New York Giants: Sterling Shepard Ready To Go Against Dallas Cowboys In Week 1

New York Giants, Sterling Shepard

When the New York Giants lost their top receiver in the opening days of training camp to a fractured thumb, there were plenty of worries – specifically, that it would keep Shepard out for the early part of the season, where the games will be crucial to the success of the team long term this year and where the Giants will also have to play without Golden Tate thanks to a four game suspension for accidentally violating the league’s substance policy.

However, it looks like there isn’t too much to worry about – Shepard returned to practice quickly and looked good from mid to late training camp, and before the beginning of the preseason, Shepard was seen playing without the yellow jersey that denotes non-contact status.

Now, it seems Shepard is fully ready to make his return to the team in full during week one, when the Giants will take on the Dallas Cowboys without Golden Tate.

“To be honest, this feels a lot better than the past few times that I’ve broken it. This is probably one of the best breaks that I’ve experienced,” Shepard told reporters recently.

Shepard also claimed that missing the preseason isn’t going to make a difference in his play. While Shepard did miss the preseason, he was active in training camp and spent the last leg of camp with no non-contact jersey.

“I think, whether you have guys playing in the preseason, it’s a little different in the regular season, so we’ll get adjusted quickly. It’s been looking good at practice, so I feel like what you do at practice translates well to the field if you’re doing things the right way,” Shepard added further.

Additionally, Shepard responded this way when asked whether or not he was ready to be the number one receiver.

“Yeah, and I’ve said it before, I have guys that I can go to. We’ve got a lot of guys in the room who can make plays, so that makes you a little bit more comfortable, but I’m ready for the opportunity. I’m ready to help the team out,” Shepard stated.

Shepard’s help will definitely be welcome against Dallas, a team that the Giants are underdogs against. With their top receiver playing, though, there’s potentially a good chance that the Giants can pull out out an upset and surprise the national audience.

Paxton Wins Seventh In A Row As New York Yankees Blowout Rangers

New York Yankees, James Paxton

Lefty James Paxton struck out 12 in seven innings of one-hit ball as the New York Yankees blew out the Texas Rangers 10-1. Paxton won his seventh start in a row, a career high.

The Yankees continued to have the home run ball on Tuesday, hitting five in the game. Gary Sanchez hit a two-run shot in the first, and hit a solo-shot in the third. In the at-bat prior to Sanchez’s second home run, Didi Gregorius smashed a three run bomb to right.

Later, Brett Gardner hit a two-run homer as well as Edwin Encarnacion. Tuesday was Encarnacion’s first game back off the IL.

Paxton had just two minor flaws all night. He walked a batter in the first and allowed a single in the fifth, both harmless. After a big and long seventh inning for the Yankees, the team removed him from the game at 95 pitches.

Following Paxton was Jonathan Loaisiga, and he pitched the final two innings. He gave up two hits and one left the yard for Scott Heineman’s first career home run.

Next:

With an almost 10 game lead for the AL East, the Yankees are feeling pretty comfortable about everything.

They finish this three game set with the Rangers on Wednesday, then start a wraparound four game set with the Red Sox on Friday. The Yankees would obviously love to beat the Red Sox, but getting swept wouldn’t mean much to them. The series only has meaning for Boston, who is just barely in the postseason hunt.

The Yankees follow that series with games against the Tigers, Blue Jays, and Angels.

There isn’t really much concern for the Yankees down the stretch, but it’s always good to see them win even if it doesn’t mean much.

 

New York Knicks: Marcus Morris or Kevin Knox, who starts?

New York Knicks, Boston Celtic, Kevin Knox, Marcus Morris

The New York Knicks have some big decisions to make this upcoming season.  The starting lineup could have a number of different looks.  The Knicks could go with a more defensive front or offensive minded.  It all depends on what David Fizdale thinks will work best for this young team.

One of the big questions is who should be the starter between Marcus Morris and Kevin Knox?

Kevin Knox

Knox averaged 12.7 points with .370 field goal percentage and 3.7 rebounds in 28.8 minutes per in his rookie campaign.  He struggled mightily throughout the year, showing glimpses of raw talent, but then carelessness as well.

Knox shooting from the field was a big cause for concern.  He was only 19-years-old, but his shot was not consistent and took to many bad contested shots.  Knox also lacked aggressiveness while defended unless the lane was wide open.  Even his mother called him out for not being aggressive.

Knox did become more confident towards the end of the season and his shot slightly improved.  He has been working on his shot this summer, similar to Dennis Smith Jr.  But, he will need to take a big step forward on both sides of the floor to cement a starting spot.

Marcus Morris

Last season in Boston, Morris averaged 13.9 points with a .447 field percentage, 5.1 rebounds in 27.9 minuter per.  His rebounds having gone up each year throughout his career, with last year being his career high for a season.

