Sunday, November 28, 2010

Giants Find A Way Against Stubborn Jaguars


If it wasn't for Kevin Boss' efforts, the Giants could be looking at a three game losing streak.

Late in the fourth quarter with the Jaguars holding a 20-17 lead, the Giants needed a huge drive to hold off a Jaguars team that had spent the entire afternoon running up and down the Giants defense with Maurice Jones-Drew and his 113 yards rushing.

For three quarters the Giants offense had done very little. They managed only three field goals, and Eli Manning struggled, while the ground game was virtually powerless.

Then it all changed. Manning hit Mario Manningham for an 18 yard gain to midfield; then Brandon Jacobs gashed the Jags for 18 more yards to move it the Jaguars 32. After two straight Manning incompletions, it came down to one play. Manning hit Boss wide open between the numbers, and the athletic tight end rumbled down field for a 32 yard touchdown to give Big Blue the lead.

The Giants defense suddenly woke up, forcing Jaguars quarterback David Garrard to throw four incompletions, and even sacked three times on a 10 play drive to give the Giants the victory.

The Giants entered the fourth quarter trailing 17-9, and it appeared that the lose was well in hand, until Manning hit Manningham for a 26 yard touchdown to cut it to 17-15, and Ahmad Bradshaw dove into the end zone for the two point conversion to tie it.

The Jaguars quickly moved the ball down field on a 10 play 42 yard drive to set up Josh Scobee with the go-ahead field goal to give the Jags a 20-17 lead.

With the win the Giants are now tied with the Philadelphia Eagles for first place in the NFC East at 7-4. The Eagles lost to the Bears 31-26 Sunday evening, creating the tie. However, the Eagles win the tiebreaker having beaten the Giants head-to-head last week.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Brad Smith Speeds Past Bengals As Jets Pull Away


When the New England Patriots erased a 24-17 deficit to the Detroit Lions for a impressive 45-24 victory Thanksgiving Day, the pressure was squarely on the shoulders of the Jets to get a win to keep pace with the Pats. A win over the Bengals and the Jets would still hold first place in the AFC East, and the AFC; a lose and everything could be lost.

The first half of the Jets Thanksgiving Night game against Cincinnati didn't look very good. They trailed 7-3 at the half, played a full half of mistake football with terrible penalties, bad decisions by quarterback Mark Sanchez, and another missed field goal by Nick Folk.

The Jets needed to show a spark. They needed momentum badly before they took a week and a half off to ready for the Pats. Then, just 30 seconds into the third quarter, the Jets got their spark from Brad Smith.

On a reverse to Smith, the speedy utility man, broke free of tacklers for a 53 yard touchdown run to give New York a quick 10-7 lead.

Later in the third quarter, Sanchez hit Santonio Holmes on a slant for a 13 yard touchdown to give the Jets a 17-7 lead.

The Jets defense picked it up nicely in the second half. They sacked Carson Palmer twice, and forced him into a safety, and picked him off twice. The Jets secondary combo of Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie held T.O. (3 catches 17) and Ocho Chinco (4 catches 41) respectively.

Finally, in the fourth quarter, Smith returned a kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown. The highlight of the play was Smith losing his shoe at the 50 and still running at high speed with one shoe on and one shoe off to the end zone. Smith had 200 total yards on the evening.

Now the talk is all about Jets/ Patriots, with the two rivals set to battle Monday Dec. 6. Let the hype begin.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mets Make It Offical, Collins Is Manager

The Mets made it official Tuesday, announcing that Terry Collins would take over as Mets manager this season with a two year contract.

"I'm not as evil or a devil as some of you might think. I learned to mellow a little bit," Collins said with a laugh. Nobody laughed with him by the way.

"We want to be the last team standing in October," Collins concluded. OOOH AHHHH! Echos of Rex Ryan. I'm shaking in my boots already hearing this from Collins who came across as timid and tense in his opening press conference.

The Mets signed Collins for only a two year deal, probably because they are afraid he will wear out his welcome with his players the way he did in Anaheim when the players on the Angels petitioned to have him fired.

