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10 interesting stats and facts from Week 1 of the NFL

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10 NFL quarterbacks with the most to prove in 2020, from Baker Mayfield to Dak Prescott

Week 1 of the NFL has concluded with 16 teams undefeated and 16 teams still searching for their first win.

In the process of the Week 1 results, a lot of history was made. Some of it good, some of it bad and some of it very interesting. We’ll try to mix it all in with 10 stats or facts we found noteworthy. So let’s just get right into it.

MORE: NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 2

Saquon Barkley’s tough night

Giants running back Saquon Barkley finished with a bizarre stat line against the Steelers. Barkley ran 15 times for a total of six yards with a long of seven. He couldn’t find any running room as he finished the game with eight carries that went for negative yards.

To top it all off, Barkley was out-rushed this week by Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger and George Kittle (who all had nine yards each). 

Stephen Gostkowski drops on all-time list

Stephen Gostkowski was a legend of a kicker for 14 years in New England. But he struggled last season, missing four extra points and one field goal in four games. He was then placed on injured reserve and ultimately released from the team.

The Titans brought him in this offseason hoping to recreate the magic of his glory days, but it went awry in Week 1. Gostkowski went 0 for 3 on field goal attempts before ultimately nailing the game-winner (he also missed an extra point). That lone bad night dropped him significantly in the all-time most accurate kicker list.

Giants end drive in disaster

One final stat from the Monday night games. 

The Giants got control of the ball with the second possession of the second half, and held on to it for a very long time. New York ran 19 plays, taking up nearly nine minutes of game clock. The Giants drove the ball all the way downfield to the 4-yard line, where Daniel Jones threw an interception, ending the drive. This drive was a blessing for the Steelers, who were able to hold on to their lead as the Giants just drained the clock themselves.

MORE: NFL picks, predictions for Week 2

Ryan Fitzpatrick passes Hall of Famers

Ryan Fitzpatrick moved up the all-time career passing leaders list, passing Hall of Famers Y.A. Tittle and Troy Aikman. He’s just 47 yards away from passing another Hall of Famer in Steve Young. He’s the highest quarterback on the list to play for eight different teams, which just speaks to his remarkable journeyman career.

If Fitzpatrick throws for the same amount of yards this season as he did last season, he’ll finish the year as the 27th all-time leader in passing yards.

(SN/Getty)

Garnder Minshew makes history

Who needs to Tank For Trevor when you can Make Do With Minshew?

The Jaguars’ quarterback completed all but one of his 20 pass attempts as he finished with 173 yards and three touchdowns. He even added an extra 19 yards on the ground. 

Kyler Murray knows how to protect himself

One of the complaints you hear about quarterbacks who scramble is that they won’t be able to keep up that style of play for long. But if the quarterbacks are smart about it, they’ll use the best practices available to avoid taking too many hits. And that’s exactly what Kyler Murray did in Week 1.

Maybe the Lions gave up too soon

The Lions moved on from Jim Caldwell after back-to-back 9-7 seasons. They replaced him with Matt Patricia who has won nine games total in the two seasons (and one game) since he took over.

His coaching ability was called into question after Sunday’s loss to the Bears as the Lions blew a 23-6 lead in the fourth quarter. In 2019, Patricia’s Lions blew seven fourth-quarter leads and he started the 2020 season with another one. When asked whether there was something “that isn’t happening enough in the fourth quarter,” Patricia was quick to deflect.

“Yeah, I don’t think so,” Patricia said. “I think I got probably one of the biggest plays in the fourth quarter in the history of the NFL.”

Baker Mayfield and the Browns make odd history

Baker Mayfield has had four different head coaches within the first 30 games of his career despite playing for the same team. This one isn’t fully Mayfield’s fault, but it’s interesting nonetheless. It’s tough for any quarterback to get going when he’s got a revolving door of coaches.

Frank Gore is still going strong

Frank Gore is with the New York Jets now, and he made history Sunday with his brief appearance. Gore has now passed Emmitt Smith for the most regular season games played by an NFL running back in league history, with 227 games.

The lifespan for an NFL running back is typically much shorter than other positions. So for Gore to set this record means he’s had to overcome incredible odds. He’s been playing so long that his son, Frank Gore Jr., made his collegiate debut earlier this month for Southern Miss.

MORE: The oldest NFL players in 2020

Black quarterbacks get an opportunity

A lot of the comments on our Facebook page questioned why it was a big deal that an NFL-record 10 Black quarterbacks started games in Week 1. It’s a big deal because for a long time, Black athletes were denied an opportunity to play the quarterback position. They were often asked to change positions, or simply not viewed as quarterbacks because team owners didn’t want them as the face of the franchise.

