Bowl Mania Guide

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard | 12.16.2016

With the Holiday’s comes college football bowl season. Yes, there are too many bowl games (42 in all) and too many undeserving teams (19 teams are .500 or worse ). Yet we will still watch a vast majority of them if no other reason than to escape arguments about this year’s Presidential election. So here are the best bets when it comes to which games to watch.

*All times are Pacific

December 17th

Donnel PumphreyLas Vegas Bowl | Houston vs San Diego State | 12:30pM ABC: Yes Houston lost their head coach to Texas but the OC and DC are still there and the OC, Major Applewhite, is the new head coach and they still have Greg Ward at QB. The Aztecs count with senior running back Donnel Pumphrey who with a solid rushing game could become the nation’s #2 all-time leading rusher.

Camellia Bowl | Appalachian State vs Toledo | 2:30pm ESPN:  Seriously, this is a good game. App State is better than their 9-3 record would indicate and so is Toledo. App State won their first ever bowl game a year ago on a last second field goal after being down 24-7 at halftime.

December 20th

Boca Raton Bowl | Memphis vs Western Kentucky | 4pm ESPN:  Offense, offense and more offense. Western Kentucky averages 517 yards per game while Memphis averages 461. Did we mention offense?

December 21st

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl | BYU vs Wyoming | 6pm ESPN: This is a rivalry game renewed. These two haven’t played each other since 2010 when BYU left the Mountain West Conference and BYU leads the all-time series 44-30-3. Be ready for old school football here.

December 27th

National Funding Holiday Bowl | Minnesota vs Washington State | 4pm ESPN:  Two teams that kind of tripped up towards the end of the season but two solid teams none the less. Wazzu’s Luke Falk is something to see. He was 4th in the country with 4204 passing yards this season. Of course this is only a game if  Minnesota players actually play. 

December 28th

Russell Athletic Bowl | West Virginia vs Miami | 2:30pm ESPN: These two can light up the scoreboard if things go right. West Virginia probably deserves a better bowl game and Miami has junior QB Brad Kaaya and is playing closer to home than the Mountaineers are.

December 29th

Valero Alamo Bowl | Oklahoma State vs Colorado | 6pm ESPN: This might be the best game of bowl season not to mention the fact that this bowl game always seems to be high scoring shootout every year.

 

December 30th

dobbsFranklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl | Nebraska vs Tennessee | 12:30pm ESPN: These two couldn’t stop a nose bleed in their last game of the season. They do have multifaceted QB’s who can hurt you with their arm or their legs. Josh Dobbs for Tennessee and Tommy Armstrong JR for Nebraska. One player to watch is Tennessee’s Derek Barnett. He’ll be a top 5 NFL draft pick if he decides to forgo his senior season.

Capital One Orange Bowl | Michigan vs Florida State | 5pm ESPN: Two teams with loads of talent on both sides of the football. This game will be all about the offensive and defensive lines.

December 31st

College Football Playoff Semifinal | Washington vs Alabama | Noon ESPN:  Look, this playoff is Alabama’s to lose but UW head coach Chris Pederson is known for having a trick or two up his sleeve.

College Football Playoff Semifinal | Ohio State vs Clemson | 4pm ESPN:  All about the QB’s in this one. Ohio State has been here before and it’s hard to bet against Urban Meyer. Then again Clemson was here a year ago and dominated.

January 2nd

Rose Bowl | USC vs Penn State | 2pm ESPN: Two head coaches who were on the hot seat over the last 12 months have their teams in one of the biggest bowl games of all. Not bad. Let’s just hope it’s better than last years blowout of Iowa delivered at the hands of Christian McCaffery and Stanford.

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Winners of the Draft

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard


The 2016 NFL Draft is finally over and the Cleveland Browns came out on top. No I am not kidding. The Browns traded out of the second slot in the first round, accumulated draft picks and then snagged former PAC-12 Defensive Player of the Year Scooby Wright III with the 250th pick in the seventh round. Yes, they won but they were not the only winners.

The Browns need a lot of help on the field and while there seems to finally be some direction in the front office, only time will tell if they got the help they needed. The front office did send all of the right signals by moving out of the number two slot in the first and ending up with 14 picks overall.

