Sports Update Oct 20: Titans Upset Bills, World Series Race Tightens & Preds Have Their First Win of the Season 

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Courtesy of the NFL

 

Wednesday, October 20th – Afternoon Update

Welcome to our rundown of Middle Tennessee Sports. Here’s everything you need to impress your friends with your knowledge of sports!

Titans Upset Bills in Monday Night Football

The Tennessee Titans quite literally had the odds against them heading into Monday Night’s game against the Buffalo Bills, with the visiting team being favored to win by at least 6.5 points. Despite those predictions, the Titans managed to quell the powerful Bills defense- ranked 2nd in the NFL- for a 34-31 win at home.

There was something special to the atmosphere of Monday night. The pregame light show could be seen from all ends of downtown. Nissan Stadium recorded there were 69,419 in attendance, and the energy and noise they provided mirrored the intensity displayed on the field. A quick glance at Nissan Stadium’s crowd and at the Broadway bars, and one would think this may have been a Buffalo home game. Tens of thousands of Bills fans- known as “Bills Mafia”- flew in for the weekend and infiltrated the city. Titans fans knew what they were up against, and many showed out to ensure the home team was represented.

Derrick Henry reminded us all why his nickname is King Henry. The Titans star running back ran for 143 yards and 3 touchdowns, one of which was a 76 yard rush to the endzone. His efforts against the Bills extend his 100-yard game streak to five in a row, and is the 28th time he has done so in his career. Henry had a 4 game streak of 100 plus yards in 2019, but this game tied him with Titans legend Eddie George for the fourth largest such streak in franchise history. Henry was named AFC Offensive player of the week for Monday night’s performance.

The Tennessee defense showed up for Henry on Monday night. The offensive weapon that is Henry certainly carried the team on his back, but it was the defense who came in clutch. The Titans defense limited the Bills to field goals instead of touchdowns on three separate attempts. Safety Kevin Byard told the media afterwards, “We were literally on the field talking about defending every blade of grass.” They held the Bills offense and their leader Josh Allen to a scoreless 4th quarter, and stuffed a last minute throwing attempt from the Bills quarterback with 22 seconds left in the game, which allowed the Titans to maintain their lead.

The next time the Titans take the field will be versus the reigning Superbowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, at home on Sunday, October 24th at noon.

Predators Defeat Kings for Their First Win of the Season

To continue a winning streak in Nashville sports, the Predators were able to secure their first win of the new season on Tuesday night. The team opened their season last Thursday night to kick off a 4 game homestand, but suffered an 0-2 start to the season. That losing streak was broken last night, as the team secured a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.

With an 82 game season, a few losses in the start is not indicative of the success a team will have during the year, as the Predators team of last season showed us with their mid-year turn around. However, getting that first win of the year for the fans at home is certainly a morale booster. A 1-2-0 record looks much better than a 0-3-0 would have.

The first period was scoreless, but the Kings came out hot in the second to take a 1-0 lead. That score held throughout that period, but the Preds came out with a vengeance in the third and tallied two goals in less than 5 minutes. Goalie Juuse Saros was able to defend the lead by blocking all nine shots from the Kings offense for the remainder of the game. The Predators will face the New York Rangers on Thursday night at 7pm for their last contest in this homestand

MLB World Series Race Tightens

The 2021 World Series race continues to boil down as only 4 teams remain; The Atlanta Braves vs. LA Dodgers in the NLCS, and the Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros in the ALCS. As I discussed last time, all four of the remaining franchises have been postseason regulars throughout the last few seasons, which has undoubtedly created some tension between these teams. As these divisional championships have intensified, those sweet and sour memories clearly started to show their head for both the fans and the franchises.

In the NLCS, the Braves currently lead the series 2-1, with Game 4 taking place tonight at 7pm. The Dodgers were able to pull off a win last night after Cody Bellinger hit a game tying 3-run homer to set the score at 5-5 in the 8th inning. It was Middle Tennessee native Mookie Betts who gave the Dodgers the winning lead with an RBI double. Tonight, game 4 will be crucial in determining how the rest of this series will go. You can catch the game on TBS.

In the ALCS, the series is now tied 2-2, after two back-to-back games with some crazy scoring. Game 5 will take place tonight on FS1 at 4pm. In Game 3, the Red Sox pummeled the Astros at home in an embarrassing 12-3 win. But in Game 4, the Astros- who looked as though they would be the losers of the night’s match- scored seven runs in the 9th inning to retaliate for the night before. The final score was 9-2. Because both 7 run innings, and winning a game by 9 runs do not happen in your typical baseball game, the Red Sox and Astros both need to rely on their best pitching tonight to ensure a win. The Game 5 winner will have the series lead, which is crucial going forward in this best-of-7 contest.

4 more updates from the sports world

  • The Tennessee Volunteers hosted the Ole Miss Rebels on Saturday in what ended as a close and controversial loss to the visitors, 31-26. They face the Alabama Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa on Saturday 10/23.
  • The Memphis Grizzlies host the Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday night – 7pm tip-off
  • Nashville SC is set to host the Columbus Crew on Wednesday. Game starts at 7:30pm at Nissan Stadium
  • The Nashville Sounds have released their 2022 schedule – tickets are now available

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