New York Giants Defense Looking To Change Mood In Week Two

The mood around the New York Giants isn’t a great one right now – the team has been said to have one of the worst defenses in the league following the first week of the season and it wasn’t hard to understand why. It looked like the Cowboys were able to make big passing plays at will, and the Giants gave up 35 points and ensured that the offense would have little chance of scoring enough to win the game.

Obviously, that bad early track record is something that a number of players want to turn around going into the week two game against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

“In the NBA, if they have a bad game, the next day they can go out there and play again. For us, we have a whole week to sit, let it marinate, watch film and soul search. I think that’s what we’ve been doing this week. We came out and worked hard this week in practice. Now we’re just getting ready to come out and get that taste out of our mouths,” second year outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter stated.

Carter was, of course, just one of a number of players on the Giants defense that was considered as having a bad game in week one against the Dallas Cowboys.

“We were disappointed, of course. But it’s just on to the next week. There’s nothing you can really do about last week but watch the film, evaluate it and then just get ready for this week. We’re going to keep going,” Carter continued.

Defensive coordinator James Bettcher doesn’t sound like a coach that intends to reuse a losing strategy – from the sounds of things, fans of the Giants can maybe expect Bettcher to try some things differently against the Bills.

“I look at it as here’s something we have to get better at, let’s go work to get better at it… We need to attack what the problem was and go work to correct the problem. Not just say we need to rush the quarterback better? The truth is how do you rush the passer better. What fundamentals and techniques do we need to improve with specifically with what guys and players,” Bettcher added.

The Giants will be up against a formidable defense themselves in week two, as they face a Bills team that gave up only 16 points to the Jets in week one. The toughness of the Bills defense makes it more crucial, of course, that the Giants don’t give up too many points when their own defense is on the field – scoring won’t come easy for Eli Manning and the rest of the Giants offense, and the game could very well be low scoring.

But that, of course, defends on the defense turning things around… It remains to be seen what will happen, but at the least, the Giants defenders have no lack of desire.

New York Mets: Two Cy Young Contenders Square Off

New York Mets, Jacob deGrom

On Friday night, Clayton Kershaw outpitched Noah Syndergaard in the Dodgers 9-2 victory. Jacob deGrom and the Mets have the opportunity to knot up the series against Hyun-Jin Ryu, who looked to be running away with the Cy Young award just a month ago. Due to a few bad starts, he is no longer the front runner.

deGrom and Ryu seem to be trending in opposite directions. Over his last four starts, he has an ERA just under 10 and has walked 7 batters. This has caused his ERA to jump a full run from 1.45 to 2.45. Rye’s recent struggles has also allowed deGrom and a few others to reenter the Cy Young picture.

Since the trade deadline, deGrom has pitched to a 2.33 ERA and has kept himself in the front of the pack. No Met has ever won back to back Cy Young awards and if he wins another, he will join Tom Seaver as the only other Met to win multiple Cy Young awards.

deGrom Has to Lead the Charge

After their loss in the first game of the series, game two becomes a must win game. The Cubs are going to defeat the Pirates and a four game deficit seems insurmountable at this point in the season. The Mets have been full of fight all season, but it will take a major miracle to comeback from that.

deGrom will see a lineup with only three right handed hitters, much like Syndergaard the previous night. A win for him would equal the same amount of wins he put together last season and the Mets need him to carry them to a victory.

New York Giants: Where Is The Pass-Rush?

New York Giants, Dalvin Tomlinson, Dexter Lawrence, B.J. Hill

The New York Giants‘ defense has been criticized heavily throughout the week. The criticism is completely deserved as the Giants’ defense allowed the Cowboys’ offense to gain a total of 494 yards of offense in week one. They also allowed Dak Prescott to have a career day with a perfect passer rating of 158.3.

Prescott was rarely pressured and usually had all day to throw. The Giants did not record a sack against the Cowboys and the entire pass-rushing unit seemed to have disappeared. This begs the question, where is the Giants’ pass-rush?

Lorenzo Carter’s Disappointing Start To The Season:

There was a lot of hype surround Lorenzo Carter entering his second season. Carter flashed his potential in limited playing time as a rookie and seemed ready for an expanded role in 2019. Lorenzo got off to a hot start at training camp but has fizzled out since.

Lorenzo Carter, despite all of his highlights in practice, was nowhere to be found in the preseason. He did not record a sack and rarely pressured the quarterback. The hope was that this was just due to limited playing time in the preseason, but, unfortunately, it was just more of the same in week one.

Lorenzo Carter is young and extremely athletic. He has a huge frame and a lot of speed. If he can develop his technique as a pass-rusher Carter could be a special player. But he is going to need to put it together soon if he wants to help New York turn their season around.