Their first round pick, Corey Coleman, may be the best wide receiver in the draft while third round pick Carl Nassib was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and has a lot of room to grow. Throw in former USC quarterback Cody Kessler, Colorado State wide receiver Rashard Higgins and the aforementioned Wright and that is a heck of a draft.

The Browns were not the only winners. Many feel that the Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Rams and Denver Broncos all had outstanding drafts.

The Jags walk away with arguably two top 10 picks with cornerback Jalen Ramsey and linebacker Myles Jack. Jack fell into the second round due to health concerns but even with those concerns, he’s still one of the better athletes in the draft.

The Rams traded up to get Cal quarterback Jared Goff with the first overall pick but then took South Carolina wideout Pharoh Cooper in the fourth round and signed all time PAC-12 receptions leader Nelson Spruce as a free agent. Talk about surrounding your new QB with weapons.

Eddie YarbroughDenver traded up to get their QB of the future in Paxton Lynch. Add in former Utah running back Devontae Booker along with free agents wide receiver Bralon Addison of Oregon and defensive end Eddie Yarbrough of Wyoming. The defending Super Bowl champs proved to be shrewd and calculated.

We won’t really know what teams did well and what teams didn’t do well for a few years. At first glance the Browns, Jags, Rams and Broncos seem to be headed in the right direction. He chose well, filled needs and didn’t over stretch. Now let’s see if it pans out.

You Can’t Go Back

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard


Now that bowl season has wound down and the NFL playoffs kick into high gear this weekend, this is about the time that college kids start making some dumb decisions. They exit school early for the NFL Draft. A lot are ready but many are not and when it comes to quarterbacks, two in particular (Paxton Lynch and Jared Goff) could use more time in the oven.

Paxton LynchPaxton Lynch is a three year starter out of Memphis. He has the size, mobility and a decent arm but in no way is he going to be confused with John Elway. He looked great at times but he also struggled at times like in the bowl game against Auburn.

Where Lynch has slipped is in his accuracy and looking off his first read. While a lot of times in the Memphis offense it was take the snap and throw to your first read, Lynch didn’t have to look for anyone else. His completion percentage improved over the years but with a catch and throw style, that should improve.

JaredGoffJared Goff is like Lynch. Three year starter, spread offense and has a very good arm. Goff like Lynch struggled at times. Goff’s are more obvious than Lynch’s in that Goff would throw interceptions against top defenses on the road.

In Goff’s ESPN Gameday, first big road test against Utah….he threw five interceptions. Against Oregon he completed less than 50% of his throws and in The Big Game against Stanford, it was a lot of underneath throws in Cal’s sixth straight loss to the Cardinal.

Look, Bucky Brooks, Todd McShay, David Benoit, Mike Mayock and others know a whole lot more about this than I do but I know what I see. What I see are two quarterbacks who may be faces of the franchise in two to three years but are not top 10 NFL picks right now. Yes their upside is tremendous but they could both use an extra year of seasoning. An NFL team would be better off trading down and grabbing North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz or Michigan State’s Connor Cook in the second round.

If they are forced to start right away for Cleveland OR San Francisco then they will struggle big time and it may be a struggle they don’t recover from. They both need to sit two years at least. It would only be one year if they stayed in school another year. One thing is certain now, they cannot go back to playing college football.

What to Watch: Thurs. 12/31 – Sun. 1/3

All times are Pacific.

Thursday December 31st

Chik-Fil-A Peach Bowl – 9am ESPN:  Houston sneaks into a major bowl game only to go up against one of the best programs in all the land in Florida State. This game showcases FSU tailback Dalvin Cook and Houston QB Greg Ward JR. FSU should pull away late but there should be lots of offense.

Xavier at Villanova – 9am FS1: Top 25 match-up and a Big East Conference battle.

ouCapital One Orange Bowl – 1pm ESPN: The first of two College Football Playoff Semifinal games. This is a rematch of last years Russell Athletic Bowl and while Clemson got the better of Oklahoma in that game, OU is one of the hottest teams in the country.

Pittsburgh Penguins at Detroit Red Wings – 3pm NHL Gamecenter: Not a bad way match up to help ring in the New Year.

Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets – 4pm NBA League Pass: The Warriors are on the ole Texas road trip. It’s a rough stretch even for the best team in the NBA.

