This last weekend provided us with a multitude of events that have shocked us in one way or another. It was the first weekend of both college football and the NFL, as well as the U.S. Open and the baseball season getting even closer to the postseason. There was also the death of ABA and NBA legend Moses Malone. Here are the Top 10 shocks of the weekend:
10. The death of Moses Malone at the age of 60
There are times when things happen that fans and players alike cannot wrap their minds around, and the death of Malone is one of them. The 60-year-old former NBA and ABA player passed away on Sunday–leaving this world way too early. The three-time MVP helped the NBA become the league that it is today, and Charles Barkley even used to call him “dad.” God just got an all-star for his team, and Malone is sure to be rocking those heavenly basketball hoops.
9. Bills beating the Colts 27-14
We all knew that Buffalo had an outstanding defense, but they also had quarterback Tyrod Taylor starting his first game in the five years that he has been in the NFL. No big deal for Taylor, as he threw a 51-yard strike to wide receiver Percy Harvin for the game’s first touchdown. The Bills were able to shut down Colts’ quarterback Andrew Luck to make it another elite QB to be strangled by the Bills defense (Rodgers, Manning, Luck) since the last few weeks of last season. The Bills might be making this list on a weekly basis by the end of the season.
8. Rams beating the Seahawks in OT 34-31
Yes, the Rams beat the Seahawks in St. Louis last season, but their defense outplayed the Seahawks’ defense yesterday. Marshawn Lynch had a chance to pick up one yard on a key fourth down in overtime but the Rams stopped him behind the line of scrimmage to seal the victory. This game shouldn’t have Seahawks’ fans in a frenzy just yet, but there is a chance that 2015 might bring more heartache than they are used to. The Rams, on the other hand, have a season full of excitement ahead of them as long as their defense can keep them in the game each week.
7. University of Tennessee blowing a 17-0 lead over Oklahoma and losing
Rocky Top was off to a fast start on Saturday, but it all came crashing down when Oklahoma tied the game late in the fourth quarter. Tennessee eventually lost in overtime and that wasn’t even the worst of it. Sooners safety Hatari Byrd showed Vols fans that he thought they were number one by flipping them the bird. It was the biggest blown lead at home in Tennessee football history, and the loss will probably sting for the next few months.
6. Another season, another Patriots’ controversy
Just when we all thought that “DeflateGate” was over, there was yet another controversy involving the New England Patriots. Apparently the Steelers’ coaching staff was only able to hear the Patriots radio broadcast in their headsets, instead of each other. It points to how much disdain the rest of the NFL and its fans have for the Pats, and how much the Patriots and their fans flaunt winning in everyone else’s faces. We know you won the Super Bowl (five times), but we also know that you collected those victories by using questionable methods. Just add this to the file of using home field advantage in your favor.
5. Everton over Chelsea (3-1) in the English Premier League
Everton played horribly last season in the EPL but this season appears to be very different. Anytime an opposing EPL team can beat Chelsea it makes fans rejoice, but when it is by a team that rejected Chelsea’s four bids for Everton’s best defender in John Stones, it makes it that much sweeter. As usual, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho was his bitter self after another loss that has landed the Blues on the lower end of the table (17th). Everton fans joyfully sang that “Money can’t buy me Stones” throughout the match as well–enjoying Steven Naismith‘s hat trick as well.
4. Dez Bryant, Terrell Suggs and more….
The NFL lost some high-level talent this past weekend due to injuries. Suggs is out for the season with a torn Achilles and Bryant is out for 4-6 weeks with a broken foot that will be surgically repaired on Monday. These were only two of the big name players that were injured in Week 1 and you can find more in Salute Magazine’s NFL Week 1 injury article. If players continue to drop like flies, we might not be able to finish the NFL season.
3. Titans’ Mariota with a dazzling debut
It was the battle of the first and second picks in the 2015 NFL Draft–Winston versus Mariota and Tampa Bay versus the Tennessee Titans in Week 1. Mariota showed the Bucs what they missed out on by selecting Jameis Winston with the first pick instead of him, and it was a dazzling performance. 13 for 16 with 209 passing yards and four touchdowns is a highly efficient stat line in your first NFL start, and the Titans’ front office is giving themselves a pat on the back in celebration of Mariota.
2. Auburn Tigers squeaking by lowly Jacksonville State
If you recall, I had Auburn winning the SEC this season in my SEC preview. I don’t know if I have faith in that pick after Auburn barely beating Jacksonville St. in overtime. The worst part about it is that the Tigers needed a shanked punt with about two minutes left to play to set up their game-tying drive. For those of you that don’t know, Jacksonville State is an FCS school (level below FBS), so that makes this overtime win even worse. The Tigers’ performance didn’t go unnoticed though, as they fell from No. 6 in the AP poll to No. 18–with the win. I’m not a fan of penalizing college teams for wins, but the Tigers had it coming after this performance.
1. Blue Jays overtaking the Yankees for AL East control
The Yankees had complete control of the AL East for months, but then the Blue Jays went 21-6 during the month of August. Now the Yankees are looking up from second place at the sweltering Blue Jays of Toronto. The Blue Jays had a doubleheader sweep of the Yankees on Saturday and now find themselves with a 3.5 game lead in the AL East. This is the same Blue Jays team that hasn’t been to the postseason in 22 years, yet finds themselves playing lights out baseball when it matters most. At this point, the Yankees are hoping to at least get a Wild Card berth, but even that isn’t a guarantee.