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A timeline of Jon Gruden’s tenure as Raiders coach, plus Lamar Jackson leads Ravens to epic comeback

Written by on October 12, 2021

Greetings sports fans, it’s Chris Bengel back with you on this Tuesday. I hope everyone had their usual filling of football over the weekend and again on Monday night.

It truly was the wildest week that we’ve seen in the NFL so far this season. How about that field goal kicking displays we saw? In the Cincinnati Bengals-Green Bay Packers game there were five consecutive missed field goals in the last three minutes of regulation and overtime. I’ve truly never seen anything like that.

Then last night, Colts kicker Rodrigo Blankenship missed three field goals, including one late that would’ve given them a huge upset win over the Ravens. We’ll get into that Monday night game and much, much more right now.

📰 What you need to know

1. Jon Gruden resigns as Raiders head coach in wake of probe into emails 🏈

Jon Gruden is no longer the coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. Gruden informed his coaching staff that he was resigning from his post on Monday night following an investigation into emails in which he used allegedly used insensitive and homophobic language.

In the emails, where were initially discovered as part of a separate investigation into the Washington Football Team, Gruden criticized NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith and used racist and offensive language when doing so. According to a report from The New York Times, Gruden also used misogynistic and homophobic language in multiple emails.

Here’s a brief summary of the language Gruden used in the emails:

  • “The emails, which span from 2010 until 2018, when the coach signed a 10-year deal with Las Vegas after years as a ‘Monday Night Football’ analyst, include Gruden calling (Roger) Goodell a ‘f—–‘ and ‘clueless anti-football p—-,’ criticizing Goodell for allegedly pressuring then-Rams coach Jeff Fisher to draft ‘queers,’ and messages (to former Washington Football Team president Bruce Allen) that featured photos of topless Washington Football Team cheerleaders.”

Just hours after all of this information was published by the New York Times on Monday night, Gruden stepped down from his head coaching job.

  • Gruden’s statement: “I have resigned as Head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. I love the Raiders and do not want to be a distraction. Thank you to all the players, coaches, staff, and fans of Raider Nation. I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone.”

The Raiders had signed Gruden to a 10-year deal when he was hired by the franchise back in 2018. With Gruden out of the picture, assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia will be the Raiders interim head coach.

Courtesy of CBS Sports NFL scribe Cody Benjamin, here are some key dates and a timeline of Gruden’s tenure:

  • Jan. 6, 2018 – Gruden hired by Raiders: “Gruden spent 11 years as a head coach between the Raiders (1998-2001) and Buccaneers (2002-08) before nestling into post-coaching life, most famously as a color commentator on ESPN’s ‘Monday Night Football.’ After nine years away, he made his return with a luxurious welcome from Raiders owner Mark Davis, complete with a historic 10-year, $100 million contract.”
  • Sept. 1, 2018 – Gruden trades Khalil Mack
  • March 9, 2019 – Gruden trades for Antonio Brown
  • Oct. 8, 2021 – Report of racially-charged email: “Four days after falling to the Chargers in prime time for their first loss of the year, the Raiders faced a new dilemma, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that Gruden had used a racial trope to criticize NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith in a 2011 email, uncovered as part of a separate workplace investigation into Washington Football Team.”
  • Oct. 11, 2021 – Gruden resigns: “Three days after the Wall Street Journal report … The New York Times reported Gruden’s emails from 2010-2018 contained a pattern of homophobic, misogynistic and sexist insults, as well as pictures of topless Washington Football Team cheerleaders. An hour after the report surfaced, Gruden informed his staff he would resign, later confirming his step down from the Raiders less than four full seasons into his 10-year deal.”

2. MLB playoff roundup: Red Sox walk off into ALCS ⚾

When it comes to the Major League Baseball postseason, expecting the unexpected has always been a good rule to live by. After all, many predicted that the Tampa Bay Rays would be a World Series contender and make a deep run. Instead, the Boston Red Sox came away with a 6-5 win over the Rays in Game 4 on Monday and won the American League Division Series.