MSU FLAGGoodyear Cotton Bowl – 5pm ESPN: Michigan State vs Alabama is about as old school as it gets. This one is all about running the ball and defense. Just a note, Nick Saban is undefeated against his former assistants. Michigan State Head Coach Mark Dantonio is a former assistant of Saban’s.

 

Friday January 1st

dobbsOutback Bowl – 9am ESPN2: Northwestern and Tennessee have had outstanding years. This game is always close and a lot of fun to watch. Keep an eye on Tennessee QB Josh Dobbs. If he can be a dual threat against the tough Wildcat D then Tennessee could have a very good day.

Montreal Canadiens at Boston Bruins – 10am NBC: The 2016 Winter Classic is here. The Bruins are three points south of the Habs but as we know, anything can happen in this game.

BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl – 10am ESPN: Does it get much better than Notre Dame vs Ohio State?

Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual – 2pm ESPN: Iowa vs Stanford is like Michigan State vs Alabama, run oriented offenses defenses that can win a game for you. You get to also check out the most exciting player in the country in Stanford’s Christian McCaffery.

Dallas Mavericks at Miami Heat – 4:30pm NBA League Pass: The Mavs head to Miami to kick off the New Year with Chris Bosh and D-Wade.

UFC 195 – 7pm PPV: Not the best card the UFC has ever put out there but the main event is for the Welterweight title. Defending Champion Robbie Lawler puts the title on the line against for Interim Champion Carlos Condit.

 

Saturday January 2nd

West Ham vs Liverpool – 4:45am NBCSN: Two teams that are neck and neck in the standings.

TaxSlayer Bowl – 9am ESPN: Penn State vs Georgia. One team (Penn State) is in transition offensively (new OC coming in) and Georgia, well their new Head Coach is currently the DC for Alabama.

Watford vs Manchester City -9:30am NBC: It’s been an upside down league this season, will order be restored in 2016? Man City has a chance to put Watford in their place and gain ground on league leading Arsenal.

Baylor at Kansas – 11am CBS: The Bears invade Rock Chalk Jayhawk and one of the toughest environments in all of college basketball.

Memphis at South Carolina – 1pm ESPNU: Stop the presses, the Gamecocks are undefeated and get their toughest test to date.

Iowa State at Oklahoma – 2pm ESPN2: OU is arguably the best team in the country but the Cyclones are not far behind.

Valero Alamo Bowl – 3:45pm ESPN: Oregon vs TCU and that means wide open offenses and two quarterbacks looking to end their collegiate careers with a bang. Oregon’s Vernon Adams and TCU’s Trevone Boykin.

New York Rangers at Florida Panthers – 4pm NHL Gamecenter: The Panthers are one of the surprises in the NHL this season. The Rangers are not. They are just a solid hockey team.

Houston Rockets at San Antonio Spurs – 5:30 NBA TV: Two of the better teams in the West square off.

 

Sunday January 3rd

Everton vs Tottenham – 8am NBCSN: Everton sits nine points back of Spurs and Spurs have goal scoring phenom Harry Kane. Tall order, even at home.

New York Jets at Buffalo Bills – 10am CBS: Jets win and they are into the playoffs. If the Bills win then there are a whole slew of possibilities.

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals – 10am FOX: Bengals need to win to have a chance at a first round bye which they desperately need. Even backup QB AJ McCarron is iffy for this game with a bad wrist.

almerSeattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals – 1:25pm FOX: The Cards have a shot at having home field advantage throughout the playoffs and QB Carson Palmer has said ‘Super Bowl or Bust!’ Seahawks are working on a higher Wild Card seeding.

Dallas Stars at New York Islanders – 2pm NHL Gamecenter: The Stars lead the Central and the Isles are trying to stay within striking distance of the Capitals in the Metropolitan.

Toronto Raptors at Cleveland Cavaliers – 4pm NBA League Pass: King James and crew welcome the Atlantic leading Raptors to town.

Bridgewater vs PackersMinnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers – 5:30pm NBC: The NFC North and home field advantage for the first round of the playoffs is on the line. Packers got the better of the Vikings the first time around this season. Let’s see if Teddy Bridgewater and crew can get even.

