Sunday, December 31, 2017

NFL Playoffs set after Wild Final Sunday

The NFL playoffs are now set after a wild NFL Sunday that was highlighted by the Buffalo Bills return to the postseason. The Bills have not been playoff bound since 1999 when Doug Flutie and Rob Johnson were battling for the starting job in Buffalo.

Heck, Bill Clinton was still president, and Bill Belichick was with the Jets when the Bills last made into serious January football.

The Bills got into the postseason thanks to a 22-16 win over the Miami Dolphins and a stunning 31-27 victory by the Cincinnati Bengals over the Baltimore Ravens. The Tennessee Titans also made the playoffs with a 15-10 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Bills, Titans and Jaguars are all in the AFC playoff picture for the first time since that aforementioned 1999 season.

Of course we all know what happened the last time the Bills were in the playoffs ...



Here is how the playoff picture sets up.

NFC
1) Eagles (13-3) clinched number 1 seed and home field.
2) Vikings (13-3) Number 2 seed, with a shot at hosting Super Bowl.
3) Rams (11-5) Won NFC West, beat Saints for tiebreaker on 3 seed.
4) Saints (11-5) Won NFC South.
5) Panthers (11-5) Lost NFC South title to Saints due to head to head.
6) Falcons (10-6) last season's Super Bowl choker gets back after 22-10 win over Panthers in Week 17.

AFC
1) Patriots (13-3) clinched number 1 seed and home field.
2) Steelers (13-3) Number 2 seed after head-to-head loss to Patriots.
3) Jaguars (10-6) Won AFC South, own better conference record than Kansas City.
4) Chiefs (10-6) Won AFC West.
5) Titans (9-7) got wild card after victory over Jaguars in Week 17.
6) Bills (9-7) got wild card after win over Miami and Baltimore loss to Cincinnati.


Match-ups
Saturday January 6
Titans @ Chiefs 4:35 on ESPN
Falcons @ Rams 8:35 on NBC

Sunday January 7
Bills @ Jaguars 1:00 CBS
Panthers @ Saints 4:35 FOX

Divisional Round will be determined after wild card weekend. Patriots, Steelers, Eagles, and Vikings will host.

Hackenberg never plays in Jets dismal season finale

PATRIOTS 26 - JETS 6 

Guess Todd Bowles really earned that contract extension as the Jets stunk it up with a listless effort against the defending Super Bowl champions to end the regular season.

Bowles, who was given a two-year extension on Friday, watched as Bryce Petty failed to move a bad offense and never once thought about putting Christian Hackenberg into the game. As it stands, the Jets learned nothing about the quarterback they drafted in the second round two years ago. Bowels decision to not play Hackenberg is a huge indictment of what the coaching staff thinks of the signal-caller.

As for Petty he was bad. Inaccurate, inconsistent and inaccurate (I just said that). You get the point. Outside of a nice 46-yard pass to ArDarious Stewart, Petty was Captain Checkdown for the Jets, as New York managed only 14 first downs and failed to convert a single third down, going 0-for-12. The Jets haven't been shutout on third down in a game since 1996, A.K.A. The Rich Kotite Era.

The Patriots didn't need to do much in this on Sunday. Tom Brady didn't have his best day, but still led the Pats on three first half touchdown drives to put the game out of reach at halftime by the score of 21-3.

The Patriots (13-3) clinched home field advantage throughout the playoffs with the victory. As for the Jets, they limp into the off-season with more questions than answers after another 5-11 finish to the season. Bowles and GM Mike Maccagnan both received contract extensions, and the pressure will be on them to improve this team for next season. They need a quarterback and a lot of help.  Get ready for more Jets misery in 2018 people.

Jets 2018 opponents:
Home: Buffalo, Miami, New England, Houston, Indianapolis, Denver, Green Bay, Minnesota.
Road: Buffalo, Miami, New England, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit.

Giants End Season on High Note with Win over Skins

GIANTS 18 - REDSKINS 10

In what could be the final time Eli Manning suits up for the New York Giants, Big Blue dominated the Redskins 18-10 at the Meadowlands among cheers of "ELI MANNING" from those who braved the bitterly cold conditions.

The numbers didn't jump off the page for Eli. He was 10-of-28 for 132 yards, and was hurt by seven drops by his receivers, but Sunday's win was an affirmation that Manning is still the straw that stirs the drink for the Giants. He kept the team afloat, and managed the game to the best of his ability, considering the lack of talent around him.

The biggest difference in the Giants 18-10 win Sunday was Orleans Darkwa and the ground game. For an entire season, the Giants have struggled to run the football. Sunday was different. On the second play of the game, Darkwa gashed the Redskins with a 75-yard touchdown run that gave the Giants a 6-0 lead and set the tone for the afternoon. Darkwa would carry the ball 20 times for 154 yards against Washington, the best run total against any single opponent this season. Wayne Gallman also proved effective in the run game, running for 89 yards on 15 carries.

Leading 6-0, the Giants wasted no time increasing their lead, when Kelvin Shepherd picked off a Kirk Cousins pass at the Washington 20 yard line. Two plays later the Giants found pay dirt, when Manning zipped a pass over to Hunter Sharp for a touchdown to push the lead to 12-0.

Defensively, the Giants were on point. They had tremendous pressure on Cousins all afternoon, sacking him three times and forcing three interceptions. Cousins, who is expected to make a fine dollar on the free agent market, was held to 158 yards passing on the day.

NOTES: With the win, the Giants finish 1-11 against the NFC this season, and 1-5 in the NFC East. Steve Spagnuolo finished 1-3 as interim head coach; he's not expected to be retained as head coach.

Sunday's win over the Redskins was the Giants 100th victory all time against Washington.

At 3-13, the Giants will finish with the number 2 pick in the NFL draft. It is anyone's guess who they will take. GM Dave Gettleman didn't rule out the idea of going quarterback, but seems like he's in Eli Manning's corner and wants him back. The Giants could draft offensive line, especially after the team cut tackle Bobby Hart and benched Erik Flowers for conduct detrimental to the team.

The moves by Gettleman prove that he is taking a no nonsense approach to fix the Giants, and is poised to do so quickly.

2018 opponents: The Giants 2018 opponents are as follows:
Home: Dallas, Philadelphia, Washington, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Chicago, Jacksonville, Tennessee
Road: Dallas, Philadelphia, Washington, Atlanta, Carolina, San Francisco, Indianapolis, Houston.


Giants Head Coaching Candidates

With Dave Gettleman now set as the Giants new General Manager, the search for Big Blue's next head coach begins in earnest. There are a number of potential candidates, and the Giants look poised to fill the position as soon as they can.

Jim Schwartz - Defensive Coordinator, Philadelphia Eagles. Schwartz is the favorite for the job ... at least right now. He has done a great job rebuilding his resume in recent years as the D-Coordinator for both the Bills and Eagles. This season, the Eagles are ranked second in yards and points allowed. Schwartz has the head coaching experience that the Giants are looking for having coached the Lions for five seasons. While he is 29-51 all time as a head coach, the Lions were a better watch then they had been in the past, the team even made the playoffs in Schwartz's third season.

