on for the European champions.

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Arsenal boss Emery has been vindictive and baffling in Ozil treatment and must play German to solve creativity crisis – The Sun

UNAI EMERY has taken a position on Mesut Ozil that at best can be described as utterly confused, at worst, vindictive.

Let's set the stage. Arsenal's post-Wenger choice arrived at the Emirates with the precious German, 31, as his most costly wage outlay.

The £350k-a-week deal was inked in an Ivan Gazidis (previous CEO) panic, and many questioned the worth at the time.

Emery quickly tired of Mesut in his first season due to his well-known lack of interest in defensive duties.

One would also imagine his regular 'illness' problems, his inability to play at Stoke on a rainy Tuesday night, and his penchant for dictators also didn't add much to the relationship.

It seemed like the club was battling to move him on last summer, but the market reality was that no one is going to pay £18m-a-year to someone that looked to have taken early retirement.

This pre-season, Emery seemed to have a change of heart. The then bleach-blonde German said he wanted to play, the manager played him, we were all looking forward to seeing what this season had in store.

The situation regressed fast, again. The manager adopted an 'anyone but Mesut' policy. The German has been benched, left out of squads, or relegated to worthless cup games.

It's all been a touch humiliating, that is, until Unai Emery made Mesut one of his captains for reasons yet explained.

An utterly baffling decision on any level, especially after the club went to great lengths assure the fans that Ozil didn't bother in training.

So what to think? At the heart of this debate are two realities the fans are trying to balance.

Reality 1: The player does not suit the style of a manager that prizes running and effort over anything else.

Reality 2: Emery's 'style' is not delivering creativity, so what's the harm in trying something proven? We're struggling to break teams down and create, whilst taking an aggressive stance on leaving Ozil out the side.

We're supposedly prioritising running and effort, but data points to our pressing game faltering, and regardless, it's not delivering us what we want on the pitch.

If Mesut is a captain, should he not be given a chance to rectify one of our most glaring issues?

The smart decision for Emery now would be to bring the German back into the starting XI.

The inconsistent dithering around the captains' armband and flip-flopping over his inclusion looks amateur now and I think a lot of fans are shifting into the #TeamOzil camp.

The football couldn't be any worse than it is at the moment, and the only way to settle the debate this season is to let him loose on the starting 11.

Abraham Lincoln once said of a General that was ignoring him, 'I'd hold his horse if he can deliver the victory for me.'


Right now, Mesut Ozil is the General, and if Emery wants to kick-start this season, he's going to have to hold his horse.

Twitter: LeGrove

Facebook: legrove

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What We Learned in N.F.L. Week 7

Even as the San Francisco 49ers improved to 6-0, matching New England for the best record in the N.F.L., Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers made it clear that they should be in the conversation as one of the league’s best teams. Week 7 offered quite a bit of scoring — outside of San Francisco’s nearly unwatchable win over Washington.

Here’s what we learned:

Aaron Rodgers is starting to get comfortable — which should terrify everyone. Playing without Mike McCarthy’s guidance for the first time in his career, Rodgers looked tentative — at least by his standards — during the Packers’ 5-1 start, with Green Bay cracking 30 points just once. In Week 7, the training wheels of Coach Matt LaFleur’s offense appeared to come off: Rodgers threw for 429 yards and five touchdowns (to five different receivers) while running in a score as well. He had the second perfect 158.3 passer rating in Green Bay history — Bart Starr managed the feat in 1960, but on just nine attempts — and according to Pro Football Reference, Rodgers was the first N.F.L. player since Mark Rypien in 1991 to have five passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown in the same game.

Another Sunday, another great showing from the Faithful.

Thanks for sticking it out with us in the rain! #GoNiners pic.twitter.com/2lfuNOkTse

Every 49ers game is, apparently, a home game. A week after seas of red jerseys made Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum look like Levi’s Stadium South, the 49ers spoiled Washington’s “Homecoming Weekend” by spending the second half of a rainy and muddy win being serenaded with chants of “Let’s Go Niners!” San Francisco is 6-0 for the first time since 1990 and just the third time in franchise history. The Upshot’s N.F.L. Playoff Simulator currently gives them a 13 percent chance of getting to the Super Bowl this year, which trails only New England’s 20 percent.

