PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The New York Giants couldn’t deliver the knockout blow in consecutive games against the Philadelphia Eagles and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They have another chance against Philadelphia on Sunday. The Giants held off Washington last week following two close losses and will go for two straight wins when they host the first-place Eagles in a meaningful game for two teams with five combined wins. The NFC East is so weak that all four teams have a shot to win it.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers are attempting to see if they can stay perfect and navigate the COVID-19 pandemic at the same time. The 8-0 Steelers are off to the best start in franchise history as they host Cincinnati. Pittsburgh, however, could be forced to play without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger spent the week in self-quarantine after tight end Vance McDonald tested positive for COVID-19. Roethlisberger practiced virtually this week and will play if he stays healthy. If not, Mason Rudolph or Josh Dobbs will step in. The Bengals and rookie quarterback Joe Burrow are well-rested. Cincinnati was off last week following an impressive win over Tennessee.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — New Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Avery Williamson is embracing the change of scenery after being acquired in a trade with the New York Jets. The move sent Williamson from the NFL’s last winless team to the league’s last unbeaten team. The Steelers are 8-0 heading into a visit by Cincinnati. Williamson was forced to self-quarantine last week after the trade because of COVID-19 protocols. He is getting extra work this week with starting linebacker Vince Williams self-quarantining after contract tracing forced him to go onto the COVID-19 list. Williams could still face the Bengals if he continues to test negative for the novel coronavirus.
UNDATED (AP) — The Ivy League became the first Division I conference to cancel all winter sports, including men’s and women’s basketball. The decision came 13 days before the scheduled start of the college basketball season. The league had decided this past summer, when it canceled fall sports, not to allow any of its sports to start play before the end of the first semester.
UNDATED (AP) — Penn State and Nebraska both are looking for their first wins heading into their game on Saturday. The Nittany Lions came into the season ranked in the top 10 but are 0-3 after an embarrassing home loss to Maryland. The Cornhuskers are still looking for a turnaround under Scott Frost, having gone 9-17 in his two-plus seasons. Their loss at Northwestern last week dropped them to 0-2. Nebraska ranks seventh in all-time wins with 902 and Penn State is eighth with 898. The Huskers have won three of four meetings since joining the Big Ten.
UNDATED (AP) — Nebraska, Penn State and Michigan — three of the eight winningest programs in major college football — are a combined 1-7. Each of these programs seems to be at a different stage of distress, but it’s jarring to see all three having trouble at the same time. Nebraska hosts Penn State this weekend in a matchup of winless teams. Michigan is 1-2, but the Wolverines are on a two-game skid heading into a matchup with No. 13 Wisconsin. Coaches Scott Frost, James Franklin and Jim Harbaugh have a lot of work to do to turn things around this year.