Morris brings a aggressive, gritty, no nonsense attitude towards the game.  He is a player that you dislike when your team is playing against, but then love when he is apart of your team.  Morris would fit perfectly with 90s Knicks.

Yes, Morris, 30, is getting older, but the hard-head style of play is still there.  He is not afraid to bang down-low for rebounds and fight for his teammates.

So, who should start?  As it looks now, Morris should get the starting nod over Knox.  However, both might not start depending on what Fizdale wants to play.  Morris is the gritty veteran and he can teach Knox a thing or two.  Knox would benefit greatly sitting behind Morris and learning from him.

Like his mother even said, Kevin needs to be aggressive.  If anyone on the Knicks can teach Knox how to be aggressive it is Marcus Morris.  Morris starting over Knox will bring a more defensive presence to the starting lineup, while also adding solid offensive capabilities.

New York Jets Sign John Franklin-Myers

New York Jets, Sam Darnold

One positive part of cut day and a high waiver wire slot is the infusion of new talent into the roster. That became apparent with when the New York Jets added a new defensive lineman primed to become a key rotational piece.

Introducing John Franklin Myers

Myers played at Stephen F. Austin University and played a big role for the squad. He had a great college career and decided to opt for the NFL Draft. After a really good pre draft process, Myers was selected by the Los Angeles Rams in the 4th round of the 2018 draft. Myers was supposed to be nothing more than a rotational piece that could eventually make an impact. Myers had 2.0 sacks in his rookie season, 10 tackles, 1 FF and a FR. He exceeded expectations and impressed the team on and off the field. He was able to open up holes for Donald and other Rams edge rushers like Dante Fowler. Myers played a big role that stats don’t account for. One thing stats do account for is his sack in the biggest game he may ever play in (the Super Bowl) on one of the greatest to ever play the game (Tom Brady). Myers is a great locker room presence off the field as he was awarded the teams rookie of the year award. Myers is a good presence to have on and off the field for Gang Green and it’s questionable why the Rams would release such an ascending talent.

How Will John Franklin Myers Fit With The Jets

Myers is a talented piece to add to the New York Jets locker room on and off the field but how will he fit in the Jets defense? Well, first things first, Gregg Williams loves to have a large group of talented and versatile defensive linemen. Williams like to keep them all fresh by rotating them in and out to make sure the best and freshest players are on the field at all times. Myers is a young talent similar to Henry Anderson who the Jets acquired last year from the Colts. He didn’t have a role but his youth and pass rushing ability allowed him to be a key piece for the Jets. I’d expect to see Myers fill a slightly smaller version of the role Anderson played last season.

Getting A Young Talent Is Great

Ultimately the Jets will provide John Franklin-Myers and opportunity to do his thing. If he fails then the Jets will have at least tried to give him a shot. If he succeeds he has the potential to be a key piece of the Jets defensive line for the long haul. Getting a 22 year old freak of nature who is a great locker room presence, has patience and is unselfish is a great asset to any squad. The Jets released an early rounder with supposed high potential on Saturday to some questioning by fans. Polite, the player I’m alluding to was a locker room issue without even playing a meaningful snap of football, he was selfish and careless. Franklin-Myers has already proven he’s unselfish and willing to do whatever it takes to help the team win and reach his full potential. Adding him was a great move.

New York Giants: 2019 Team Captains Announced

The New York Giants wrapped up the preseason this week and are on to preparing for regular season week one. The Giants will head to Dallas on Sunday to take on the division-rival Cowboys. Part of the preparation for the regular season is selecting team captains.

The Giants typically have six total captains, two captains for each phase of the game: two on offense, two on defense, and two on special teams. This year, the Giants have seven team captains.

Offense:

Eli Manning:

Of course, Eli Manning is once again a team captain. This will be Eli Manning’s thirteenth consecutive season as a team captain. It is well deserved as Eli has been the face of the franchise for over a decade. Eli has always been a leader on and off the field and he fully deserves to be a team captain every year until he retires.

Nate Solder:

Nate Solder is entering his second season with the Giants and his eighth season in the NFL. The Giants’ starting left tackle was selected as a captain last year, too. Solder will continue to bring his veteran leadership to the Giants’ offense.

Saquon Barkley:

The best running back in the NFL heading into his second season, Saquon Barkley has earned himself a captain’s patch. Saquon Barkley is a leader on and off the field and a transcendent talent. It is rare to see a player earn the patch after only one season, but Saquon Barkley is fully deserving of this honor.

Defense:

Alec Ogletree:

The Giants’ starting middle linebacker was acquired via trade last offseason. Alec Ogletree stepped in as a captain from day one with the New York Giants and he has earned that patch again this season. Ogletree is another veteran that the Giants have made a captain. Alec will be entering his sixth season in the NFL.

