N.F.L. Divisional Round: Our Picks Against the Spread

Green Bay and Tennessee will have the benefit of a week’s rest against San Francisco and Cincinnati. Buffalo and Kansas City will provide tougher tests for each other after coasting last week. The Bucs and the Rams’ veteran quarterbacks will take center stage.

#beckham-odell-jr, #bosa-nick-1997, #bowles-todd-1963, #brady-tom, #buffalo-bills, #burrow-joe-1996, #chase-jamarr, #cincinnati-bengals, #football, #fournette-leonard-1995, #garoppolo-jimmy-1991, #green-bay-packers, #henry-derrick, #kansas-city-chiefs, #los-angeles-rams, #miller-von, #playoff-games, #rodgers-aaron, #samuel-deebo-1996, #san-francisco-49ers, #tampa-bay-buccaneers, #tennessee-titans

Stafford, Beckham Get Playoff Vindication in Rams Win

Matthew Stafford and Odell Beckham Jr., prolific stars with little postseason notoriety, propelled the Rams to a wild-card round victory over the Cardinals on Monday.

#arizona-cardinals, #beckham-odell-jr, #football, #kupp-cooper-1993, #los-angeles-rams, #mcvay-sean-1986, #miller-von, #murray-kyler-1997, #national-football-league, #playoff-games, #stafford-matthew, #tampa-bay-buccaneers

Why Can’t We Turn Away From the N.F.L.?

The exploding viewership for N.F.L. games and the league’s ever-expanding season resist all scandal and reason. Our columnist asks why.

#black-people, #chronic-traumatic-encephalopathy, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #discrimination, #football, #national-football-league, #playoff-games, #ratings-audience-measurement, #sexual-harassment

What We Learned in the N.F.L.’s Wild-Card Round

The 49ers and Jimmy Garoppolo managed their game plan just well enough to upset the Cowboys, but blowouts in the rest of the wild-card matchups showed the folly of playoff expansion.

#allen-josh-1996, #belichick-bill, #bernard-giovani-1991, #bowles-todd-1963, #brady-tom, #buffalo-bills, #burrow-joe-1996, #cincinnati-bengals, #dallas-cowboys, #edwards-mike-1996, #football, #garoppolo-jimmy-1991, #gronkowski-rob, #hurts-jalen-1998, #las-vegas-raiders, #mccarthy-mike-1963, #moore-kellen-1989, #national-football-league, #new-england-patriots, #philadelphia-eagles, #pittsburgh-steelers, #playoff-games, #prescott-dak-1993, #san-francisco-49ers, #shanahan-kyle-1979, #suh-ndamukong, #tampa-bay-buccaneers, #vea-vita-1995

Cowboys Come Up Short Against 49ers Long Before Clunky Finish

The No. 6-seeded 49ers upset the No. 3-seeded Cowboys after a chaotic final drive that will prolong Dallas’s disappointment.

#dallas-cowboys, #football, #garoppolo-jimmy-1991, #jones-jerry, #national-football-league, #playoff-games, #prescott-dak-1993, #samuel-deebo-1996, #san-francisco-49ers

Tampa Bay Takes Eagles Out of Their Game and Out of the Playoffs

Quarterback Tom Brady’s record in the playoffs improved to 35-11 as Tampa Bay clamped down on the league’s top rushing team.

#arians-bruce, #barrett-shaquil-1992, #brady-tom, #evans-mike-1993, #football, #fournette-leonard-1995, #hurts-jalen-1998, #pederson-doug, #philadelphia-eagles, #pierre-paul-jason, #playoff-games, #tampa-bay-buccaneers

How Sunday’s Games Affect the NFL Playoff Picture

The Eagles ran up against the Buccaneers’ fearsome defense. Now the 49ers and Cowboys will square off ahead of the Steelers and Kansas City in prime time.

#brady-tom, #dallas-cowboys, #evans-mike-1993, #football, #hurts-jalen-1998, #kansas-city-chiefs, #philadelphia-eagles, #pittsburgh-steelers, #playoff-games, #san-francisco-49ers, #tampa-bay-buccaneers

How to Watch the NFL Playoffs Today

The Las Vegas Raiders will face the Cincinnati Bengals and the New England Patriots will visit the Buffalo Bills.

