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Matt DiBenedetto Finds Support from WWE Hall of Famer Ahead of Bristol Playoff Race

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Matt DiBenedetto

This weekend, the NASCAR paddock makes landfall at the Bristol Motor Speedway. Bristol plays host to the next round of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. Admittedly, this race is crunch time for Matt DiBenedetto, as he needs a win to avoid elimination.

Luckily, he has a staunch supporter in the form of WWE Hall of Famer, Mick Foley. The former wrestler even sent a message of encouragement to DiBenedetto to boost his spirits.

During his ‘pep talk’ Foley recounted the story of how he won two of his three championships over Dwayne Johnson. He talked about how he held his own against ‘The Rock’.

How did Mick Foley ‘cheer up’ Matt DiBenedetto?

To further motivate the 29-year-old driver, Foley decided to bring back an old friend. Donning his ‘Mankind’ persona, he regaled the story of when he was thrown off a cell structure. This incident took place around 22 years ago and it knocked out two of his front teeth.

He revealed that one tooth even became lodged in his nose. In spite of that, he persevered and managed to finish the match. However, he insisted that in DiBenedetto’s case, he does not have to just finish the race. Instead, he has to win, and Foley insisted that Matt DiBenedetto is perfectly capable of that.

Foley concluded, “No question, you are going to be the man at Bristol, Tennessee.”

All said and done, DiBenedetto will be under a lot of pressure to try to win the race. Truthfully, he has his work cut out for him. However, the race is long and anything can happen.

If Brad Keselowski can win from 9th place, anything could happen in the span of 500 laps. One thing is for sure, the WWE former star is firmly rooted in DiBenedetto’s corner, cheering him on in the race.

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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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Eagles benching Carson Wentz would be ‘knee-jerk reaction,’ Doug Pederson says

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Eagles benching Carson Wentz would be 'knee-jerk reaction,' Doug Pederson says

The Eagles will not be benching Carson Wentz despite his early-season struggles, no matter how much Philly fans want to see Jalen Hurts on the field more. Eagles head coach Doug Pederson pushed aside the idea of benching Wentz while speaking on his weekly radio show Monday morning. 

“You don’t go there,” Pederson said on SportsRadio 94WIP. “That’s a knee-jerk reaction.”

Pederson’s comments come after the Eagles tied the Bengals in Week 3, 23-23. Philadelphia lost its first two games before the tie, and Wentz has thrown two intereceptions in each of the Eagles’ first three contests while also losing one fumble. But Pederson also probably has a few points working in his favor when it comes to keeping Wentz as his starting quarterback.

MORE: What’s wrong with Carson Wentz?

Carson Wentz’s contract isn’t benchable

Wentz signed a new contract in June 2019. Beginning in 2021, that extension has a cap hit of more than $30 million for each year through 2024. His salary averages out to $32 million per year. 

Teams don’t just bench quarterbacks earning that much money. Wentz will have the sixth-highest cap hit of any quarterback (and therefore any NFL player) in 2021, and the names around him on the list (Matthew Stafford, Jared Goff, Russell Wilson) won’t be benched any time soon. An NFL team making that much financial investment in even a temporary backup would likely lose some front-office folks their jobs. The Eagles are already reportedly down for more than $100 million in guarantees to Wentz on the new deal, so cutting ties quickly would be a huge sunk cost.

Stafford was the most recent big-money quarterback to get benched, with backup Dan Orlovsky taking over for Stafford after he’d thrown three interceptions against the Cardinals in 2015. At that point, Stafford was a $50-million man, due less than half the money Wentz is, and Stafford still made it back to get another big contract and be an established starter once again.

Is Jalen Hurts ready?

Hurts is exciting. The Eagles unexpectedly took him in the second round after Hurts’ graduate transfer season at Oklahoma went extremely well. But every quarterback at OU under Lincoln Riley seems to play well, so whether Hurts is a sure-thing NFL quarterback can’t just be gleaned from that. 

The sample size is extremely small, but Hurts did make it on the field for three snaps in both Week 2 and Week 3. He got his first two NFL carries in Week 3, taking them for a combined eight yards. The Eagles have yet to have Hurts attempt a pass. 

