The NFL is really back. Sure, the season kicked officially kicked off on Thursday night, but it truly got going on Sunday with the first full slate of games. Among them were some unsurprising highlights and some extreme lowlights. One such low had to be the Cleveland Browns, much hyped, losing big at home to the Tennessee Titans 43-13 in one of the early games. Then, there was Kyler Murray’s debut for the Arizona Cardinals against the Detroit Lions. While the defending Heisman winner started poorly, he would recover in spectacular fashion to lead them to an eventual 27-27 tie at home. At one point, he and his team found themselves down by 18 points, yet he rallied them back from the brink of defeat to tie the game up with 43 seconds left. The two teams then traded field goals in overtime before settling for the split. In the night cap, Tom Brady showed us once again that he’s just not human as he disassembled the Pittsburgh Steelers in a lopsided 33-3 home victory. Brady went 24-36 through the air for 341 yards and three touchdowns to begin his 20th professional season. Phillip Dorsett was his star receiver on the day, making four catches, two for touchdowns, and doing so for a total of 95 yards.
It was a nail biter in the end, but somehow, some way, Rafa Nadal held on to defeat up-and-coming Russian superstar Daniil Medvedev to clinch his 19th Grand Slam title on Sunday. Nadal won the first two sets before he ended up losing the next two, forcing him into a fifth set that was essentially a large ‘tiebreaker.’ He looked to be cruising in it as well as he broke Medvedev to go up five games to two, giving him two chances to serve for the win. But Medvedev didn’t make it easy, drawing his way all the to 6-4 in the final set before Nadal clinched it on the third championship point he had. The match ended up taking four hours and 50 minutes, with each man forced to show incredible resilience and cardiovascular endurance. Medvedev was the villain, while Nadal was the true fan favorite, much like a 1980s wrestling match. With the win, Nadal is now one behind chief rival Roger Federer.
Getting paid to play a professional sport on your birthday must be one of the most special things you can do in the world, and that’s what Gerrit Cole of the Houston Astros got to do on Sunday. He made the most of it as well, striking out 15 batters over eight innings as his team, one of the favorites to win the World Series, hammered the hapless Seattle Mariners 21-1. The win saw them complete a four-game sweep of their division rivals, and it was his 16th overall (16-5) and 12th straight. He joined Pedro Martinez as the only two pitchers to sit 14 or more hitters down in three consecutive outings as well. Remarkable stuff. And he’s not even the best pitcher on his team!