The NFL season officially opened Thursday night in New England as the Patriots beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 28-21. Now the game wasn’t as close as the score indicates as the Steelers added a touchdown with 3 seconds remaining in the game t get it to that 28-21 final score. Now I’m sure that all of the fantasy football players out there had their Patriots and Steelers in there line up as that would’ve paid off for them. Tom Brady was 25 for 32 for 288 yards and threw 4 touchdowns. Ben Rothlisberger was very good as well going 26 for 38 and 351 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. With Le’Von Bell suspended the Steelers turned to veteran DeAngelo Williams to run the football and he did well. Williams carried the football 21 times for 127 yards, but didn;t get the goal line carries as Will Johnson got the Steelers rushing touchdown. On the Patriots side it was journeyman Dion Lewis get the most carries in Week 1. Lewis rushed for 69 yards on 15 carries, but did get into the end zone. Lewis did factor a little bit in the New England passing game catching 4 passes for 51 yards while Williams only caught 1 pass for 5 yards for Pittsburgh. If a fantasy owner played either Williams or Lewis he got very good value out of them in Week 1 even without a touchdown from either running back. The receivers is where fantasy owners cashed in on this game. Antonio Brown led the Steelers in receptions with 9 for 133 yards and scored a touchdown. Heath miller added 8 catches out of the tight end position for 84 yards. If you happen to be in a very deep receiver league Darrius Heyward-Bay 4 catches for 58 yards and Markus Wheaton 3 catches for 55 yards would’ve picked up some points for you. It seemed as though New England picked up right where they left off last season. Julian Edelman led the team in receptions with 11 for 97 yards, but it was tight end Rob Gronkowski catching all the touchdown passes from Brady. Gronkowski caught 5 passes for 94 yards and scored 3 touchdowns. The other New England passing touchdown went to another tight end as well, but it was Scott Chandler who had just that 1 catch for 1 yard, but it went for a touchdown. It seems as every year someone thinks that Danny Amendola will finally have a break out season; especially since he’s been with New England. Amendola was targeted 3 times and he caught 2 of those passes for 24 yards. If your league scores defensive players Will Allen had 8 tackles to lead the Steelers and also had a sack. Rookie linebacker Bud Dupree had the Steelers other sack on the night, but added just 2 total tackles. Dont’a Hightower was the Patriots leading tackler with 8; he also had a sack. Jabaal Sheard and Malcolm Brown also picked up a sack apiece for the Patriots. There was only 1 interception in the game and New England’s Duron Harmon was the player who made that interception. It’s always difficult to get the right defensive players in your line up, but hopefully you had the right ones in this game and they put up some points for you.
I don’t think we’ve ever talked about tennis on the Sports Time Radio podcast and I don’t watch tennis except for a highlight here or there, but I have to tell you I was disappointed to hear that Serena Williams lost her semi-final match at the U.S. Open yesterday to Roberta Vinci. Williams won the first set of the match 6-2, but lost the next two sets 4-6 and 4-6. It was a gigantic upset by Vinci; who was unseeded coming into the U.S. Open. It was Williams’ first loss in a Grand Slam singles match this year and ended her bid for the first calendar-year Slam since 1988. Williams had won 26 straight matches in grand slam competition and 33 straight matches overall until Vinci defeated her. It was also the first time in her career that Vinci had taken so much as a set from Williams. Williams lost a three-set match for only the second time this year, her record now 18-2. Vinci will play Flavia Pennetta, another Italian, in Saturday’s final.. Earlier Friday, Pennetta defeated No. 2 seed Simona Halep 6-1, 6-3.It’s the first time in the U.S. Open era that two Italian women will meet in a major final. Pennetta defeated Vinci 6-4, 6-1 in their most recent meeting in the 2013 US Open quarterfinals.
NASCAR’s regular season ends tonight at Richmond International Speedway with Joey Logano on the pole for the Federated Auto Parts 400. Logano won the pole with an average speed of 126.470 just edging out Matt Kenseth; who had a qualifying speed of 126.357. Brad Keslowski; Logano’s Penske racing teammate will start 3rd with Kyle Busch starting 4th and David Ragan rounding out the Top 5. Ragan is the top qualifier who doesn’t have a win this season and if he wants to get himself into next weeks Chase he’ll have to find a way to turn that 5th starting spot into a trip to victory lane. Tony Stewart is the next highest qualifier who doesn’t have a win; Stewart starts 10th tonight. Dan the Man’s favorite driver Clint Bowyer is holding on to the 16th and final Chase spot going into tonight’s race, but if someone who doesn’t have a win finds a way to get one Bowyer could be knocked out of the Chase. Bowyer is however just 10 points behind the 15th place driver Paul Menard; so if either driver has a bad night and that outside driver gets a win they could be knocked out of the Chase. The other 3 drivers without wins who are in the Chase right now are Jamie McMurray; who clinches a Chase spot just by starting tonight’s race; so he’s as good as in. Ryan Newman and Jeff Gordon are the other two drivers without wins that will qualify for the Chase unless something almost impossible happens to them. It will be interesting to see if someone outside of the Chase can get a win and find their way into it tonight, but none of those drivers have really shown they can jump up and get a win. Will find out tonight when they take the green flag at Richmond.
It’s the New York Yankees hosting the Toronto Blue Jays in a series that may end up deciding the American League East. Toronto took Game 1 yesterday 11-5. Toronto got to Yankees rookie pitcher Luis Severino right out of the gate scoring 5 runs in the 1st inning highlighted by a Josh Donaldson (38) and Justin Smoak (17) home runs. Severino didn’t last long pitching just 2 1/3rd inning giving up 6 runs on 8 hits while walking 3 and striking out 4. David Price started the game for Toronto, but while he did get the win he only lasted 5 innings. Price gave up 2 runs on 6 hits while walking 1 and striking out 7, but did throw 96 pitches over his 5 innings. LaTroy Hawkins relieved Price and gave up the other 3 runs (2 where earned) to the Yankees, but the Blue Jays still had a 9-5 lead at that point. Russell Martin (18 & 19) capped off the Blue Jays scoring with his second home run of the night; a 2-run shot to make the final score 11-5. The teams play a doubleheader today with Game 1 being Marco Estrada vs Michael Pineda on the mound. Game 2 feature the return of Marcus Stroman who’s missed the entire season to this point after tearing the ACL in his left leg during spring training. Ivan Nova is the Yankees listed starter for Game 2 of the twin-bill. Toronto takes a 2 1/2 game lead into the doubleheader tonight; so will they extend that lead, have the Yankees cut into or will we just get a split?
Some tough news for the Yankees as it was announced yesterday that 1st baseman Mark Teixeira will miss the remainder of the season as an MRI reveal a fracture in his leg. Teixeira was having a bounce back season for the Yankees. While his batting average was a little low at .255 he was supplying power for te Yankees with 31 home runs and he has driven in 79 runs. It looks like rookie Greg Bird will replace Teixeira in the Yankees line up. Is this the injury that hurts the Yankees the most?
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