There are more than one or two situations that would have you worrying if you were the coach of an NFL team that was undefeated and wanted to remain that way. One such potential ‘trap’ game would have to be the the spot the San Francisco 49ers found themselves in on Thursday night. On a short week and on the road, it would have been totally understandable for them to lose their unbeaten record. Instead, however, they improved to 8-0 on the season after a 25-21 win over the Arizona Cardinals. Jimmy Garoppolo had a career outing, throwing for four touchdowns and 317 yards on 28-37 passing. Emmanuel Sanders also stood out, making seven catches, one for a touchdown, and racking up 112 yards in the process. Garoppolo’s opposite number, Kyler Murray, had a pretty good showing, too. The defending Heisman winner threw two TD’s for 241 yards on 17-24 passing. He got a lot of help from new running back Kenyan Drake, who had a touchdown and 110 yards on his debut with the team. Still yet, the Cardinals were down 14 at the end of three quarters, which basically had killed off their chances of ending the 49ers’ quick start despite a fourth-quarter comeback attempt.
Admit it. Unless you’re a huge fan of college football or sports in general, and even if you are, you may not have realized that the Baylor Bears were undefeated coming in Thursday night’s game against Big 12 foe West Virginia. That’s alright, because not many people have taken notice of them. That might not change too much, either, after the #12 ranked team in the country survived one by the skin of their teeth against the Mountaineers last night. The Bears traded touchdowns back and forth to go into the fourth with the score knotted at 14 apiece. That’s where it got interesting. A 36-yard field goal from John Mayers put them into the lead with a little over ten minutes left, and more special teams play would preserve their unbeaten status. With less than four minutes to go, they would block a field goal from their visitors, ensuring they went to 8-0 on the season. They remain the only team in the conference to be undefeated at this stage, which is quite the accomplishment given their lack of expectations. Charlie Brewer, at quarterback for the Bears, had two TD’s, 277 yards, and went 20-27 in the victory.
The New Orleans Pelicans have had a rough, rough start to the season. They had to start it without Zion Williamson, to begin with, and then they ended up losing each of their first four games. That streak came to an end on Thursday night when they ‘embarrassed’ the Denver Nuggets 122-107. They ‘embarrassment’ came, according to head coach Mike Malone, because of the 37 points allowed in transition. That abysmal number saw him down play his team and essentially call them lazy, all the while saying that they are not a true title contender as some claimed they might be. As for the Pelicans, they got 26 and 25 points, respectively, from Jahlil Okafaor and Brandon Ingram to open their accounts for the year.