New York Giants: Sterling Shepard Could Reportedly Be Out This Game, Next Game

New York Giants, Sterling Shepard

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones will have to wait to have a full arsenal of weapons at his disposal. The team has had a hard time keeping Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate on the field at the same time, dashing preseason hopes of having a dynamic offense that compensates for the loss of Odell Beckham Jr. with players such as Tate and Darius Slayton joining the offense and others like Shepard stepping their game up during the new season.

That might have been the goal before training camp, but things were quickly thrown off track when Tate was suspended for the first four games of the season thanks to a substance policy violation. The Giants would have Shepard, at least, but it wasn’t long before Shepard found himself struggling with concussions – only a couple of games into the season, in fact.

Shepard was able to bounce back from his concussion against the Bills and return to the team’s lineup, but was concussed again against the Vikings, in one of his first regular season games playing with Daniel Jones and Golden Tate in the same lineup.

This time, it seems Shepard is going to spend more time recovering – according to Jordan Raanan, Shepard isn’t going to be back for week seven’s game against the Cardinals.

Shepard could also miss the next game, potentially. It does seem drastic to keep Shepard out this long, if he does indeed miss week eight’s game also, but it’s also understandable… Shepard coming back early while suffering from two concussions in the early season wouldn’t be a great look, and probably not the best thing for Shepard’s health.

It’s been an unlucky year overall for the receiver, who since getting his new contract, has seemingly been cursed. Shepard fractured his thumb near the start of training camp, only to work his way back to playing by the time the season started, but still ended up missing time with the first of the concussions coming in only week two.

The Giants have an important game in front of them, which will decide whether the team gets back to one game behind .500, or falls into a further hole that they may not dig out of. But with the bad injury luck this year continuing, they’ll have to play it without their top receiver.

New York Yankees: Paxton, Hicks Lift the Yankees to Fight Another Day

New York Yankees, James Paxton

With their backs up against the wall, the New York Yankees fought viciously against the Houston Astros to force a game 6.

James Paxton pitched a gem against a heavy-hitting Astros lineup. Through 6 innings of work, he allowed 4 hits, 1 run and struck out 9 batters on 112 pitches. The bullpen, which consisted of Aroldis Chapman, Tommy Kahnle and Zack Britton, pitched a combined 2.3 innings and allowed 1 hit, no runs and struck out 3 batters on 35 pitches.

The top of the 1st didn’t go according to plan for Paxton. Due to a pitch that bounced in the dirt, George Springer sprinted home to give the Astros an early 1-0 lead.

Justin Verlander also ran into issues of his own in the bottom of the 1st, who gave up a lead-off home run. The man responsible, DJ LeMahieu, blasted the baseball to right field, traveling 355 feet with an exit velocity of 103.2 MPH.

Aaron Hicks unleashed the floodgates in the bottom of the 1st with a 3-run blast to right field, banking just off the foul pole and granting the Yankees with a 4-1 lead. This knock traveled 347 feet with an exit velocity of 105.5 MPH and most importantly, released the zoo into hysteria.

This single moment from Hicks is arguably the most important in the series for the Yankees. The offense has been mediocre since game 2, leaving 26 runners on base and going 1 for 16 with runners in scoring position.

A few names, including Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius, Edwin Encarnacion, Gary Sanchez, and Gio Urshela have all struggled severely. Before game 5 started, each player slashed at the following:

Brett Gardner: .133/.235/.133

Didi Gregorius: .125/.125/.125

Edwin Encarnacion: .067/.222/.133

Gary Sanchez: .188/.188/.294

Gio Urshela: .133/.188/.33

I don’t think I need to explain why this not a sufficient formula to win postseason games. All of these players have looked lost at the plate and have not replicated what they did in the regular season. That needs to change and quickly, or the Yankees will be in serious trouble.

With all of this being said, the Yankees live to fight for another day, beating the Astros by a score of 4-1. The starting pitching and bullpen were both excellent and the offense did just enough to sneak away with a victory. However, the offense can definitely use more of a motivation booster heading into Houston for game 6 tomorrow night.

