New York Giants Collapse In The Final Minutes And Lose To The Colts 28-26

The New York Giants traveled to Indianapolis to play the white hot Colts in week 16. The Colts had won 7 of their last 8 games and were fighting for a playoff spot. The Giants came into this game already eliminated from playoff contention, but refusing to quit. The Giants started the game strong, but ultimately could not finish it off and took a one point loss against the Colts. The Colts improve to a strong 9-6 record on the season while the Giants sink to a lowly 5-10.

Dynamic Offense Leads The Giants To A Strong Start

The Giants had a lead up until the final minute of the game. The offense struggled to get going on the ground, but the passing attack was consistently excellent throughout the majority of the game. The Giants jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter from a strong connection between quarterback Eli Manning and wide receiver Sterling Shepard. With Odell Beckham Jr. out this week, Shepard stepped up and had his best game of the season. Shepard finished the game with six receptions for 113 yards, including multiple third down conversions and one beautiful double move 57 yard completion down to the six yard line. This set up a Scott Simonson three yard touchdown reception.

Another stand out player on offense this week was tight end Evan Engram. Engram struggled to get going during the first half of the season. He dealt with a couple of injuries and was not used much in the offensive game plan. However, in the past few weeks, Engram has been receiving an influx in targets and therefore an increase in production.

Head coach Pat Shurmur called many plays for Engram including two end around rushing attempts that gained a total of 26 yards. However, it was through the passing game that Engram made a real impact. He hauled in all six of his targets for 87 receiving yards. He got the Giants down to the one yard line twice to set up easy touchdowns for his quarterback, once on a rushing attempt, and once on a deep pass down the seam.

Second Half Collapse

The Giants went into halftime up by 10. The score was 17-7, but the Colts quickly cut it down to a three point game as quarterback Andrew Luck connected with receiver Dontrelle Inman for a touchdown on third and goal. The Giants responded with a touchdown of their own as Manning converted his seventh rushing touchdown of his career on a quarterback sneak from the one yard line.

However, the Colts were able to put together a comeback after this. Running back Marlon Mack rushed for a touchdown to make it a three point game again. The Giants were able to muster up one more field goal, but their inability to score a red zone touchdown in the fourth quarter would ultimately be their demise. The Colts were able to put together a game winning drive on the struggling Giants defense.

They made their way down to the 20 yard line with two minutes remaining. On first and goal, Luck threw an incompletion to the end zone, however, Giants cornerback B.W. Webb was called for pass interference, giving the Colts a first and goal from the one yard line. This would result in a touchdown from Luck to receiver Chester Rogers with under a minute remaining. The Giants would get the ball back with 55 seconds left with the opportunity to score, but they would have the game end with an Eli Manning interception.

The Aftermath Of The Loss

The Giants record is now 5-10 with one game left to play this season. Eli Manning and the Giants offense played a solid game but came up short in the end. The defense struggled to stop the Colts offense in the second half, driving home the tenth loss of the season. With this loss comes a portion of good news. The Giants showed they have multiple young players to build upon for their future, such as Shepard and Engram. In addition, the Giants moved up in draft positioning ahead of the Jaguars and to the seventh overall pick. This loss has potential to be a positive for the Giants in the long run.

New York Giants: Pat Shurmur Reaffirms That The Team Hasn’t Quit

New York Giants, Pat Shurmur

It would be easy for the New York Giants to take it easy with two games left in the season, but according to head coach Pat Shurmur, that’s not what they’re going to do. At least, not if they play the game his way going into today’s game with the Indianapolis Colts, the third place team in the AFC South that right now is more well-known for their free agency rumors than their play on the field.

In other words, it’s not a huge game by any means. The Giants are out of the playoffs and Colts fans are still depending on two wins and a ton of luck, in the same way that the Giants hoped on making the playoffs following their 1-7 start to the season. But the Giants are still professionals who are being paid to give their best performances, and Shurmur pointed that out on Friday.

“Let’s assume you have a finite number of games that you’re going to play as a football player. I don’t know why you would let down. We’re paid to play and it just so happens that our profession is our hobby. That’s part of the narrative that I don’t understand,” he said. “We just got to go out and play the game like nothing the next day matters. Just go play ball.”

While there’s no more playoff hopes at this point, playing well in the Colts game and the season finale one week after it would help certain players out in position battles. Even if there’s nothing at stake, the coaches will still evaluate their players and look for good performances. Shurmur himself confirmed that the staff will expect the same performances they would have expected earlier.