#buffalo-bills, #cincinnati-bengals, #football, #las-vegas-raiders, #national-football-league, #new-england-patriots, #playoff-games

What to Watch For in Saturday’s N.F.L. Playoff Games

The Las Vegas Raiders will face the Cincinnati Bengals and the New England Patriots will visit the Buffalo Bills.

#buffalo-bills, #cincinnati-bengals, #football, #las-vegas-raiders, #national-football-league, #new-england-patriots, #playoff-games

N.F.L. Playoff Predictions: Our Picks in the Wild-Card Round

The postseason’s first weekend will see the third matchup between the Patriots and the Bills, and for the Cardinals and the Rams.

#arians-bruce, #arizona-cardinals, #buffalo-bills, #burrow-joe-1996, #cincinnati-bengals, #dallas-cowboys, #football, #hopkins-deandre-1992, #indianapolis-colts, #jones-mac-1998, #las-vegas-raiders, #los-angeles-rams, #national-football-league, #new-england-patriots, #parsons-micah-1999, #philadelphia-eagles, #pittsburgh-steelers, #playoff-games, #roethlisberger-ben, #samuel-deebo-1996, #san-francisco-49ers, #stafford-matthew, #tampa-bay-buccaneers, #watt-j-j-1989

The Reason Every N.F.L. Playoff Team Will Lose

Only one of these teams will prove us wrong.

#arizona-cardinals, #brady-tom, #buffalo-bills, #burrow-joe-1996, #chase-jamarr, #cincinnati-bengals, #dallas-cowboys, #football, #green-bay-packers, #henry-derrick, #jones-mac-1998, #las-vegas-raiders, #los-angeles-rams, #national-football-league, #new-england-patriots, #officiating-sports, #philadelphia-eagles, #pittsburgh-steelers, #playoff-games, #san-francisco-49ers, #shanahan-kyle-1979, #stafford-matthew, #tampa-bay-buccaneers, #tennessee-titans

Push to Expand College Football Playoff Stumbles

Eleven of the sport’s top figures have been unable to reach an agreement after months of negotiations, stalling hopes for more teams to be included in the national title race.

#atlantic-coast-conference, #big-12-conference, #big-ten-conference, #college-football-playoff-national-championship, #football-college, #hancock-william-r-jr-1950, #pacific-12-conference, #playoff-games, #sankey-greg, #southeastern-conference, #television, #warren-kevin-1963

How Week 18 Could Shape the N.F.L. Playoff Picture

In the N.F.C., Green Bay has clinched the bye, but a divisional race and a wild-card spot are still up for grabs. In the A.F.C., things are messier.

#arizona-cardinals, #baltimore-ravens, #brady-tom, #buffalo-bills, #cincinnati-bengals, #dallas-cowboys, #football, #green-bay-packers, #indianapolis-colts, #kansas-city-chiefs, #los-angeles-chargers, #los-angeles-rams, #national-football-conference, #new-orleans-saints, #oakland-raiders, #philadelphia-eagles, #pittsburgh-steelers, #playoff-games, #rodgers-aaron, #san-francisco-49ers, #tennessee-titans

Alabama, Michigan, Georgia and Cincinnati Make College Football Playoff

The semifinal games are scheduled for New Year’s Eve, with the national championship planned for Jan. 10 in Indianapolis.

#american-athletic-conference, #big-ten-conference, #bowl-games, #college-football-playoff-national-championship, #fickell-luke, #football-college, #harbaugh-jim, #playoff-games, #saban-nick, #smart-kirby, #southeastern-conference, #university-of-alabama, #university-of-cincinnati, #university-of-georgia, #university-of-michigan

Alabama Picks Georgia Apart, Setting Course for Another Playoff

No. 3 Alabama, the reigning national champion, fell behind early. Then it pounded the country’s best defense to run away with the Southeastern Conference championship.

#college-football-playoff-national-championship, #football-college, #playoff-games, #saban-nick, #university-of-alabama, #university-of-georgia

Atlanta Braves Beat Los Angeles Dodgers to Reach World Series

In third place on Aug. 13, Atlanta rode a surprising group of trade deadline acquisitions to a pennant, outlasting the 106-win Dodgers. Next up: the Houston Astros.

#albies-ozzie-1997, #atlanta-braves, #baseball, #buehler-walker-1994, #los-angeles-dodgers, #playoff-games, #rosario-eddie-1991

Houston Astros Beat Boston Red Sox to Reach World Series

Stained by a scandal but unfazed on the field, Houston returns to baseball’s biggest stage looking for another ring.

