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Yahoo Sports AM: Rout and romance

👋 Good morning! Welcome back.

— Kendall Baker (email), Jeff Tracy (email)

Let's sports...

HEADLINES

🎶 Usher gets the gig: R&B superstar Usher will headline the Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Apple announced Sunday.

🏈 History is made: Haley Van Voorhis, a safety at D-III Shenandoah, became the first woman to play an NCAA football game at a position other than kicker on Saturday.

⛳️ Europe keeps the crown: Team Europe retained the Solheim Cup over Team USA with a 14-14 tie, the first-ever draw in the event's history.

🏀 WNBA semifinals: The Sun upset the Liberty 78-63 to take a 1-0 lead. The Aces cruised past the Wings 97-83.

🎾 World wins it: Team World dominated Team Europe 13-2 to claim its second straight Laver Cup.

ROUT AND ROMANCE

Taylor Swift with Mama Kelce at Sunday's Chiefs-Bears game. (Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Taylor Swift with Mama Kelce at Sunday's Chiefs-Bears game. (Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

Sunday's NFL action was headlined by a historic rout — and a viral romance. Let's recap all the action.

Dolphins 70, Broncos 20: Miami became the fourth NFL team to score 70 points and racked up an NFL-record 726 offensive yards — without one of their top playmakers (Jaylen Waddle).

  • They had a chance to break the record for points (72) with a late field goal, but head coach Mike McDaniels — a former Broncos ball boy — elected to kneel.

  • Tua Tagovailoa had a perfect first half (16/16, 206 yards, 2 TDs) and running backs Raheem Mostert and De'Von Achane scored four TDs each.

  • Could we be watching one of the best offenses of all time? The Dolphins' 1,651 yards through three games are the most ever and their 130 points trail only the 1968 Cowboys. Small sample size, sure, but the Fins look ridiculous.

Chiefs 41, Bears 10: Omg! Omg! Ahhhh!!! Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce are, like, totally official. The megastar watched Sunday’s game with Mama Kelce and she was seen leaving the game with Travis.

  • "I heard she was in the house … so I knew I had to get the ball to Travis," said Patrick Mahomes postgame. Kelce had seven catches and a score.

  • The Fox broadcast went all-in on Swift's presence and you just know the NFL is eating this up, with tens of thousands of "Swifties" suddenly interested in the rules of football.

  • As for the game, that's now 13 straight losses for the Bears, who have surrendered at least 25 points in each of them. Very dark times in Chicago.

Elsewhere:

  • Patriots 15, Jets 10: The Jets have now lost 15 straight games to the Patriots, a streak that spans 2,829 days.

  • Colts 22, Ravens 19 (OT): Matt Gay is the first player in NFL history to convert four field goals of 50+ yards in a game. His 53-yarder in OT clinched the win.

  • Chargers 28, Vikings 24: Have a day, Keenan Allen! 18 catches, 215 yards and a passing TD for good measure.

  • Packers 18, Saints 17: Green Bay trailed 17-0 entering the fourth. Awesome comeback at home for Jordan Love and friends.

  • Cardinals 28, Cowboys 16: With Baltimore, New Orleans and Dallas losing, there will be just three 3-0 teams by tomorrow (Dolphins, 49ers and the Eagles/Bucs winner tonight).

  • Texans 37, Jaguars 17: C.J. Stroud is just the third QB to throw for 900+ yards in his first three career starts, joining Justin Herbert and Cam Newton.

  • Browns 27, Titans 3: The Dolphins had more offensive yards on Sunday (726) than the Titans have all season (721).

  • Seahawks 37, Panthers 27: The Seattle crowd was electric, creating so much noise that Carolina committed eight false starts.

  • Lions 20, Falcons 6: Detroit's defense dominated this one, recording seven sacks and allowing just 183 total yards of offense.

  • Bills 37, Commanders 3: After falling to the Jets in Week 1, the Bills have outscored their opponents 75-13.

  • Steelers 23, Raiders 18: Josh McDaniels' decision to kick a late field goal rather than go for it on fourth-and-four from the 8-yard line backfired.

