Despite getting out to a 13-0 lead less than two minutes into the second quarter on Monday night, the Detroit Lions still managed to find a way to lose their Monday Night Football match up with the Green Bay Packers. Two Matt Prater field goals sandwiched a Kerryon Johnson rushing TD, but the Packers would not go down without a fight, responding with two field goals of their own from Mason Crosby and a TD catch from Jamaal Williams to tie the game up. The Lions would once again take control following that, converting three more field goals via Prater to take a 22-13 advantage. But as ever, the Packers fought back. First, it was a 35-yard TD pass from Aaron Rodgers to Allen Lazard that cut the deficit to just a single point. Though there was some controversy following that in terms of officiating, Rodgers would once again lead the Packers down the field, setting up a field goal for Crosby to take. He nailed the 23-yarder, giving them a 23-22 win at home. That win puts the Packers at 5-1 on the season, while the Lions have dropped to 2-2-1 thus far.
The Washington Nationals are absolutely cruising right now. After shaking off the Los Angeles Dodgers in a tough five-game NLDS series, they are crushing the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS. They came into Game 3 in Washington on Monday night with a 2-0 lead in the series, and they ended up leaving with a commanding 3-0 lead after they won 8-1. Stephen Strasburg was superb on the mound, the third game in a row in which they have gotten insane pitching, as he threw seven innings without giving up a run and striking out 12 hitters. At the plate, the hero was unquestionably Howie Kendrick, who produced three doubles (and runs) for the Nats. Two of those came in a four-run third inning that helped knock Cardinals ace Jack Flaherty out of the game and see them ultimately pull away. Now, the Nationals need just a single victory in one of the next four games to punch their ticket to the World Series. Should they do so, it would be the first time they have gotten there since the franchise began back in 1969.
It took a couple of days to finally complete it, but when it was all said and done, it was well worth the wait at Talladega Superspeedway. Picking up at Stage 2, the race certainly did not disappoint, as drivers jockeyed for position all over the 2.66 mile track. There were so many wrecks that each and every one of the 12 playoff contenders got caught up in at least some damage. In the end, it was one of them that survived a spin getting onto pit road who ended up winning. Ryan Blaney, who likely needed a win to advance, fended off Ryan Newman at the line to win by just .0070 seconds in a photo finish. The final race of the round comes next week at Kansas, where four of the 12 drivers will be eliminated from contention.