Russell Wilson picked a bad day to make his first mistake. Seattle’s 5-1 start to the season was largely powered by Wilson’s near perfection at quarterback. On Sunday he faltered, throwing his first interception of the season and having the newest Baltimore Raven, Marcus Peters, promptly run it back for a pick-six. Lamar Jackson and Baltimore smelled blood and they never relented, coming away with an impressive 30-16 victory. Jackson surpassed 100 rushing yards for the second consecutive game, and with three such games this season, he is tied with Billy Kilmer, Michael Vick and Wilson for the most by a quarterback in a single season since at least 1950. His team has nine games left to play.

Drew Brees has gotten a lot of help from his friends. The Saints could easily have folded when Brees, their quarterback for all but three games since 2006, injured his thumb in Week 2. Instead they have gone 5-0 since the injury, with Teddy Bridgewater steering the ship admirably. On Sunday, the team’s third quarterback, Taysom Hill, got in on the action, rushing for 21 yards and catching a 4-yard touchdown pass from Bridgewater. Brees could potentially return next week against Arizona, but he could easily wait until after the team’s Week 9 bye instead, as Bridgewater, Hill and the rest of the Saints have New Orleans leading the N.F.C. South at 6-1.

Chandler Jones has Daniel Jones figured out. Arizona’s defense was in the middle of the pack with 14 sacks as a team coming into this week’s win over the Giants. Pinning their ears back against a rookie quarterback added eight to that total, with Chandler Jones, a standout linebacker, accounting for a career-high four. Jones also forced one of Daniel Jones’s two lost fumbles, continuing a rapid decline for the Giants’ quarterback who has followed up his electric debut as a starter against Tampa Bay by going 1-3 since, with four passing touchdowns and nine turnovers. Arizona’s Kyler Murray, meanwhile, started the season poorly but has now won three straight.

Top Performers

Top Passer: Ryan Tannehill

You’re not reading the chart upside down, Aaron Rodgers was definitely the best quarterback in the N.F.L. this week. But Tannehill, who was promoted to starter for Tennessee this week, went out and had one of the best games of his career, making a lot of newspaper prediction columns look awfully foolish.

Kirk Cousins also deserves special mention for becoming just the second player to record three consecutive games with more than 300 passing yards and a rating higher than 130. The first was Patrick Mahomes who did it in Weeks 1 to 3 of this season.

Top Runner: Dalvin Cook

With Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey and Cleveland’s Nick Chubb both on bye weeks, Cook took sole possession of the league’s rushing lead with 725 yards. His average of 103.6 a game just barely tops McCaffrey’s 103.

Top Receiver: Marquez Valdes-Scantling

Stefon Diggs of the Vikings led the league in receiving yards for a second consecutive week, but Green Bay’s Valdes-Scantling scored a 74-yard touchdown and was the league’s third-leading receiver despite catching just two passes.

One* Sentence About Sunday’s Games

*Except when it takes two.

Colts 30, Texans 23 “It just says he’s legit, he’s the man,” Coach Frank Reich said of Jacoby Brissett’s 326-yard, four-touchdown performance.

Ravens 30, Seahawks 16 In his return to Seattle, Earl Thomas shared an emotional hug with Russell Wilson following Baltimore’s win — and then ran off the field waving Wilson’s jersey over his head in triumph.

Saints 36, Bears 25 The game was nowhere near as close as the final score would have you believe.

Cowboys 37, Eagles 10 A three-game losing streak for the Cowboys was troubling, but a good day all-around for Dallas has the team back in sole possession of first place in the N.F.C. East.

Packers 42, Raiders 24 It’s hard to imagine how much worse this could have been for Oakland if Davante Adams had played or if several other Packers receivers had been closer to 100 percent healthy.

49ers 9, Redskins 0 The 49ers’ defense has allowed fewer than 100 passing yards in three consecutive games, matching six other teams for the longest such streak since 1978.

Rams 37, Falcons 10 Los Angeles declared itself back on track after beating a 1-6 team that lost its starting quarterback, Matt Ryan, halfway through the fourth quarter.

