As the world has begun to feel the impact of the third wave of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, so too has the NFL in Week 12.
Christmas belongs completely to basketball. Whatever your family’s preference may be, you’ve likely caught a glimpse of one of these marquee games at a holiday gathering. For some, it’s background noise for prepping the turkey. For others, it’s an intensive three hour-plus ritual, orchestrated to the minute.
As of week 12 in the NFL, there has been a significant spike in COVID-19 cases and teams like the Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens are without key players. The NBA is going to have a similar plan come December, but what they really should do is learn from the mistakes of the current NFL season. It’s unacceptable for the NBA to hold playoffs and finals in a bubble back in July but have any other plan for the 2020–21 season, a season that will start amidst the holidays when COVID-19 is worse than ever before.
The update disclosed that effective immediately, athletic practices will be discontinued for the remainder of the year. As indicated in the email, there is no evidence that the rise in COVID-19 cases is linked to athletics practices, but the cancellation of practices will be a precaution that the university will take in effort to reduce contact among students.
It's Christmastime in Boston, which means that MLB free agency is in full swing. With a surplus of salary cap due to the Mookie Betts trade, the Red Sox are equipped to make some major moves this offseason, which they probably won't end up doing. Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom believes in developing a contender through minor moves and rookie development.
Watching the Patriots has become significantly harder recently, so fans might need a way to get some sort of winning feeling every week. Something about watching the Washington team, which is currently tied for the lead in the NFC East despite its 4–7 record, is exciting. Let’s talk about why.
Unfortunately, Sunday brought the Houston Texans and another loss for the Patriots in Week 11, as the final score was 27–20, leaving New England 4–6 for the season. While wide receiver Damiere Byrd had a surprisingly good game with 132 yards on six receptions, he was not enough to edge out Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. Furthermore, New England's reliable running back Rex Burkhead was carted off the field with a torn ACL during the game, making their already slim chances of making the postseason even smaller.
What stings the most about this season is that the Patriots are essentially stuck between two identities: either tank for a good draft pick, or be a playoff contender. Being completely unbiased, the Patriots will most likely finish between 9–7 or 7–9 and fail to make the playoffs and receive a mediocre draft pick.