The Defensive Line’s Disappearance:

Like Carter, there was a fair amount of hype surrounding the Giants’ defensive line heading into the 2019 season. The Giants have a ton of young talent on their defensive line, but it has not been clearly evident so far this season.

B.J. Hill looked like a draft steal after recording 5.5 sacks in his rookie season. Hill was the only defensive lineman to perform up to his standards in week one. He was solid in run defense and finished with four total tackles on the game. Still, no signs of pass-rush in this unit.

Dexter Lawrence was maybe the most underwhelming player on the Giants’ defensive line in week one. Granted, he is a rookie, and maybe he just needs more time to acclimate to the pro-game, but he was almost nonexistent against the Cowboys.

The Giants’ second first-round draft pick in 2019 was meant to be an instant-impact rookie. Lawrence is an underrated pass-rusher, but even if it takes him some time to get that part of his game going, his giant frame and run-defense abilities should impact the game. Unfortunately, it did not in week one.

The Giants’ defensive line is young and inexperienced. That could be the reason for their lack of impact against Dallas. But the Giants’ pass-rush as a whole might have an even bigger problem than player performances.

Signs Of A Poorly Coached Defense:

The Giants’ defense looked unprepared and lost on Sunday in Dallas. Players blew their assignments left and right. Every piece of the defense struggled, even the proven veterans. Cornerbacks were constantly burned, the defensive line got no push, linebackers fell for every play action.

These are the signs of a poorly coached defense. The players seemed like they had no clue what to do at times. When running play-action, Dak Prescott was 12-13 for 192 yards and 3 touchdowns. This is inexcusable. The Giants’ defense just does not know how to defend against play-action.

This is a deeper issue than a lack of talent. The Giants’ defense is not coached well enough to scheme together pressure or to cover play-action passes. Giants linebackers bit on just about every play-fake, despite the Cowboys running play-action on almost every pass.

This lack of discipline in the linebacker corps needs to be fixed heading into week two. The Giants have a good matchup against a turnover-happy Bills offense, led by second-year quarterback Josh Allen. If the Giants want to beat the Bills, their defense needs to keep Josh Allen from having a career day like Prescott.

New York Knicks: How Real is The Elfrid Payton Effect?

New York Knicks sign Elfrid Payton,

New York Knicks point-guard Elfrid Payton Jr. could be just what the Knicks need. Last season, Payton’s former team, the New Orleans Pelicans started the season on fire winning four of their first five games. During the four game streak, Payton averaged 14.5-points and 7-assists per game. After the Pelicans began last season with the four game winning streak, their starting point-guard Elfrid Payton suffered a knee injury during a home game against the Brooklyn Nets. Payton then played only fifteen minutes during the following game against the Utah Jazz. The red hot Pelicans first loss of the season came against the Utah Jazz. Elfrid Payton would then miss thirty one of his next thirty two games. During the span of 31-games without Payton, the Pelicans had twelve wins and twenty nine losses (12-29).

Many Pelican fans felt as if Payton’s presence on the basketball court was crucial for the success of the team. He was able to get teammates involved and always ended up on the positive side in terms of plus-minus stats. Therefore, the question about the Elfrid Payton effect is definitely a legit question.

The New York Knicks have individuals that can score. Elfrid Payton’s presence and ability to run an offense will definitely be needed. Many are calling for Payton to start at point guard because of his influence on the offensive end of the floor. Once chemistry is built, it’s possible for the Knicks to score 130-plus points on any given night due to Payton’s savvy style, unselfish play and basketball IQ.

Overall, Elfrid Payton will be loved by Knick fans because of his selflessness and his decent defense. It doesn’t hurt that Scott Perry and Payton have history from another team. Its very possible that the Elfrid Payton effect if healthy can be crucial in making the Knicks offense unrecognizable for the better.

https://youtu.be/cqYqTDt9n64

New York Yankees: Could CC Sabathia Be in the Bullpen For the Postseason?

New York Yankees, Yankees, CC Sabathia

CC Sabathia of the New York Yankees has been struggled with going the distance all season. Part of this reason is because of his knee issues which have placed him on the injured list several times this season.

Sabathia knows that he can still get guys out at the major league level. Many believe that his struggles this season are stemmed from his knee problems. “I think if this team wasn’t in a position to win a championship, I probably would have had the surgery a long time ago,” said Sabathia.

Something I could see Sabathia doing in the postseason is following an opener. In example, Chad Green could go two innings and Sabathia could go three after him. That’s five innings from quality pitchers with postseason experience and Sabathia wouldn’t be overused.