Steve Wilks - Defensive Coordinator, Carolina Panthers. Wilks has been with the Panthers since 2012 and is very familiar with Gettleman. In fact, the Giants GM is quiet high on Wilks. In addition to being Carolina's defensive coordinator, he is their assistant head coach. Expect him to get an interview and strong consideration, even though the Giants prefer a head coach with experience.

Josh McDaniels - Offensive Coordinator, New England Patriots. If the Giants hire McDaniels, then these are truly dark days for Giants football. Yes, McDaniels comes with great credentials in New England, and yes, he's won Super Bowls, but keep in mind his quarterback is Tom Brady. When McDaniels was a head coach in Denver, he rubbed everyone the wrong way and nearly destroyed that franchise. McDaniels is known for a rough personality that will not rub well in  New York. Giants should stay away.

Bill O'Brien - Head Coach, Houston Texans. It remains unclear what O'Brien's future will be in Houston. Early Sunday morning, the word was that the Texans would keep O'Brien, while either firing or demoting General Manager Rick Smith. We shall see.  O'Brien has a record of 31-32 in four seasons in Houston. His teams have never lived up to lofty expectations, going no better than 9-7 every year. He is also responsible for the Brock Osweiler mess that blew up in the Texans faces last season. O'Brien also did little to shut down a near mutiny in his clubhouse when the Texans players took some comments from owner Bob McNair about "lunatics running the asylum" way too literally. It's unbelievable this guy wasn't fired mid-season. Not an ideal candidate if he hits the market.

Pat Schurmur - Offensive Coordinator, Minnesota Vikings. Can't get much duller than Pat Schurmur. The low-key coach has been a big part of the Vikings renaissance this season with Case Keenum leading the Vikes to the playoffs at 13-3. Schurmur has experience as a head coach, albiet with the Browns, where he was 9-23 in two seasons. Then again, considering the Browns are about to go 1-31 with Hue Jackson in two years at the helm, 9-23 doesn't sound so bad. Schurmur was also an interim head coach for the Eagles in 2015, where he won one game ... against the Giants.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Open Mike Program: Todd Bowles Extension and NFL Playoffs

Todd Bowles received a surprising extension from the New York Jets, while Dave Gettleman was introduced as Giants GM. Plus, NFL Playoffs are right around the corner. Listen to the podcast below!


Dave Gettleman Press Conference

Dave Gettleman was introduced to the Big Blue Nation for the first time as General Manager on Friday. He was candid, personable and honest in his answers. He came across as a someone who fits the Giants mold, which is exactly what John Mara was looking for in a leader of the franchise.

Here is the press conference! 


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Giants will hire David Gettleman as new GM

The Giants will name David Gettleman as their new General Manager, a move that is not really surprising since he had 15 years of experience in the Giants front office prior to taking the Carolina GM job in 2013.

It was presumed that once the Giants let go of Jerry Reese that Gettleman would be the favorite for the job.

Under Gettleman the Panthers went 40-23-1, including an appearance in Super Bowl 50. Gettleman was fired in July of 2017 after an contentious relationship with a number of aging players over contracts.

Prior to running the Panthers, Gettleman was the head of the Giants Pro Personnel department from 1998 to 2012, and was a part of three different Super Bowl runs with Big Blue.

The questions that face Gettleman are manifold. 1) He needs to find a new head coach for the team. Many speculate that Mike Smith, the former Atlanta Falcons head coach would be a favorite for the job, but we shall see. Does Gettleman prefer to go the safe route, like Smith, or is he willing to gamble everything and hire a guy like Josh McDaniels, who was a total failure as a head coach in Denver?

2) Eli Manning. Gettleman will ultimately decide the fate of the Giants all pro quarterback. Do the Giants keep Manning in 2018? Do they trade him away before the draft? Cut him? Does Gettleman believe in guys like Sam Darnold and/or Josh Rosen, who are both presumed to be coming out of college for this year's draft class?

3) Culture: The Giants have been a franchise based on stability for a better part of their history. That all went down the proverbial drain the past two seasons under Ben McAdoo and Jerry Reese. Gettleman has to develop a culture of winning, and a culture of stability within the organization if the football team is going to succeed long term.

Todd Bowles Future with Jets is Up in the Air

For an entire football season the New York Giants have been the team with speculation surrounding the fate of their head coach Ben McAdoo. Now, with just one week left in the 2017 regular season, all of the attention is now on Jets head coach Todd Bowles. Will Bowles join McAdoo in the unemployment line in a couple of days? Will Bowles make the decision for  them and bolt for the Arizona Cardinals?

Ask the media in New York, and the consensus is that Bowles will be back with the Jets in 2018. As the New York Post indicated a few weeks back, the Jets set a low bar for Bowles this season, where he would not be judged by wins and losses, but rather on the improvement of the team.

To some the Jets coach has done enough. The Jets have been competitive -- for the most part -- in most of their games. They had a chance to win a number of them, which they blew in the fourth quarter. The team also found some quality young talent in guys like Robbie Anderson, Marcus Maye and Jamal Adams. At 5-10 the Jets "exceeded" the expectations of those who thought this was a team destined to go 2-14 or worse in 2017.

But let's be honest here, did anyone think the Jets were going to be that bad? Really? I had them at 4-12 when the season started. They are going to be 5-11. Just because the Jets won one or two more games then was expected of them, doesn't mean that Bowles deserves to be back. Bowles record is 10-22 in his last 32 games dating back to the Buffalo meltdown at the end of the 2015 season. Should the Jets lose this week in New England, he will be 10-23 in his last 33 games, and 20-28 in three years. That is little less than 10 losses per season.

It will also mark the second straight year that the Jets went 5-11 under Bowles' leadership.

While Bowles has gotten the team to play hard for him this year, there have been moments this season where the Jets failed to show up. Case in point New York's 15-10 loss to Tampa Bay earlier this year, and a 23-0 loss to a reeling Broncos team.

Then there are inexcusable amount of penalties the has been called for this season. The Jets have been called for 110 penalties, or 7.3 penalties per game, which places them 27th in the NFL in penalties per game. Consider the Jets were one of the least penalized teams in the NFL last season. While a lot of the penalties can be blamed of the Jets vast inexperience, the fact that Bowles has failed to address the issue is alarming.

Locker Room: Bowles got a lot of credit early this season for curing the culture around the Jets locker room, but when you consider the drama that is playing out with Muhammod Wilkerson, who has basically been suspended by the team for failing to attend meetings, it is a sign that Bowles still has trouble commanding the locker room. Keep in mind Wilkerson's actions come off the heels of Bowles saying he had no issue with tardiness last year.

Quarterback play: While General Manager Mike Mccagnan deserves all the blame here for the team's inability to draft a quarterback the past three seasons, Bowles deserves as much blame for not developing one. For three years Bowles has relied upon quarterbacks over the age of 35 to get the job done in Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh McCown. This year, Bowles proved to be particularly stubborn on the issue, mainly because of his knowledge that Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty aren't good enough. Instead he entrusted McCown to be his quarterback this season, when conventional wisdom said go with the kids. McCown was good, he won some games and may have saved Bowles job in the process, but at the end of the day the Jets still do not have a quarterback moving forward.