Hurts was always going to be a project. His passing skills at Alabama before his transfer didn’t look NFL-level, and the adjustment to an NFL offense could still take time for Hurts with the truncated offseason. The only other QB on the Philadelphia roster is Nate Sudfeld, and Wentz won’t be benched for him. And for Wentz to be benched for Hurts, the rookie would actually have to be ready to lead an NFL offense.

Eagles’ offensive line is more to blame

Wentz was sacked eight times in Week 1, then three times in Week 3. In Week 2, he wasn’t sacked because he shortened his passing aim, even keeping noted deep-threat DeSean Jackson at a much-below-average 10 yards per catch because there was simply no time to wait and throw down the field.

Lane Johnson is coming off ankle surgery, and while he’s back active, that’s not an easy injury for an offensive tackle to return to 100 percent from. Future Hall of Famer Jason Peters is 38 years old and on the decline. Beyond those two and Jason Kelce at center, the Philadelphia offensive line is young and inexperienced — and that was made worse by Andre Dillard’s season-ending biceps injury before opening day. 

Wentz’s best NFL season was 2017, when he threw 33 touchdowns and the Eagles went 11-2 in his starts. That’s also the completed season that Wentz was sacked the fewest times in his pro career (28 times in 13 games). This year’s current pace would see Wentz sacked 58 times, by far a career-worst mark.

So Pederson is right that the Eagles wouldn’t be smart to bench Wentz right now. He probably won’t spend much time on the bench this season, assuming he stays healthy. But Wentz will probably spend a lot of time on his backside.

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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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The Tom Brady doubters are in trouble now

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The Tom Brady doubters are in trouble now

Rob Gronkowski has had to listen to the Tom Brady doubters longer than most.

As Brady’s teammate for 10 seasons, nine in New England and now one in Tampa Bay, Gronkowski firmly believes that the 43-year-old quarterback hasn’t slowed down one bit. Especially after Brady tossed three first-half touchdowns in the Buccaneers’ 28-10 win over the Broncos on Sunday.

“There are people that have talked garbage about him since I started playing with him 10 years ago, saying he didn’t have anything left in the tank — that is simply not true,” Gronkowski told reporters. “Just the way that he can air the ball out and put a dime where he needs to … I just feel like he can do it. It is like he isn’t even 43 years old.”

Gronkowski, after not being targeted in a Week 2 win over the Panthers, had seven catches for 48 yards in Denver. Brady connected with eight different receiving targets Sunday, completing 25-of-38 passes for 297 passing yards along with three touchdowns and no interceptions. It was his first game in a Buccaneers uniform that he didn’t throw a pick.

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski in the Buccaneers' 28-10 win over the Broncos
Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski in the Buccaneers’ 28-10 win over the BroncosAP

The victory lifted the Buccaneers to a 2-1 record to start the 2020 season. Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians said he thought Sunday was Brady’s best performance this season.

“I think so far for sure. We put a lot on him today, and he delivered,” he said.

Gronkowski and Brady have won three Super Bowls together with Bill Belichick and the Patriots. And when Brady announced that he would be leaving New England for Tampa Bay, Gronkowski promptly came out of his one-year retirement to join him via a trade.

“Just the way he prepares, week in and week out, the way he takes care of himself, the way he goes out to the practice field to make sure that he’s on-point — seeing what I see, from day in and day out, coming to practice, coming to games prepared, mentally and physically, and just doing everything he needs to do so he can make those [tight-window] passes,” Gronkowski said.

“And those passes are incredible. Just the way that he puts them in there, there’s not even any separation … he just lays it there so only the receiver can make a play — it’s just unbelievable. I think he has a lot left, even more, in the tank.”

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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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Week 4 Fantasy RB Rankings: Must starts, sleepers, potential busts at running back

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Week 4 Fantasy RB Rankings: Must starts, sleepers, potential busts at running back

Week 2 was not kind to the running back position, so fantasy football owners were probably relieved to see few players go down with major injuries in Week 3. Some RBs did suffer unfortunate injuries, such as Tarik Cohen and possibly Chris Carson, but for the most part, our Week 4 fantasy RB rankings won’t be impacted all that much by new injuries. Of course, there are still plenty of key absences, including Christian McCaffrey (ankle) and Le’Veon Bell (knee), and there are questions about Raheem Mostert (knee) that make it important to identify sleepers and find potential streamers to help teams get a “W” this week.