Vikings 42, Lions 30 It was easy to be down on Kirk Cousins after Minnesota managed just six points against Chicago in Week 4 — since then he’s thrown for 976 yards and 10 touchdowns in the Vikings’ three consecutive victories.

Bills 31, Dolphins 21 Miami led Buffalo for a while and only lost by 10. By this season’s standards that’s practically a victory.

Titans 23, Chargers 20 Down by just three points, Los Angeles got a 1st-and-goal at Tennessee’s 1-yard line with plenty of time to get multiple plays off — and the Chargers still lost. On his first attempt, Melvin Gordon had a touchdown overturned on review, with officials saying he did not break the plane of the end zone, and on his second he fumbled the ball away, sealing the Titans’ victory.

Jaguars 27, Bengals 17 Coach Zac Taylor doesn’t have to worry about the possibility of making history just yet, thanks to Hue Jackson, as Taylor’s 0-7 start to his career as an N.F.L. head coach is only halfway to Jackson’s 0-14 start in Cleveland back in 2016.

Cardinals 27, Giants 21 A loss to a mediocre team in which your rookie quarterback commits multiple turnovers isn’t ideal, but the Giants can brighten their outlook a bit by focusing on Saquon Barkley getting back on the field and looking no worse for the wear.

Benjamin Hoffman is a senior staff editor and regular contributor to the Keeping Score column in sports. He joined The Times in 2005. @BenHoffmanNYT Facebook

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Tyson Fury admits Deontay Wilder rematch is at risk after signing deal to appear at WWE Crown Jewel – The Sun

TYSON FURY has cast doubt on whether he will be ready for the Deontay Wilder rematch in February.

The Gypsy King recently announced his sensational switch to WWE, where he will fight Braun Strowman at the Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia.

But boxing fans will be desperate to see Fury back in another type of ring to challenge Wilder for his WBC heavyweight title early next year.

The pair famously fought to a draw – with most believing Fury was cheated out of the world title.

But first up is a wrestling match against the Monster of Men Strowman on October 31 in the Middle East.

Speaking to ESPN, Fury admitted all his focus is on his WWE debut.

ALL FOCUS ON WWE

He said: “Potentially, anything can happen in a ring.

“With two big massive guys, you never know what can happen in there.

“But hopefully, touch wood, everything goes well and we roll on to February 22 [when the rematch is pencilled in for].

“I’m concentrating on Braun Strowman in Saudi Arabia at Crown Jewel for now.

“I only take one fight at a time as I’ve always said. When I get past this one, then we’ll look at the Wilder rematch.”

HEARN QUESTIONS HUNGER

The Gypsy King will reportedly bank £12million from his WWE appearances, with WWE legend Triple H revealing he has been blown away by the Brit's wrestling skills.

It's been an incredible year for Fury, with the former unified champion signing an £80million deal with Top Rank in February.

Wins against Tom Schwarz and Otto Wallin in America have helped build up his name in the US, while his autobiography 'Behind the Mask' is set to hit the shelves next month.

And Fury has even teamed up with Robbie Willians in the festive song Bad Sharon in the fight for the Christman No1.

But boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has claimed that Fury may have lost the hunger to fight in boxing again, but praised him for seizing every available opportunity.

Speaking to iFL TV, he said: "Listen Tyson’s [Fury] on a roll right now, he’s going for it. He’s got a Christmas single coming out, he’s doing WWE wrestling – his heads gone completely but he’s absolutely living life, so good luck to him.

 

“I think he’s packing up boxing, I really think that he’s looking at it and thinking 'I’ve made a nice few quid over the last few fights, I’m enjoying life.'

“I just think he’s looking at this other world and going 'do you know what, this is a lot more fun than getting my head punched and going into camp.'

“I’m sure he’ll fight again but I don’t think he’s got the hunger."

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Tua Tagovailoa injury may cost Alabama everything

The game of the year now looks different. So does the race in the rugged SEC West. The Heisman Trophy landscape has been altered.

Tua Tagovailoa is no longer a heavy favorite to win the NCAA’s most prestigious honor. Alabama is not a lock to reach the College Football Playoff. LSU, in fact, may be the favorite in the SEC West.

