Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. On this week’s show (Sept. 13, 2016) we talk to ESPN’s Bill Barnwell about the NFL’s opening weekend and ask him if Tom Brady is great because he has Bill Belichick as a coach. Then, it’s almost playoff time in Major League Baseball, so we take a look at some of the teams in contention as we head toward October. Finally, there were upsets in both the men’s and women’s tournament at this year’s U.S. Open. We welcome back FiveThirtyEight’s Carl Bialik, who tells us why the upsets ran counter to FiveThirtyEight’s forecast. Plus, a significant digit on Tim Tebow’s move to the New York Mets.
Links to what we discuss:
- Bill Barnwell breaks down the first career starts of Carson Wentz, Dak Prescott and Jimmy Garoppolo.
- Neil Paine explains why the numbers probably aren’t the best way to evaluate Jack Del Rio’s decision to go for two points in Oakland’s game against the Saints.
- Robert Mays says at The Ringer that the old RGIII is never coming back and that should make us sad.
- Also at The Ringer, Ben Lindbergh says the race for the playoffs in the AL East is historically close.
- You can find FiveThirtyEight’s 2016 MLB playoff predictions here.
- Carl Bialik says the only reason Serena Williams’s exit from major tournaments is a big upset is that she is always a big favorite.
- FiveThirtyEight’s Ben Morris writes that breakthrough stars in tennis are all veterans these days.
- Significant Digit: 14.3 percent. That’s the percentage of players who moved from the NFL to professional baseball and ended up in the Major Leagues. Tim Tebow signed with the Mets last week and will play in the Instructional League in Florida this month.