New York Jets: Sam Darnold set to return against Cowboys

New York Jets, Kelvin Beachum, Sam Darnold

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold had been sidelined with mononucleosis since week two. Originally backup Trevor Siemian was set to fill his role but after suffering a season-ending injury, practice squad quarterback Luke Falk was QB1 during that time.

However, things are looking up for the New York Jets. Darnold has finally overcome the illness and is set to play this Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.

“Anytime your starting quarterback comes back, guys are going to be excited,” said head coach Adam Gase. “The good thing is, the way he looks at it is, he wants to come in and do his job.”

The Jets have begun their season 0-4 and they’ve been lost without their 22-year-old quarterback and their offense was hit hard.

Gase added that the return of Darnold will allow him to do more for the team. “I think it does open some things up (for the offense), as far as his ability to throw down the field. The timing he and Robby (Anderson) have is a lot different than what anybody else would have, just because of their experience together.”

Teammate LeVeon Bell is anticipating a strong return of his quarterback.

“I mean he’s (our) quarterback,” said Bell. “He’s a guy that’s gonna touch the ball every play and get guys in position. Throwing the ball downfield, getting the playmakers the ball… it’s gonna be fun, obviously, he’s gonna make his fair share of plays.”

In his one game this season against the Buffalo Bills, Darnold threw for 175 yards with one passing touchdown.

New York Yankees: Hicks, Sabathia could possibly be on the ALCS roster

New York Yankees, Aaron Hicks

The New York Yankees will continue their postseason campaign into the ALCS following their destruction of the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS.

Aaron Hicks, who’s been on the injured list since August dealing with a flexor strain, is hopeful that he’ll be considered to be on the ALCS roster.

“Yeah, he is very much a consideration,” manager Aaron Boone said on Hicks. “He’s here today actually. We’re hoping to have some sim-game stuff going on with a couple of our pitchers. He did a lot of hitting and what not. He’s good physically. Obviously hasn’t had the kind of reps or games that you’d like, but he has certainly put himself in the position to be considered.”

Hicks has been throwing and hitting the past few days and has made good progress in his rehabbing. The New York Yankees are considering his addition to the roster but have not decided yet.

The switch-hitting center fielder wants to be considered for a roster spot. He told the Associated Press that he’s “definitely ready to go and play” for the ALCS.

The 30-year-old slashed .235/.325/.443 with 12 home runs and 35 runs batted in during the regular season.

For C.C. Sabathia, the left-hander was ruled out for the ALDS after shoulder issues. However, Sabathia threw on Wednesday showing signs of improvement. Aaron Boone was encouraged by the way he threw.

“CC did throw today and frankly looked really good,” said Boone. “I was really excited about how he looked. He was sharp, he was really able to finish his pitches. I think he’s feeling considerably better than he was this time last week certainly. I would say he is now an option for us as well and somebody that we’re considering. We’ll see how he bounces back tomorrow from his session today.”

If Sabathia were to return, Boone alluded to that the veteran would be having a bullpen role. More specifically, a multi-inning outing is unrealistic for Sabathia.

“I could certainly see him in there in a lane where he’s facing three or four hitters. Possibly an inning-plus, something like that. I think the biggest thing is evaluating where he is.”

New York Giants: Asafo-Adjei is a True Warrior

New York Giants, George Asafo-Adjei

The New York Giants offensive line has come under much scrutiny and criticism over the past few seasons.  While there could be improvements, what could help the New York Giants, could be the return of offensive tackle George Asafo-Adjei.

Asafo-Adjei was drafted this past Spring in the 2019 NFL draft by the New York Giants in the seventh round, the 232nd pick overall.  Sadly, after suffering a concussion during the preseason, Asafo-Adjei was placed on injured reserve.

The rookie, who hails from West Chester, Ohio, went to Lakota West High School and was honored in 2014, with the Anthony Munoz Foundation Offensive Lineman of the Year award.  Asafo-Adjei played on the offensive line and defensive line and also played on the wrestling team for a season.

Asafo-Adjei decided to commit to the University of Kentucky after offers from schools such as Louisville, Florida, Ohio State and Nebraska.  At the University of Kentucky, he set a record becoming the first Kentucky Wildcat member to rush for 1,000 or more yards for three consecutive seasons.