I can't stress enough what a terrible move this is for New York. They will be looking for another manager by this time next year, if not by July -- I promise you.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Giants Lose Hakeem Nicks for Three Weeks

Already hurting with loses on the offensive line to David Diehl and Sean O'Hara, as well as losses at wide receiver without the services of Steve Smith, the Giants got even worse news when lead receiver Hakeem Nicks was diagnosed with Compartment Syndrome in his lower right leg; consequently, he will miss the next three games against the Jaguars, Redskins and, oh yeah, the Eagles.

This is a huge loss for the Giants. Big Blue had one of the more dynamic passing attacks this season, led by Nicks who had 800 yards receiving and nine touchdowns. Without him, the Giants will have to scrape to find someone on the team who can replace not only Nicks but Smith as well.

If the Giants didn't look destined for another second half swoon after a 27-17 loss to the Eagles, Sunday, they sure look dead right now.

Giants Get Socked By Vick and Eagles


It was a brutal night in Philadelphia as the Giants and Eagles spent much of the night head hunting each other in the Eagles 27-17 victory to move into first place in the NFC East.

The story of the day for the Giants -- fumbles. The Giants turned it over five times, including three picks by Eli Manning, and four team fumbles, two by Ahmad Bradshaw and two by Manning.

Yet, in spite of all the problems, the Giants had their chance against the Eagles. Trailing 16-3, Manning hit back-up tight end Travis Beckum from two yards out for the score to cut the lead to 16-10. Then, at the start of the fourth quarter, Manning hit Derek Hagan from five yards out to give Big Blue the lead.

But the Eagles soon cashed in on the Giants turnovers. After a Bradshaw fumble, LeSean McCoy went 50 yards to the house to give Philadelphia a 22-16 lead. Michael Vick then converted a two point conversion with a pass to Jason Avant to give Philly a 24-16 lead.

On the next Giants possession, Manning fumbled the ball back to the Eagles giving Philly great field position. Then, McCoy did it again, cutting up field for a 40 yard gain to move the ball to the Giants 20. Three plays later, the Eagles kicked a field goal to ice it 27-17.

The Giants have lost two in a row which were two straight divisional games. Are the Giants beginning to fall apart again? It sure looks like it.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Santonio Holmes & Mark Sanchez Lead Jets to Thriller Again


It wasn't supposed to be this suspenseful. With the New York Jets holding a 23-7 lead on the Houston Texans at home, it appeared that Gang Green would be on its way to a much needed "rocking chair" victory.

Not so.

The Texans put up 20 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to stun the Jets and their fans at the Meadowlands grabbing a 27-23 lead with 59 seconds to go in the game. Typically, fans began to file out of the stadium, leaving only a third of the 78,000 who came to the ballpark.

The fans sat on their hands, waiting for 59 seconds to tick away to a heartbreaking lose. Maybe the Texans will intercept another Mark Sanchez pass? Maybe Sanchez would heave up three straight Hail Marys only to have them knocked down? What it was going to be, it wouldn't be good; right?

Never say never again, Jets fans.

Sanchez completed two passes to LaDainian Tomlinson for a total of 24 yards to move the ball to midfield. Then Sanchez put up the Hail Mary. He had tried to do this earlier in the quarter, after the Texans regained the lead at 24-23, but his pass to Braylon Edwards sailed over the receiver's head.

This time it worked. Sanchez hit Edwards in stride at the Texans 30, and the receiver ran all the way down to the Houston six yard line. Then on the next play, Sanchez connected with last week's hero, Santonio Holmes, for the game winning score with 10 seconds to go. The throw had to be perfect; it was. Holmes had to be precise with his feet, and he was perfect, getting both feet in bounds in the corner of the end zone.

The Meadowlands broke into utter bedlam as the Jets drove down field for the winning score; Holmes even did a Jets version of the Lambeau leap after the score.

The Jets now stand at 8-2, keeping pace with the New England Patriots who also won against the Colts. The Jets will host the Bengals, Thursday night, while the Patriots play Detroit Thursday afternoon. If both teams win, they will collide at 9-2 on December 6.

