Sports and poker. Poker and sports. While the “Is poker a sport?” debate is an endless endeavor with no true answer in sight, Poker Central is blending the two together. At the start of each week, the “Monday Merge” fuses sports and poker, drawing loose comparisons, and even looser transitions, between the only two things we really care about.

While the rest of the weekend was filled with exciting football action, Friday night was all about futbol. The United States Men’s National Soccer Team played a must-win World Cup qualifying match against Panama and after some less than inspiring performances over the last two months, the USMNT finally played up to their abilities. Fueled by 19-year-old Christian Pulisic and national team veteran Jozy Altidore, who scored twice, the US won 4-0 and if they can beat Trinidad & Tobago on Tuesday, they will qualify for the 2018 World Cup and all will be forgiven.

Had Panama beaten or tied the United States on Friday, the former would have needed a lot to go their way to qualify for the World Cup. The same can now be said about Oklahoma and their College Football Playoff hopes. The then 3rd ranked Sooners looked great in their victory over Ohio State earlier this season, but after losing to Iowa State this past weekend, Oklahoma will likely have to run the table to have a chance of playing a meaningful bowl game this winter.

It may be a little too early to start sweating the National Football League’s playoff picture, but it looks like the Green Bay Packers and primarily Aaron Rodgers are in playoff form. The Packers needed a touchdown on their final drive of the game to beat the Dallas Cowboys and Rodgers, like he has so many times before, delivered to give the Packers the comeback victory. The win moved the Packers into sole possession of the top spot in the strong NFC North, while the Cowboys are stuck at 2-3 and well behind the NFC East leading Philadelphia Eagles.

As heartbreaking as watching those first-place Eagles beat the New York Giants two weeks ago was, it wasn’t as heartbreaking as watching Odell Beckham Jr. getting carted off the field in their loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. Beckham went up to catch a pass late in the 4th quarter and landed awkwardly on his left leg. The injury will end Beckham’s season, but the pass catcher wasn’t the only All-Pro to go down Sunday, as JJ Watt fractured his leg against the Kansas City Chiefs and is now also out for the remainder of the year.

The 2017 season has gone from bad to worse for the New York Giants, but the New York Yankees resurrected their season on Sunday. After winning the American League Wildcard play-in game, they fell behind 2-0 in their ALDS series against the Cleveland Indians. The Yankees needed to win to keep their season alive and they did, thanks in part to this homerun-saving catch by Aaron Judge. Judge usually makes headlines by hitting home runs, not stopping them, but if the Yankees can come back and win the series, that catch may be more important than any homerun he’s hit this year.