 

New York Yankees hold on, Judge had all the confidence in the world

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

The New York Yankees survived another day of their season with a 4-1 win over the Houston Astros Friday night. They sent the series to at least a game six which will be played in Houston.

Right-fielder Aaron Judge had all the confidence in the world in his team heading into game four.

“I knew we were going to Houston when I woke up,” said Judge following the game.

Aaron Judge finished 1-4 on the night where he singled in the first inning. He was then driven in by an Aaron Hicks three-run home run later that inning.

Both teams scored their runs only in the first inning. The Astros jumped first with George Springer scoring on a wild pitch. Following that, Paxton turned on the gears and silenced the hot Astro lineup.

The Yankees had a huge first inning that totally shifted the momentum of the game. DJ LeMahieu sent the second pitch he saw to right-center for a solo home run, which sent Yankee Stadium berzerk.

After three consecutive hits, Aaron Hicks took Justin Verlander’s changeup off the right-field foul pole for a three-run home run. Yankee Stadium quite possibly shook all of New York City following this.

“We had our backs against the wall, and we’re going to keep fighting,” said LeMahieu following the game.

James Paxton went six full frames with nine strikeouts. After allowing that first-inning run on the wild pitch, he was lights out.

Game six will be played tomorrow night in Houston at 8:08 PM EST. Both teams haven’t announced their starters yet.

New York Yankees Face Elimination On Friday

New York Yankees, Edwin Encarnacion

It always sucks talking about elimination games, but here we go again for the New York Yankees. They played absolutely horrible on Thursday, having just five hits while making four errors in an 8-3 loss to the Houston Astros.

On Friday, the Yankees will be facing Astros ace Justin Verlander for the second time this series. They did enough against him in game two where it was tied when he exited, thanks to a two-run shot off the bat of Aaron Judge.

But, Yankees game two starter James Paxton will need to do a whole lot more in game five. He needs to be on and go deep into the game. He can’t have another short exit like in game two.

The Yankees haven’t had much offense since game one, since when Giancarlo Stanton was injured. But now, Stanton is back in the lineup and batting fourth, taking the role of DH from the slumping Edwin Encarnacion.

Since it is an elimination game on Friday, the Yankees need to do everything they can to send it to Houston on Saturday. They may need to stretch guys like Tommy Kahnle and Zack Britton a bit, but they can’t be pitching in the early innings.

The ideal situation in my mind would be to try and get six strong from Paxton, go to Kahnle for the seventh, Britton for the eighth, and Chapman for the ninth. But, if it is too close or Paxton doesn’t last long, they may need to pitch those guys two or even three innings apiece.

If the Yankees extended the series, the Astros would throw a bullpen game on Saturday as would the Yankees. If a game seven occured, Gerrit Cole would pitch against Luis Severino, a game three rematch.

The Yankees have their backs to the wall, but everybody knows that the fourth win in a playoff series is the hardest to get. There have been many 3-1 chokes in all of sports, so anything is possible if the Yankees play like they did in the regular season.

 

New York Giants: Kyler Murray Could Cause A Lot Of Problems For The Giants Defense On Sunday

The New York Giants will host the Arizona Cardinals this Sunday in a week seven matchup at 1:00 p.m. The game will feature a duel between the 2019 NFL Draft’s first overall pick and sixth overall pick, both quarterbacks.

Daniel Jones will be trying to keep the Giants in the playoff hunt on Sunday, but it will really be up to his defense to contain Kyler Murray and help the Giants get this crucial win.

Kyler Is Tough To Catch

In week six, the Arizona Cardinals did not allow a single quarterback hit on Kyler Murray. Murray has only been sacked once in the last two weeks, but 20 times in the 4 games prior. Logically, the Cardinals have won their last two games when they have protected Murray. In those 4 games with 20 sacks, the Cardinals have lost three of them and tied one.

Kyler has really come into his own these last two weeks and has begun to look worthy of the first overall draft pick that the Cardinals selected him with. Kyler is one of the fastest quarterbacks to ever play in the NFL, even though he did not run at the NFL Combine, it was predicted that Murray would run a sub 4.4s forty-yard dash, possibly even sub 4.3s.