The Giants have a good chance to put on that kind of performance against the Colts, who are also struggling this season and sit at third place in their division with eight wins. Will they come out with a win going into the last week of the season? Time will tell. But if the words of Pat Shurmur are anything to go by, fans should expect a full effort.

New York Yankees Should Consider Mike Moustakas For Essential Role

While the New York Yankees seem to be putting all their chips in on star free agent Manny Machado, it might be a good idea to have a plan B, just in case the interest amounts to nothing.

If Machado joins the Yankees, they might have the intention of potentially starting him at short stop, his natural position, while Didi Gregorius heals from Tommy John surgery. Gregorius will be a free agent in the winter of 2019, which opens up a long-term option for the Yankees with Machado at SS if they choose to go that route.

But, if New York can’t manage to secure his signature, they might be intelligent to begin exploring other options, one of which would be Mike Moustakas.

Why would Mike Moustakas fit the bill for the New York Yankees?

Moustakas is a 30 year-old, eight-year veteran who has played on two different teams in his career. He boasts a career slash of .251/.307/.737. The last two-years of his career have been on par or better with his career averages, while enjoying far more home runs — 38 & 28 homers in 2017-18 — his boost in power might be attractive to a Yankees team that seems to be keen on bringing in hitters with power.

The infielder signed a meager one-year, $6.5 million deal last winter to return to the Kansas City Royals, where he evidently ended up with the Milwauki Brewers. In 2018, he finished with a 105 wRC+, his lowest since 2014.

One of the more attractive aspects of Moustakas is that he’s a lefty hitter – something the Yankees are lacking in their lineup. He could slot right in at the 5th or 6th hitters spot and offer some value while Didi is rehabbing. Additionally, Moustakas hit a majority of his home runs to the right side of the field, which would be beneficial at Yankee Stadium, being that the right-field wall is only 330 feet down the line.

The bottom line, if Machado isn’t available, the Yankees are going to need somebody to fill in for Didi, and Moustakas could be the perfect fit.

The New York Knicks May Strike Out In 2019 Free Agency Market

New York Knicks, Noah Vonleh, Frank Ntilikina

We, at Empire Sports Media, recently posted an article about possible free agents that could bring their talents to the New York Knicks this upcoming off-season. While many fans love to hear rumors about what players could come to the Big Apple, sometimes we have to be realistic.

Empire Sports Media do not contradict articles, which some may think this is. But, let’s be real. The Knicks aren’t getting any big name free agent this off-season.

Players always say that they would love to play in New York, the Mecca of basketball. But, often times, they don’t end up coming over on a mega-deal.

The Knicks have not landed those types of players since Tyson Chandler, A’mare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony tried to resurrect the Knicks. A quick fix, as some have said. The Knicks made one playoff appearance and only made it to the second round.

Build Through the Draft:

Teams are built through the draft. Case in point, the Golden State Warriors. With that being said, the only way players are going to play for the Knicks is if they get drafted by the organization. Free agents talk a big game and say it would be a blessing to play in the Garden, but they really don’t mean it.

New York, for basketball, isn’t a draw anymore for players to come play. You would think it’s the exact opposite.  The big stage and lights? Perhaps. But, with that comes pressure and the New York media. The Knicks just aren’t what they used to be.

Rumors are Fun, but False:

As much as I like to dream and hear rumors about players coming to New York, it just isn’t going to happen. Do people really think Kevin Durant is going to come basketball in New York?  Do you really think any above average player wants to play for the Knicks? The answer is no.

People think that Durant wants to rebuild his image and show that he can lead a team to a championship. That all sounds great, but is Durant really going to take the Knicks to the next level? Even with a healthy Kristaps Porzingis?  We simply don’t know.

Things I do know, players want to win and they want to win now. Players also want the big pay-day in a place where they have the best chance to win. Currently, New York is not one of those places.

Positive Draws to New York:

As of now, I believe no big free agent will come to New York. However, that all depends on how Porzingis looks when he returns to the court. If Porzingis looks like his former self, the possibilities are endless. Players will now be saying that they want to play with Porzingis.

The Knicks will also have another high draft pick this upcoming draft. This will also pair with their most recently lottery pick, Kevin Knox, who has begun to look better and better each game.

