New York Giants: Former Eli Manning Center Talks Pressure

New York Giants, Eli Manning

The New York Giants are always under pressure, as the most successful NFL team in one of the most demanding media markets in the entire country and world. However, it looks like sustained losing over the past few years has built this season up to have even more pressure than what would be normal. After a season where the team was one of the worst in the league during their bad days and only a middle of the pack team on their good days, the fans want results.

And former Giants center Shaun O’Hara, who won a Super Bowl with current starting quarterback Eli Manning, recently talked with NJ Advance Media about the amount of pressure on the team.

“This is the biggest September the Giants have had in a long time. They need to win some football games early on. Not just for Eli, but for the coaching staff, too. If you are Coach [Pat] Shurmur, you are not sitting there saying, ‘Oh, I’ve got three years.’ Everybody in that building feels the heat. It’s not just Eli,” O’Hara said. Three years is the amount of time that Daniel Jones is expected to spend as backup, although many believe that Eli Manning won’t last that long and that Jones will end up taking the reigns earlier.

The Giants’ September schedule involves clashes with old rivals Dallas and Washington, with out of division games against Buffalo and Tampa Bay.

“Their schedule is a good schedule. I think they’ve got a good chance to start fast. If you take care of business on the field, all of that will fall into place,” O’Hara added.

If the Giants can’t pull off a good run in the early part of the season, they risk what happened last year: getting into an early hole and not being able to climb out of it until there’s not enough time left in the season to seriously compete. Playing from so far behind in the standings killed any enthusiasm around last year’s Giants team, months before the season was over. One of the key goals for the Giants will be avoiding a repeat…

And whether or not they do that may just decide several factors, such as how long the current coaching staff keep their positions and how many more years Eli Manning will play.

New York Yankees: Domingo German To The IL

New York Yankees, Domingo German

The New York Yankees announced on Sunday morning that starting pitcher Domingo German will be heading to the IL with a hip flexor strain.

It kinda makes sense

Domingo German told the team about his hip pain on Saturday after playing long toss, and being in a lot of pain. He said that he has been in pain since his start against the Royals last road trip, but continued to pitch through.

And it makes sense because the game against the Royals was the first in a stretch of three poor starts.

German is 9-2 with a 3.86 ERA in 13 games (12 starts) and 70 innings. His nine wins currently lead the American League.

Time for a new pitcher

Though German believes he won’t be out for long, it’s time for the Yankees to snag a starting pitcher. After missing out on the Dallas Keuchel sweepstakes, the team will have to trade for a pitcher. Clint Frazier could be a guy going the other way in a deal.

Guys like Madison Bumgarner of the Giants, Marcus Stroman of the Blue Jays, and Mike Minor of the Rangers are possible targets. The Yankees don’t need an ace, they just need a guy to plug into the middle of the rotation.

However, to counter that, Jordan Montgomery and Luis Severino should be healthy and ready to pitch down the stretch for the Yankees, giving the team some fresh pitching. Once Montgomery is ready, he will likely see a long relief spot out of the bullpen until the season concludes, hopefully replacing Luis Cessa.

Though German believes he won’t miss much time, the Yankees need to finally pull the plug and snag a starter.

 

New York Giants: Nate Solder and Will Hernandez can be elite duo

New York Giants, Will Hernandez, Nate Solder

The New York Giants and general manager Dave Gettleman made it a priority to bolster the offensive line to provide Eli Manning with more time in the pocket. In just two offseasons, the unit is completely different, no longer featuring players like Ereck Flowers and Bobby Hart.

Now, the group includes talented left tackle Nate Solder, a tough young guard in Will Hernandez, gritty centers in Jon Halapio and Spencer Pulley, a top five right guard in Kevin Zeitler, and a proven tackle in Mike Remmers.

The New York Giants are in good hands on the left side of the line:

The two players I want to focus on are Solder and Hernandez, though, as they have the potential to be an elite duo on the left side of the line. With a year of experience together under their belt, I anticipate them taking a big jump in year two. Hernandez had some rocky games last season but proved to be a consistent option with massive upside.

Solder needed time to adjust to Manning’s drop back after years of protecting Tom Brady. His former passer would take much shorter dropbacks, allowing Solder to push incoming pass-rushers behind Brady forcing him to step up in the pocket. Manning takes farther dropbacks as a result of consistent pressure over the past few seasons. Solder would push pass-rusher directly into him due to his muscle memory.