Chaos was the storyline throughout the majority of this series. The Red Sox took a 5-0 lead in Game 4 thanks to five-run third inning that was highlighted by a three-run home run from Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers. Despite having a massive lead, the Rays didn’t give in and were able to tie the game. Their middle-inning outburst was highlighted by a two-run home run courtesy of star rookie Wander Franco.

But the Red Sox were able to put on a clinic in situational hitting in the ninth inning to earn the win. Here is how the inning unfolded:

  • Christian Vasquez started off the inning with a single to left field
  • Christian Arroyo put down a sacrifice bunt to move Vasquez up to second base
  • Travis Shaw, who pinch hit for Bobby Dalbec, reached on an infield single and Vasquez moved up to third base
  • Kiké Hernandez was able to bring home Danny Santana, who was pinch running for Vasquez, for the game-winning run on a sac fly

In the NL, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants were battling for the upper hand in the National League Division Series. Just as they have many times this season, the Giants found a way to get the job done in a low-scoring affair. The Giants came away with a 1-0 win with the lone run coming courtesy of a solo home run from third baseman Evan Longoria in the fifth inning.

Giants pitchers were able to limit the high-powered Dodgers offense to just five hits on the night. Veteran Alex Wood tossed 4.2 scoreless innings and only yielded two hits. The bullpen was able to fend off any Dodgers rally as Jake McGee, Camilo Doval, and didn’t allow a single hit the rest of the way.

3. Ravens complete epic comeback against Colts in overtime 🏈

It’s not about how you start, it’s about how you finish. That sentiment never rang more true than in Monday’s battle between the Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens. Despite trailing 22-3 late in the third quarter, the Ravens were able to come back and defeat the Colts 31-25 in overtime.

In the first half and most of the third quarter, the Ravens offense just wasn’t able to put points on the board. Quarterback Lamar Jackson had his fair share of struggles and the defense wasn’t putting a ton of pressure on Carson Wentz. But it was almost as though a light bulb came on late in the third quarter as the Ravens outscored the Colts 28-3 in the final quarter and overtime.

Here’s a recap of how the Ravens were able to put points on the board late to win it:

  • With 56 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Jackson connected with Marquise Brown on a 43-yard touchdown
  • With 9:38 left in the fourth quarter, Jackson hit tight end Mark Andrews on a five-yard touchdown pass then delivered the ball to Andrews once again for a successful two-point conversion
  • With just 39 seconds left in regulation, Jackson found Andrew yet again for a four-yard touchdown. Spoiler alert: … he hit Andrews again for the two-point conversion
  • On the very first possession of overtime, Jackson threw a five-yard touchdown pass to Brown to complete the comeback

This was one of the more wild games we’ve seen this season — especially in primetime. It was downright impressive to see Jackson lead the Ravens back in that fashion. It’s hard to argue that Baltimore has been one of the top teams in the NFL this season as they’ve gotten off to a 4-1 start.

For more analysis of the action, check out what our CBS Sports NFL scribes had to say.

4. Welcome back, NHL! 🏒

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Tuesday night will mark the start of the 2021-22 NHL season. For the hockey community, it’s the first time since the 2018-19 campaign in which the NHL will hold a traditional 82-game season.

All of the action will get underway when the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning take on the Pittsburgh Penguins. In addition, we have the battle of the two modern expansion teams when the Vegas Golden Knights will host the Seattle Kraken.

I’ll be providing a large amount of the NHL coverage throughout the season for CBS Sports. With that in mind, this seems like a great time to hit you with my NHL predictions.