Mets Name Maniac Terry Collins Manager

The New York Mets are never short of making fools of themselves, they are experts in that department for a reason.

The Mets continue to make dumbfounding moves, the latest being the naming of Terry Collins manager of the major league club.

In case you're wondering Collins has a horrible history as a major league manager. He managed the Astros for three years from 1993-1996 and led them to three straight second place finishes, including a late season collapse in 1996. After getting fired by Houston, he went to the Anaheim Angles to manage that team into the ground. By 1999, he was fired again after his players petitioned to have him fired.

He went 444-434 in his six years as a manager. He is like Tom Coughlin only minus the notable victories.

Not exactly a great move for the Mets, who have a clubhouse of malcontents. Can Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and Collins survive a season without trying to strangle one another? We shall see.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sandy Alderson Hopes to Have New Manager by Thanksgiving

The Mets managerial search is now down to four people: Terry Collins, Bob Melvin, Wally Backman and Chip Hale. Sandy Alderson hopes to complete the second round of interviews by next Thursday.

Clint Hurdle took himself out of the running, when he took the Pirates job on Monday, leaving the Mets with a bunch of inside candidates for the job.

Collins and Melvin remain the favorites. Collins managed the Astros and Angles to minor success in the 1990's, and was known as a guy who was hated by his players. Melvin is a very mellow personality, cut in the same cloth as Jerry Manuel; however he has won two division titles, one in Seattle and one in Arizona.

Backman is the people's choice, if for no other reason than he played on the 1986 World Series championship team. Yet, Backman's background of personal issues will likely eliminate him.

Giants Crushed by Cowboys in Blackout


The lights went out literally and figuratively at New Meadowlands Stadium as the Dallas Cowboys pounded the New York Giants, Sunday afternoon 33-20, exposing Big Blue as a Big Fraud.

Early in the third quarter, the lights in the Stadium went out, leaving 80,000 fans and the teams in total darkness for a few minutes. Once play was resumed the Cowboys turned out the lights on the Giants for good.

Cowboys quarterback Jon Kitna threw for 327 yards and three touchdowns on the day, highlighted by a 13 yard score to Dez Bryant. Bryant is turning into a heck of a player, he hauled in three balls for 104 yards on the day. He is a threat to score whenever he touches the ball, and is turning heads the way a young Randy Moss did 12 years ago in Minnesota.

The big play of the day came in the second, when Bryan McCann picked off an Eli Manning pass in the endzone and went coast to coast for a 101 yard touchdown to give Dallas a 19-3 lead.

So now the G-Men get ready for a clash with Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles. Vick lit it up last night in Washinton, throwing for 333 yards and four touchdown passes, as well as rushing for 80 yards and scoring twice. No quarterback as ever done that in the 90 year history of the NFL.

The Eagles are looking like THE team to beat in the NFC, and with the inconsistency in the Giants pass defense, as well as their own inability to control a game on the ground, Sunday night's game will tell us a lot about the 2010 Giants.

Jets beat Browns in OT thriller


It will go down as a classic game that will be talked about for years to come. With 23 seconds left in overtime, the Jets pulled out a amazing victory when Santonio Holmes hauled in a Mark Sanchez pass and sprinted down the sideline for a 37 yard game winning score.

The win puts the Jets at 7-2 on the season, and has since risen debate about how good these New York Jets really are. Are they lucky?

The Jets had their chances to win the game in regulation. After completing a 10 minute drive in the third quarter, Nick Folk missed a cheap shot field goal that would have given New York a ten point lead, but it didn't happen.

Late in the fourth quarter, the Browns marched down the field to tie, when rookie Colt McCoy hit Mohammad Masoquai for a 7 yard touchdown to tie it.

The Browns had a shot to win it in the OT, but former Jet Chansi Stuckey fumbled the ball down the sideline as he made his move for the Jets 35 yard line. The Jets recovered, and drove down the field for another Nick Folk missed field goal.