What to Watch Fri. 11/13 – Sun. 11/15

All times are Pacific

Friday November 13th

San Jose Sharks at Detroit Red Wings  – 4:30pm NHL Gamecenter: These two had some legendary playoff series back in the day.

USA vs St. Vincent & The Grenadines – 4pm ESPN2: Let the road to the 2018 World Cup in Russia begin.

USC at Colorado – 6pm ESPN2: Colorado is better than their record shows. USC has some NFL level talent. At night in Boulder is a tall order for the Trojans.

 

Saturday November 14th

Georgia at Auburn  – 9am CBS: Fact is, if Mark Richt and Georgia win then he may have saved his job.

Texas at West Virginia – 9am ESPNU: This is a swing game for both when it comes to Bowl eligibility.

Miami at UNC – 12:30pm ESPNU: Last time Miami was in the state of North Carolina they won by lateraling the ball like eight times. UNC is on a roll though.

Alabama at Mississippi State – CBS: Dak Prescott and the Bulldogs have one last chance to beat the Tide and prove that they are a force to be reckoned with in the SEC West.

Memphis at Houston – 4pm ESPN2: The over on this game should be like 150 points.

Oklahoma at Baylor – 5pm ABC: Game of the day and OU has always had problems defending Baylor. Question is, can OU keep place offensively?

FourtnetteArkansas at LSU – 5:15pm ESPN: Like old school, run oriented offenses and hard hitting defenses? Well this is your game. One is coming off a tremendous win in OT while the other got beaten down pretty good.

 

UFC 193 – 7pm PPV: Ronda Rousey takes her winning ways to another continent (Australia) to square off against Holly Holm. Hidden gem on this card is Mark Hunt vs Bigfoot Silva in a rematch of their legendary 2013 fight.

Washington State at UCLA – 7:30pm ESPN: Washington State lost their first game of the year to Portland State who plays in the FCS. People were calling for head coach Mike Leach’s job. Boy how things have changed.

 

 

Sunday November 15th

Toronto Argonauts at Hamilton Tiger-Cats – 10am ESPN3: It’s playoff time in the CFL and this is a great way to start it off. Both have had to overcome injuries at key positions and it’s the equivalent of a ‘backyard brawl.’

Minnesota Vikings at Oakland Raiders – 1pm FOX: A year ago we wouldn’t dream of making this a ‘must watch’ game but man, what a difference a year makes.

BC Lions at Calgary Stampeders – 1:30pm ESPN3: The defending Grey Cup Champion Calgary Stampeders begin the final run of head coach John Hufnagel’s career. They are heavy favorites but don’t count out the Lions.

Toronto Maple Leafs at NY Rangers – 4pm NHLN: Always a fun game to watch.

Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks  – 5:30pm NBC: Two top teams in the NFC West square off the end your weekend.

What To Watch Fri. 11/6 – Sun. 11/8

All times are Pacific.

 

Friday November 6th

Tyler ErvinBYU at San Jose State – 8:30pm CBSSN: SJSU running back Tyler Ervin is a stud. He has almost 1200 yards rushing already this season and 12 TD’s. BYU are some tough dudes though. Last thing they want is for this guy to run wild on ’em.

 

Saturday November 7th

Penn State at Northwestern – 9am ESPNU: Big Ten match up with poll position for a decent bowl game on the line.

Duke at North Carolina – 9am ESPN2: UNC is getting no love this year and Duke is coming off of that bad referring loss to Miami. Is there a hangover for Duke?

Notre Dame at Pittsburgh – 9am ABC: All Pitt is doing is winning. Yes they are coming off of a tough loss to UNC but they are hard nosed football team. Notre Dame is going to get all it wants from the Panthers.

Florida State at Clemson – 12:30pm ABC: Clemson is the number 1 team in the land. Florida State doesn’t care.

TCU at Oklahoma State – 12:30pm FOX: TCU is getting no love…even with the number 2 offense in the country. The over/under is 78. We vote to take the over.

Cincinnati at Houston – 1:30m ESPN2: These two teams rank 5th and 7th in total offense at the FBS level. That alone is a reason to watch.