“It was an unwritten rule that the reason Blacks weren’t playing quarterback was because we weren’t smart enough,” former NFL QB James Harris told Newsday. “We couldn’t lead. There was some concern about character. Throughout the country, there was that issue. We just didn’t have Blacks getting the opportunity to excel.”

Now, Black quarterbacks are given an opporunity. And they have excelled. The 10 Black quarterbacks who started went a combined 7-3 (Teddy Bridgewater, Dak Prescott and Deshaun Watson lost).

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Yankees rediscover resiliency in hard-fought sweep of Indians

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Yankees rediscover resiliency in hard-fought sweep of Indians

CLEVELAND — Lake Erie in the fall: the Indians’ 10th man. The Yankees found themselves outnumbered Wednesday night at Progressive Field.

Nevertheless, they persisted, and they prevailed in an epic contest. Survived and revived, the Yankees will march onward into October on the heels of a dramatic (if drawn-out), 10-9 victory over Cleveland that gave them a 2-0 sweep in this American League wild-card series. Now they’ll get to enjoy the perfect conditions of San Diego as they try to topple their new chief rival, the Rays, in the AL Division Series starting Monday.

“What a game,” said Gary Sanchez, who drove home three runs. “Even better because we were able to get the victory tonight.”

With more than a few Lake Erie midges on site — those clever suckers invited themselves into a suite occupied by a crew of New York media members and pestered us to no end — a series of unfortunate meteorological events victimized the Yankees to the extent where, for more than a moment, it appeared Masahiro Tanaka’s pinstriped career might conclude in the most bizarre manner possible.

Yet whereas those midges disrupted Joe Torre’s 2007 Yankees to the brink of ALDS elimination (which occurred a few days later), Aaron Boone’s 2020 Yankees, having endured so much already, overcame the elements as well as a resilient Indians club. When DJ LeMahieu (of course) grounded a ninth-inning single up the middle off Cleveland closer Brad Hand to score Gio Urshela, it gave the Yankees their third lead of the night, and this one finally stuck after four hours and 50 minutes, a record for a nine-inning game, as well as another hour and 16 minutes of rain delays.

“That game was a lot of fun to be a part of,” Boone said. “I don’t know how you top that.”

Gleyber Torres and DJ LeMahieu celebrate after an inning-ending double play in  the sixth inning of the Yankees' 10-9 series-clinching win over the Indians.
Gleyber Torres and DJ LeMahieu celebrate after an inning-ending double play in the sixth inning of the Yankees’ 10-9 series-clinching win over the Indians.Corey Sipkin

The memorable ending covered up for a most forgettable beginning. Poor Tanaka, the Yankees’ starting pitcher, saw the start of the game delayed by 43 minutes due to an expected shower that failed to show up, leaving all of us twiddling our thumbs. Then, with two outs in the top of the first inning, a completely different storm system, forecast to be light, arrived in full force.

By the time Tanaka took the mound, the wind-driven rain was pelting the field and its occupants. Just three Indians batted, the last two Cesar Hernandez and Jose Ramirez ripping back-to-back doubles for a run, before the umpires hurried everyone back into safety. Only 15 minutes of baseball had transpired. After a 33-minute delay, Tanaka continued to get hit hard, the four runs marking his worst inning in nine postseason starts.

“That was a little frustrating, obviously,” Boone said. “I felt for Masa to have to go out in those conditions. … It’s one of those I wish we were able to avoid.”

“You get the ball from the umpire and it’s already soaking wet,” Tanaka said through an interpreter. “You’re not really able to throw in that situation, I would say. At that moment you’re just kind of trying to not let your concentration go away, trying to focus on the game.” Asked if he thought he lost some concentration, Tanaka acknowledged, “I would say so, yeah, a little bit.”

Attribute the chaos to mistakes at the lake. Apparently it’s awfully difficult to predict how the weather systems will come off Erie. Major League Baseball officials, in consultation with the Yankees and Indians and local and national weather authorities, overestimated the first system and underestimated the second.

Once the Yankees leapt that formidable obstacle, things got really crazy, with the Yankees twice blowing leads until the Indians blew the last one. It rarely comes easy against these Indians, against whom the Yankees have now won three postseason series and lost two.