The Jets lucked out near the end of OT, when Mark Sanchez's pass was intercepted at the Browns two yard line, giving the Cleveland the ball in horrible field position. If only the corner had knocked it down, it would have given the Browns a better shot at driving down the field to win it.

Read this Bleacher Report slide show for more details on the win.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Rex Ryan dresses up like his brother Rob

There are many headlines to follow for this weeks Jets vs. Browns match-up on Sunday.
It is Browns' coach Eric Mangini's chance to inflict revenge on the team that fired him two years ago, and it is also a homecoming for Braylon Edwards who was traded from Cleveland to New York a year ago.

But the biggest story (pun intended) is the match-up of Jets coach Rex Ryan and Browns Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan. The two are twins, and will square off against each other for the third time in their NFL careers, but this is the most high profile of the match-ups because of Rex's head coaching position.

During a press conference, Wednesday, Rex came out dressed up as Rob Ryan with a Brown shirt, wig, and a Browns hat. As Rob Ryan, Rex cracked jokes that he had put a$5 bounty on his brother's head, and that he thinks Rex is a very "handsome" guy.

Watch Press conference.

Meanwhile, the real Rob Ryan spoke to the media in Cleveland. Listen. He sounds exactly like his brother. Now you know they are related. Enjoy.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Dallas Cowboys Fire Wade Phillips

I broke this story on Bleacher Report, after hearing about it on WFAN.

Wade Phillips is done as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. Phillips was fired this afternoon by Jerry Jones.

Jerry Jones threatened that there would be major changes after a gutless 45-7 loss to the Green Bay Packers that dropped the team to 1-7 on the season.

For weeks Jones has been asked about Phillips' job status, either refusing to comment, or even dancing around the question that Phillips was safe.

Not so.

Jason Garrett will take over as the Cowboys head coach. The former Dallas backup quarterback was once looked upon as a potential head coach in the NFL, but with Dallas' struggles the last three years, his stock has gone down.

Garrett has eight games to show Jones that he can become the full-time head coach.

The Cowboys have had a terrible season, headlined by a broken collarbone for quarterback Tony Romo, which will sideline him for most of the season.

The Cowboys showed little fight in Green Bay falling behind 28-0, before Dez Bryant hauled in a desperation touchdown pass before halftime.

Will things turn around under Garrett? Not likely.

If things don't work out with Garrett, it will be interesting to see if Jones can lure either Bill Cowher or Jon Gruden to Dallas to take over the team. The Cowboys have a lot of talent; they just need a proven leader to discipline them.

ESPN report.

Giants Demolish Seahawks Early & Often


The Giants look like world beaters right now, after their dominating 41-7 performance in Seattle, Sunday. The Giants rolled up 30 first downs, 487 yards of offense, and held the ball for 42 minutes.

The Giants left little doubt that they would walk away from Seattle with the easy victory, as they posted 21 points in the first quarter, and held a 35-0 halftime lead.

Eli Manning was solid, completing 21 of 32 passes for 290 yards and three touchdowns. His first TD came on 46 yard touchdown catch by Hakeem Nicks. Nicks, who is definately deserving of a pro bowl nod, hauled in six passes for 128 yards and the touchdown. He left the game with an ankle injury, but the Giants report that he is fine and will be available next week.

Ahmad Bradshaw didn't have a chunk of yards against Seattle; he only ran for 57 yards, but did have two touchdowns in the first quarter.

The Giants benifited once again from facing a team without its starting quarterback. Matt Hasselbeck missed the game with a concussion leaving the team in the hands of Charlie Whitehurst, who was awful.

The Giants have cashed in big time this year against some terrible football teams. They have beaten five teams that are a combined 12-28, and the one theme these teams have in common, they can't keep their quarterback healthy (Dallas, Seattle, Detroit), and they have awful offensive lines, (Carolina, Detroit) or their defenses are dreadful (Houston, Dallas).

