BC-AP Sports Preview Digest
Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Wednesday. A full Sports Digest will be sent by about 3 p.m. All times EDT:
– NEW YORK – Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal can set up their first meeting at the U.S. Open by winning quarterfinals. Nadal plays 19-year-old Andrey Rublev in the daytime; Federer meets Juan Martin del Potro in a rematch of their 2009 final at Flushing Meadows.
– CHICAGO – The Cleveland Indians try for a franchise record-tying 14th straight victory when they take on the Chicago White Sox. The Indians’ run is already the longest streak for any major league team this year. Game starts 8:10 p.m.
– LOS ANGELES – The Arizona Diamondbacks seek their 13th straight victory when they send Taijuan Walker to the mound against Kenta Maeda and the slumping Los Angeles Dodgers in the series finale. The NL West leaders have dropped five in a row and 10 of 11. Game starts 10:10 p.m.
– MIAMI – The Miami Dolphins’ season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has been postponed until Nov. 19 because of Hurricane Irma.
– FRISCO, Texas – Ezekiel Elliott will be on the field when the Dallas Cowboys open against the New York Giants. Beyond that, his six-game suspension stands amid legal maneuverings in two states.
– HOUSTON – J.J. Watt spent last week raising more than $21 million for Hurricane Harvey relief. This week Houston’s star defensive end is back on the field preparing for his first game since Sept. 22 after missing the last 13 games of last season following his second back surgery.
– FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The Patriots will hoist their fifth Super Bowl banner Thursday night before their season opener against the Chiefs. New England is 4-0 in openers following Super Bowl wins and begins 2017 as the favorite to repeat.
– FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – It’s easy to take jabs at the Atlanta Falcons after their unprecedented Super Bowl collapse. Several division rivals did just that during an offseason filled with references to 28-3 – the lead the Falcons threw away in their overtime loss to the Patriots. Can Atlanta use that as motivation to get back to the title game?
– ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Trevor Siemian and Brock Osweiler have reversed roles in Denver. Now, it’s Osweiler doing the backing up and brain-picking as he tries to get up to speed.
– New England wasn’t the only entity with a strong performance in the postseason last winter. Pro Picks did well enough to finish four games over break-even against the spread for the entire season. As this season gets started in Foxborough on Thursday night, questions marks surface everywhere.
– Phil Mickelson has never missed a Presidents Cup since it began in 1994. Playing another depends on whether U.S. captain Steve Stricker picks him.
– SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras – Relieved after gaining a huge point in the tropical heat, U.S. players headed home knowing their math for an eighth straight World Cup trip is clear. Wins against Panama on Oct. 6 and at last-place Trinidad and Tobago four days later will ensure a trip to Russia next June.
– The college football season opens with marquee matchups in NFL stadiums, giving a bowl-game feel to regular-season games. In week two, it’s back to campus, where venues make the games feel even bigger and crowds are anything but neutral.
– Florida State wasn’t alone. A lot of teams stunk on special teams last weekend, and now anxious coaches around the country are in fix-it mode.