Should the Jets keep Bowles? Considering everything, the Jets are probably best suited moving forward and finding another head coach in 2018.

While Bowles did some good in Year 3, his overall record, questionable in-game decisions, and inability to manage the team as a whole are huge red flags. For a team that is going in 2018 with the idea that it will either sign a big ticket free agent quarterback, or draft one of the top quarterback prospects coming out of college, the last thing the Jets need is a coach who is on the hot seat entering the first week of September.

While there are reports that the Jets are leaning toward keeping Bowles, they should not. And even if they don't fire Bowles next week, he may do them a service and leave anyway. There is a lot of speculation that the Arizona Cardinals are interested in Bowles to take over for Burce Arians who is said to be contemplating retirement.

While Arians has denied those rumors, a lot of people around the league think that Arians is leaving the Cardinals after five pretty solid seasons. Bowles was Arians defensive coordinator for two years, and was quiet popular there; in fact he won Assistant Coach of the Year before he became the Jets coach.

If the Jets don't want to fire Bowles, and Bowles doesn't want to stay in New York, the Jets should dangle him to the Cardinals and get draft pick compensation as a result.

This kind of stuff isn't new, particularly for the Jets. In 1997 they acquired Bill Parcells in a trade with the Patriots, and three years later received compensation from the Patriots, when Bill Belichick stabbed them in the back in order to become the greatest coach ever in New England. In 2006, the Jets traded Herman Edwards to Kansas City when he replaced a retiring Dick Vermeil as the Chiefs head coach.

So if Bowles wants to head to Arizona, the Jets shouldn't stop him, in fact they should help drive him to the airport. It's time for the Jets to get a new head coach who can get this team moving on the right track, instead of going another 12 months wondering when Todd Bowles will be fired.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Omar Minaya Returns to Mets, Fred Wilpon is Cheap

The Mets continue to turn their off-season into a three ring circus.

The team announced that former General Manager Omar Minaya will return to the franchise as a special assistant to current GM, Sandy Alderson. Minaya's job will be to revitalize the Mets scouting department which has taken a lot of hits since he was fired by the Mets in 2010. Remember it was Minaya who found guys like Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom, not Alderson.

If you think that this means Alderson is on the hot seat, think again. Anderson signed an extension earlier this week with the Amazin's. So the Mets, who have done absolutely nothing this off-season, have made more moves in the front office than they have in signing players.

Should be very interesting to see Minaya work alongside Alderson, the man who took Minaya's job eight years ago.

On a side note, Fred Wilpon is "IRATE" that the Yankees made a deal with the Marlins to get Giancarlo Stanton. In a case of some serious sour grapes, Wilpon has a history of being obsessed with the Yankee payroll, which he calls unsustainable.

While I agree that the Yankees are taking some financial risks with their future stars by adding Stanton, and likely Pirates ace, Gerrit Cole, how about Wilpon actually spend some money to fix his own team?

In fact the Mets are reportedly cutting payroll by $20 million this season, lowering their payroll down to $135 million.

The Mets have put so many financial constraints on Sandy Alderson that there is nothing he can do to really improve the team.  A trade with the Indians for Jason Kipnis? Forget it. Kipnis is due $13.7 million this year and $14 million next year. The Mets will never leverage for it. How about Mike Moustakas who is expected to command about $90 million on the open market? Forget it.

In years past the Wilpon's have used Bernie Madoff as an excuse for their penny-pinching ways. Now there are no more excuses. The Mets are just flat out cheap and do not care about their fanbase. If Wilpon really wants to compete with the Yankees, he needs to open up the coffers and start spending some money on this team. As it stands right now the Mets are on their way to complete irrelevancy in 2018.

Gerrit Cole Close to being a Yankee

The Yankees are nearing a deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates for their ace, Gerrit Cole. Word around baseball is the Yankees have pulled their top infield prospect Gleyber Torres off the table and the Pirates, after much reluctance have agreed to that part of the deal.

Instead the Yankees are said to include a package that will contain outfielder Clint Fraizer to Pittsburgh to obtain Cole. Now, Friazer was a valuable prospect for the Yankees last season. He had four homers and 17 RBI in 39 games for New York last season, providing a nice spark in the middle of the season. Still with Giancarlo Stanton in the fold, the Yankees feel that Fraizer is expendable.

The Yankees could include reliever Chance Adams and prospect Miguel Andujar in the deal for Cole, which could also include second baseman Josh Harrison coming to the Bronx as well.

Now, this is a gamble for the Yankees. Andujar is ranked fifth among the Yankees top 10 prospects, and he plays a position of need for the Yankees. It would be a risky move by New York to hurt their future at the position for a starting pitcher in Cole, who has really been a mediocre pitcher in his career.

In fact, if you look at Cole's numbers, they are very comparable to a guy the Yankees already have on the roster in Sonny Gray.

Cole was 12-12 with a 4.26 ERA in 33 starts last season for Pittsburgh. Gray was 10-12 with a 3.55 ERA in 27 starts with the Yankees and A's last year. Overall, Gray is 48-43 with a 3.45 ERA and 670 strikeouts in 700 plus innings. Cole? Well, he's 59-42 with a 3.50 career ERA with 734 strikeouts in 780 innings. Both are very similar. Why would the Yankees add a pitcher who is no better than what they have? It makes little sense to cut away at the farm system for Cole.

The Yankees already have a set rotation with Mashairo Tanaka, Luis Severino, CC Sabathia, Gray and Jordan Montgomery comprising the rotation. Where will Cole fit in? Does he bump Montgomery from the rotation and hurt his development? It makes no sense.

While Cole can help the Yankees on the field, long term the deal is a bad one for the Yankees.

Will the Miserable Mets Ever Spend?

Aside from twiddling their thumbs, the question remains for the Mets this off-season is when will they make a significant move to improve this baseball team?

It has been the question that has plagued Mets fans for weeks. As has become pretty commonplace for the Mets, they have watched other teams wheel and deal during the Winter Meetings while they stand pat, waiting for the tide to come in.


Sure, they signed veteran right-hander Anthony Swarzak to bolster their bullpen, and gave General Manager Sandy Alderson a contract extension for an “unspecified” amount of time, but the fact is this is an organization that has been frugal in its approach thus far this off-season.

Bottom line, the Wilpon’s do not want to spend big bucks, period.

If anyone is upset that the team didn’t pursue Giancarolo Stanton before he was dealt to the Yankees. 1) Stanton had a no-trade clause, and he probably wouldn’t have approved a deal to play for a potential last place team in the Mets to begin with. 2) The Wilpon’s were never going to spend $265 million on one player.

Instead the Mets have been looking for cheaper deals.

There was speculation earlier this month that the team would swing a deal for Cleveland’s Jason Kipnis. However, the cost for the second baseman might be out of their price range.  According to the New York Post, the Indians may value Kipnis more after Carlos Santana signed a long-term deal with the Phillies.