Earning his degree in community and leadership development, Asafo-Adjei has taken his education to heart.  Asafo-Adjei is constantly helping others and working hard to improve the lives of those less fortunate.  His dream, afterlife in the NFL,  is to coach young kids to be good athletes, but even better people in general.  Asafo–Adjei’s days to charity and philanthropy date back to his collegiate days in which he met with ill children at the hospital, interacted with members from the Special Olympics and also went to Ethiopia where he was quite active, painting a school, handing out necessary items to those who lost their significant others and just being a light in the darkness those less-fortunate faced.

Asafo-Adjei also has a clothing line full of official inspirational merchandise called Geni Merch.  Through the website genimerch.com, you can purchase shirts that say, Warrior, Pray First, Blessed and Geni!

Asafo-Adjei has been an inspiration to all since his high school days and will only continue to be a beacon of hope and light both on and off the field!

Just What The Doctor Ordered: Game Five For Tampa Bay And Houston

The New York Yankees could pursue Gerrit Cole this offseason.

It couldn’t of played out any better for the New York Yankees.

They were able to sweep the Minnesota Twins, and now the other ALDS series is going to a game five. The Rays were able to score three off of Astros ace Justin Verlander in the first inning of game four, while they held Houston to one run all night in a bullpen game.

Now, the series will shift back to Houston on Thursday night, but the Rays will be facing Gerrit Cole. Cole was dominant in game two, going seven and two-thirds innings, punching out 15 batters. The Rays will likely be throwing Tyler Glasnow, who was mediocre in game one. But, both teams will have a bullpen with everybody available, so starting pitchers will have a short leash.

How This Helps The Yankees:

No matter who the Yankees play, the opposing bullpen will likely be a bit tired come Saturday. The Rays and Astros will use almost everybody just to move to the next round. The only option for them is to go all in. The Yankees will have a bullpen that is well rested on Saturday, but may have a little rust.

If the Astros advance, Justin Verlander would be in line to pitch game two in Houston, making Zack Greinke the game one starter. Gerrit Cole would be on normal rest for game three, but would also be in line to pitch a potential game seven.

Obviously, pitching him in game three would be good for the Yankees since they would be able to see him at Yankee Stadium. Wade Miley would probably pitch game four, lining Greinke up for game five.

It’s kinda important in a sense that Greinke pitches in New York because he would be a huge target for heckling. We have discovered that his first name is Donald, and fans could heckle him a lot for it.

The Yankees have had the Rays number this year, so I’m not nearly by concerned playing the Rays.

The Rays and the Astros going to a game five helps the Yankees in a big way.

Taj Gibson will be what the New York Knicks wanted in Joakim Noah

The New York Knicks brought in veteran big man Taj Gibson this off-season.  When he was signed, some fans had to be scratching their heads.  What can this 34-year old center bring to this young Knicks roster?

Gibson is bruiser.  He is not afraid to get his hands dirty and bang down-low for rebounds.  Gibson is going to bring aspects of what they wanted to see out of Joakim Noah.  Except, Gibson has a jumper and can knock down threes, like he did in the preseason opener Monday.

The Knicks were hoping that Noah was going to bring the hard-nosed, fiery attitude and play that he had during his time in Chicago.  But, due to injury and suspension, Noah was not able to even give the Knicks a tiny morsel of what he used to be.  The New York Knicks gave Noah $72 million to wear street clothes.  Thanks Phil.

However, Gibson could bring some of that grittiness him and Noah had in Chicago to the Knicks.  Gibson also comes at a much cheaper cost, as compared to Noah, so any positives that come from this is a win for the franchise.  He will be making 10 million for two years.

Hypothetically, if Noah was not injured or suspended, he might have been able to contribute.  He would have been the mentor to Mitchell Robinson when they drafted him.  That is not the case.  Now, one of Gibson’s goal is to do just that.  Be a mentor to Mitchell Robinson.

Last season, we saw DeAndre Jordan take Robinson under his wing for the short time he was with the Knicks.  Now, it is Gibson’s time.

Gibson has been a very good defender throughout his career.  He has averaged 6.4 rebounds per, while adding 9.8 points, shooting 51.2% from the field.  But, stats aren’t everything.  He knows how to defend off the ball, set good hard screens and box out.

Gibson can also help Robinson with foul trouble.  If he can teach him to not be as aggressive and contain his body when contesting shots and moving his feet.  Early dumb fouls have been Robinson’s kryptonite, so learning to limit the fouls is key for his development.