Antoine Bethea:

Like Alec Ogletree last year, Antoine Bethea will be a defensive captain before he ever plays for the Giants. Antoine Bethea is entering his fourteenth season in the NFL and his first with the Giants. Bethea has taken on a mentorship role in the secondary, aiding in the training efforts for the youthful Giants defensive backs.

Special Teams:

Zak DeOssie:

Zak DeOssie has been the Giants’ long snapper for over a decade now. He is the second-longest tenured player on the Giants behind only Eli Manning. The two-time Super Bowl champion has been a stalwart player for the Giants special teams and has earned the right to don this patch until he is no longer a member of Big Blue.

Michael Thomas:

The Giants’ second special teams captain is safety/special teamer, Michael Thomas. Last year was Michael Thomas’s first year with the Giants and he was also named a captain then. Michael Thomas was even selected for the Pro Bowl last year, so he was an easy captain choice this season.

New York Knicks: Elfrid Payton Upgraded His Game This Offeseason

New York Knicks, Elfrid Payton

During the offseason, the New York Knicks signed 6’4″ 195lbs point guard Elfrid Payton. Payton throughout his career has been known for his unselfishness and penetrating style. He’s also known for his defensive ability and toughness. This guy is a walking triple-double at times, however, Payton has never been a piece in a winning culture in the NBA. I believe Elfrid Payton not being in any type of winning culture throughout his NBA career is concerning, however, his prior teams were just very bad teams.

It’s tough to evaluate how a player contributes to winning when they’re on bad teams, however, when a player constantly drops triple-doubles on his opponents, the evaluation becomes less difficult. Elfrid Payton has talent at the point guard position. Does Payton possess unlocked potential? The coaching staff will definitely find out during training camp. It doesn’t hurt that Payton and Randle already have somewhat of a connection from their Pelican days last season.

The influx of shooters the New York Knicks brought in during the offseason will definitely benefit Elfrid Payton’s defense collapsing penetration style. He will surely find the open man. Elfrid Payton’s prior teams he played for lacked shooters and scoring and he still was averaging over 6 assists per game. So what exactly will Elfrid Payton’s numbers be like with shooters around him and a special rim running lob catching talent in the middle by the name of Mitchell Robinson?

Elfrid’s Weakness throughout his career has been his inconsistent jump-shot which he’s been working to improve. If he can get those jumpers to fall suddenly next season, Knicks would suddenly have something special. However, that is definitely a tall order from someone who never has been a shooter.

The New York Knicks have an offense starter in Elfrid Payton on a team with a bunch of scorers. Chemistry building is key for this group. They can become dangerous once everybody understands each other’s role and movements on the basketball court. Elfrid Payton has never been surrounded with talent and it will be interesting to see how it plays out this season on the New York Knicks.

New York Mets: Robinson Cano Expects to Return Tuesday

New York Mets, Robinson Cano

When Robinson Cano went down with a torn left hamstring on August 5th, it seemed to be a disappointing end to a subpar season. At 36-years old and having dealt with leg injuries all season, there was no reason to expect to see him play second base again this season. Cano has moved quickly through his rehab assignment and expects to return to the Mets on Tuesday.

Cano went 2-for-7 during his two games with the Brooklyn Cyclones and was running without any issues. He will join Brandon Nimmo as the latest Mets reinforcement returning from the Injured List. Despite a disappointing first season with the Mets, he had been 10-for-19 in the five games before he injured his hamstring.

Cano or Panik?

With Cano’s return the Mets now have a surplus of second basemen, including Jeff McNeil. With Cano and Joe Panik on the roster McNeil will be relegated to third base and the outfield. Since Panik has joined the Mets, he stabilized the position Cano left empty. As a Met, Panik is batting .260 with eight RBIs and played solid defense, but will likely lose some playing time to Cano.

Cano provides more power and a bigger presence in the Mets lineup. Since Cano has returned ahead of schedule, the Mets are going to be extremely careful with the amount he plays. Panik will still allow the Mets to have a quality bat off the bench and a capable replacement should Cano tweak the hamstring again.

The Lineup They Have Been Waiting For

Inserting a healthy Cano on the roster gives the Mets lineup the depth they have been missing all year. At their potential it could look something like this:

C: Wilson Ramos

1B: Pete Alonso

2B: Robinson Cano

3B: Jeff McNeil

SS: Amed Rosario

LF: J.D. Davis

CF: Brandon Nimmo

RF: Michael Conforto

Play with the order as you may, but any combination could match up with any team in baseball. It may be too little, too late, but the Mets are going to give it their best run until they are mathematically eliminated. With a lineup like that, they give themselves a chance to pull off a miracle.