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After he corrected that issue, he ended up being one of the best left tackles in the league for the second half of the season. That’s a primary reason and justification for the statement I made above — Solder and Hernandez can be a quality duo, even elite.

“Me and Nate, once we clicked, we clicked,’’ Hernandez told The Post this week. “There’s no unclicking. There’s no going back. We clicked. We understand each other very well, we’re able to at times even read each other’s minds on some plays. Sometimes we can’t spit the word out but we both end up doing what we need to do. It’s like ‘You got that? Yup. Good.’ Me and him came a long way and we’re building off that even more.’’

With Solder signing a four-year, $62 million contracts last season, it’s imperative that both players develop into steady lineman for the Giants. So far, so good for the duo.

New York Giants: Eli Manning Will Be Better In 2019 Thanks To The Improved Offensive Line

New York Giants, Eli Manning

The New York Giants finished a disappointing 5-11 in 2018. This record rewarded New York with the 6th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. With this pick, the Giants selected quarterback Daniel Jones from Duke University.

This draft pick signifies the end of an era for the New York Giants. Eli Manning has been the franchise quarterback for the last 16 seasons. The Manning Era is now officially coming to an end sooner than later.

Daniel Jones will take over for Manning within the next couple of years (if not this year). Eli Manning had a decent statistical season in 2018, posting a career-high 66.0% completion rate. However, advanced analytics seem to indicate that he struggled more than people realize.

According to Pro Football Focus, Eli Manning has failed to grade above 70.0 in each of the last four seasons, and his 94 turnover-worthy plays over the previous four years are eight more than the next closest quarterback in that span.

Despite this, there is still reason to believe Eli Manning will be a better quarterback in 2019.

How The Improved Offensive Line Will Help Eli Manning:

Eli Manning has been forced to endure atrocious offensive line play for years. Eli was sacked 47 times in 2018, which was a single-season career high for the veteran. The line started to improve in 2018, but it was still below average on the season as a whole.

The Giants finished 2018 with the 21st ranked offensive line in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus. Great news for Eli Manning and the Giants: the offensive line is one of the most improved units in the league after the 2019 offseason.

PFF even agreed that the Giants’ offensive line is one of the five most improved lines in the NFL after free agency. The addition of pass-protecting extraordinaire Kevin Zeitler will help Eli Manning stay on his feet in 2019. Eli is a much better player when he has time to survey the field and is not having pressure shoved into his face.

Manning was a much-improved player in the second half of the season. The Giants’ offensive line improved with the acquisition of Jamon Brown in the week 9 bye week. Manning threw 13 touchdown passes in the second half of the season, versus only 8 in the first half.

Eli Manning cut down his turnover rate significantly in 2018. He threw only 11 interceptions, his lowest total since 2008. The improved offensive line and playmakers in 2019 will allow Manning to be a more productive player while he continues to keep an efficient level of play that he has demonstrated over the last two seasons.

New York Giants News, 6/9 – CBS gives Giants a “D” offseason grade

New York Giants

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

Grading the Giants’ offseason shouldn’t be too difficult. They addressed every position with ample talent with the exception of the pass-rusher position. Now, you could make the argument that Daniel Jones wasn’t the right passer to succeed Eli Manning or Oshane Ximines shouldn’t have been the only rookie pass-rusher drafted, but so far, the players are looking good in camp.

Minicamp and OTAs isn’t a direct indication of future success, but the development and performance against NFL-level talent have been solid.

Jared Dubin of CBS Sports (personally never heard of him), gave the Giants the lowest grade of any NFC East team.

This was his justification:

The Giants traded Damon Harrison last year and let Landon Collins walk in free agency, and then traded both Odell Beckham and Olivier Vernon to the Browns in exchange for Collins’ replacement (Jabrill Peppers), a draft pick that turned into Harrison’s replacement (Dexter Lawrence), and Kevin Zeitler.

They paid out Eli Manning’s roster bonus rather than cutting him and then proceeded to use the No. 6 pick on his replacement (Duke’s Daniel Jones), only to have the GM come out and say he could see that player sitting for as many as three seasons behind Manning, who is no longer really worth keeping around anyway — especially at his current salary.