While Kipnis is coming off an injury-plagued year in 2017, and is due $13.7 million this year alone, the Mets do not have the farm system pieces that can satisfy Cleveland. In addition, the pool for quality second baseman on the free agent market is pretty barron, and it would make little sense now for Cleveland to dump Kipnis when the other options aren’t good.

Unless the Indians and Mets re-enter negotiations, New York has to find other ways to fill the voids at catcher, second base, third base, starting rotation, bullpen, and bench.

Other second base options include, Brandon Phillips, Gordon Beckham and Darwin Barney. Neil Walker is also available, but there were reports last year of a rift between Walker and the Mets before the second baseman was dealt to Milwaukee.

Because of ownership’s reluctance to spend this off-season, there are reports the Mets could target first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who at this point in his career might be viewed as more of a stop-gap/bench player.

Gonzalez, who was just released by the Braves after a deal with the Dodgers last week, hit only .245 in 71 games for Los Angles last season. He was so bad last year that he was left off the postseason roster, as L.A. made its run to the World Series.  Signing Gonzalez makes little sense, unless the Mets are truly down on Dominic Smith, who deserves a reasonable shot at earning the first base job in only his first full Spring Training.

As for third base, the Mets had discussions with free agent Todd Fraizer, but chances are he’s going back to the Yankees this season. 

The biggest name still out there at the hot corner is Mike Moustakas. Moustakas was a big part of the Royals success in recent years, and would add tremendous credibility to the Mets clubhouse, should New York jump in. He has seen plenty of ebbs and flows in his career, but before the injury, everything was pointing up for Moustakas and it showed. Last season, Moustakas hit .272 with 35 home runs and 85 runs driven in, just one year separated from a torn ACL in his knee.

But again, it’s all about the price tag.

While the third baseman’s market is slow this year, keep in mind Evan Longoria is due $80 million over the next five years from the Giants, and Pablo Sandoval is still getting paid for that ill-fated $95 million deal he signed with Boston in 2014. So one would venture to guess that Moustakas could be looking at a deal in the $90 million range. Can the Mets pay that? They have shown no sign they want to.

The Mets are already paying an injured and gaunt David Wright $20 million this season. Wright is due $27 million in 2019 and 2020 combined, and has shown no desire to retire because of a series of neck and back injuries.

Chances are the Mets plug Wilmer Flores at third base, and let Asdrubal Cabrera play out the year at second base and see what happens, because, it’s the Wilpon way.  



Saturday, December 16, 2017

Cohen's Corner Week 15 NFL Picks

No video this time on the NFL picks, so I am going to straight up write it up right here on the Cohen's Corner blog. So without further adieu let's dive into this week's big games!

Saturday:
Bears (4-9) @ Lions (7-6): It's become a disappointing season for the Lions. With Aaron Rodgers having missed more than half the season, 2017 will be remembered as a missed opportunity for Detroit to jump to the top of the standings. Instead Detroit fell on its own sword three weeks ago when they lost to Minnesota on Thanksgiving Day. The Lions have been awful at home, posting a 2-4 record and really need a win to stay alive in the wild card race. The Bears have played hard all season, but John Fox is going to be fired regardless on January 1. PICK: LIONS 31, BEARS 23. 

Chargers (7-6) @ Chiefs (7-6): Everyone is on the Chargers bandwagon so much that they are a one point favorite on the road in K.C. Let's be honest both teams have been going in opposite directions for some time now. The Chargers are 7-2 in their last night games, while Kansas City is 2-6 in their last eight. The Chiefs snapped a four game losing streak last week with a convincing win over the Raiders, but in order to regain the confidence they had earlier in the year, this is a must have tonight against Los Angeles. Everything is on the line tonight, most notably the AFC West title. Expect the Chiefs D to step up against Phillip Rivers and Company, and look for a statement from the boys in red. PICK: CHIEFS 27, CHARGERS 21. 

Jets (5-8) @ Saints (9-4): This game was a joke before Josh McCown's injury last week for the Jets. It's an even bigger joke this week with Bryce Petty under center. This will be another embarrassment in a season full of them for Todd Bowles' Jets. The Saints need this one badly in order to stay ahead of Carolina and Atlanta in the NFC South; not to mention both the Panthers and Falcons beat the Jets this season. Gotta have it New Orleans. FYI, former Jets special teams coach Mike Westoff is coaching specials for the Saints, expect something big to happen. PICK: SAINTS 48, JETS 10. 

Eagles (11-2) @ Giants (2-11): The Eagles Super Bowl chances took a major hit last week when Carson Wentz was lost for the season with an ACL injury. Still, even with Nick Foles under center the Eagles should find a way to win this one against the hapless Giants. The Giants were supposed to be sparked by the return of Eli Manning and the firing of Ben McAdoo last weeks, and instead turned in a 30-10 defeat at the hands of the Cowboys. This game will be ugly without Wentz, but Philly will do just enough to win. PICK: EAGLES 17, GIANTS 6. 

PACKERS (7-6) @ PANTHERS (9-4): Football season is saved, Aaron Rodgers returns to the lineup for the Packers. After missing more than half the season with a collarbone injury that was supposed to sideline him for the year, Rodgers returns to try to get the Packers into the playoffs. That might be asking a lot considering the Packers have to face one of the league's top defenses this week. Carolina is 5th in the NFL in total defense, and tied for 3rd in the NFL in sacks with 40. This is asking a lot of even Rodgers. PICKS: PANTHERS 23, PACKERS 17. 

RAMS (9-4) @ SEAHAWKS (8-5): The NFC West Championship game, essentially. The Rams are coming off a disappointing loss at home to the Eagles and now hit the road to face the Seahawks in their building with the 12th man at full voice. This will real tough for this young team. If the Rams are for real, they go into Seattle and beat a banged up Seahawks team. Just got a feeling the Seahawks and Russell Wilson are going to come to play Sunday, and I expect them to come away with the victory. PICK: SEAHAWKS 26, RAMS 17. 

PATRIOTS (10-3) @ STEELERS (11-2): So the Patriots lost last week in Miami. Guess this means they are a slam dunk lock to win this week? The answer is yes they are. The Steelers are good, they have tremendous fire power offensively with Antonio Brown and Le'von Bell providing enough weapons for Big Ben, but this is the Patriots they are facing. New England is 8-2 in the last 10 games against Pittsburgh, and have owned the Steelers in games in December and January. While Pittsburgh's defense is ranked sixth in the NFL, they have not played at a "Blitzburg" level all season. Expect Tom Brady to have a lot of success throwing the football on Sunday, and if that's the case it's gonna be a long night for the Steelers. PICK: PATRIOTS 34, STEELERS 24.

COWBOYS (7-6) @ RAIDERS (6-7): When the schedules came out in April, Cowboys at Raiders sounded like a marquee matchup for late December. Instead its two teams with no identity, both trying to keep alive for the playoffs. Of the two team, the most frustrating has been the Raiders. Derek Carr has put together a really disappointing season coming off an MVP-type of season last year, and the team has not figured out how to use Marshawn Lynch at all this year. I don't know what to expect from Oakland, and Dallas is more desperate for a win here. PICK: COWBOYS 27, RAIDERS 23. 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Yankees Continue to Dominate MLB Winter Meetings

The Yankees have been the talk of the baseball world with their acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins, and rumors they are trying to get Pittsburgh's Gerritt Cole and/or Baltimore's Manny Machado. I talk to sportswriter Doug Rush about the latest takes. Listen live below!




