This Week in US Sports: Quarterbacks under fire after Week 3, MLB playoff picture becomes clearer

By Sports Desk September 26, 2019

The NFL season is picking up and with it plenty of drama.

Some high-profile quarterbacks have taken fire after lacklustre performances, while other controversial players look to make their way back into the league.

The injury bug has also caught up with more offensive stars, including New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley.

Meanwhile, the playoff race is taking shape in the MLB.


1. Baker Mayfield responds to Rex Ryan's 'overrated as hell' remark

The Cleveland Browns quarterback responded to Rex Ryan's "overrated as hell" remarks after the former NFL-coach-turned-analyst had some harsh words for the second-year signal-caller earlier this week.

"In the wise words of [coach] Freddie Kitchens, 'If you don't wear orange and Brown, you don't matter!' Rex doesn't have any colours on right now for a reason," Baker Mayfield told reporters Wednesday.

Ryan had some harsh words for Mayfield, who has led Cleveland to a 1-2 start after dropping their most recent game, a "Sunday Night Football" contest. Ryan's criticism came from Mayfield not finding his star wide receivers like Odell Beckham Jr and Jarvis Landry. He called the quarterback "not that accurate down the field."

Ryan also admitted he first bought into the Mayfield hype but has since backtracked, saying he personally is "not to the point where everyone's saying [Mayfield's] going to be the league MVP."

Mayfield finished Sunday's game 18-of-36 passing for 195 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He was also sacked three times due in large part to the pressure forced by the Los Angeles Rams' Aaron Donald. Mayfield has thrown for 805 yards with three scores to go with five picks through Week 3.


2. Can Antonio Brown make his way back into the NFL?

Antonio Brown went on social media, again, to seemingly announce he is not in fact done with the NFL.

The wide receiver, who was released by both the Oakland Raiders and then the New England Patriots in the span of two weeks, has backtracked on the sentiment that he is done with the league.

Several NFL teams have expressed interest in Brown, his agent said over the weekend.

The Patriots released Brown on Friday after learning the attorney representing a woman who has accused Brown of sexual misconduct contacted the NFL.

Brown's release from the Patriots made him an unrestricted free agent and he is eligible to sign with any team.


3. The Giants offense might have a new look

New York are already getting used to new faces in their offense after quarterback Daniel Jones took over under center, the backfield might also sport a new look soon.

The Giants worked out three running backs earlier this week after their star rusher Saquon Barkley suffered a high-ankle sprain against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 3.

According to a report from ESPN, Benny Cunningham, Fozzy Whittaker and Zach Zenner all met with the team. Cunningham is the most notable player of the bunch. He played in 15 games for the Bears in 2018 after beginning his career with the Rams. Cunningham has seven total touchdowns over his six NFL seasons. 

However, for now, New York have faith in their number two guy.

"We certainly believe in [backup] Wayne Gallman and we certainly believe that he'll be able to step in and do his very best, and we'll just have to see," Giants head coach Pat Shurmur told reporters Monday. "At some point, we may have to add a running back behind him as we go forward here."


4. Brewers clinch final National League playoff spot

The Milwaukee Brewers clinched the final National League playoff spot with a 9-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday.

Milwaukee dominated as they punched their ticket to the postseason just one day after the Washington Nationals secured a wild-card spot.

But that is not all. The Brewers can still catch the St Louis Cardinals and win the division. They trail St Louis by one and a half games with four left to play. 

Related items

  • Arrest warrant issued for Antonio Brown Arrest warrant issued for Antonio Brown

    Antonio Brown remained wanted by police in the United States on Thursday on charges of burglary with battery and criminal mischief.

    The former NFL star, who has been without a team since his release by the New England Patriots in September last year, was being sought after allegations made against him late on Tuesday.

    The Florida-based Hollywood Police Department issued a statement that said: "On January 21, 2020 at approximately 9:30pm, an arrest warrant was issued for Mr Antonio Brown who has been charged with one count of burglary with battery, one count burglary of an unoccupied conveyance, and one count of criminal mischief less than $1,000.

    "On January 21, 2020, at approximately 2:00 pm, officers of the Hollywood Police Department received a 911 call for a possible disturbance which occurred at 3600 Estate Oak Circle. When officers arrived on scene they made contact with the alleged victim who stated he was battered by Mr Antonio Brown and Mr Brown’s trainer, Mr Glenn Holt.

    "While on scene, officers made contact with Mr Holt who was subsequently taken into custody without incident. Mr Holt was charged with one count of burglary with battery. Officers attempted to make contact with Mr Brown but were unsuccessful."

    Wide receiver Brown has not yet commented on the allegations. CNN and other media said the property in question is 31-year-old Brown's home in South Florida.

    Police have not detailed the nature of the incident. CNN said it involved a dispute over the delivery of items to Brown's house.

    Brown, a seven-time Pro Bowler, left the Patriots amid allegations of sexual assault and rape, which he strenuously denies.

    He was traded from the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Oakland Raiders in March 2019 after a tumultuous 2018 campaign; however, Brown did not play a game for the Raiders before moving on to his brief stint with the Patriots.

  • MLB not planning to strip Astros and Red Sox of titles MLB not planning to strip Astros and Red Sox of titles

    MLB does not intend to strip the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox of their World Series titles as a result of the sign-stealing scandal.

    An investigation found the Astros had stolen signs en route to their 2017 championship.

    Houston fired general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch after the pair were suspended, while the Red Sox - the 2018 champions - parted ways with manager Alex Cora.

    Cora had been bench coach for the Astros before leading Boston to the title, and an investigation into the Red Sox is ongoing.

    However, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, speaking for the first time since the investigation, suggested it would be difficult to alter past World Series results at this stage.

    The Los Angeles Dodgers were beaten on both occasions, yet Manfred insists it cannot be assumed they would have otherwise won.

    "Well, we haven't concluded our investigation with the Red Sox," Manfred told FOX Business.

    "So, it's a little hard to take the trophy away from somebody who hasn't yet been found to do something wrong. We don't know what the outcome of that's going to be.

    "The second flaw is whatever the impact of the sign stealing was, it could've changed who was in the World Series. It is absolutely unclear that the Dodgers would've been the World Series champion.

    "I think there's a long tradition in baseball of not trying to change what happened.

    "I think the answer from our prospective is to be transparent about what the investigation showed, and let our fans make their own decision about what happened."

  • Brees delays decision over future as Saints hope for QB's return Brees delays decision over future as Saints hope for QB's return

    The New Orleans Saints want Drew Brees to return for a 20th NFL season but the veteran quarterback insisted he would not rush the decision.

    Brees recently celebrated his 41st birthday and is set to become an unrestricted free agent.

    The former Super Bowl champion became the NFL's all-time leader in touchdown passes in December and threw for 208 yards in the NFC wild-card loss to the Minnesota Vikings earlier this month.

    However, he plans to consult with his family before deciding on whether to continue his illustrious career.

    "I wanted to give it at least a few weeks, months, postseason, just to take a deep breath and decompress a little bit and get some time with the family and then just reassess," Brees told ESPN.

    "The most important thing is time with my family, to be with them, talk to them about it. It will be a shared decision. I know my boys wish Dad could play forever."

    New Orleans general manager Mickey Loomis promised there would be space for Brees if he chose to return for the 2020 season.

    "Yeah. I don't think it's any different than it's been for the last few years," Loomis said.

    "It's easy to take him for granted, yet I don't take him for granted.

    "I don't view it any different than I did a year ago or the year before that or the year before that, regardless of whether he has a contract or not.

    "He's a good player. He's been a good player. He continues to be a good player."

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