🏈 Backup's Big Night

Tuesday. What can Browning do for you? The mailman may not deliver on Sundays, but Jake Browning and the Bengals shipped down to Duval to hand the Jags a package of L's on Monday Night Football. In a touching tribute to the Seminoles, another star quarterback in Florida went down with a leg injury, resulting in a surprising (semi)final that was far from black and white, despite Cincinnati's uniforms. If you don't enjoy watching backup quarterbacks play, we have bad news because Week 13 in the NFL welcomed some more starters inside the Blitz Medical Tent. A few marquee college football teams will also be searching for new signal-callers (no, not you, Connor Stallions), with a handful of big names hopping into the transfer portal at a record pace. Plus, the Heisman Trophy finalists are set. In a sport that does have a quarterfinal, the NBA In-Season Tournament knockout round tipped off with a pair of upsets, while the NHL also saw some top teams fall on a busy night. Let's go! 

WTF Stat: College football's 45-day transfer portal window officially opened yesterday and already includes over 900 players, a record number within the first 24 hours - in 2022, there were nearly 1,300 undergraduates to transfer from one FBS football school to another. This season's portal window will close on Jan. 2.

Whether it's your best friend or most deserving friend, share the Blitz!

🏈 LSU QB Jayden Daniels, Ohio State WR Marvin Harrison Jr., Oregon QB Bo Nix, and Washington QB Michael Penix Jr.were named this season's Heisman Trophy finalists - the ceremony will take place Saturday in New York City

🏈 Ohio State QB Kyle McCord and Oklahoma QB Dillon Gabriel headlined the 900-plus players who entered the college football transfer portal yesterday - see more notable names who entered the portal here

🏈 USC QB Caleb Williams, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, will not play in the Trojans' Holiday Bowl matchup against #15 Louisville on Dec. 27 - Williams is the projected No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft but has yet to officially declare

🏈 Jets are leaning toward renaming QB Zach Wilson as their starter, but Wilson is reportedly hesitant to step back into the roleHC Robert Saleh insisted this wasn't the case, saying Wilson came to him yesterday and expressed a desire to start this Sunday against the Texans

🏈 Eagles signed LB Shaquille Leonard yesterday to a one-year deal - the four-time All-Pro was waived by the Colts on Nov. 21 after spending the first six years of his career in Indianapolis

🏀 Arizona rose to No. 1 in Monday's AP Top 25 men's college basketball poll, with No. 2 Kansas and No. 3 Houston moving up three spots following a big week of upsets - No. 4 Purdue dropped three spots, and No. 5 UConn dropped one spot to round out the top five

🏈 MNF + Blitz Medical Tent

Photo: Backup Browning | Source: USA Today

NFL - Monday Night Football

  • Cincinnati Bengals (6-6) 34, Jacksonville Jaguars (8-4) 31: No Joe. No problem! In a back-and-forth AFC affair that never saw a lead greater than seven, Jake Browning (32/37, 354 YDS, 1 TD) made his second career start and went toe-to-toe with Trevor Lawrence (22/29, 258 YDS, 3 TDs). But Lawrence left the game late in the 4th quarter with a sprained ankle, giving the reigns to veteran backup CJ Beathard (9/10, 63 YDS), who came in and helped set up Brandon McManus' (1/2 FG, 4/4 XP) game-tying field goal in the final minute to force overtime. However, Cincy forced a punt on the Jags' opening possession, and Evan McPherson (2/3 FG, 4/4 XP) sunk a game-winning, 48-yard field goal with 1:45 remaining to give the Bengals an upset OT-victory in Duval, keeping their playoff hopes alive - it was Browning's first career win, and the Bengals finished with 491 yards while going 8-for-14 on third down

  • Quick Hits: Ja'Marr Chase (11 REC, 149 YDS, 1 TD) was a problem all night and caught a 76-yard touchdown in the 3rd quarter, Joe Mixon (19 CAR, 68 YDS, 2 TDs) scored twice in the first half, and the win halts the Bengals' three-game losing streak.