Monday, December 11, 2017

Mets looking to trade Matt Harvey

Matt Harvey's days in New York might be numbered. The Mets are busy looking to trade the troubled starting pitcher to a couple of teams during the Winter Meetings, with sources saying those two teams are the Orioles and Rangers.

The Rangers rumor had some legs today. There was a story that the Mets would trade Harvey to Texas for left fielder Jurickson Profar, however Jon Hayman reported that the Rangers don't like the deal. Harvey is due to be a free agent at the end of the year likely complicating things.

But just the fact that the Mets would be willing to trade for Profar, a guy who has a .229 career batting average and a .309 on base percentage says everything you need to know about Harvey's status with the Mets. The Mets don't even care that his value is at an all time low, they want him gone no matter what.

Make no mistake Harvey was awful last year, especially when he returned from the disabled listed and pitched to an ERA of 11.25 in six games. Not only did Harvey lack any command and confidence on the mound, his late night frolicking rubbed a lot of people in the organization the wrong way.

On top of that there has always been a prevailing sense that Harvey wants to sign a major contract with another team. For years, fans felt he would rather be a Yankee than a Met. So you can't blame the Mets for wanting to deal him. However doing so when he has no value is a total waste of time.

The Mets should bring him back this season and challenge him to be the pitcher he once was. Harvey needs a breakout year, and the Mets need a breakout year from Harvey in order to increase his value and trade him this summer for a solid prospect or a solid major league contributor. The divorce is coming, but the Mets can do a lot better than Jurickson Profar.

Rich Get Richer as Yankees Acquire Giancarlo Stanton

The Yankees fooled us all. Nobody expected the Yankees to be in play for Giancarlo Stanton, the reigning National League MVP, who lead all of Major League Baseball in home runs with 59. But during the weekend the Yankees did acquire Stanton, not because they needed him, but rather because they could do it.

 The Yankees had spent a better part of the last couple of seasons convincing us all that they were done with long term contracts that pay out huge amounts of money to star athletes. We thought lessons were learned after the monstrous contracts that were handed down over the years to guys like Jason Giambi, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixiera and CC Sabathia. We though the Yankees were going to turn back the clock to the 1990s by winning a championship with a young corps of home grown talent.

 After the dust settled Monday afternoon with Stanton's press conference, it is clear the Yankees are still going to rely on their young talent to take them all the way. But, they will try to win it all with a $265 million man standing in left field this year in the Bronx. And if Stanton decides not to opt out of that contract (a la Alex Rodriguez) by the year 2020, then there is a good chance we will see Stanton here in New York until the year 2028.

The reason the Yankees made this move is because they could. A combination of brilliant and shrewd maneuvering of the salary cap by Brian Cashman made this deal possible. Stanton was due $295 million over 10 years from the Marlins. Fish owner Derek Jeter needed to get Stanton off the team if he had any plans of freeing up cap space to rebuild the team in South Beach. He reached out to the Giants and Cardinals, and had deals with both, but Stanton, thanks to the ridiculous power of the no-trade clause, vetoed both trades putting Jeter in a position where he had no options.

Stanton wanted the Yankees, the Dodgers, Cubs or Astros. Only the Yankees had the ability to move pieces to make it happen.  The Yankees get rid of Starlin Castro's $21 million contract in the deal, which the Marlins absorb, and Miami will also absorb $30 million of Stanton's contract, lowering his annual salary to $22 million. They are also shedding the contracts of Sabathia, A-Rod, as well as Matt Holliday and Michael Pineda this off-season as well, creating more flexibility. Of the players they have under contract, they account for only $120 million, and that includes Stanton's deal. The others are either in arbitration years, or under rookie contracts, i.e. Aaron Judge. As a result the Yankee payroll right now is around $177 million. Don't believe me? Here are the numbers.

The problem the Yankees face is a logistical one. For starters they have eight players who are arbitration eligible this season, including Didi Gregorious, who is due to make $9 million and Sonny Gray who is due to make $6.6 million. If Gregorious continues to play well the Yankees won't want him to walk away, and they'll eventually sign him to a deal.

The same is going to be said one day for Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Greg Bird. All three players the Yankees have under their control for the next three seasons until arbitration in 2020. At that point, if Stanton doesn't opt out of his deal, things will get really interesting. Eventually a player like Judge is going to want to get paid. After a rookie campaign that produced 52 home runs, the expectations will be that Judge will repeat that feat next season, and if he does a lot of people will want the Yankees to pay him. How the Yankees manage their budgets with Stanton's $265 million deal in the fold and the prospect of having to eventually pay the kids is going to be a drama for years to come.

What the Yankees will have to do, and they are trying to do it already, is clear up cap room.  There are already stories that they are looking to trade Jacoby Ellsbury and his $68 million contract. Ellsbury is due to make $21 million this season, and the Yankees don't want to pay that much for a guy who was relegated to the bench last year. Brett Gardner is another player the Yankees could package in a deal if they wanted to.

Bottom line is the Yankees will be cutting back on paying the aging players that still control roster spots in order to free up money to eventually pay the kids, at least one would think -- unless the Yankees go bananas in the 2019 free agent class which is supposed to be a doozy of a group.

Team Chemistry: The 2017 Yankees had great team chemistry last year. Bringing in Stanton changes the complexion of this team dramatically. Former manager Joe Girardi did a great job when it came to managing all the high octane personalities that existed in the Yankees clubhouse over the years. If he was still here, there would be little discussion about the clubhouse dynamic, because Girardi would find a way. Nobody knows how Aaron Boone is going to managing this team. Nobody knows how he'll deal with superstars, especially two superstar sluggers who play the same position.

Guaranteed winner? Nothing is ever guaranteed. The Yankees should have known that themselves after watching the club win only one World Series in all the years Alex Rodriguez was in town. Those were some pretty wild seasons in the Bronx, and not all of them ended well. The Yankees need to hope that Stanton is the real deal in the playoffs and doesn't choke up on the bat, like A-Rod, or he'll never hear the end of it.

Good for baseball? A trade like this with a MVP player going to a team loaded with MVP talent all over the field is not exactly balancing the playing field in baseball. While the trade is great for the Yankees both financially and in offensive production, it further proves how flawed no-trade clauses are in baseball. Players can hold an entire organization hostage until they get what they desire. That is what happened here with Stanton. He should be a San Francisco Giant or St. Louis Cardinal right now, but instead with the no-trade clause, Stanton killed both deals to get what he wanted to play on the grandest stage in pro sports. While the Players Union will never agree to suspending the no-trade clause and/or player opt-outs, it would benefit franchises more if they had the power over the player. So in a phrase, no, this was not a good day for baseball.