When asked about his preference for being a starter or a bullpen guy Sabathia said, “It doesn’t matter. Whatever my role is in the postseason, I’m good for it.” Aaron Boone also has spoken on it, saying that they are considering every option.

Sabathia described his knee pain as a “level 10,” which he’s had all season. “There’s nothing really to manage,” Sabathia said. “If you wheel me around in a wheelchair … there’s nothing I can do. It flares up when it flares up. I feel good right now and knock on wood it continues to feel good.”

Sabathia has made 21 starts for the New York Yankees this season and is credited to a 5-8 record. He holds a 4.95 ERA in 103.2 innings pitched.

The 39-year-old has nine years and 15 series of postseason experience. In those nine years, Sabathia has a 10-7 record with a 4.31 ERA.

New York Knicks have established a clear plan for the future

New York Knicks, Kevin Knox, RJ Barrett

We shouldn’t expect the New York Knicks to succeed during the 2019-20 season, because the future lies ahead. This off-season, they didn’t bring in any superstar players but did manage to bring in several savvy veterans. With the roster overhaul and a plethora of youth on the team, the Knicks are in good shape moving forward. Building for the future is the most crucial goal for the organization, and they have built a solid foundation with the youth and veteran experience.

Drafting third overall pick RJ Barrett in the most recent NBA draft and signing Julius Randle, a young scoring option from the New Orleans Pelicans puts the team in a good position with upward momentum.

The Knicks are loaded with young, talented players with an average age of 24.3, the fourth-youngest team in the NBA. That is an excellent thing after years of shoddy drafting and inadequate signings.

Players such as Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Dennis Smith Jr., Allonzo Trier, and Damyean Dotson represent the future for the team and the next generation of talent.

The primary question for the upcoming season is, are the Knicks in a position to compete for the playoffs?

With the talent on the roster, I would say they are capable of making a postseason push, but it will take time for them to develop chemistry and learn from their mistakes after a 17 win season in 2018.

The second-year players on the roster will need to elevate their game significantly, and the veterans will need to help supplement the deficiencies. They now have several quality shooters and defensive options on the team.

I anticipate Knox and Robinson to have much better campaigns after struggling at times last year. Robinson seems primed to develop into one of the leagues top centers and Knox has worked tirelessly to improve his game after a historically bad season.

Giving them the benefit of the doubt it’s justifiable, though. The youngsters last year didn’t have the veteran leadership and support to grow progressively. This season we should see a transformation of the team and a much better performance overall.

New York Giants could pursue Dolphin safety Minkah Fitzpatrick in trade

New York Giants should consider Miami Dolphins defender, Minkah Fitzpatrick.

After a significant defeat to the Dallas Cowboys in week one of the regular season, the New York Giants could look to make a trade, in an attempt to bolster the secondary.

With rookies plastered across the defensive backfield for the Giants, they are in dire need of support, which is where Miami Dolphins safety, Minkah Fitzpatrick, comes in to play.

Fitzpatrick requested a trade from the Dolphins after a blowout loss to the Baltimore Ravens last week. It was reported that several players on Miami requested to be traded, and Fitzpatrick, a former first-round pick, is one of them.

What would it cost for the New York Giants to trade for Minkah Fitzpatrick?

It has been reported that the Dolphins will seek a first-round pick in a potential deal for the safety. He was being utilized as a Swiss Army knife on the defense, playing slot cornerback and safety. However, he wants to stick to one position, and slot corner seems to be his strong suit.

The slot position is becoming more valuable in a league with quicker and more agile wide receivers. The Giants lack a star at the spot and could use Fitzpatrick’s abilities immediately. Ultimately, it comes down to his value and what the Giants would be willing to part with in terms of draft capital.

I imagine the Giants would be content with trading away a second-round pick for his abilities. In just his second year in the NFL, he is still on a friendly contract. He will earn $1,227,626 this season, with a dead cap of $13,457,268 that gradually declines over the next two seasons. His cap hit is very low as well, at just $3,738,130 this season and only reaching $5,233,382 by the year 2021.

By no means should the Giants consider trading their first-round pick away, believing it will likely be a high one and they need pass-rush help.

Defensive coordinator James Bettcher could use Fitzpatrick in many different ways, but he would likely utilize him in the slot position and extract the most value out of his skill set. He’s an incredibly talented defender that trends towards the top of PFF’s slot CB grades.

What PFF has to say about Minkah:

Only five other NFL defensive backs with 200 or more slot coverage snaps as rookies earned higher coverage grades in the slot as first-year players: Casey Hayward Jr. (90.8), Desmond King II (89.3), Leon Hall (81.5), Tyrann Mathieu (80.1) and Antoine Cason (79.4).

