It’s the most wonderful time of the year for sports fans.
Sunday marks the second sports equinox of 2022 – a day in which all five major professional men’s sports leagues in North America (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL and MLS) will be playing actual live regular season or playoff games.
Sports equinoxes used to be fairly rare but have become more prevalent recently – especially when the COVID-19 pandemic forced every league to alter its respective schedule in 2020 and 2021.
Thursday’s sports equinox saw the Arizona Cardinals‘ win over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday Night Football, joined by the Houston Astros‘ win over the New York Yankees in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series, Philadelphia Union FC’s and Los Angeles FC’s wins in the MLS playoffs on FOX Sports 1, the Milwaukee Bucks‘ and LA Clippers‘ primetime wins in the NBA and a full slate of 12 NHL games. LAFC’s and the Clippers’ wins came with some extra crosstown significance as they beat intra-city rivals LA Galaxy and the Los Angeles Lakers, respectively.
Sunday’s sports equinox could be even better, with a whopping 28 total games on tap across the five leagues. Additionally, the NASCAR Dixie Vodka 400 is taking place in Florida and the National Women’s Soccer League features two playoff games of its own: the Portland Thorns take on the San Diego Wave and OL Reign faces the Kansas City Current.
Here are the top games to help you navigate Sunday’s sports smorgasbord.
Sunday’s America’s Game of The Week on FOX had long been circled on the calendar as the first time the Chiefs and 49ers will meet since Kansas City’s comeback victory over San Francisco in Super Bowl LV. Then the 49ers traded for Christian McCaffrey.
McCaffrey, the former Heisman Trophy finalist at nearby Stanford in college, is reportedly likely to suit up at Levi’s Stadium for his 49ers debut Sunday, albeit in a limited role after being dealt back to the Bay Area on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs will have to beat the No. 2 scoring defense in the NFL to avoid falling to 4-3 after losing to the league’s No. 1 scoring defense – the Buffalo Bills – last week.
Buckle up, because this game could go down to the wire.
Many predicted that a National League East team would reach the World Series at the beginning of the playoffs.
But virtually everyone thought the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets, who each won 101 games, would be that team. Not the 89-win Phillies, who snuck in as the third NL Wild Card team in the expanded MLB playoffs.
Yet here the Phillies are, slugging their way to the cusp of a World Series berth after a wild NLCS Game 4 that saw them come back from an early 4-0 deficit to win 10-6. Manager Rob Thompson – who spent much of the year with an interim tag on his title after taking over from Joe Girardi in May – will hand the ball back to Game 1 starter Zack Wheeler as the Phillies try to keep their magical October run going.
NBA: Phoenix Suns at LA Clippers, 10 p.m. ET, check local listings
A lot can change in a little over a year.
Since the Suns knocked off the Clippers in the 2021 Western Conference Finals to advance to just the second-ever NBA Finals in franchise history, Phoenix has been through a rollercoaster of skyscraping highs on the court and shocking lows both on and off the court.
Amid the ongoing sale of the Suns’ franchise, Phoenix is 1-1 in the young NBA season. Phoenix’s first two games have both been thrilling – a double-digit comeback revenge game against the Dallas Mavericks and a blown lead on the road to the Portland Trail Blazers – but now the Suns face a tough test with a Clippers team that plays their first true home game with a healthy Kawhi Leonard in nearly 18 months.
Hello, old friend.
The Blue Jackets seeming entered rebuilding mode following the departures of several key players in 2019 free agency, including star winger and points leader Atermi Panarin who signed with the Rangers. But Columbus then shocked the NHL world last offseason by signing Johnny Gaudreau to fill the positional void that had existed since Panarin’s departure. Blue Jackets fans now get a chance to watch their team’s new superstar in action against its old one as Gaudreau faces Panarin and the Rangers as a Blue Jacket for the first time.
Something’s got to give.
NYCFC are seeking to become the first team to repeat as MLS cup champion since the LA Galaxy in 2011 and 2012. NYCFC enter Montreal on a five-game win streak as they seek to recapture some championship magic, but Montreal is 5-0 all-time in home playoff games.
Can Ismaël Koné & Co. stop the defending champs in their tracks, or will NYCFC get one step closer to back-to-back titles?
Blazin’ 5: Seahawks upset Chargers, 49ers defeat Chiefs at home
Colin Cowherd shares his Blazin’ 5 picks of Week 7.
So, there you have it, folks. Get your popcorn ready because Sunday’s Sports Equinox will be one for the ages. Where will you be watching the action?
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