Boone’s guys reached port safely, though, having outlasted the elements and the enemies. They traveled a long distance in two games’ time. Plenty of distance remains, yet let’s face it: You weren’t sure they’d make it even this far, right? Especially when round one brought them both a quality team and a resourceful river, both now safely in the Yankees’ rearview mirror.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Wubetu Abate named new Ethiopia coach to replace Mebratu

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Wubetu Abate named new Ethiopia coach to replace Mebratu

The Ethiopia Football Federation (EFF) has named Wubetu Abate as the new coach for the national team.

Abate was appointed to the hot seat following the departure of Abraham Mebratu after his contract expired on August 6, and the EFF opted not to renew his contract which lasted two years.

EFF president Esayas Jira confirmed the new coach, who signed a two-year contract by stating on CafOnline: “Following the government’s approval on football activities resumption, we took only a few days to name a new coach. The technical committee proposed a list of coaches and our choice fell on Wubetu Abate.”

Speaking after being unveiled, Abate said as quoted by CafOnline: “I like challenges and enjoy them. I face many challenges in my coaching career. The higher the risk, the higher the reward. It was a dream for me to manage the Ethiopia national team. Surprisingly, the dream has come true, and I hope to achieve good results during my spell.”

His immediate task is to qualify with Ethiopia to the 2021 African Cup of Nations and the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers final play-offs.

Abate had a brief playing career with Pulp and Worket at the end of the 1990’s before injury made him hang up his boots.

He then turned to coaching and got a distinguished name in the process. His mesmerizing run with Adama Ketema in the 2007 season of the Ethiopian Premier League landed him a job at big spenders Dedebit but he left the club early.

He is famous for guiding Ethiopia Bunna to their first-ever – and last, to date – Ethiopian Premier League title in 2011, beating cross-city rivals Kidus Giorgis.

The new coach also had spells in Ethiopia with Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, Hawassa Ketema, Fasil Kenema, and Sebeta Ketema.

He also had a successful stint at Sudanese side Al Ahli Shendi, where he guided the team to a third-place finish and participation in the Caf Confederation Cup.

The Walya Antelopes are currently lying second in Group K with three points after they suffered a 1-0 defeat in the first match away to group leaders Madagascar before they shocked Cote d’Ivoire 2-1.

Ethiopia will tackle Niger in the African Cup of Nations qualifier in November.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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“Don’t Want To Speak On Her”: Victoria Azarenka Shuts Down Reporter on Serena Williams Question

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"Don't Want To Speak On Her": Victoria Azarenka Shuts Down Reporter on Serena Williams Question

Today, the French Open 2020 saw two dominant athletes exit the tournament. Serena Williams announced that she is withdrawing from her event, while Victoria Azarenka suffered a shock defeat at the hands of World No.161, Anna-Karolina Schmiedlova. During Azarenka’s post-game presser, a question about Serena infuriated the Bulgarian! 

Now, what could it be? Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams are familiar foes who share immense respect for each other. Their most recent meeting came at the semi-finals of the 2020 US Open, a match which Azarenka won. 

However, Serena was allegedly battling a heel injury during the US Open semi-final which limited her performance. This Achilles injury has now aggravated to a point where Serena is struggling to walk. Now, if she played her US Open game with a serious heel condition, how aware was her opponent about Serena’s condition? 

Flushing Meadows, New York, USA; Serena Williams of the United States reaches for her left ankle during the match against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in the women’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Victoria Azarenka responds to a reporter who questioned her awareness about Serena’s injury

How much do you think players peep into their opponent’s routine during a match? Professional athletes are all about preparing themselves mentally when they’re out on the court. When Azarenka played Serena in the semi-final game at Flushing Meadows, she really didn’t pay much attention to the latter’s struggles. 

Days after the incident happened, a reporter brought it up at Roland Garros. It was in relation to Serena’s exit earlier in the day, but it was directed to Azarenka when she had just faced a shocking defeat. 

“Well when I was down 1-6, I didn’t really feel like there was anything wrong. I felt that the match was close and I don’t think a player really watches the other player. I do think we turn around and try to take care of your own business,” Azarenka responded

Victoria Azarenka reacts during her match with Serena Williams at the 2020 US Open
Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Furthermore, it seemed like she was really upset with the reporter. The Belarusian was unhappy with the question and kept her answer brief. “I don’t know. I don’t want to speak on her. It’s not my…I’m not going to do that. I don’t like to do that and I’m not going to talk about it.”

After what seemed like Victoria Azarenka’s resurgence, the former World No.1 has fallen short at Roland Garros. With this defeat, Azarenka has now crashed out of Roland Garros in the second round in back-to-back years. 

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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