 

And Fitzpatrick’s slot success in the NFL is merely par for the course.

 

In his three-year career at ‘Bama, Fitzpatrick played a majority (66.3%) of his defensive snaps at slot cornerback and, much like his debut NFL season, played his best football at the position. His 90.5 coverage grade in the slot is currently the highest ever recorded among the 93 Power 5 defenders with 400 or more slot coverage snaps in the PFF College era (2014-18). He was truly in a league of his own playing slot cornerback at the college level, allowing just a 67.2 passer rating and 0.90 yards per coverage snap across a whopping 872 slot coverage snaps and 145 targets.

Overall, he would be a massive addition to a Giants team lacking an inside corner, but his price-tag could be too high. The Fins could falter and accept a lower bid, though, but we can only estimate they will not accept anything less than a first-rounder.

 

New York Giants News, 9/14 – Rookie pass rusher expected to start against Bills

New York Giants, Oshane Ximines

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

When the Giants began the preseason with only Markus Golden, Kareem Martin, Oshane Ximines, and Lorenzo Carter as their primary pass rushers, the expectations for the group were low. Golden hasn’t had a productive season in three years, Martin has never been a consistent pass rusher, Ximines is a mere rookie adapting to the NFL, and Carter was a hopeful sophomore blossom, and in week one against the Dallas Cowboys, they all lived up to those expectations.

After just one week, Martin is already on injured reserve, and the three remaining pass rushers are not only battling their deficiencies but will also face off against a mobile quarterback in Josh Allen on Sunday. Ximines, however, will likely earn the start against the Bills, or be the second man in the rotation due to the injury to Martin.

The Old Dominion product finished week one with just one total tackle. As he progresses and adapts to the speed and physicality of the NFL, we should temper our expectations. It will likely take several weeks for him to show signs of productive growth as a rookie, but he has the tangible skills to rack up his efficiency consistently.

Big Blue View interviewed Ximines, here’s what he had to say:

Q: Biggest adjustment from college to the NFL?

A: “Just getting acclimated with being a pro. Everything you do changes. It’s not like college, where you’re going to get babied through everything. You’ve got to kind of find your routine and make an adjustment quick.”

Nonetheless–

Your top news of the day:

Ed Valentine – Friday 5: Oshane Ximines answers five — hopefully — good questions

John Fennelly – Giants defense has the attitude and desire to succeed

Jordan Raanan – Giants’ season could take shape in Week 2, for better or worse

Tom Canavan – Saquon Barkley’s touches not an issue with New York Giants

Christian Morell – New York Giants: Should Pat Shurmur give up Play-Calling?

Why the New York Yankees will not make it past the first round of the playoffs

New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez

If the 2019 MLB regular season were to end today, the New York Yankees would either face the Oakland Athletics or Tampa Bay rays in the first round of the playoffs. Both teams are stacked full of talent and will present formidable challenges against a Yankees squad that can’t seem to avoid injuries this season.

On Friday, the Yankees played in a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers, coming away with two victories.  However, the wins were also accompanied by two injuries to starting players on the team.

Catcher Gary Sanchez and Edwin Encarnacion both left the game with ailments that could linger until the start of the postseason.

Sanchez overstretched his leg on a stolen base attempt in the fourth inning. After having several groin issues in the last two seasons, this could be concerning for the starting catcher. Encarnacion left the game with a strained left oblique muscle. To make matters even worse, starting pitcher J.A. Happ is also dealing with some health issues, although manager Aaron Boone wasn’t too concerned.

The Bombers are already without a majority of their starting outfielders. At the moment, they are featuring Clint Frazier, Aaron Judge, and Brett Gardner as the starting three. They are without Cameron Maybin, Giancarlo Stanton, and Aaron Hicks. The Yankees are journeying forward despite their dwindling depth and overall lack of support.

The reality is, the New York Yankees could be destined for failure primarily due to injuries. The unfathomable amount of ailments that continue to be picked up day-in and day-out will hurt the team and disable them from the ground up.

The starting pitching rotation is thin, the bullpen is struggling with minor injuries, the outfield is decimated, and the infield is battling through scratches and bruises.

Without depth during the postseason, the Yankees will have an incredibly difficult time fighting against better teams that are 100% healthy. Luckily, they will return starting pitcher Luis Severino on Tuesday and will hopefully game back Dellin Betances before the postseason begins. Stanton is also preparing for his return and will be needed.

The bottom line, health must be managed carefully, and the Yankees need to be careful with their starting players. They are already a lock for the postseason and need to finish in an average way. Resting their regular starters and allowing them to manage their bodies should be the priority.