After trading Beckham and seemingly kickstarting a rebuild, the Giants went out and gave his replacement (Golden Tate) a four-year, $37.5 million deal even though he’ll be 31 years old next season and works best in the slot, where the Giants already have Sterling Shepard. The Giants also traded up in the draft to land a third selection in the first round, ultimately selecting DeAndre Baker, but what exactly are the Giants doing trading up when their roster has so many holes?

The Giants did finally upgrade the offensive line through sheer volume, so they have that going for them, but overall, they do not seem to have a coherent plan.

You be the judge, but there’s a reason I’ve never heard of him or considered his opinion.

Nonetheless–

Your Giants top news of the day!

Dan Benton (Giants Wire) – Landon Collins: Bullseye on Giants, Saquon Barkley for next six years

Matt Lombardo (NJ.com) – Why Giants’ Daniel Jones is brimming with confidence after strong spring

Mark Inabinett (AL.com) – Darius Slayton has ‘made huge improvements,’ Giants coach says

Stephen Smith (NFL Spin Zone) – New York Giants 2019 rookie profile: Dexter Lawrence, DT

Cay North (Empire Sports Media) – New York Giants: DeAndre Baker Can’t Wait For Training Camp

Check out my Twitter page! You won’t regret it.

Will the New York Knicks lose out in free agency to the Brooklyn Nets?

New York Knicks

The rumor mill is one of the most volatile things during the offseason. One week, every player is going to the New York Knicks, the next, they’re going to the Brooklyn Nets. It’s a wild media-driven ride that will include fake news and some real sprinkled in-between. Ultimately, we won’t officially know anything until a player is signed, but as of late, the free agent stars of the NBA have seemingly lost interest in the Knicks.

It’s hard to believe the Nets are the team to join this offseason, but they’re a playoff caliber team that just opened up a boat-load of cap space to go out and pursue big-time players.

Kevin Durant is still rumored to favor the Knicks, but options like Kyrie Irving, who was spotted in Manhattan last week, are seriously considering the Nets instead.

It all comes down to management and the front office, something the Nets have improved significantly over the past few seasons. The Knicks, however, are an ever-turning Ferris wheel of disaster. Phil Jackson, thought to be the savior of the franchise, plummeted the team into a state of despair.

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Now, the team is built on youth and will have a top 3 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. The obvious pick would be RJ Barrett, a very talented player that averaged more than 26 points per game in his lone college season with Duke. He played second fiddle to Zion Williamson, but on any other team, he would have been even more impressive.

The Knicks will likely elect to choose him, which will hopefully draw interest from some big players. Bringing in two stars – preferably Durant and a point guard would put the Knicks in a place to compete for a playoff spot. It’s just a matter of convincing players to come, which will be difficult considering the bad mojo the Knicks have forced upon players for quite some time.

It will be interesting to see how the free agency period plays out. The Nets could keep DeAngelo Russell and still sign Kyrie Irving, they have plenty of money to make a splash and they have a loyal fan-base ready to come out and support. They are a serious threat to the Knicks in FA.

New York Giants: Predicting the first 3 games of the 2019 season

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

Yes, it’s very early to begin predicting the outcome of games several months from now, but waiting until then is torture, so we are going to take a crack at it. The New York Giants start the season off facing the Cowboys in Arlington, then they will host the Buffalo Bills and travel to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

All of these games are winnable, but as usual, the Giants will begin the season with a tough away game against the Cowboys. Maybe one year they will shake the schedule up a bit and not put Big Blue at a disadvantage right off the bat. That’s what you get when you’re facing “Americas Team…”

Predicting the outcome of the first 3 New York Giants games:

Week 1: NYG vs Dallas

The key to beating Dallas is to throw Dak Prescott off his game, which required a consistent pass-rush and push from the defensive line. Their defense is stellar and will likely cause all types of issues for head coach Pat Shurmur and the offense. It will be the units first game post-Odell Beckham Jr., so we should see some different looks, but ultimately it comes down to Eli Manning and the offensive line.

The line must provide Manning with time if the Giants are to squeeze out a win in Dallas. Saquon Barkley will, of course, be the focal point, and expect Golden Tate to get a nice dosage of targets in his first regular season game in blue. It will be a big game for Lorenzo Carter, Oshane Ximines, and Markus Golden. They will be relied on to make plays and disrupt Prescott in the pocket.

Ultimately, it won’t be enough for a shallow pass-rush unit against one of the league’s premier offensive lines.

Score: Dallas 24 – NYG 21