With yet another weekend of awesome sports behind us, it's almost time to grab the jackets as fall approaches. The one good thing about the turning of the seasons is that with bad weather comes the excuse to curl up on the couch with the TV on the game.
Bah, like we need the excuse!
Here a few of the highlights of the weekend as well as a few games to look forward to this week.
Arizona Cardinals Shock the New England Patriots
The New England Patriots are almost everyone's choice to be the AFC representative in the Super Bowl. If week 2 is any indication, then maybe we should put that on hold. The Arizona Cardinals did what many thought impossible when they marched into New England and bullied the Patriots for most of the game, holding them to field goals for three quarters while almost giving it away at the end in their 20-18 win. The biggest contribution to Arizona's win came from a defense that hounded Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady all day, sacking him four times and keeping him from getting comfortable.
New Orleans Saints Fall to 0-2
Coming into this season, everyone knew the Saints were going to suffer without head coach Sean Payton, but they also thought that with Drew Brees under center the team wouldn't falter too much. Well, after a 35-27 loss to the Carolina Panthers that dropped them to 0-2, it's safe to say there is trouble in the bayou. If the Saints want to rebound, the way is simple; their defense has to step it up. Right now, they are the anchor that is drowning this team.
NHL Sends a Message to Their Fans
The NHL made the first formal acknowledgment of the owners' lockout of players at 9 a.m. Sunday with a prepared statement. Here is what they had to say.
"Thanks to the conditions fostered by seven seasons under the previous CBA, competitive balance has created arguably the most meaningful regular season in pro sports; a different team has won the Stanley Cup every year; fans and sponsors have agreed the game is at its best, and the League has generated remarkable growth and momentum," the statement read. "While our last CBA negotiation resulted in a seismic change in the League's economic system, and produced corresponding on-ice benefits, our current negotiation is focused on a fairer and more sustainable division of revenues with the Players — as well as other necessary adjustments consistent with the objectives of the economic system we developed jointly with the NHL Players' Association seven years ago. Those adjustments are attainable through sensible, focused negotiation — not through rhetoric."
"This is a time of year for all attention to be focused on the ice, not a meeting room," the NHL statement read. "The League, the Clubs and the Players all have a stake in resolving our bargaining issues appropriately and getting the puck dropped as soon as possible. We owe it to each other, to the game and, most of all, to the fans."
Stanford Upsets USC…Again
After upseting No. 2 USC 21-14 for their fourth win over them in a row, it's safe to say that Stanford has their number, big time. USC came into the season with heavy BCS aspirations and that may have hit a big roadblock with their inability to score in the second half while allowing Stanford to storm back. Besides losing, Heisman hopeful Matt Barkley had a horrible game, going 20-41 for 254 yards and 2 interceptions.
(MLB) Oakland at Detroit Wednesday, 7 pm ESPN
With October almost upon us, it's almost time to start talking MLB playoffs. But before that, some things need to be settled and with spots still available. The games are heating up in the meaningful department.
(NFL) New York Giants at Carolina Thursday, 8:20 pm NFL
Two of the hottest offenses coming out of week 2 come together on a Thursday night as the Giants and Panthers look to each score a win. The Giants will be hard pressed to deliver a balanced attack as starting running back Ahmad Bradshaw is injured and doesn't appear to be able to play. Advantage Carolina? Perhaps, we will have to tune in to see.
(NCAAFB) No. 18 Michigan at No. 11 Notre Dame Saturday, 7:30 pm NBC
Notre Dame continues their goal to establish themselves as a legit power again in the college ranks by facing Michigan in the prime time lights on Saturday night. With a win, the Fighting Irish may find themselves in the top 10 in the country.
(NFL) New England at Baltimore Sunday, 8:20 pm NBC
Both the Patriots and the Ravens are coming off disappointing losses that are sure to have them fired up. With these two top tier squads looking to hand out punishment, this should make for an awesome rematch of the AFC Championship of a year ago.
James LeBeau is a sports contributor for CraveOnline Sports and you can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.