Fortunately, there are plenty of good matchups that fantasy football owners can take advantage of. Notably, Kenyan Drake and Melvin Gordon move from the RB2 to RB1 range. Drake has disappointed this year, but he’s playing a woeful Panthers run defense that has been the worst in the league since the start of last season. Meanwhile, Gordon will be playing the Jets’ mediocre defense on a short week and Denver, still could be without Phillip Lindsay (toe). He should be a top-10 play and will likely be a top-15 play even if Lindsay does return.

WEEK 4 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Wide receiver | Tight End | D/ST | Kicker

Elsewhere, it looks like Darrell Henderson can officially be trusted as he has emerged as the Rams’ lead back, though that might be threatened if Cam Akers (ribs) returns. Henderson will get a great matchup against a Giants defense that was just gashed through the air by Jerick McKinnon and Jeff Wilson Jr. James Robinson is also officially an RB1 after his performance against the Dolphins. He’s playing the Bengals, who have had a hard time against RBs this year, so fire him up as a top-10 producer.

WEEK 4 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight End | D/ST | Kicker

There are still some frustrating committees that will be tough to make sense of. Devin Singletary did well for the Bills with Zack Moss (toe) out in Week 3, but will he have as many opportunities if Moss returns? (And would it kill him to score from inside the five-yard line?) And how will the touches be split between the aforementioned McKinnon and Wilson in the 49ers backfield? Those questions will need to be answered as owners try to decide who to start and who to sit, but generally, those involved in committees can at least be flexed. The committee members just have lower floors.

If you’re looking for sleeper flex plays that could be on the waiver wire, Myles Gaskin could be a good pickup. The Dolphins RB is emerging as the team’s leader at the position and could have an opportunity to catch some passes against a porous Seattle pass defense. Frank Gore (vs. Broncos) and Adrian Peterson (vs. Saints) also figure to get enough volume to pay off as flexes in standard leagues.

Reminder: As always, we expect to make plenty of changes to these RB rankings throughout the week, so check back for updates and analysis.

These rankings are for standard, non-PPR leagues.

Week 4 Fantasy RB Rankings (Standard)

These rankings are for non-PPR leagues.