New York Knicks: Expect a Great Season From Allonzo Trier

New York Knicks, Allonzo Trier

Last season, New York Knicks scoring machine Allonzo Trier averaged slightly north of 20-points per game every time he played over 30-minutes during 11-games. He also sported an impressive field goal percentage of .500, plus an average of 5.6-rebounds during that 11-game span. Now that he’s acclimated with familiar faces from last season and gained another offseason summer league under his belt, there’s definitely a chance for improvement from Allonzo Trier on both ends of the court.

According to David Fizdale, Trier is a cutthroat assassin on the offensive end. He can definitely score with the best of them, and as last season progressed, more teams around the league had Trier on their scouting report before games. The Chicago Bulls came to MSG one night and double-teamed Allonzo Trier in the first quarter! The former Wildcat still scored 21-points in that game. Allonzo Trier is legit and he definitely mastered the chase-down block technique on his opponent.

Allonzo Trier played efficiently on the offensive end last season shooting .803 from the free-throw line and .394 from the three-point line. It doesn’t hurt that Trier also began building chemistry with Mitchell Robinson and others as the season progressed. Trier and Barrett are also familiar with each other’s movements on the basketball court due to playing together and against each other prior to the NBA.

The main concern many scouts had about Trier before he went undrafted was his tunnel vision and selfishness. Shot selection is working progress and using his weak hand which is his left. Trier started going left more often late last season which is definitely a good sign in terms of development. Allonzo Trier is slowly becoming a complete player. The more talent is around Trier, the better he’ll perform.

New York Giants: What will Golden Tate’s impact be in 2019?

New York Giants, Golden Tate

Just two days after trading away superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr, the New York Giants signed 31-year-old Golden Tate to a 4-year deal, worth $37.5M with $23M fully guaranteed. Tate is coming off a 2018 season where he found himself being traded to Philadelphia midway through.

In 15 games last year, he finished with 74 catches for 795 yards and four touchdowns. Tate never fully rediscovered the rhythm he enjoyed while playing for Detroit during his time with the Eagles. He will undoubtedly be looking to find his stride again with the New York Giants in 2019.

However, Tate won’t be able to see the field until week five of the season. Tate has suspended four games by the NFL over the summer because of a banned substance found in a fertility drug he has been using. Tate explained that the element had been clomiphene, it was prescribed to him by his doctor who told him that it was fine and he had given it to other NFL players prior.

Although Tate had a strong case for his appeal, his claim was denied due to the league’s strict no-tolerance policy. Nevertheless, Tate is looking to make a significant impact on the field this season for New York.

In 15 games last season, Tate avoided 23 tackles, leading all fellow wide receivers in the league by three. Since 2013, Tate has finished top 10 every year in yards-after-catch. Coming in 1st in 2014 and 2017, while finishing 2nd in 2016.

Tate is a player who will bring a lot of versatility and agility to the Giants’ offense. He’s been one the league’s best receivers in terms of yards-after-catch and forced missed tackles for quite some time.

Pairing Tate with star running back Saquon Barkley will result in lots of forced missed tackles this upcoming season for New York’s offense. The only downside is, the Giants will have to wait until week five to watch Golden Tate perform his magic on the football field.

New York Yankees And Mets AAA Teams To Face In One Game Playoff

New York Yankees, New York Mets

The Syracuse Mets and the Scranton Wilkes/Barre Railriders, AAA affiliates of the New York Mets and the New York Yankees, will be facing off in a one game playoff on Tuesday with a spot in the international league playoffs on the line.

Syracuse took down Rochester while Scranton fell to Buffalo to tie at 75-65 atop IL North standings. The winner of Tuesday’s game will be in the playoffs.

Syracuse will look to make the playoffs in their first year as a Mets farmhand, while Scranton will look to win the IL for the first time since 2016.

It’s impressive that both teams have made it to where they have, especially the Railriders. They have played with a roster of mainly AA players as most AAA guys spent time in the bigs filling spots for injured players.

Important Game For The Yankees

With players beginning to return for the Yankees, it’s important that the Railrider win this game against Syracuse on Tuesday. Right now, Luis Severino and Jordan Montgomery are on the active roster and need to make more rehab starts. With the regular season over in the minors, it would be tough to find places where they can pitch.

Plus, Dellin Betances will need a place to throw in rehab, and position players like Giancarlo Stanton and Gio Urshela would need places to get quality at-bats before a return. If Scranton loses, the players would be forced to do their rehab with the actual team.

It’s important that the Railriders get the win to help the Yankees and take down rival Mets. For Mets fans, they’re hoping their AAA affiliate gets into the playoffs in their first season.