That was everything the Knicks wanted in Noah.  Bring back some of the toughness from the 90s Knicks on the defensive side.  Be the leader defense.  Not many are expecting Gibson to play 30+ minutes, but his knowledge will be key to the Knicks defensive scheme this season.  Gibson will try to fill that void, for Robinson, while providing valuable veteran leadership.

New York Mets: Is Joe Girardi in the Mix for the Manager Job?

New York Yankees, Yankees, Joe Girardi

The New York Mets have not provided a lot of information on who will be involved in their new manager search. Their only answer is that they are going to interview everyone they can and despite that Joe Girardi seems to be the odds on favorite.

Girardi has shut down and idea of him taking the job, leaving everything to speculation. Since he was let go by the Yankees after the 2017 season, he has been itching to get himself back in the dugout. He is a former World Series winning player and manager with one of the brightest minds in all of baseball.

Is he the Man for the Job?

Girardi would be a major upgrade from the lackluster manager that was Mickey Callaway. His bullpen and overall pitching decisions were better and he is exactly what the modern manager should be. Girardi definitely has an ego and will put players in their place, but it is hard to find someone who did not enjoy playing for him.

The most important quality about Girardi is that he will answer to no one when it comes to managing the game. It was part of the reason why he was pushed out by the Yankees. They wanted someone who they had control over, which is why Aaron Boone was handed the job.

If the Mets choose to let someone have full control of the team, Girardi is the perfect guy. He knows New York, knows how to handle young players and how to manage pitching staffs. If the reports of decisions coming from the front office are true, then Girardi and Brodie Van Wagenen will not get along.

Hopefully, for the Mets sake, they decide to hand the reigns over to Girardi.

Some of the Golden Plays in Sunday’s Game Against Minnesota

New York Giants, Golden Tate

While the majority of the media and fans have taken notice of the bad parts and negative aspects of Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings, the New York Giants still had a few bright spots most notably on defense.

While it may be hard for some to see any good in the New York Giants 28-10 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, there were some glimmers of positive plays.

Markus Golden had his own great game.  Golden has been doing great since the start of the 2019 NFL season.  In this past Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings, Golden came away with five total tackles and contributed a sack on Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Golden is truly a great contributor to the team and is a force to be reckoned with.  His ferocity and fierceness give the Giants defense something to be hopeful about.  Golden is very keen and sharp when it comes to the game of football and each and every game he goes out there with such fervor and force.  He brings energy to the team and rallies his teammates to make plays.  Golden’s confidence and invigorating attitude are truly admirable!

Golden’s strength and vigor also give New York Giants fans something to be excited about.  After Golden’s tackles, he got the crowd started and all fired up.  He emboldened fans to still hold on to the positive aspects of the game.

Although, this past Sunday’s game may have been disheartening after two straight wins by the New York Giants, players like Golden keep the Giants team and fans motivated and optimistic that there can be some auspiciousness that the team can pull together and that no matter how negative things may seem, there are still some things to look forward to no matter how big or small.

New York Giants get bad injury news ahead of Patriots showdown

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

The New York Giants are preparing to face off against an intimidating New York New England patriots team on Thursday night football, but they have several injuries on both sides of the ball, which will undoubtedly hurt their chances.

Last week, there was plenty of optimism that star running back Saquon Barkley would be able to play against the patriots, but reports have stated that the Giants are not going to risk his long-term health and will rest him at least one more game. Forcing him to play on a high ankle sprain against a team that will realistically beat the Giants by a large margin, doesn’t make much sense.

Saving Barkley for the future and ensuring he’s 100% healthy when he returns should be the goal and priority. Barkley injured his ankle in the first half of the week three win against the Tampa Bay buccaneers — he left the game with a walking boot on and using his crutches to stabilize himself.

Initially, most believe that Barkley would return after the BYE in week 12 against the Chicago Bears, but his miraculous recovery spread optimism that he might even be able to play last Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.

The New York Giants journey forward with a ton of injuries:

Barkley’s backup, Wayne Gallman, suffered a concussion in last week’s loss to the Vikings, and Sterling Shepard suffered the same. Shepard’s injury will keep them out for a few weeks considering this is the second concussion he has picked up the season. Also, star tight and Evan Engram has a sore knee and could miss the game on Thursday as well.

The Patriots have allowed just two touchdowns in five games, so having to venture forward without four primary playmakers will make it very difficult for the Giants to have any success.

Hopefully, linebackers Alec Ogletree and Tae Davis will return to bolster the middle of the defense, which featured David Mayo and Nate Super last week against Minnesota. The center of the defense was thrashed, and the Giants missed 12 tackles in a disappointing effort in week five.

