Start every morning with The Pulse in your inbox. Join here.
Good morning! Perhaps think twice before lateraling today.
This game had every little thing
The World Cup final felt just like the best-case scenario for all-around soccer fans: Kylian Mbappé had his moment — three of them, actually — Lionel Messi got his title and all of us got to sit down back and luxuriate in … the most effective World Cup final in history. Agree?
Mbappé edged Messi by one goal for the Golden Boot, an honest consolation prize, however the Argentinian became the primary player ever to attain in every round of the World Cup and is bringing home the trophy he’s coveted since childhood. All of it just feels right.
Messi, 35, said he won’t yet retire from international competition because he desires to “proceed playing as a champion.” He’s recently said this World Cup was his last, but could the win have him eyeing one other go-around?
NFL Playoff Picture
Recent York’s giant step
The Giants (8-5-1) took the clear lead for the second NFC wild-card spot with their win over the Commanders (7-6-1) on “Sunday Night Football.” Washington remains to be in position for the third wild card but saw its playoff odds drop to 21.4 percent, per Austin Mock’s model.
- Locks: Bills, Chiefs, Eagles, Vikings, 49ers and Cowboys. Philadelphia got a pleasant boost when Dak Prescott threw a pick-six to seal Dallas’ OT loss to Jacksonville.
- If the season ended today: The Bengals, Titans, Ravens, Chargers, Dolphins, Bucs, Giants and Commanders are in. Cincinnati racked up 34 straight points on the road against the Bucs to make a serious move within the AFC. Los Angeles also made a jump back to relevance due to a stellar last drive and Recent England’s loss (more on that later).
- Bubble teams: Patriots, Jets, Seahawks and Lions. Detroit managed its sixth win in seven games yesterday, outlasting the Jets, who’ve 4 days to work out who’s starting at QB before taking over the Jags. These Lions might really be capital-D Different.
- Eliminated: Texans, Bears, Cardinals and Broncos.
Things You Have to See
World NFL play ever?
For those who’ve in some way missed it, the Raiders stunned the Patriots on the last play of their game yesterday to win 30-24. Recent England attempted a lateral that failed miserably and led to an all-time hilarious, game-winning defensive touchdown. Las Vegas kept its playoff probabilities alive and damaged Recent England’s in a single fell swoop.
Are the Lakers cooked?
(Photo: David Richard / USA Today)
Anthony Davis is predicted to miss a minimum of one month with a right foot injury suffered in Friday’s game against the Denver Nuggets, Shams Charania reports. The Lakers (13-16, twelfth within the West) are bracing for his indefinite absence.
Losing Davis, who’s playing a few of the most effective basketball of his profession, obviously puts Los Angeles susceptible to missing even the Play-In Tournament Will this impact the Lakers’ activity on the trade market? Is the season even value saving with Davis missing a month-plus? We’ll keep you posted.
Jokić’s historic outing
Nikola Jokić went off for 40 points, 27 rebounds, 10 assists and two steals to steer the Nuggets’ 119-115 win over the Hornets last night. He’s the third player in NBA history to notch 35 points, 25 rebounds and 10 assists in a game, joining Wilt Chamberlain (eight times) and Elgin Baylor. Heard of ‘em?
TCU’s Duggan declares for draft
Quarterback Max Duggan will enter the 2023 NFL Draft. Duggan finished second in 2022 Heisman Trophy voting, leading TCU to an undefeated regular season and its first College Football Playoff appearance; he’ll still play within the postseason. Duggan, a 21-year-old senior, graduated this month but has another 12 months of eligibility due to the 2020 COVID eligibility 12 months. Chandler Morris is the favourite to succeed Duggan.
Nix returning to Oregon
Geese quarterback Bo Nix will return to Eugene for his final 12 months of eligibility next season. He finished in the highest 10 nationally in yards per attempt and pass efficiency and No. 2 in completion percentage. The Auburn transfer’s top two receivers are currently set to return as well. After a robust 12 months in 2022, the Pac-12 is shaping up for one more intriguing season with its top three quarterbacks — Nix, Caleb Williams and Michael Penix Jr. — all coming back.
(Top photo: Yukihito Taguchi / USA Today)