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Beside The Points For Monday, Sept. 25, 2017

Things That Caught My Eye

Trump vs. the NFL

President Trump spent the weekend arguing that players shouldn’t take a knee during the national anthem to protest police violence against African-Americans. Trump also urged NFL team owners to do something to stop them. Trump may be reading the results of polls showing that most Americans disapprove of the players’ protests, and believes he can take political advantage of a cultural divide. And he may be right — for now. [FiveThirtyEight]

NFL shocker: Bengals score touchdown

Sunday the Cincinnati Bengals scored three touchdowns, which is huge news for them: In the first two games of the season they scored no touchdowns, leading to their offensive coordinator getting promptly sacked. Prior to 2017, only 23 other offenses in NFL history failed to obtain a touchdown in their first two games. [FiveThirtyEight]

Carmelo to Oklahoma City

Carmelo Anthony has been traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder by the Knicks in exchange for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and a 2018 second round draft pick. Oklahoma City is spending a small fortune on the acquisition indicating they think they seriously have a shot this year. [FiveThirtyEight]

Not ready for prime time players

With Washington beating Oakland and New York suffering a humiliating defeat in Philly, the Giants are down to a 4 percent chance of winning the NFC East. Isn’t ii delightful we got already got two primetime games out of New York? I root for these guys and am sick of seeing them televised nationally. The Eagles are up to a 41 percent chance of winning the inevitably contentious division, Cowboys have a 32 percent shot, and Washington’s got a 23 percent odds. Enjoy primetime, jerks! [FiveThirtyEight]

Canucks vs. Kings vs. Fog

The Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings played a preseason game in Shanghai, the first such NHL event held in China. Kings won 5-2, but the game was lightly attended and Shanghai humidity plus ice-based sporting events meant lots of fog in practice. Hey, they managed to jam NHL franchises in Tampa and Arizona of all places, this league will make this sport work in any climate. [The Globe and Mail]

Mess with the frog you get the horns

It’s college football upset time: Texas Christian University (ranked 12th) beat Oklahoma State (ranked 6th) 44-31 on Saturday. [ESPN]


Big Number

32 percent

The Jets can’t even tank right: their win Sunday means that San Francisco is now the favorite to get the number one pick in next year’s draft, roughly a one in three chance. [ESPN]


Leaks from Slack

[This transcript of a private conversation between NFC East rivals lightly edited to remove extensive use of profanity]

neil:

How on earth did the Giants find a way to not score on that drive???

neil:

Not even trolling…. that was crazy

walt:

I hate this team

walt:

Also, lol, this was the first thing I read after landing in Los Angeles

neil:

Eagles both had no business winning and had no business losing

neil:

Today was just a weird day. Jags crush the Ravens at 9AM in London, go figure that one out

Then Browns almost win in a huge comeback on the road, Pats almost lose at home to Texans

Eagles win on the 4th longest game winning/tying FG ever

Weirdest of all, Bengals actually score a TD


Predictions


Oh, and don’t forget
Neutral zone infraction, #45, offense

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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