  • The Lightning are a tough team to go against and I see them having another phenomenal season. Our own Austin Nivison seems to share that sentiment as he tabbed the Lightning as the top team in our CBS Sports NHL preseason power rankings
  • This is a team that will have a healthy Nikita Kucherov, which may be more important than any free agent signing that the franchise could’ve made. We saw how big of a role Kucherov played as he returned for the playoffs last season. As the rosters are currently constructed, I’m going to say that the Lightning will be representing the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup Finals
  • However, I believe the Lightning fall short of becoming just the sixth team in league history to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup for a third consecutive season. I think that this is finally the year in which the Vegas Golden Knights get the job done

I had the privilege of previewing the 2021-22 NHL season and revealed 10 storylines that you should be monitoring as the season gets underway. Here are a few:

  • Will Jack Eichel get moved?: “It seems like a foregone conclusion that the Sabres will be forced to move Eichel. At this point, it’s likely a matter of when and where Eichel ends up being dealt. Buffalo is need of a huge rebuild after missing the postseason for the past nine seasons. Eichel was supposed to be the centerpiece of the rebuild after signing an eight-year, $80 million contract extension prior to the 2017-18 season. Considering the injury concerns, the return for Eichel likely won’t be what it could’ve once been.”
  • Inaugural season for the Kraken: “The Seattle Kraken will become the 32nd NHL team when the 2021-22 season begins. The Kraken are going to be constantly compared to the Vegas Golden Knights, who won 51 games and advanced all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals in their inaugural season back in 2017. It’s going to be tough for Seattle replicate that kind of success, but the franchise does have a good amount of strong building blocks on its roster. Much like the Golden Knights did with Marc-Andre Fleury, the Kraken do have an All-Star-caliber goaltender in Philipp Grubauer. It also doesn’t hurt that the team has a nice mix of veterans featuring the likes of Jordan Eberle, Mark Giordano and Adam Larsson, so a playoff appearance may not be out of the question.”

5. The latest on the Ben Simmons-76ers saga 🏀

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The Ben Simmons holdout is reaching a resolution. No, the Philadelphia 76ers aren’t close to trading the All-Star forward, but Simmons has returned to the team, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Simmons took a COVID-19 test upon arrival, which is required as part of the league’s protocol. It appears that Philadelphia wants to see Simmons back on the court as soon as possible, but it’s unclear if that will come to fruition. 

It’s hard not to gather that Simmons’ sudden decision to return to Philadelphia has everything to do with his wallet. After all, Simmons was losing $360,000 for every preseason and regular season game that he would miss as a result of the holdout.

At the end of the day, the Sixers still are seeking a substantial return in exchange for Simmons. Daryl Morey is going to do everything he can to bring a star player and potentially draft picks to Philadelphia for Simmons. Personally, I’d be extremely excited to see Portland Trail Blazers two-guard CJ McCollum come to the Sixers in a deal. These are two players that definitely could use a change of scenery. McCollum gives the Sixers another perimeter shooter and another guard that can create his own shot. 

CBS Sports NBA scribe Sam Quinn provided some context on how the Simmons situation has gotten to this point:

  • Quinn: “Simmons reportedly told teammates not to visit him in Los Angeles earlier in the offseason to try to convince him to rejoin the team. The 76ers have been working throughout training camp to prepare for a season in which they might not have Simmons, so reintroducing him so late in the offseason could make things difficult. But without a viable trade on the trade on the table, Simmons’ options were to sit out and sacrifice his paycheck or to return to the team and hope a trade can materialize later on. It seems as though he is choosing the latter.”

📝 Odds & Ends

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📺 What to watch tonight

⚾ Astros vs. White Sox, 2:07 p.m. | CWS -115 | TV: FS1

⚾ Brewers vs. Braves, 5:07 p.m. | TV: TBS

⚾ Giants vs. Dodgers, 9:07 p.m. | TV: TBS

🏅 Best thing I saw on the internet

On Monday, one of the biggest errors on the diamond actually took place in the stands. During Game 3 of the National League Division Series, Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Luis Urias hit a pop-up into the stands and former Braves third baseman Chipper Jones — who was attending the game as a fan — thought he had a beat on the ball. However, Jones completely missed catching the ball. Clearly, Jones’ fielding acumen isn’t what it used to be.


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