#alvarez-yordan-1997, #baseball, #boston-red-sox, #gurriel-yulieski-1984, #houston-astros, #playoff-games

NLCS: Chris Taylor’s Three-Homer Day Keeps Dodgers Alive

The N.L.C.S. heads back to Atlanta after Taylor became the 11th batter with three homers in a postseason game.

#atlanta-braves, #baseball, #los-angeles-dodgers, #playoff-games, #roberts-dave-1972, #taylor-christopher-a-jr-1990

NLCS: Eddie Rosario Leads Atlanta Past Los Angeles Dodgers

A midseason pickup from Cleveland, Eddie Rosario has been nothing short of incredible. He led the way in yet another win.

#atlanta-braves, #baseball, #los-angeles-dodgers, #playoff-games, #rosario-eddie-1991, #turner-justin-1984

ALCS: Houston Astros Rely on Their Bullpen to Carry the Team

In a strategy their pitching coach compared to the Celtics of yesteryear, the Astros have been relying on their bullpen to carry them. On Wednesday, the relievers finally got some rest.

#baseball, #boston-red-sox, #greinke-zack, #houston-astros, #playoff-games, #strom-brent-1948

ALCS: Astros Beat Red Sox in Pivotal Game 5

A blowout win in Game 5 sends this series back to Houston, decidedly in the Astros’ favor. The resilient Red Sox may have finally met their match.

#alvarez-yordan-1997, #baseball, #boston-red-sox, #houston-astros, #playoff-games, #sale-chris, #valdez-framber

Astros Use Huge 9th Inning to Top Red Sox, Tie ALCS

With two outs in the ninth, Nathan Eovaldi thought he had a strike three. Laz Diaz disagreed and by the time the dust settled, Houston had scored seven runs, tying the series.

#altuve-jose, #baseball, #boston-red-sox, #eovaldi-nathan, #houston-astros, #playoff-games

NLCS: Cody Bellinger’s Blast Breathes Life Into Dodgers

A three-run homer from the struggling outfielder tied the game and a double by Mookie Betts put Los Angeles ahead to stay. With that, dreams of an Atlanta sweep faded away.

#atlanta-braves, #baseball, #buehler-walker-1994, #duvall-adam-1988, #los-angeles-dodgers, #lux-gavin-1997, #morton-charlie-1983, #playoff-games, #seager-corey

ALCS: Kyle Schwarber Thrives as Leadoff Batter for Red Sox

Boston’s Kyle Schwarber doesn’t look like a typical leadoff hitter, but he is giving the Red Sox exactly what they need.

#baseball, #boston-red-sox, #houston-astros, #playoff-games, #schwarber-kyle-1993

ALCS: Red Sox Take 2-1 Lead Over Astros With Schwarber Grand Slam

The Red Sox have won consecutive blowouts against the Astros, showing some swagger while setting a record for bases-loaded homers in a postseason series.

#baker-dusty, #baseball, #boston-red-sox, #cora-alex, #correa-carlos-1994, #houston-astros, #playoff-games, #schwarber-kyle-1993

Ronald Acuña Jr.’s Replacements Thrive for Atlanta in NLCS

For many teams, losing Ronald Acuña Jr. would have been a crushing blow. To the Braves’ Alex Anthopoulos, it was a puzzle to solve. He seems to have the right pieces.

#acuna-ronald-jr-1997, #anthopoulos-alex, #atlanta-braves, #baseball, #los-angeles-dodgers, #pederson-joc-1992, #playoff-games, #rosario-eddie-1991

Atlanta Takes 2-0 Lead Over Dodgers in NLCS

Thrilling wins in consecutive games, both decided in their last at-bat, have Atlanta heading to Los Angeles with some breathing room ahead of Game 3.

#atlanta-braves, #baseball, #betts-mookie-1992, #buehler-walker-1994, #los-angeles-dodgers, #pederson-joc-1992, #playoff-games, #scherzer-max, #seager-corey, #swanson-dansby-1994, #taylor-christopher-a-jr-1990, #urias-julio-1996

Chicago Sky Beat Phoenix Mercury for First W.N.B.A. Championship

The Sky battled back from a large second-half deficit to beat the Mercury in a thriller.