McCown injured, likely done for year in Mile High debacle for Jets

BRONCOS 23 - JETS 0 

It is ironic and fitting in so many ways that on the same week that Todd Bowles announced that Josh McCown would be his starting quarterback for the rest of this season, McCown brakes his non-throwing hand and will likely miss the rest of the season. Jets fans clamoring for Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg finally get their wish.

While McCown proved to be a gamer this season, and it is sad to see a good guy go out like this, it might be the best thing to happen to the Jets, since we will finally see what the two kids have after sitting on the pine all season.

Now is the chance for the Jets to officially end the dilly dally of going with mediocre, never-was and never-will-be quarterbacks and find out if either Petty or Hackenberg has something to offer in 2018. And if not, they can position themselves to get a true franchise quarterback in the draft.

Now is the time.

The Jets quarterback problem was on full display Sunday in Denver, as was the incompetence of their head coach Todd Bowles. Once again Bowles failed to get his team ready to play Sunday against a team that had lost eight in a row.  Sure the Broncos were going to win a game eventually, but this is not the same Broncos team that won a Super Bowl two years ago. This Broncos team is just plain awful, and the Jets made them look like the Broncos of old. This game was non-competive and just flat out boring. If you fell asleep watching this nonsense, who could blame you?

The Jets managed only 100 yards of offense for the entire game. THE ENTIRE GAME!! Against a Denver defense that gave up 35 points to Jay Cutler and the Dolphins last week, and 51 points to the Eagles earlier in the year! The Jets had no game-plan, no clue and no fight in them offensively. That falls on the players as much as it does Bowles and Offensive Coordinator John Morton.

In addition, McCown wasn't just hurt late in the game with the hand injury, he suffered a back injury in the first quarter and Bowles still kept in the game. When McCown walked off the field holding his back, the Jets inserted Petty, who looked good on his first two passes. Then McCown came back onto the field, and threw an interception. Great instinctive awareness by Bowles. McCown should never have been allowed to comeback into the game, but Bowles remained stubborn to sticking with his guy.

It is moments like this that make you wonder whether Bowles should be the long term answer at head coach. All season people have credited Bowles with getting this team to overactive, but they are 5-8, and likely starring at a 5-11 finish with playoff caliber teams the Saints, Chargers and Patriots coming up on the schedule. If the Jets finish at 5-11, they will have achieved the same record as last season, a year that almost everyone considered a disaster.

Does Bowles deserve another chance after winning only 10 games in two years combined? Does he really deserve an extension because the Jets won one or two more games than people expected?

Yes, the Jets have played hard at times, but they have also played like they just didn't care other times. On Sunday in Denver, the Jets just didn't care. It showed in every facet of their performance.

While the Jets 23-0 loss in Denver will not be overly memorable, it might be the game that signals the beginning of a new era in Jetsland, at the quarterback position, and maybe, the head coach.


Revamped Giants Still Struggle in Loss to Boys

COWBOYS 30 - GIANTS 10 

At least for three quarters the Giants showed some life. Of course effort by itself is not enough to win ball games, and that was the case Sunday at MetLife Stadium as the Cowboys stormed past the Giants 30-10 to send Big Blue to a 2-11 record. At the very least the Giants gave a better effort than they had in 11 games under Ben McAdoo this season.

Back in the lineup since the infamous benching that cost McAdoo his job, Eli Manning was good, at least for part of the day. He engineered a 17-play, 62-yard drive that culminated in a field goal to tie the game at three in the first quarter. Later on, he looked like the Eli Manning of old when he dropped a dime in the hands of Evan Engram for a 35-yard completion to the Dallas 21 on a drive that ended in a Manning touchdown pass to Rhett Ellison.

With just two minutes to go before halftime the Giants held a 10-3 lead.

But what started out as a hopeful sign that the Giants would turn things around in just their first game of the post-McAdoo era, things got ugly fast.

The offense went into a proverbial shell, mainly because Manning was continually failed by dropped passes from his wide receivers,  and the fact the Giants were unable to muster anything creative formations by their offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan.

On top of that, interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo watched his defensive unit completely fail him in  the second half. The Giants gave up way too many big plays tot he Cowboys to even think they had a shot in this contest. Every single touchdown the Cowboys had on Sunday was done in four plays or less. That is a case of not only poor tackling, but missed assignments on the part of the Giants.

Perhaps the turning point of the afternoon came on a third and two from Dallas' own 26 yard line, when Dak Prescott found Cody Beasley on a slant, and the speedy receiver did the rest dashing down the sideline for a 54-yard reception. On the next play Prescott went over the top and found his pro bowl tight end Jason Witten for six to give the Cowboys a 17-10 lead.

The dagger didn't come until later in the fourth, when Prescott hit Rod Smith wide open in the flat, and he dashed by a Giants defense that parted like the Red Sea for an 81-yard touchdown to make it 23-10.

And remember Eli Manning playing well? Yeah, that didn't last long either. Manning threw two killer interceptions at the end of the game that sealed the Giants fate.

Inside the numbers: Even though New York had 330 yards of total offense on Sunday, the Cowboys had 450, most of which came in the fourth quarter. The Cowboys 30-10 win over Big Blue solidified a season sweep of the Giants, the first time since 2014 that Dallas has swept New York in a season. Steve Spagnuolo dropped to 10-39 all time as a head coach.

GM Search: The Giants might have their next General Manager in place. Word around the league Sunday is that the Giants are close to naming former Panthers executive David Gettleman as their new GM. Gentleman was with the Giants for 13 years from 1999-2012, and knows this franchise quiet well. However, one has to assume Sunday's game was not a good audition for Manning and Spagnuolo for their presumptive new boss. The Giants could make it official with Gettleman this week.



Monday, December 4, 2017

What we Know after Giants Firing of Ben McAdoo

The fallout from the Giants decision to fire both Head Coach Ben McAdoo and General Manager Jerry Reese continues to develop as the hours pass on this first Monday in December.



What we know so far:

Kevin Abrams will replace Reese as the team's GM on an interim basis. Like Reese, Abrams has been in the Giants organization for a very long time, having served as the clubs assistant general manager for the past 16 years. Abrams has been the Giants primary negotiator for player contracts, works with college and pro personal departments to evaluate players in preparation for the draft. Who knows what kind of responsibility he will have beyond putting on a good face for the next four weeks as the team looks for a permanent replacement. Giants owner John Mara did say that he would consider Abrams for the job, but is looking outside the organization. 

Erine Accorsi, the Giants former general manger will be involved in the Giants search for a new top football executive and head coach. Accorsi is the man that traded for Eli Manning back in 2004, and had worked closely in the Giants front office from 1994 to his retirement after the Super Bowl season in 2007. 

Steve Spagnuolo will be the interim head coach. Spagnuolo is 10-38 as a head coach from a three year stint with the Rams from 2009 to 2011. He is a very popular figure in Giants history having been its long time defensive coordinator dating back to 2007. He will be given a chance to audition for the full time job over the next month with three divisional games on the docket. Doubt highly that the Giants will make Spagnuolo the full time head coach, but he could make a case to remain in the organization as defensive coordinator. 