Quick links:

THE HUNT FOR OCTOBER

(Yahoo Sports)
(Yahoo Sports)

We've entered the final week of MLB's regular season. We'll be breaking down the playoff picture each morning the rest of the way.

The Twins and Brewers both clinched playoff spots over the weekend, while the Yankees were eliminated for the first time since 2016, Jeff and I write.

Where it stands: Six teams have secured playoff berths, and three have clinched their divisions(*). 13 teams have been eliminated.

  • Playoffs clinched: Twins*, Braves*, Dodgers*, Orioles, Rays, Brewers.

  • Eliminated: Yankees, Red Sox, Guardians, Tigers, White Sox, Royals, Angels, A's, Mets, Nationals, Pirates, Cardinals, Rockies.

AL Wild Card: The Rays (or Orioles) have the top spot locked up, while three teams are fighting for the final two spots.

  1. Rays (95-62, +9.5 GB)

  2. Blue Jays (87-69, +2 GB)

  3. Astros (85-71, —)

  4. Mariners (84-71, 0.5 GB)

NL Wild Card: Philly seems locked into the top spot, leaving four teams fighting for the final two. The Giants (77-79) and Padres (77-79) are alive, but just barely.

  1. Phillies (86-69, +4.5 GB)

  2. Diamondbacks (82-73, +0.5 GB)

  3. Cubs (82-74, —)

  4. Marlins (81-75, 1 GB)

  5. Reds (80-77, 2.5 GB)

Division races:

  • AL East: It's a two-team race between the Orioles (97-59) and Rays (95-62), with the loser already locked into the first wild card spot. The O's play the Nationals and Red Sox this week; the Rays play the Red Sox and Blue Jays.

  • AL West: The Rangers (87-68) have won five straight games to pull ahead of the Astros (85-71) and Mariners (84-71). All three teams could win the division or miss the playoffs entirely. Seattle's final two opponents? Houston and Texas.

  • NL Central: The Brewers (88-68) lead the Cubs (82-74) by an insurmountable six games, so it's just a matter of time until they clinch their third division title in the past six seasons.

Tonight’s big game: The Mariners host the Astros (9:40pm ET) in the first game of a three-game set. A lot on the line in Seattle.

ASSEFA SHATTERS WORLD RECORD

(Luciano Lima/Getty Images)
(Luciano Lima/Getty Images)

Breaking the marathon world record is a Herculean feat no matter how you slice it, but obliterating it in just your third marathon is downright absurd, Jeff writes.

Queen of the road: Ethiopia's Tigst Assefa, 26, dominated Sunday's Berlin Marathon with a time of 2:11:53, shattering Brigid Kosgei's women's world record mark of 2:14:04 set four years ago in Chicago.

  • The former 800-meter specialist also won in Berlin last year. But she reached another gear on Sunday, finishing with an average mile time of 5:02.

  • The field ran a historically fast race, with a record eight women finishing under 2:20. But no one came close to Assefa, who was nearly six minutes faster than second place.

Who is she? Assefa was once a middle-distance star, winning multiple medals at the 2013 African Junior Championships before representing Ethiopia at the 2016 Olympics in the 800m. But that was her final year on the track, forced to switch to road racing due to a chronic Achilles injury that was exacerbated by wearing spikes.

  • She debuted on the road in 2018, working her way up from the 10k to the half marathon to her first ever marathon last spring (a pedestrian 2:34:01 at the Riyadh Marathon) before her breakout performance in Berlin last fall.

  • The dual-threat is the only woman to break two minutes in the 800m and break 2:20 in the marathon.

Meanwhile, on the men's side… World record holder Eliud Kipchoge, 38, won his record fifth Berlin Marathon with the fifth-fastest time of his career (2:02:42).

THE WORLD IN PHOTOS

(Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Chicago — "It has been such an honor to be able to wear this shirt … and live out my childhood dream," said Megan Rapinoe after her 203rd and final USWNT game on Sunday night, a 2-0 win over South Africa.

(Premier Lacrosse League)
(Premier Lacrosse League)

Philadelphia — The top-seeded Archers beat the defending champion Waterdogs, 15-14, on Sunday to win their first Premier Lacrosse League title. League MVP Tom Schreiber scored the game-winner with 1:37 left.