So who are these 2010 Giants? Are they really the best team in the NFC? Currently the Giants are 5-0 in conference, best in the NFC, but they have yet to play a good team on their schedule from that conference. When they did play good teams, Indianapolis and Tennessee, the Giants melted faster than ice cream.

After facing the terrible Cowboys again on Sunday, it will get very interesting with games against the Eagles, Redskins, Packers, and Vikings still on the horizon.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

After Sloppy Game, Jets Find a Way in Detroit


If the Jets are going to make the playoffs, they have a lot to clean up. From penalties, lack of discipline, bad play calling, and bad player judgment, the Jets did everything in their power to lose their game against the Detroit Lions, in Detroit, Sunday.

Trailing 20-10 in the fourth quarter, the Jets had been flagged 11 times, some of which were of the unsportsmanlike conduct variety, they ran the ball only 22 times, the same number of times they ran the ball in a 9-0 loss to Green Bay a week ago. Mark Sanchez had been awful, and the Jets defense did nothing to stop Matthew Stafford.

After a five yard penalty on the Jets offense with 4:26 to go, suddenly the Jets fortunes changed. Sanchez shrugged off the bad karma, and delivered an 18 yard strike to Jerricho Cotchery, then hit Dustin Keller and LaDainian Tomlinson for six yard each. Sanchez finally hit Keller again on a 25 yard completion down the middle to spot the ball at the Detroit six yard line.

Two plays later, Sanchez scored on the quarterback keeper to cut the Lions lead to 20-17.

After Detroit went three and out, the Jets got one more shot to try to tie or win the game. Sanchez hit Tomlinson for a 10 yard gain, then Keller for 11 more. He went back to Tomlinson again for a 15 yard gain, which was followed by a 15 yard personal foul on Detroit for pushing Tomlinson out of bounds to put the ball at Detroit 20.

The Jets ran the clock down to four seconds, before Nick Folk put through the game tying field goal to draw the Jets even at 20.

The Jets won the coin toss in overtime, and typical with the horrid overtime rule, the team that gets the ball first usually wins.

Sanchez hit a wide open Santonio Holmes for a 52 yard gain to get the Jets deep into Detroit territory. After a couple short runs by Tomlinson, Folk kicked the game winner, an easy 30 yarder to give the Jets the comeback victory.

Sanchez threw for a career high 352 yards, and was 10 - of - 13 in the final three scoring drives for the Jets, including the rushing touchdown. He was clutch when he needed to be.

The Jets needed this win.

The Patriots were defeated by the Cleveland Browns 34-14, meaning a Jets victory over the Lions would catipulte the Jets back into first in the AFC East. Now the Jets are back in first, and will get ready for those same Browns next weekend, and their old coach, Eric Mangini.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mets hire J.P. Ricciardi as Alderson's right hand man

The Mets officially announced the hiring of former Toronto Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi, to the position of assistant GM.

This means that Jon Ricco is out of the picture for the most part in the Mets front office (thank God, one less Omar Minaya stooge).

Ricciardi and Alderson go back to their days in Oakland, when the worked together in that team's front office, before Ricciardi moved to Toronto to lead that club. Even though Ricciardi didn't make the playoffs during his eight year tenure in Toronto, he always fielded a competitive team that was a thorn in the side of the Yankees and Red Sox.

Now is not the time to panic after Jets 9-0 loss to Green Bay

As seen on Bleacher Report.

OK, so much for all that Subway Super Bowl hype the past week, eh?

The New York Jets finally had a stinker, a 9-0 shutout loss against a pretty good Green Bay Packers team. It was the first shutout against the Jets since 2006, when they lost a very forgettable 10-0 game to the Chicago Bears.

The Jets offensive game plan was so frightening on this Halloween Sunday that it left every Jets fan sick to their stomach—and it had nothing to do with candy.

The Jets had every opportunity to win this game. Statistically, the Jets defense held Green Bay to 2-of-14 on third downs, held Aaron Rodgers to 170 yards passing and kept Greg Jennings to 81 yards receiving.

But whenever the Jets had a chance to do something offensively, they shot themselves in the foot.