All that changed midway through the second quarter Saturday, as Alabama was on its way to what looked like another rout in a season full of them. Ahead of SEC punching-bag Tennessee 21-10, Tagovailoa hurt himself while avoiding the rush. A few plays later, he was out, replaced by sophomore Mac Jones. Later, it was revealed he had a high-ankle sprain. On Sunday, Alabama announced he underwent a successful “tight-rope procedure” to repair the ankle, just as he did last year when he hurt the other ankle in the SEC Championship game.

He returned 29 days later, to lead the Crimson Tide past Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff, throwing for 318 yards and four touchdowns. He wasn’t nearly as successful in the title game, throwing two interceptions as Clemson rolled to the crown.

This time, he has only 20 days to get healthy. Twenty days before Alabama hosts undefeated rival LSU in the game of the year, the winner likely locking up a playoff berth, the loser playing with significant amounts of fire. LSU would actually be in better shape to reach the playoff if it lost, considering it has wins over Texas and Auburn. Alabama’s best victory thus far: Mediocre Texas A&M.

Alabama is optimistic Tagovailoa will be back for LSU. Will he be healthy? Will he be rusty? This is a serious injury. Giants running back Saquon Barkley, a quick healer, needed a full month until he returned. The Crimson Tide need Tagovailoa at his best. The defense isn’t typical of Nick Saban’s dominant program, allowing 321 yards per game. The running game isn’t the usual force, either, ranked 68th in the country. LSU and its potent offense that averages 50.1 points per game could be favored if Jones, who was used as a game-manager against Tennessee and given little freedom, is under center.

The hope is Tagovailoa will only miss next Saturday’s game against Arkansas. Alabama can put the scout team quarterback under center and prevail. Then comes the bye, followed by LSU coming to Tuscaloosa.

Meanwhile, Tagovailoa is falling back in the Heisman race, as fellow dynamic quarterbacks Jalen Hurts, Justin Fields and Joe Burrow continue to put up massive numbers.

Tagovailoa could make up the necessary ground. He could return and beat LSU. But now, with this ankle injury, that’s very much in doubt.

Stinky cheese

Wisconsin’s stunning loss at woeful Illinois impacted more than the Badgers. It also hurt the Big Ten, increasing the importance of the conference producing an undefeated league champion.

Favored by 31, the Badgers coughed up a nine-point, fourth-quarter lead, and tumbled to 13th in the Associated Press poll. They are no longer a legitimate playoff contender, courtesy of this choke job.

Perhaps, if Wisconsin wins at Ohio State on Saturday, the significance of that victory will help neutralize the abhorrent loss to Illinois. But that would negatively impact the Buckeyes, too, and it seems extremely unlikely.

Bottom line: The Big Ten lost a marquee game, and an elite team because the Badgers couldn’t put away an opponent that was allowing an average of 41 points per game in three Big Ten contests, all of them losses.

Rhule of play

Ryan Day has done a fine job in his first year as a college coach, leading Ohio State to an undefeated season thus far. Ed Orgeron deserves plenty of credit for acknowledging his program’s offensive shortcomings and adjusting at LSU. But nobody has been better than Baylor’s Matt Rhule, who already has equaled last season’s win total and is our National Coach of the Year front-runner.

Remember, he inherited a program in disarray in 2016, reeling from a series of sexual assault scandals. Three years later, he has the defensively stout Bears positioned to win the Big 12, with home games remaining against league-favorites Oklahoma and Texas.

It’s not a coincidence NFL teams have looked at Rhule as a head-coaching candidate each of the last two years. This season will only push a franchise harder to make him their coach.

Top 10

1. Ohio State (7-0) (Last week: 1)
Every undefeated contender has had a tense moment or two, even Alabama. All, except one. Ohio State has yet to trail in the second half, its closest final margin a 24-point rout of Michigan State.

2. Alabama (7-0) (2)
Nothing but Tua Tagovailoa’s right ankle matters right now for Alabama. The Crimson Tide won’t win the SEC West or reach the playoff without the Heisman Trophy contender.

3. LSU (7-0) (3)
There is no longer any doubt whether or not the Tigers are a true title contender. Big wins (at Texas, home against Florida) and dominant performances (one victory by single digits) illustrate that.

4. Oklahoma (7-0) (4)
The Sooners have scored at least 34 points in 17 straight games, spanning three different quarterbacks. The one constant: Coach Lincoln Riley.