(Olaf Kraak/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)
(Olaf Kraak/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)

Amsterdam — A soccer match between Dutch rivals Ajax and Feyenoord was abandoned early in the second half after angry Ajax fans lobbed flares onto the field with their team down 3-0.

AP POLL, WEEK 5

Tough day for Coach Prime and the Buffs. (Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Tough day for Coach Prime and the Buffs. (Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

The college football landscape feels wide-open this year, and the latest AP poll reflects that: For the first time since 2015, six teams received a first-place vote.

In and out: Colorado crashed out of the poll after their blowout loss to Oregon, and UCLA and Iowa also fell out. Missouri, Kansas and Fresno State moved in to occupy the bottom three spots.

  1. Georgia (55 first-place votes)

  2. Michigan (1)

  3. Texas (2)

  4. Ohio State (1)

  5. FSU (3)

  6. Penn State

  7. Washington (1)

  8. USC

  9. Oregon

  10. Utah

  11. Notre Dame

  12. Alabama

  13. LSU

  14. Oklahoma

  15. North Carolina

  16. Washington State

  17. Duke

  18. Miami

  19. Oregon State

  20. Ole Miss

  21. Tennessee

  22. Florida

  23. Missouri

  24. Kansas

  25. Fresno State

Coming up: After six ranked matchups on Saturday, we get four more this week: No. 10 Utah at No. 19 Oregon State, No. 24 Kansas at No. 3 Texas, No. 13 LSU at No. 20 Ole Miss, and No. 11 Notre Dame at No. 17 Duke.

SEP. 25, 2000: VINSANITY TAKES FLIGHT

(Darren McNamara /Allsport)
(Darren McNamara /Allsport)

23 years ago today, Vince Carter posterized 7-foot-2 French center Frédéric Weis at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, delivering one of the most famous dunks in basketball history.

Fun fact: Carter's slam was so thunderous that it came to be known in France as "Le Dunk de la Mort" — the Dunk of Death.

More on this day:

  • 🏒 1926: The NHL granted franchises to Chicago and Detroit, making it a 10-team league with two divisions.

  • ⚾️ 1965: Satchel Paige made his final professional outing at age 59*, pitching three scoreless innings for the Kansas City A's against the Red Sox.

*Paige was a local legend thanks to his Hall of Fame career with the Negro Leagues' Kansas City Monarchs, and his final pro game was meant as a publicity stunt to boost attendance. But he was still so good at age 59 that he needed just 28 pitches to set down 10 Boston hitters.

WATCHLIST: MNF DOUBLEHEADER

Can the Bucs stay perfect against the 2-0 Eagles? (Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Can the Bucs stay perfect against the 2-0 Eagles? (Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

For the second straight week, "Monday Night Football" is a double-feature.

More to watch:

*Fun fact: Snell, the 2018 AL Cy Young, would be just the seventh pitcher to win the award in both leagues, joining Gaylord Perry, Pedro Martínez, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, Roy Halladay and Max Scherzer.

MLB TRIVIA

(Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
(Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Ronald Acuña Jr. joined an ultra-exclusive club on Friday, becoming just the fifth player in MLB history with 40 HR and 40 stolen bases in a season.

  • Question: Can you name the other four?

  • Hint: Athletics (1988), Giants (1996), Mariners (1998), Nationals (2006).

Answer at the bottom.

BAKER'S DOZEN: HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEKEND

What. A. Catch. Florida's Ricky Pearsall with the catch of the year. (James Gilbert/Getty Images)
What. A. Catch. Florida's Ricky Pearsall with the catch of the year. (James Gilbert/Getty Images)

New section alert! Our fan-favorite "Top plays" is now "Baker's Dozen." Instead of 10 highlights from the weekend, it's 13. And instead of a thread on Twitter/X, it's a post on Yahoo Sports.

Enjoy the highlights!

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Trivia answer: Jose Canseco (1988), Barry Bonds (1996), Alex Rodriguez (1998), Alfonso Soriano (2006)

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