  1. Steve Weatherford's failed fake punt for a first down, which was challenged by Green Bay and overturned, giving the ball to the Packers.
  2. Brad Smith's fumble at the Packers 33, killing a great Jets drive.
  3. Nick Folk missing a 37-yard field goal that would have tied the game at three.
  4. Two interceptions of Mark Sanchez, both of which were not his fault and wouldn't have happened if Jerricho Cotchery and Dustin Keller had held onto the ball.

For the die-hard Jets fan, this loss is crippling. Not only did New York lose a game, but they fell behind the Patriots in the AFC East standings after New England TKO'd Brett Favre and the Vikings 28-18. More importantly, it was a haunting reminder, on the most haunting day of the year, about years that have come and gone.

Many a time have the Jets gotten off to red-hot starts, only to fall flat in the NFL's second half.
  • 1997: the Jets were 8-4, in first place in the AFC East after beating the Vikings 23-21. What happened? The Jets went 1-3, including a humiliating 13-10 loss to the Detroit Lions on the last day of the season, to miss the playoffs.
  • 2000: The Jets were 6-1 after the Monday Night Miracle at the Meadowlands, and proceeded to go 3-6 the rest of the way to miss the playoffs.
  • 2004: The Jets were 5-0, and went 5-6 down the stretch. Chad Pennington was injured for three games, and the Jets limped into the playoffs, beating San Diego in the wild-card round.
  • 2008: The ultimate indignation: With Brett Favre at quarterback, the Jets were 8-3, in first place in the AFC East, and collapsed, losing four of five to miss the playoffs.

Here we go again? I sure hope not. Dare I say it...Same ole Jets? We'll see.

I have seen a lot of people bashing Rex Ryan and Brian Schottenheimer. Deservedly so. There was no reason to have Mark Sanchez throw 38 passes in a game that was very winnable until the final minute. They should have run it more. Shoulda thrown in some more gadget plays. Rex Ryan should not have wasted two challenges on calls that could have gone either way. Shoulda done this. Shoulda done that.

Fact is, the season isn't over. There are still nine games to play, and one more game to play against New England in December.

The Jets draw a fairly favorable November with visits to the Lions (2-5), who are much better than their record indicates, the Browns (2-5), as well as home games against the inconsistent Texans (4-2) and bad Bengals (2-5). Who's to say the Jets can't be 9-2 a month from now?

The Patriots, in case you are wondering? They play the Browns and Lions, too, but also pay a visit to the Pittsburgh Steelers and welcome in the Indianapolis Colts over the next month. After a five-game winning streak, they are also due to lose somewhere in the next few weeks.

This is a perfect opportunity for Rex Ryan and the Jets. The flaws of this team are clearly on film now for Ryan and his coaching staff to dig into. They have to take advantage of the loss, point it out to the players and remind them that they have to clean it up or the losses will mount.

After five straight weeks of stellar play, miracle moments and hard-fought victories, the Jets (in the long scheme of things) were due for a stinker. Call it the NFL and the law of averages. You are never as good as you are when you're hot, and never as bad when you're not.

If the Jets want to distinguish themselves from the rest of the pack in the cluttered AFC, they are going to have to toughen up, work harder and find a way to put this game in their rearview mirror so that they can slap around the Detroit Lions in a week.

They have to show more commitment to the running game. Shonn Greene has only carried the ball 77 times this year. The Jets should commit themselves more to using Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson in the backfield. Hey, Ryan is the one who always talks about ground and pound.

The receivers have to learn how to catch a football. Dropped passes were commonplace against the Vikings and Broncos, but it didn't kill the Jets in the end; however, it did kill them Sunday. Jerricho Cotchery and Dustin Keller dropped passes that ended up as interceptions. And the drops kept coming all day.

Mark Sanchez has to regain some poise in the pocket. Enough running around the pocket and throwing the ball up for grabs. Sanchez has to get back to what worked the first five games of the year, when he didn't throw a pick.

If the Jets do that they can get back on track. That is what teams with aspirations as high as the Jets do during the course of a long season.