5. Clemson (7-0) (5)
It’s going to be hard to know what Clemson is until the playoff, provided it gets in. The ACC is that weak. Just look at Saturday, when Trevor Lawrence threw two red-zone interceptions early, and all it did was lessen the rout over Louisville.

6. Georgia (6-1) (7)
If not for the offensively challenged opponent, Georgia would’ve had to sweat on Saturday. Fortunately for the Bulldogs, Kentucky was putrid in managing only 177 total yards, but their offensive issues remain, especially with a passing game that produced just 35 yards through the air.

7. Notre Dame (5-1) (8)
Win Saturday at Michigan and an 11-1 regular season looks very realistic. It’s the Irish’s only shot at the playoff.

8. Florida (7-1) (9)
We’ll take Florida — not Georgia — to win the SEC East. Gators so far have shown more toughness and resiliency, both showcased in their come-from-behind win at South Carolina on Saturday.

9. Penn State (7-0) (10)
Consecutive wins, each by a single score over ranked opponents Iowa and Michigan, give the undefeated Nittany Lions some legitimacy. Their third double-digit-win season in four years seems likely.

10. Oregon (6-1) (NR)
Just as the Ducks have rebounded from the season-opening loss to Auburn, they showed resiliency Saturday, rallying from a two-touchdown deficit to knock off Washington and take a commanding two-game lead in the Pac-12 North.

Dropped out: Wisconsin (6-1)

Heisman Watch

(in alphabetical order)

QB Joe Burrow, LSU
The senior now owns LSU’s record for touchdowns in a season with 29, and he still has five regular-season games remaining.

QB Justin Fields, Ohio State
Forget his 30 total touchdowns, .707 completion percentage and undefeated record. The most telling stat of Fields’ season is turnovers: three.

QB Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma
We’re running out of adjectives to describe this dream season for the Alabama transfer. On Saturday, he missed just one pass in 17 attempts, accumulated 401 yards of offense and produced five touchdowns.

QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
A late-season injury helped cost Tagovailoa the Heisman Trophy last year and a right high-ankle sprain may ruin his chances this year, too. He’s expected to miss a few weeks after getting hurt against Tennessee.

RB Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin
That sound you hear is Taylor’s faint Heisman hopes plummeting. In the same game Taylor became just the fourth player in NCAA history to rush for 5,000 yards before his junior year ended, he also lost a big fumble, keying Wisconsin’s stunning collapse at Illinois.

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Wimbledon part company with Wally Downes after betting offences with Glyn Hodges to continue as Dons caretaker – The Sun

AFC WIMBLEDON have parted company with first-team boss Wally Downes.

Downes, 58, parts company with the Dons after he was banned 28 days and fined £3,000 over betting offences.

A statement on the club website read: "Wally leaves on mutually agreed terms and with our sincerest gratitude for his time with the club, especially his invaluable contribution last season."

He admitted to breaching betting rules after it was found he had placed five bets in a two-month spell in 2013-14, as well as a further three bets in March and July 2019.

Downes saved Wimbledon from relegation on the final day of last season.

Taking over with the team six points adrift in December, Wimbledon took 21 points from 12 matches to secure survival.

The statement continued: "While Wally’s FA disciplinary process concluded last week, the boards believe that a change of first-team manager is the best option to help the club maintain its recent upturn in performances.

"Naturally, Wally leaves with our sincerest best wishes for the future and his place in our club’s history – as both a player and manager – assured.

"In particular, Wally’s legacy can be found in the young vibrant squad we see on the pitch today, his attention to the financial constraints of the club and ensuring we maintained financial sustainability and laying the foundations for a squad capable of achieving a healthier league position."

The club confirmed that Glyn Hodges will continue as caretaker boss.

The Dons have won four out of five matches since Hodges took charge.

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Man Utd 1-1 Liverpool: It is ‘a fact’ that United always defend against us – Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said it is “a fact” that Manchester United always set up to defend against his side at Old Trafford.

Klopp’s Premier League leaders needed a late Adam Lallana equaliser on Sunday to earn a 1-1 draw against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, who are two points above the relegation zone.

The German has failed to record a single win in five visits to United.