#basketball, #chicago-sky, #copper-kahleah, #parker-candace, #phoenix-mercury, #playoff-games

With Use of Openers, Pitching Six Innings Feels Like a Lot

Atlanta’s Max Fried has recorded 18 outs in each of his last two starts, standing out in an era of openers, quick hooks and mustachioed middle men.

#atlanta-braves, #baseball, #boston-red-sox, #eovaldi-nathan, #fried-max-1994, #houston-astros, #knebel-corey-1991, #los-angeles-dodgers, #playoff-games, #scherzer-max, #spalding-albert-goodwill

NLCS: Austin Riley and Atlanta Beat Dodgers With Game 1 Walk-Off

Austin Riley’s ninth inning single pushed Atlanta to victory over Los Angeles in Game 1 of the N.L.C.S. — just like his homer did in last year’s Game 1.

#albies-ozzie-1997, #atlanta-braves, #baseball, #freeman-freddie-1989, #knebel-corey-1991, #los-angeles-dodgers, #playoff-games, #taylor-christopher-a-jr-1990, #treinen-blake-1988

Red Sox Beat Astros in Game 2 to Tie ALCS

Grand slams in consecutive innings set the tone in a game that dragged on past four hours but was never in doubt.

#baseball, #boston-red-sox, #devers-rafael-1996, #eovaldi-nathan, #hernandez-enrique-1991, #houston-astros, #martinez-j-d, #playoff-games

ALCS: Just Like Alex Cora, the Red Sox Keep Coming Back

Alex Cora spent a season in exile, and the Boston Red Sox sank to the A.L. East basement. With their manager back, the resilient Red Sox are in the A.L.C.S. These things are related.

#baseball, #bloom-chaim, #boston-red-sox, #cheating, #coaches-and-managers, #cora-alex, #houston-astros, #playoff-games

ALCS: Carlos Correa’s Home Run Was Right on Time for Astros

Carlos Correa’s mammoth home run, and over-the-top celebration, gave the Astros a strong start to a battle of pitching-starved teams.

#altuve-jose, #baseball, #boston-red-sox, #correa-carlos-1994, #hernandez-enrique-1991, #houston-astros, #playoff-games

ALCS: Carlos Correa Leads the Astros, On and Off the Field

The Houston Astros shortstop is a vocal leader on the field and happy to be the team’s spokesman off it, even when it comes to discussing the team’s scandalous past.

#baseball, #boston-red-sox, #content-type-personal-profile, #correa-carlos-1994, #houston-astros, #playoff-games

For the Giants, a Rapid Ascent, a Hard Fall and Hopes of a Rematch

San Francisco had a 109-win season dissolve at the hands of a bitter rival, but they still view their future as bright. “This won’t be the last time we play them in the playoffs.”

#baseball, #crawford-brandon-1987, #flores-wilmer, #kapler-gabe, #los-angeles-dodgers, #playoff-games, #posey-buster, #san-francisco-giants, #scherzer-max, #webb-logan-1996

Dodgers Outlast the Giants to Reach the N.L.C.S.

A late single by the scuffling Cody Bellinger was the difference in a hard-fought pitching matchup between 109-win teams.

#baseball, #bellinger-cody-1995, #los-angeles-dodgers, #playoff-games, #san-francisco-giants, #turner-justin-1984, #urias-julio-1996, #webb-logan-1996

NLDS: Dodgers Beat Giants in Game 4, Setting Up Decisive Game 5

“This is what baseball wants,” Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts said after his team beat the Giants, 7-2, forcing a winner-take-all game in this division series between rivals.

#baseball, #buehler-walker-1994, #kapler-gabe, #los-angeles-dodgers, #playoff-games, #posey-buster, #roberts-dave-1972, #san-francisco-giants

Houston Astros Will Face Boston Red Sox in ALCS

Suspicion follows them, but Houston’s buzz saw of an offense cut straight through the Chicago White Sox. Next up: Boston.

#altuve-jose, #baker-dusty, #baseball, #boston-red-sox, #bregman-alex-1994, #chicago-white-sox, #correa-carlos-1994, #houston-astros, #playoff-games, #rodon-carlos-1992

Candace Parker Is the Calm, and the Storm, for the Chicago Sky

Parker has known both adversity and success in her long W.N.B.A. career. The mix has become a potent weapon as the Sky vie for their first championship.