Eli Manning: While Mara denied that the Giants were going back to Eli Manning as the starting quarterback, word got around quickly that the Giants would do just that. Eli will be back under center on Sunday against the Cowboys. Mara made no qualms that he wants to win every one of the Giants final four games of the year. Eli Manning gives the Giants the best chance to win. 

Davis Webb: Mara would not be opposed to seeing Webb get some reps when the opportunity provides itself. Don't expect to see him at Manning's expense. If the Giants have a chance to win the game, Manning will play. 

Geno Smith: He will be on the unemployment line very soon. 




Giants Fire Ben McAdoo & Jerry Reese

The Giants have officially dropped the anvil on Ben McAdoo and General Manager Jerry Reese. Both were fired Monday morning just hours after the Giants returned home from their disastrous 24-17 loss to the Raiders on Sunday.

The firing is not surprising, it was just a matter of time, especially after reports surfaced on Sunday that the Giants were planning to make the change within 24 hours after their game. The final straw for owner John Mara was the benching of Eli Manning, a clear power play by both McAdoo and Reese to prove they can win games without the former Super Bowl MVP. Instead, what the dynamic duo of duchebagdom didn't realize is how popular Manning is. A huge groundswell of anger rose out of the benching from fans, media and current and former players that it became obvious that McAdoo didn't have much time left.

McAdoo, who went 13-15 as a head coach over nearly two years at the helm becomes the first in-season firing by the Giants since 1976. At 2-10 it had to be done. Not only was the team playing poorly, but McAdoo had terrible relationships with his players. He suspended Janorius Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers Cromartie because of in-house disputes, and always clashed with Manning through the press.

The biggest relationship faux pas outside of Manning had to be McAdoo's bizarre handling of Odell Beckham Jr. He failed to discipline him after Beckham spent time partying in Miami just days before a playoff game in Green Bay. Beckham followed that up with a horrid performance with dropped passes all over the place, as the Giants got destroyed by the Packers in the wild card game.
Then this season, after Beckham imitated a peeing dog and was taunting fans in Philadelphia, McAdoo did nothing to control his troubled wide receiver. Word was during the season that a lot of players in the locker room took exception to the fact that McAdoo treated Beckham with kid gloves, leading to more clubhouse unrest.

On the field, McAdoo was clueless. His game-plans were uninspiring, and when the team did win games, it was mostly at the expense of the other teams mistakes.

As for Reese, his drafts were truly awful. He failed to address the offensive line issue over the past three drafts, creating one of the worst units in the league. In addition, he failed to find a legitimate running threat to take pressure of Eli Manning, and outside of his spending spree in 2016, did little to improve the team as the years went on. At lot of people believe that when Tom Coughlin was the head coach, Reese never signed players that Coughlin really wanted or needed to succeed. As a result, the Giants were mediocre in Coughlin's final four years at the helm before  he was fired.

Hubris did both McAdoo and Reese in and the Giants will be better off moving from both of them right now.

Assistant General Manager Kevin Abrams will take over for Reese on a interim basis. Chances are he will not be the full time replacement. The Giants should go out and find someone who can be dynamic with recruitment and the salary cap. That person does not exist in the franchise.

Steve Spagnoluo will take over as interim head coach.  Spags was a finalist for the head job two years ago, and is a very popular figure in the Giants office. Spags is no stranger to being a head coach, he was the HC of the St. Louis Rams for three years where he compiled a record of 10-38. This is a great opportunity for Spagnoluo to prove he deserves to remain with the Giants either as the head coach or defensive coordinator.

What's next? The Giants will almost certainly look for a general manager, and ideally would like to have one in place before they get a head coach. If Mara and Steve Tisch are smart, they will let the GM pick the head coach. However in recent years we see the coach and GM get hired at the same time more and more, i.e. the Jets with Todd Bowles and Mike Mccaganan.

Head Coach Candidates:
Steve Spagnoluo: The Giants interim head coach is going to get a shot here to prove he should be the full time coach. Wouldn't be shocked if the team plays well under him in light of the McAdoo firing. However, do the Giants want to keep him, especially with his connections to the previous two head coaches? Plus when he got the chance to coach with the Rams, his teams were awful.

Matt Patricia: The Patriots defensive coordinator is one of the hot young candidates on the market. He was interviewed by a number of teams last year. A lot of people like him as a coaching candidate, but let's remember that Bill Belichick disciples usually don't turn out to be great head coaches when they leave Foxboro.

Mike Smith: The former Falcons head coach is currently the defensive coordinator with the Buccaneers. He was 66-46 in seven years as the Falcons coach, and took the team to the NFC Title game in 2012 where they lost to the 49ers. Smith is also a Coughlin confidant, and a lot of people point to similarities between the two. He would be an intriguing hire, especially if the Giants feel they can win right away next year.

Josh McDaniels: Like Patricia, McDaniels is another Belichick disciple. However, unlike Patricia, the Giants better avoid McDaniels at all costs. If he became the coach, the Giants need their heads examined. McDaniels was a total disaster of Ben McAdoo like proportions in Denver years ago. He's been great as the Patriots offensive coordinator, but how much of that greatness is tied to quarterback Tom Brady. McDaniels is a candidate, but the Giants should pass.

Bill Cowher: Ummm, yeah, this is not happening. Cowher is happy in television, but there were rumors years ago that if there was one job he'd consider its the Giants. Perhaps Big Blue's relationship to the Steelers would be a big reason for Cowher's interest. Cowher hasn't coached in over 10 years, and the game has changed a lot since he last coached the Steelers in 2006. Never say never though, because Herman Edwards did leave his cushy TV job at ESPN this week to coach at Arizona State. So anything is possible I guess.


Ben McAdoo Could be Fired by Giants Today. Owners are to Blame for Fiasco

RAIDERS 24 - GIANTS 17 

The clock is now ticking on Giants head coach Ben McAdoo. The embattled coach is in danger of losing his job possibly today after the Giants return home from their 24-17 loss to the Oakland Raiders. The Giants had no answer for Oakland, especially in crunch time. But this game was really all about the play of Geno Smith, who was given the start at quarteraback after McAdoo benched Eli Manning.

Geno was Geno on Sunday. He was ok sometimes, but mostly unspectacular and uninspiring most of the time. He was 21-of-34 for only 212 yards, a touchdown and three sacks. He was not good. Of the 12 possessions the Giants had on Sunday, seven of them were three and two. Two of them ended in a fumble. What made it even more frustrating to watch, the Giants were within shouting distance in this game almost all afternoon.

They trailed 10-7 at the half, and even trailed 17-14 as late as the fourth quarter, but Smith just couldn't get this offense moving. That is on McAdoo, who is a position he can't talk himself out of now. He said Geno Smith gave him the best chance to win, a better chance than a Super Bowl MVP could on Sunday in Oakland against a lousy Raider team, and he came up predictably snake-eyes.

When asked about his job status Sunday, McAdoo wouldn't touch it, saying only that "I'm going to coach this team as long as my key works."