How the New York Giants can compete against the New England Patriots

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

Being threaded for 28 points against a struggling Minnesota Vikings offense doesn’t provide any optimism for the New York Giants heading into a tantalizing matchup against the New England Patriots.

Big Blue will travel to Foxborough to take on the perennially great Pats, led by Tom Brady and his everlasting arm, but their real strength is the defense. The New England offense has been prolific this season, putting up 30 more or points in four of their five contests. The Giants’ defense is facing Goliath, and gaining back linebacker Alec Ogletree, and Tae Davis would go a long way in helping them overcome this challenge.

Losing starting inside linebacker Ryan Connelly for the year due to a torn ACL in his right knee severely damaged the quality of the defense, and that deficiency was on full display last weekend against the Vikings. Beating the Patriots, let alone competing with them on Thursday night football will be difficult, but here are a few ways the Giants can keep it close.

How the New York Giants can stay in the game:

1.) Convert on third downs

Daniel Jones has been far better at converting on third downs than Eli Manning this season, but facing off against a top-5 defense in Minnesota last week showed him a level of adversity he hasn’t experienced before at the NFL level. The Pats are arguably better, but the return of Saquon Barkley is imminent and would provide a considerable boost to the Giants’ chances.

The Giants on third down have been stellar the past three weeks. A success rate of nearly 53% shows why starting Jones was the right thing to do, especially since Manning was converting on a dismal 21% of third downs through the first two weeks. This will be a point of emphasis heading into New England.

2.) Put pressure on Tom Brady

Brady is the best quarterback in the league at surveying the field and finding targets quickly. His lack of athleticism limits him to the pocket, but he rarely makes a wrong decision throwing the ball. The Giants defensive front must get to Brady and force him to make mistakes, but his quick release and receiving running backs make their offense extremely competent in all categories. Good coverage is a must, but beating a solid New England offensive line is where it all starts.

Outside linebacker Markus Golden has been the Giants’ best pass rusher this season with 4.5 sacks and 10 QB hits. He must have an impact in this tough matchup.

3.) Daniel Jones must stay calm and productive

The Giants put up a lousy 10 points against the Vikings, as numerous drops plagued the team throughout the game. Jones stood tall and delivered in the face of pressure on multiple occasions, but his receivers must do more to get open and hold on to passes. Sterling Shepard dropped a potential touchdown pass that would’ve brought the Giants within one score in the fourth quarter, but instead, it forced a field goal attempt that Aldrick Rosas knocked through.

Bill Belichick will undoubtedly put Jones under pressure and expose him to new looks and blitzes. It will be a tough day in Prime Time for the rookie, but the experience is essential, nonetheless.

 

The New York Knicks now know what they have in RJ Barrett

New York Knicks, RJ Barrett

With the Washington wizards climbing back against the New York Knicks in their first preseason game of the season, third overall pick RJ Barrett iced the game with two clutch free-throws.

The second half of the contest showed why the Knicks are so high on Barrett and that the quality he displayed during college is transferable to the NBA. RJ played a whopping 39:20 minutes in his debut on Monday night, and head coach David Fizdale‘s confidence in the rookie paid off.

The New York Knicks are taking the right approach with their rookie:

Ensuring that Barrett gets plenty of playing time is essential in his developmental process. Working through the kinks in his game and adapting to the physicality and speed of NBA quality players requires live action. While the Knicks only have three remaining preseason games left, I anticipate Fizdale well continue to play him into the regular season. At just 19 years old, his potential is sky-high, and getting him on the floor, and building chemistry with the veterans is a priority.

“He’s 19,” Fizdale said of Barrett. “And he’s got to play. It’s the same thing I did with Kevin (Knox). These guys have to play, see situations and feel out the game. At the same time I wanted to have him out there because he was playing so well.

Barrett finished the nights with 17 points, three assists, seven rebounds, and turned the ball over twice. He shot .462% from the field and made two of six three-point shots.

While there’s plenty of room for growth, the first game was a success for Barrett, who dominated in the second half after a rough outing in the beginning. His 39.3 minutes lead the team, and only Kevin Knox trailed close behind with 29.4 minutes.

Knox scored 12 in the contest and tallied one assist and seven rebounds, but it was clear that RJ was the better player throughout the game and seems to have more potential at this point. Barrett provides excitement and optimism moving forward; in fact, the entire youth agenda for the Knicks should spur confidence.