#basketball, #chicago-sky, #los-angeles-sparks, #parker-candace, #playoff-games

Red Sox Beat Rays to Advance to ALCS

It sometimes feels like the Tampa Bay Rays are reinventing baseball, but it was Boston that upended conventional wisdom by using good hitting to beat good pitching in October.

#baseball, #boston-red-sox, #cora-alex, #hernandez-enrique-1991, #playoff-games, #tampa-bay-rays

David Robertson’s Journey from the Olympics to the Rays’ Postseason Roster

When David Robertson joined Tampa Bay’s motley crew of low-cost high-reward options, the former Yankees closer said he was up for “whatever.” He meant it.

#baseball, #boston-red-sox, #cash-kevin-1977, #playoff-games, #robertson-david-1958, #tampa-bay-rays

Red Sox Beat Rays Thanks to Tough Call and Walk-Off Homer

A confusing play in extra innings highlighted an unusual rule, but Boston took a commanding series lead over Tampa Bay on Christian Vazquez’s two-run blast.

#baseball, #boston-red-sox, #diaz-yandy-1991, #kiermaier-kevin-1990, #pivetta-nick-1993, #playoff-games, #tampa-bay-rays

NLDS: Houston Astros Take 2-0 Series Lead of Chicago White Sox

Dazzling defense kept Game 2 close and a huge seventh inning powered Houston to victory. After cruising all season, the White Sox are on the brink of elimination.

#baseball, #chicago-white-sox, #correa-carlos-1994, #houston-astros, #kimbrel-craig, #la-russa-tony, #playoff-games, #tucker-kyle

NLDS: Tellez’s Homer Gives Brewers a Win Over Atlanta

Milwaukee’s Corbin Burnes and Atlanta’s Charlie Morton flashed dominance, but Rowdy Tellez’s two-run homer was enough offense to give the Brewers a win at home.

#atlanta-braves, #baseball, #burnes-corbin-1994, #milwaukee-brewers, #playoff-games

Tony La Russa and Dusty Baker Have a History. Now They Meet Again.

From teammates, to manager and player, to division rivals, Tony La Russa and Dusty Baker’s careers have consistently intersected for decades. They face off again, this time in the postseason.

#baker-dusty, #baseball, #chicago-white-sox, #houston-astros, #la-russa-tony, #major-league-baseball, #playoff-games

Dodgers Will Face Rival Giants in Division Series

The 106-win Los Angeles Dodgers took care of business in a do-or-die game against St. Louis. Their next opponent? The 107-win San Francisco Giants.

#baseball, #brooklyn-dodgers, #los-angeles-dodgers, #new-york-giants, #playoff-games, #roberts-dave-1972, #san-francisco-giants, #scherzer-max, #st-louis-cardinals, #taylor-christopher-a-jr-1990, #wainwright-adam

MLB’s Wild-Card Game Is Loved and Loathed

Teams hate the single-elimination wild-card game because the stakes are so high. But whatever you think of the format, the pull for fans is irresistible.

#baseball, #black-bud, #boston-red-sox, #granderson-curtis, #los-angeles-dodgers, #martinez-pedro, #new-york-yankees, #playoff-games, #st-louis-cardinals

Gerrit Cole Will Start for Yankees in Wild-Card Game

Gerrit Cole is known by his teammates as a student of the game. In a do-or-die game against Boston, the Yankees hope their $324 million ace has studied carefully.

#baseball, #boston-red-sox, #cole-gerrit, #higashioka-kyle-1990, #new-york-yankees, #playoff-games

70 Years Later, Bobby Thomson’s Homer Still Hurts

A die-hard Brooklyn Dodgers fan cut school with his buddies to attend what turned out to be one of the most crushing defeats in all sports. Isn’t it time to let it go?

#baseball, #brooklyn-dodgers, #ebbets-field-brooklyn-ny, #new-york-giants, #playoff-games

Tampa Bay Lightning Beat Montreal Canadiens to Keep the Stanley Cup

The Lightning overwhelmed the Habs, winning the best-of-seven series in five games to claim their second N.H.L. championship in nine months.

#cooper-jon-1967, #hockey-ice, #maroon-patrick-1988, #montreal-canadiens, #national-hockey-league, #playoff-games, #stanley-cup, #tampa-bay-lightning, #vasilevskiy-andrei-1994