We can’t forget that Emmanuel Mudiay is in the driver’s seat for the point guard of the future, whether people like it or not.  He’s only 22 years old. Therefore, the Knicks are young and have a youthful, likable head coach.

Those are the biggest draws New York, currently, has to offer.  Players don’t care about the bright lights and stage.  The Knicks have the foundation to build a winning team.  It’s simply all about putting all the correct pieces of the puzzle together.



Could The New York Knicks Trade For Jabari Parker?

Yesterday, ESPN reported that the New York Knicks were interested in Chicago Bull Jabari Parker. Parker, drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2014, has not lived up to the hype. I think two ACL injuries was a primary contributer to that narrative.

He signed with the Chicago Bulls this past off-season, one-year $20 million, with a team option for next season.

New York was said to have interest, but several teams are. However, the Knicks need to do what they can to get this deal done and here’s why.

New York Knicks Cap Space:

If the Knicks were able to pull this trade off that would be amazing for the organization’s rebuilding process. The Bulls, also rebuilding, would most likely want youth in return. Therefore, Tim Hardaway Jr. could be the focal point of the trade, giving the Bulls more youth.

Some reports hinted at the Bulls wanting a first-round pick for Parker. Well, that isn’t going to happen. Scott Perry made it very clear that the Knicks won’t be trading away first-round picks. Although, second-round picks could still be on the table.

The Knicks should try to move Hardaway Jr. and a second-round pick in this deal since Parker is considered by a lot of people to be “a bust.”  The Bulls should take what they can get.

However, Parker hasn’t had as bad of an NBA career as some may think.  Parker, 23-years-old, has averaged 15.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 183 career games.

The Knicks would then get Parker in return and have to deal with him for the rest of this reason, or waive him immediately.  This would then get Hardaway Jr’s. contract off the books giving the Knicks even more cap space to go after the big fish in free agency.

Are The New York Yankees Regretting Signing Giancarlo Stanton?

New York Yankees, Giancarlo Stanton

Of course it being the long, cold, boring baseball off-season, we hear all kinds of crazy New York Yankees rumors, half-truths and outright lies. Some are aggravating, some are comical, and some are absolutely ridiculous.

You choose which category a Giancarlo Stanton trade falls under.

Why would the Yankees even consider such a deal?

The 2017 NL MVP has been a member of the New York Yankees for the past year, after being acquired from the Miami Marlins in a fire-sale, salary dump last December. I distinctly remember the overnight “Stanton watch” on social media prior to the official announcement of the deal. I also remember writing an article against the Yankees picking him up, fearing an Alex Rodriguez-type failure especially at the back-end of his contract.

Giancarlo’s contract is somewhat back-loaded with salary increasing to a high level of $32 million per year in 2023, which he will be paid that year and through 2025. Then it decreases through 2029 when he becomes a UFA with a $10 million buy-out, club option for 2028. Those dollars were my concern at the time.

Stanton’s career struggles:

Also injury issues in the past were alarming along with the money concerns. Since his first season in the majors in 2010, Stanton has only appeared in 150 or more games in a season three times, with the lowest appearances in 2015 at 74. Definitely could be a deterrent at the money he makes.

His first year in Pinstripes you could say was an off-year. Stanton slashed .266/.358/.852 with 38 home runs and 100 RBI’s. He had the hardest hit ball of the season in major league baseball with an amazing exit velocity of 121.7 mph leaving his bat. And possibly the state. If anyone ever found the ball, that is.

Stanton provided stability appearing in 158 games for the Bronx Bombers only 1 less than the most in his career (159 in 2017). He was also flexible appearing in whatever role manager Aaron Boone cast him in, whether it be DH, or any of the outfield positions. He was key filling in for phenom Aaron Judge when he was on the disabled list following a wrist fracture.

The slugger will likely improve:

Keep in mind too that Giancarlo was adapting to the huge stage of New York City and the spotlight that donning Pinstripes brings. Plus adjusting to American League pitching after spending his entire career in the National League.

Given these factors and how Stanton responded, yes it was a down year for him coming off his career-best, MVP campaign of 2017, the only way to go is up for him. And it will be on the biggest stage in professional sports, Yankee Stadium for 81 games. No way are the Yankees considering trading this man.

My assessment was incorrect about him I’m glad to say. And I’m also glad that Giancarlo Stanton is a member of the New York Yankees and will remain so.