Navy at Memphis – 4pm ESPN2: Navy is 6-1 with the NCAA All Time touchdown king in quarterback Keenan Reynolds. Memphis is shooting for a big time bowl bid. Should be whoever has the ball last wins.

Boston Bruins at Montreal Canadiens – 4pm NHLN: Original 6 matchup.

LSU at Alabama – 5pm CBS: Two teams that are currently in the College Football Playoff.

 

 

Sunday November 8th

Arsenal vs Tottenham – 7:55am NBCSN: A North London Derby for your Sunday morning.

Oakland Raiders at Pittsburgh Steelers – 10am CBS: Man, can’t believe the Raiders are a must watch team. This could be the best game of the day.

Green Bay Packers at Carolina Panthers – 10am FOX: Packers got exposed last week in Denver. Now they have to rebound on the road against another undefeated team.

DC United vs NY Red Bulls – Noon ESPN: Red Bulls got the always valuable road goal so they look to be in good shape in this one.

Seattle Sounders vs FC Dallas – 4:30pm FS1: First game was a 1-1 draw which gives Dallas the advantage heading into the second leg.

Timber vs Whitecaps

Portland Timbers vs Vancouver Whitecaps – 7pm FS1: Like the Seattle vs FC Dallas game, the first game was a draw and that should give the Whitecaps the advantage here.

 

 

What to Watch Fri. 10/23 – Sun. 10/25

All times are Pacific.

Friday October 23rd

Montreal Canadiens at Buffalo Sabers – 4pm NLHN: Habs are off to a 7-0-0 start but Buffalo has rookie sensation Jack Eichel.

Memphis at Tulsa – 5pm ESPN: Memphis is coming off a huge win against Ole Miss. Tulsa is the nations 6th ranked offense while Memphis is 10th. Shootout Possibility Factor: High.

Toronto Blue Jays at KC Royals – 5pm FS1: Game 6 and the Jays send David Price to the mound who has lost his last seven post season starts.

 

Saturday October 24th

Deshaun Watson Clemson

Clemson at Miami – 9am ABC: Clemson is just about a lock for the College Football Playoff unless they stumble here which is entirely possible. Miami is a tough place to play. You also get to watch the two best QB’s in the ACC in Clemson’s Deshaun Watson and Miami’s Brad Kaaya.

Tennessee at Alabama – 12:30pm CBS: Third Saturday in October means one thing, Tennessee vs Bama. Can the Vols finally put four quarters of football together against the Tide? Are the Tide on let down alert?

Texas A&M at Ole Miss – 4pm ESPN: Both teams have a conference loss. Both are coming off of tough, embarrassing loss. Both need this game.

Utah at USC – 4:30pm FOX: Some people consider Utah the best team in the country but USC has enough talent to beat anybody in the country.

Tampa Bay Lightning at Chicago Blackhawks – 5:30pm NHLN: A rematch of last years Stanley Cup Final.

Toronto Blue Jays at KC Royals – 5pm FS1 (If Necessary): Game 7 if it’s needed.

 

Sunday October 25th

Buffalo Bills vs Jacksonville Jaguars – 6:30am Yahoo: First ever NFL regular season game streamed live on Yahoo. Should be a decent game and you can watch on your tablet as you lay in bed.

Manchester United vs Manchester City – 7am NBCSN: It’s a Manchester Derby on a Sunday morning.

NY Jets at NE Patriots – 10am CBS: Undefeated Pats take on a solid Jets team.

United States Grand Prix – Noon NBC: F1 in Austin, Texas.

MLS Decision Day – 2pm/4pm: First ever “Decision Day” in MLS. The real action is out west where Portland, Sporting KC, Seattle and San Jose are all competing for three playoff spots.

Philadelphia Eagles at Carolina Panthers – 5:30pm NBC: Undefeated Panthers welcome the Eagles who seem to be putting it together.

The Sunday: The Truth Comes Out…Or Not

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

Meltdowns and Shootouts

Some teams rise to the occasion and others don’t. Tennessee gave up a 13+ 4th quarter lead for the second time this year to fall to 2-2. Texas shot themselves in the foot for the second week in a row. Last week it was a missed extra point and this week it was a dropped snap on the punt.

Oregon meanwhile got faded at home to a solid Utah team and we do mean faded. Utah had 55 points on the board after three quarters! There is a lot of head scratching going on in Knoxville, Austin, and Eugene this Sunday morning.