See the full box score here and the current NFL standings here.

Blitz Medical Tent - Notable Week 13 Injuries

  • Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence has a sprained ankle and will undergo further testing today to determine the extent of the injury and how much time he will miss

  • Steelers QB Kenny Pickett is out 2-4 weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a high ankle sprain, which he suffered in Sunday's loss to the Cardinals - backup QB Mitch Trubisky is expected to start on Thursday against the Patriots

  • Saints QB Derek Carr is in concussion protocol after taking a big hit during Sunday's loss to the Lions, forcing him to exit the game - Carr also suffered a rib injury, and it's his second concussion in four weeks

  • Patriots RB Rhamondre Stevenson is unlikely to play Thursday against the Steelers after suffering a sprained ankle in Sunday's loss to the Chargers

  • Texans WR Tank Dell suffered a season-ending leg fracture in Sunday's win against the Broncos - the rookie's seven receiving touchdowns lead the team, and he'll finish the year with 47 receptions for 709 yards

  • Rams WR Puka Nacua is expected to play this week against the Ravens despite suffering a sprained shoulder in Sunday's win against the Browns

  • Titans DT Jeffery Simmons is expected to miss multiple weeks with a knee injury - the two-time All-Pro has 44 tackles and 5.5 sacks through 12 games this season

See more Week 13 injuries here.

Photo: Halibuckets | Source: USA Today

NBA In-Season Tournament - Quarterfinals

  • East | Indiana Pacers 122, Boston Celtics 112: Tyrese Haliburton (26 PTS, 13 REB, 10 AST, 0 TO) is the most underrated player in the NBA, and it's not particularly close. The budding superstar put on a show to tip off the NBA In-Season Tournament knockout round, dissecting Boston's defense from start to finish to overcome 30-point nights from Jayson Tatum (32 PTS, 12 REB, 6 AST) and Jaylen Brown (30 PTS, 9 REB), as the Pacers pulled away from the Celtics to punch their ticket to the semifinals in Vegas - it was Haliburton's first career triple-double, and Indiana will face the winner of tonight's game between the Knicks and Bucks

  • West | New Orleans Pelicans 127, Sacramento Kings 117: Brandon Ingram (30 PTS, 8 REB, 6 AST), Herbert Jones (23 PTS, 5 REB, 5 AST), and the Pelicans put together their most complete performance of the season, as NOLA's young squad went into Sacramento and ousted De'Aaron Fox (30 PTS, 5 REB, 4 AST) and the Kings without ever trailing in the second half - New Orleans will play the winner of tonight's game between the Suns and Lakers

See the full NBA scoreboard here and the current standings here.

NHL - Top Games

  • Tampa Bay Lightning 4, Dallas Stars0: The Lightning snapped their four-game skid with a win against one of the West's best, as Anthony Cirelli (2 G) posted two bingos and Andre Vasilevskiy (25 SV) earned a shutout to cruise past the Stars in Tampa Bay - Dallas has now dropped four of their past five games

  • St. Louis Blues 2, Vegas Golden Knights 1 (OT): Jack Eichel (1 G) forced extra hockey with a 3rd-period goal, but the Western Conference-leading Knights were knocked off by the Blues behind Pavel Buchnevich's (1 G) game-winner38 seconds into overtime

  • Winnipeg Jets 2, Carolina Hurricanes1: Jets goaltender Laurent Brossoit (42 SV) stood on his head while Kyle Connor (1 G, 1 A) and Nikolaj Ehlers (1 G, 1 A) each notched a score and a helper to ultimately hold off Martin Necas (1 G) and the Canes in Winnipeg

  • Philadelphia Flyers 2, Pittsburgh Penguins 1 (OT): Sidney Crosby (1 G) drew first blood for Pittsburgh, and Alex Nedeljkovic (31 SV) made some huge stops, but Tyson Foerster (1 G) evened the score in the 2nd period, and Sean Couturier (1 G) capitalized on an odd-man rush in overtime to sweep the Pens in a home-and-home set following Philly's shootout win on Saturday - Pittsburgh has lost seven of their past 10 games

See the full NHL scoreboard here and the current standings here.