“This year, last year, the year before, they just defend,” he said.

“That’s how it is. It is OK. It is no criticism. It is just a fact.

“When you think about Manchester United against Liverpool, you think both teams are trying like this. But it is not. We try.”

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The result brings to an end Liverpool’s 17-match winning run in the Premier League, meaning they fall one short of matching Manchester City’s record tally of 18 consecutive top-flight victories.

The Anfield side remain top of the Premier League but their lead over City has been cut from eight to six points.

Mourinho on Liverpool’s ‘limitations’

Former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was a television pundit at the match and he said Klopp’s teams “have limitations against teams with low blocks”.

“He [Klopp] didn’t like the menu – he likes meat and he got fish,” Mourinho told Sky Sports.

“United, with the limitations they have at the moment, played with five at the back, were solid and didn’t give the chance of transition. Jurgen didn’t like the menu.

“Liverpool missed quality to play against a team with a low block.

“They can smash opponents that play the way they want to play against.

“Jurgen clearly has frustrations. It’s a fantastic situation for his team but at Old Trafford – which is a special place to win – he never did it.”

Liverpool dominated possession, 68% to 32%. They also had more shots and more shots on target but had to wait until the 85th minute for Lallana’s equaliser after Marcus Rashford had given United a first-half lead.

“We are the one team where everyone is on their toes when United play against us,” said Klopp.

“We don’t have to say it is a compliment. We are a good team. When you play against somebody it is normal for them to think about how they can stop us.”

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Klopp’s Manchester United counterpart Solskjaer refused to respond to those comments directly.

However, it is true that the two Premier League games United have won this season – against Chelsea and Leicester – came when they have played on the counter-attack and on this occasion they utilised three centre-backs, two wing-backs and looked for the pace of Rashford and Daniel James on the break.

“We set the team up to attack and be aggressive and create chances and we did that,” said the Norwegian.

“We are better when we attack quickly, with no dilly-dallying on the ball. We need to be more direct, take more risks and be braver. It doesn’t matter if you lose the ball higher up the pitch because you can win it back.

“That is more or less how Liverpool did it in the Champions League final [against Tottenham] and after 40 seconds they won a penalty. It’s playing the right type of football, and being more direct helped us.”

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VAR must change – Klopp

The game’s major talking point surrounded Rashford’s goal, with Klopp adamant his side should have been awarded a free-kick by referee Martin Atkinson for a challenge by Victor Lindelof on Divock Origi in the build-up.

It was the latest example of the video assistant referee upholding the on-field official’s judgment. In fact, only one ‘subjective decision’ has been changed by VAR in the Premier League all season – with most reversals down to factual incidents such as offside.

“I think most people thought it was a foul,” said the Liverpool manager. “I am sure it was a foul. Mr Atkinson let the game go on because he knew we had VAR. As soon as they scored they checked it but then it was not obvious because with a challenge you cannot always be 100% sure. But without VAR I am 100% sure Atkinson would have blown for a foul.

“It’s great for offside and handball but for these situations we have not got it right yet. I was so confident that it was going to be overturned.

“It has to change that not many decisions are overturned.

“Look at Manchester City yesterday – it was so clear and obvious that Kevin de Bruyne was pushed [against Crystal Palace] and if I am saying Manchester City should have had a penalty then it must have been a penalty.”

Solskjaer had a very different view.

“No chance,” he said. “We are not playing basketball.

“It’s maybe a slight touch but it’s not a clear and obvious error. It’s still a man’s game with tackles allowed.”

‘A step in the right direction but not enough’

In a rare interview before the match, United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward told fanzine United We Stand that “we absolutely feel we are on the right track to getting back to winning trophies”.

This result leaves the Old Trafford club in 13th place after their worst start to a top-flight season since 1986-87.

A defeat at Norwich in their next Premier League fixture would leave them level on points with the second-from-bottom Canaries.

And Solskjaer said he is aware of the need to quickly end a run of four Premier League games without a win.

“You can’t look too far in the future – we need to win more games and today was a lost opportunity,” he said.

“As a manager you want results now – you can’t lose four, five or six games on the bounce. We’re looking to win games as soon as possible. Today was a step in the right direction but just not enough.”

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