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Beside The Points For Monday, Oct. 2, 2017

Things That Caught My Eye

Kareem Hunt is incredible

Rookie running back Kareem Hunt has opened his NFL career with a staggeringly good trifecta of games. He’s accumulated 538 rushing and receiving yards in three starts for the Kansas City Chiefs, with a fourth game tonight against Washington on Monday Night Football. Of the 812 rookies who have racked up more than 100 yards in their first three games, Hunt sits behind only Billy Simms, who put up 562 yards for Detroit in 1980. [FiveThirtyEight]

Niners (D-CA) vs. Bucs (R-FL)

The NFL has been a nexus recently for protests, particularly last weekend after some goading from the president on Twitter. This sent league executives into a crisis, and it’s clear why: The NFL appeals to people across party lines in a way few other sports do, with fans in San Francisco (who have a +22 point Democratic lean) to Tampa Bay (a +9.5 Republican lean). [FiveThirtyEight]

MLB teams waffle on jumping lowest possible bar for safety

A devastating line drive foul that severely injured a child has spurred league-wide introspection about how much netting should protect spectators from baseballs. People in luxury boxes hate mildly obstructed views, but also baseballs can be dangerous projectiles as seen in New York last month. Only 10 of 30 teams have netting that goes to the end of the dugouts. At least four teams have announced they will extend the netting in the wake of the injured 2-year-old in Yankee Stadium. [The New York Times]

Watson

The Texans set a franchise record for points scored in their 57-14 win over Tennessee, with rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson tying a 1961 Fran Tarkenton record for five touchdowns — four thrown, one rushed — for a rookie quarterback in a game. [ESPN]

New Jersey man fails to pay protection racket

The New York Giants tried their third offensive line in four games. It didn’t work either, and the team lost to the Tampa Bay Bucs on the road. If you ever wanted to tackle Eli Manning, your next available opportunity is by working for the Chargers next week. [ESPN]

2016 repeat?

Two of the best teams in college football right now are Clemson and Alabama, the two teams who incidently played in the college football championship game last year. Despite the loss of Deshaun Watson — you remember the phenom on the Texans you read about mere moments ago – Clemson pivoted terrifically to a rushing offense and we could see a rematch later this year. [ESPN]


Big Number

5 under 5

There are five teams in the NFL who — based on FiveThirtyEight’s projections — currently have less than a five percent chance of making the playoffs. Those teams are Cleveland (0-4) and San Francisco (0-4), each with less than 1 percent chance of making the postseason; the L.A. Chargers (0-4), with a 1 percent chance; Chicago (1-3) with a 3 percent chance, and the New York Giants (0-4) with a 4 percent chance. [FiveThirtyEight]


Leaks from Slack

[in which three reporters monitor the AFC East]

neil:

Pats haven’t lost more than 3 home games in a season since Brady became starting QB

They have 2 home losses already this year

walt:

dang

is tom brady an elite quarterback? tbd.

heynawl-enten:

Who is watching this Jets game?

Heading towards a tie and fast

neil:

I gave up on it lol

Turned to NFL Network gameday live

heynawl-enten:

[4:35 PM] Here we go

[4:35] Jets kick for the win

[4:35] let’s see

[4:36] IT’S GOOD!

[4:36] Oh wait

[4:36] flag down

[4:36] NOPE

[4:36] IT’S GOOD

[4:36] JETS WIN

[4:36] LOL


Predictions


Oh, and don’t forget
The tick tock of the Adidas scandal

Walt Hickey is FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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