Reports earlier in the day said that the Giants were considering firing McAdoo after the Raider game. Both John Mara and Steve Tisch were at the game in Oakland on Sunday, and both avoided reporters afterwards. As of Sunday night, nothing has happened ... yet. By the time you read this, McAdoo might be a goner.

As much of the blame for this mess belongs on McAdoo, owner John Mara is the one who really is to blame here. He allowed McAdoo to bench his franchise quarterback. He should have had the foresight to know the kind of backlash that would come with such a controversial move, especially when the Giants were not going to rookie Davis Webb.

 Mara has said that he took responsibility for the way the communication between his coach and quarterback was handled, but at this point, firing McAdoo is more of a scapegoat move than anything else. Firing McAdoo on Monday is not going to repair the damage that Mara let happen between the organization and the face of the franchise. If Manning feels he can still play in this league, and the Giatns truly feel he is no longer a viable option for them,  they should just find a suitor and trade him this off-season to any team his desires. I hear the Jaguars would be a prime spot?  -- Tom Coughlin anyone?

If the Giants fire McAdoo on Monday, the fair question should be, why now? Why did the Giants allow him to coach this game in Oakland if they knew that McAdoo shouldn't be the head coach anymore? Why didn't Mara or Steve Tisch act right away last Monday when McAdoo made it official that he was going to bench Eli Manning? Hell, why didn't they fire McAdoo when he brought up the idea to them in the first place?

Shame on the Giants for allowing this mess to metastasize. Firing McAdoo now is only about saving face, while trying to avoid the fear of seeing the Giants play two home games in front of Cowboys and Eagles fans. Guess what, MetLife Stadium will still be filled with Cowboys and Eagles fans over the next weeks. It doesn't matter if the coach is McAdoo, Steve Spagnolu or even Mara himself.

By the way, should the Giants fire McAdoo today, they better make sure that Jerry Reese, the architect of this nightmare team goes with him. There is no reason for Reese to stay for the rest of the month if McAdoo is gone this soon.

Let the rebuild begin.

Jets Show Tremendous Heart in Win Over Chiefs

JETS 38 - CHIEFS 31 

As frustrating as this season has been to watch at times, one things is certain, Todd Bowles' players have his back. It has been easy to think that coming off two disheartening losses to the Panthers and Buccaneers would mean that Bowles would find himself firmly on the hot seat. But as has been the case all year, the players never got the memo that they are supposed to lose.

After falling behind 14-0, the Jets dominated the line of scrimmage against Kansas City, amassing nearly 500 yards of offense, while maintaining possession of the football for 42 minutes. Even the Jets defense was dreadful on Sunday afternoon, the offense made up for it and found a way to get a win against a team that still has a legitimate chance at the postseason.

Josh McCown was brilliant yet again for the Jets. The 38-year old veteran quarterback was 26 of 36 for 331 yards with a passing touchdown and two rushing touchdowns. He was pin-point accurate when he needed to be, and put the team on his shoulders when it needed it the most. Perhaps the best examples of McCown's leadership Sunday came early in the game with the Jets down 14-0. He engineered two long scoring drives, with a couple of big completions to Jermaine Kearse and Matt Forte mixed in, to help tie the game at 14.

Later with the Jets trailing by a point 31-30, he calmly lead the Jets on a 14-play 75-yard drive, and even used his legs on a couple of occasions to avoid some pressures to by time for his receivers. He was just awesome on Sunday.

Jermaine Kearse and Robbie Anderson: Both wide outs were excellent on Sunday for the Jets. Kearse had 157 yards receiving on nine catches, while Anderson had 107 yards receiving on eight catches. They picked apart a Chiefs secondary that added Darrelle Revis two weeks ago. By the way, Revis was a total non-factor in his return to the MetLife Stadium.

Jets Defense: Defensively, the Jets really struggled. They allowed too many big plays to Kansas City, especially through the air. Giving up two touchdowns on just six plays in the opening minutes of the ballgame certainly didn't help things for Gang Green. The D didn't get any better, as Alex Smith was allowed to do whatever he wanted. Heck, Smith even dashed down the sideline for a 70-yard run to the Jets 16 to set up a field goal to give the Chiefs a brief 17-14 lead.

What made matters worse for the Jets is the fact that everytime they had a lead, the defense gave it up. Leading 24-17 with 5:13 to go in the third quarter, the Jets surrendered a 79-yard touchdown pass from Smith to Tyrek Hill to tie the game at 24. Fast forward to the fourth quarter, after New York chewed up chunks of time to score two field goals to take a 30-24 lead, the defense gave it right back to Kansas City. Tyrek Hill had his second touchdown of the day on a 40-yard bomb from Alex Smith to give KC a 31-30 lead.

Were it not for a couple of overthrows by Smith, the Jets defense was prepared to give up the game winning score after when Smith hit Hill again for 40 yards to the Jets 19 with just seconds to play. In short it was a really bad day for the defense. Perhaps the fact that Muhammod Wilkerson, benched in the first quarter and Darron Lee, suspended by the team, had something to do with the units awful play on Sunday.

Chiefs mistakes: The soul reason the Jets won this game was because the Chiefs did something the Jets have been experts in all season, blow the game with stupid mistakes. The entire afternoon was chuck-full of them for Kansas City. First there was the missed field goal by Harrison Butker, who almost never misses, then there was the total implosion by the Chiefs defense in the fourth quarter.

Let me preface by saying that at one point the Jets held the football for over 16 minutes, compared to just a minute and a half by Kansas City in the second half, and the Chiefs were still able to hold the Jets to two field goals. Leading the Jets 31-30, all KC had to do was either force the Jets to kick another field, or stop them entirely and they would have had plenty of time to win the game.

But, nooooooo.

The Jets failed to get the ball into the end zone on three tries from the Chiefs seven-yard line and settled for a Chandler Catanzaro field goal with 3:58 to go in the game. It would have been 33-31 Jets, and with nearly four minutes left in the game. There certainly a good chance Kansas City would find a way to send the Jets to their eighth loss of the year. However, the Catanzaro field goal was waved off by officials after the Chiefs were called for unnecessary roughness. How does unnecessary roughness get called on a field goal?  Don't know, but it did.

The Jets got the football back, this time at the Chiefs one-yard line, and still couldn't punch it in. So the Chiefs decided on third and goal, after McCown threw an incompletion, to draw a holding call on the play giving the Jets another fresh set of downs. Justin Peters infamously picked up the flag and chucked it into the stands drawing another penalty, and was promptly kicked out of the game.

The Jets would finally plow in for a touchdown on McCown's second quarterback sneak of the day to give the Jets a 38-31 lead.

Todd Bowles: This was not a good day for Bowles defense which gave up 474 yards to a Chiefs offense that had disappeared for the past six weeks, but he gets a pass because his players bailed him out all day. The Jets have been in a lot of tight games this year, and had chances to win a number of them. Getting this one against the Chiefs is especially sweet and a nice building block for this team.

Next: The Jets head to Denver to take on the Broncos. Who the Broncos quarterback will be is anyone's guess, but the Jets better be ready for a fight, the Broncos are due for a victory at some point.