College Basketball - Top Games

  • NCAAM | #4 Purdue 87, Iowa 68: After losing the AP Poll's top ranking earlier in the day following their upset loss to Northwestern on Friday, the Boilers came out and flattened the Hawkeyes at Mackey Arena behind Zach Edey's (25 PTS, 9-10 FG, 12 REB, 3 BLK) dominant performance in the paint

  • NCAAW | West Virginia 83, #25 Penn State 65: In the only ranked matchup of the day, JJ Quinerly (22 PTS, 4 REB, 3 STL) had a day, and the Mountaineers stifled All-Big Ten selection Makenna Marisa (8 PTS, 3-10 FG, 6 TO) and the Nittany Lions in Morgantown to remain undefeated 

See the full men's scoreboard here and the full women's scoreboard here.

In partnership with Friday Beers


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Including this season, Alabama has the most College Football Playoff appearances, with eight. Which school has the second-most?

A. Clemson

B. Ohio State

C. Georgia

D. Oklahoma

Photo: Tim Tebow, 2009 SEC Championship | Source: CBS

On December 5, 2009, Alabama's dominant reign in the SEC began, with a 32-13 dismantling of #1 Florida in the SEC Championship. Urban Meyer's defending-champion Gators, led by 2008 Heisman winner Tim Tebow, were seeking a win to repeat as SEC (and ultimately national) champions. But Nick Saban's Crimson Tide defense bullied Florida, and Mark Ingram (189 YDS, 3 TDs) stamped his Heisman bid with a legendary performance. Between both teams, there were 52 total draft picks (Alabama 29, Florida 23), one player shy of fielding an entire NFL team, including 19 first-rounders (Alabama 13, Florida 6). Alabama would go on to beat Texas in the national championship, their first of three titles in four years.

In partnership with Vivid Seats

NBA In-Season Tournament - Quarterfinals

  • New York Knicks @ Milwaukee Bucks7:30pm ET, TNT

  • Phoenix Suns @ Los Angeles Lakers10:00pm ET, TNT


  • New York Rangers @ Ottawa Senators 7:00pm ET, NHLPP / ESPN+

  • Anaheim Ducks @ Colorado Avalanche 9:00pm ET, NHLPP / ESPN+

  • New Jersey Devils @ Vancouver Canucks 10:00pm ET, NHL Network

  • Full Schedule

College Basketball

  • NCAAM: #11 Florida Atlantic vs. #20 Illinois 6:30pm ET, ESPN

  • NCAAM: #23 Wisconsin @ Michigan State 7:00pm ET, Peacock

  • NCAAM: #5 UConn vs. #9 North Carolina 9:00pm ET, ESPN

  • NCAAW: Ohio @ #12 Ohio State7:00pm ET, B1G+

  • Men's Full Schedule

  • Women's Full Schedule

Grab $20 off tickets to your favorite games, concerts and events using code TORCH20 at Vivid Seats - Promo is for first-time buyers and orders over $200!

Trivia Time Answer

A. Clemson. Despite having not made the College Football Playoff since 2020, the Tigers have the second-most appearances with six. Dabo Swinney led his program to consecutive showings from 2015-2020, and their six total victories within that span are the second-most in playoff history, trailing only Alabama's nine - in Clemson's six playoff appearances, they won it all twice (2016, 2018).

"Lock" of the Day

In partnership with FanDuel

Men's College Basketball - Jimmy V Classic

  • #5 UConn vs. #9 North Carolina: Under 152.5 (-110)

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SMU got hosed out of a NY6 bowl.