Meanwhile on the other side of the spectrum, Cincinnati vs Memphis on Thursday night had some 11 lead changes, 99 points and a combined 1322 yards. Not to be outdone, TCU and Texas Tech combined for 1357 total yards and 107 points. Either way, this Memphis fan was rocking out.

 

Robbed

The Boston Red Sox season ended a few months ago. However, that didn’t stop Mookie Betts from giving his all on a potential homerun ball.

San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner and umpire ‘Cowboy’ Joe West didn’t see eye to eye on the strike zone the other night which led them to a good ‘ole fashion country boy stare down. Boy are from the same neck of the woods in western North Carolina and neither was going to back down.

Chicago Blackhawks superstar winger Patrick Kane’s sexual assault case took many turns that honestly boggle the mind. 

 

Robbing

Robert Lewandowski is a bad man. He is a forward for German Bundesliga mega club Bayern Munich. Why should you know who he is? He has scored a seven goals in two games and five in nine minutes. That’s right, five in nine minutes.

 

Run over

West Virginia rolled over the Maryland Terrapins 45-6. Like the Terrapins football team, one of their cheerleaders was run over by West Virginia wide receiver Shelton Gibson.

Alabama Offensive Coordinator Lane Kiffin is no stranger to running over people, places and things. Well he got runover by the internet this past week with speculation that he was being run out of Tuscaloosa for everything from sleeping with a boosters wife to sleeping with Nick Saban’s daughter. Wow do people not like this guy.

Yogism

NY Yankee great Yogi Berra passed away this past week. The Hall of Famer left us with a lot of great memories but most of all he left us with Yogisms. Like Yogi would say, ‘You can observe a lot by just watching.’

What to Watch – Thurs. 9/24 – Sun. 9/27

All times are Pacific.

Thursday September 24th

Cincinnati at Memphis – 4:30pm ESPN: These two rank #6 & #7 in scoring offense. Shootout imminent.

 

Friday September 25th

Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs – 11:20am MLBN: Two teams destined for an NL Wild Card showdown in about 10 days.

Texas Rangers at Houston Astros – 5pm ESPN2: These two are fighting for supremacy in the AL West with only about a week to go.

Stanford at Oregon State – 7:30pm FS1: Stanford has to regroup on a short week after beating USC in LA. Tall order.

 

Saturday September 26th

Tottenham vs Manchester City – 4:40am NBCSN:  Manchester City sits atop the Premier League table but Spurs can give them all kinds of problems.

BYU at Michigan – 9am ABC: BYU is just the funnest team to watch this college football season. They will give Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines all they want.

Georgia Tech at Duke – 9am ESPN2: Georgia Tech looks to rebound after a tough loss to Notre Dame. Duke, underrated as usual.

Tennessee at Florida – 12:30pm CBS: Tennessee thinks they are on the verge of “being back.” They haven’t beaten Florida since 2004 but only lost by one point last year. ESPN’s Chris Low gives us a look back at how important this game use to be. 

UCLA vs BYU 2015

UCLA at Arizona -5pm ABC: Gameday is there, Arizona’s linebacker Scooby Wright is trying to come back from knee surgery and UCLA lost Mr Everything Myles Jack this week to a knee injury. Big, big matchup in the desert and one that could decide who is going to win the Pac 12 South.

 

Utah at Oregon – 5:30pm FOX: Utah is a tough team and Oregon has shown some chinks in the armour and Vernon Adams isn’t 100%. Upset alert.

 

Sunday September 27th

Atlanta Falcons at Dallas Cowboys – 10am FOX: Battle of 2-0 teams but the Cowboys have lost a lot of talent.

Pittsburgh Steelers at St Louis Rams -1pm CBS: Rams have one solid defense and they are even better at home. Big Ben is in for a long day.

Sporting KC vs Seattle Sounders – 2pm ESPN: Two teams fighting for playoff positioning in the Western Conference.

Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs – 5pm ESPN: Getaway game of this very important series.

Denver Broncos at Detroit Lions -5:30pm NBC: Detroit has had a tough go of it early on but Denver’s offense has yet to find the explosiveness that they have been know for the last few years.