Rank Player
1 Alvin Kamara, NO @ DET. Kamara had one of the best plays of the year against the Packers when he turned a dump-off pass that should’ve gone for no gain into a 52-yard TD. He should have no problem carving up a Detroit defense that gives up the fourth-most fantasy points per game (FPPG) to RBs at 32.1.
2 Aaron Jones, GB vs. ATL
3 Ezekiel Elliott, DAL vs. CLE
4 Kenyan Drake, ARZ @ CAR. Drake has only topped double-digit fantasy points once this year but he should have a chance to do it against the Panthers awful run defense. The Panthers allow 36.5 FPPG to RBs and have allowed seven rushing TDs this year. Drake should find the end-zone and should have a chance to crack 100 yards, provided that Kyler Murray doesn’t vulture too many red-zone carries from him.
5 Dalvin Cook, MIN @ HOU
6 Nick Chubb, CLE @ DAL
7 Derrick Henry, TEN vs. PIT
8 James Robinson, JAX @ CIN. If you were one of the astute fantasy owners that scooped up Robinson before the start of the season, you have to feel pretty good about yourself right about now. Robinson is averaging 113 yards and a TD per game and is taking on a Bengals team that allows the second-most FPPG to RBs at 34.3. He’s now a top-20 play every week and an RB1 in favorable matchups like this one.
9 Jonathan Taylor, IND @ CHI
10 Melvin Gordon, DEN @ NYJ. If Phillip Lindsay is out again on a short week, Gordon will get a chance to go against a Jets defense that has allowed the eighth-most rushing yards to RBs this year at a mark of 344. And if the Broncos want to find success on offense with Drew Lock out, they’ll have to ride the run game to success.
11 Chris Carson, SEA @ MIA. Carson is dealing with a knee sprain that he suffered late in the Seahawks’ win over the Cowboys when Trysten Hill rolled up on him unnecessarily. If he plays, Carson has a great matchup against a Miami defense that just allowed James Robinson to rack up 27.9 fantasy points.
12 Joe Mixon, CIN vs. JAX. Finally, Mixon will play in a matchup that looks favorable on paper. The Jaguars have allowed the sixth-most FPPG to RBs this season at 29.9 and Mixon is handling most of the workload for the Bengals. If Mixon can get more involved in the passing game, he could take advantage of the team’s porous pass defense against running backs (22 catches allowed is fifth-most in the NFL).
13 David Montgomery, CHI vs. IND. With Tarik Cohen (torn ACL) out for the season, Montgomery will take on a larger role in the Bears backfield than he already had as he’ll play more on passing downs. His ceiling is higher as a result and he’ll be a borderline RB1 because of that potential volume.
14 Todd Gurley, ATL @ GB. The Packers defense just let Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray trample them, as the duo combined for 262 scrimmage yards and two TDs against them. Gurley’s Falcons may try to ride the run game early against the Packers as a result and that could open the door for a score for the veteran, who has found the end-zone twice in three games to start the season.
15 Miles Sanders, PHI @ SF. In each of the two games he has played this season, Sanders has rushed for exactly 95 yards. He has also been targeted 15 total times which should give him a PPR boost at some point, provided that he has the opportunity to make these catches behind a beat-up offensive line. The 49ers could be without three of their top defensive linemen on Sunday night in Nick Bosa, Solomon Thomas, and Dee Ford, so Sanders may be the Eagles’ best hope of staying alive on offense.
16 Clyde Edwards-Helaire, KC vs. NE
17 Josh Jacobs, LV vs. BUF
18 Austin Ekeler, LAC @ TB
19 Darrell Henderson, LAR vs. NYG
20 James Conner, PIT @ TEN
21 David Johnson, HOU vs. MIN
22 Kareem Hunt, CLE @ DAL
23 Jerick McKinnon, SF vs. PHI
24 Mark Ingram, BAL @ WAS
25 Mike Davis, CAR vs. ARZ
26 Devin Singletary, BUF @ LV
27 Sony Michel, NE @ KC
28 JK Dobbins, BAL @ WAS
29 Myles Gaskin, MIA vs. SEA
30 Adrian Peterson, DET vs. NO
31 Leonard Fournette, TB vs. LAC
32 Jeff Wilson Jr., SF vs. PHI
33 Joshua Kelley, LAC @ TB
34 Antonio Gibson, WAS vs. BAL
35 Frank Gore, NYJ vs. DEN
36 Ronald Jones II, TB vs. LAC
37 Zack Moss, BUF @ LV
38 Devonta Freeman, NYG @ LAR
39 Latavius Murray, NO @ DET
40 Malcolm Brown, LAR vs. NYG
41 James White, NE @ KC
42 Jordan Howard, MIA vs. SEA
43 Nyheim Hines, IND @ CHI
44 Cam Akers, LAR vs. NYG
45 Carlos Hyde, SEA @ MIA
46 D’Andre Swift, DET vs. NO
47 Jamaal Williams, GB vs. ATL
48 Gus Edwards, BAL @ WAS
49 Kerryon Johnson, DET vs. NO
50 Matt Breida, MIA vs. SEA
51 Chris Thompson, JAX @ CIN
52 Royce Freeman, DEN @ NYJ
53 Chase Edmonds, ARZ @ CAR
54 Dion Lewis, NYG @ LAR
55 Damien Harris, NE @ KC
56 LeSean McCoy, TB vs. LAC
57 Boston Scott, PHI @ SF
58 Rex Burkhead, NE @ KC
59 Darwin Thompson, KC vs. NE
60 Giovani Bernard, CIN vs. JAX
61 Alexander Mattison, MIN @ HOU
62 Benny Snell Jr., PIT @ TEN
63 Tony Pollard, DAL vs. CLE
64 Brian Hill, ATL @ GB
65 Corey Clement, PHI @ SF
66 La’Mical Perine NYJ vs. DEN
67 Devontae Booker, LV vs. BUF
68 Jalen Richard, LV vs. BUF
69 Reggie Bonnafon, CAR vs. ARZ
70 J.D. McKissic, WAS vs. BAL
71 Peyton Barber, WAS vs. BAL
72 AJ Dillon, GB vs. ATL

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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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