Kyler can be seen on this play putting his extreme speed and agility to work in the pocket, avoiding the sack, extending the play, and delivering a strike deep downfield:

Kyler Has A Plethora Of Weapons

The New York Giants’ defense has been struggling all season so far. The Giants’ secondary is arguably the worst in the league, ranking 31st in passing yards allowed. The Giants have let quarterbacks throw against them at will.

According to Pro Football Focus, there are 15 cornerbacks in the league who have allowed 300 or more yards on receptions as the primary coverage defender so far this season. The New York Giants have three of them — Deandre Baker (394), Janoris Jenkins (351) and Grant Haley (315).

This weekend, the Giants’ struggling secondary will be matched up with a strong receiver group. The Cardinals’ receivers are finally starting to create real chemistry with Kyler Murray.

Murray has been accurate as a rookie, completing 64.3% of his passes with 7.0 yards per attempt. He is throwing to the veteran legend Larry Fitzgerald and the young and talented Christian Kirk. So far, Larry has caught 35 passes for 427 yards and 2 touchdowns, being Murray’s primary receiver. Christian has yet to score a touchdown this season but has been playing a solid second receiver role with 24 catches for 242 yards. The Giants will also have to keep an eye on the Cardinals’ running back, too.

David Johnson is one of the best running backs in the NFL. After dealing with an injury in 2017 and the worst offense in the league in 2018, Johnson has finally returned to form in 2019. David is a dual-threat running back who has rushed the ball 76 times and caught 30 passes. Johnson has accumulated 613 total yards from scrimmage and 5 total touchdowns through six games.

The Giants’ defense is going to have its hands full, but it is coming off of an impressive performance against the New England Patriots. Things fell apart in the second half, but in the first half, the Giants forced the Patriots’ offense to turn the ball over three times and held their offense to only 14 points (since 7 of their 21 came off of the Giants’ special teams debacle).

The Giants’ defense will have their hands full against the explosive Cardinals offense. But luckily, they have some solid pass-rushers playing at a high level. Markus Golden has recorded at least a half-sack in each of the last five games and Dexter Lawrence is PFF’s highest-graded rookie defender of the season so far. Pressuring Kyler Murray and not giving him enough time to get the ball into the hands of his dynamic playmakers is the key to beating the Cardinals this week.

This New York Knicks team has an up-and-down attitude to them

New York Kicks, Allonzo Trier

As fans know, the newest member of the New York Knicks said, “we ain’t taking no sh*t.”  Marcus Morris is trying to be the ring leader in bringing the toughness back to the Garden.

Morris has a gritty, hard-nose, no non-sense mentality.  It appeared in the first preseason game, where he was ejected at the start of the 3rd quarter.  Morris made it very clear that the Knicks ain’t playing.

Kevin Durant came out and criticized the Knicks for not being cool and they responded.  Typically, the Knicks might not have said anything.  This new attitude they have is appealing.  The fans can thank Morris.

Morris’ type of attitude might be contagious to other players on the team.

Julius Randle spoke to reporters about Durant’s comments and the expectations for the Knicks this season.  Morris’ attitude could be rubbing off on Randle.  He said he “doesn’t care” about expectations and that people have been talking about him for all of his six-year career.  The “I don’t care” attitude could translate to the court with their aggressive play on both sides of the ball.

How Randle spoke to reporters had a Morris vibe to it.  Lets not forget, the two spoke together at media day.

Bobby Portis, has had his fair share of attitude problems in the league.  He has gotten into it with teammates and doesn’t back down to anyone on the court.  Portis, along with Morris, just has that demeanor about them where you don’t want to cross them.  This is something that the Knicks have been lacking on the court.

This New York Knicks team will not be backing down from any opponent this season.  They have an air about them where they really aren’t doing to take any sh*t from anyone, except the Atlanta Hawks.

The Knicks also have an attitude of not been fully into to the game.  That was apparent with their play against the Hawks on Wednesday.  Let’s hope that it this team isn’t energetic one game then out-of-it the next.  It seems like it could be that way.  A lot of “dog” talk, no bites just plenty of barking.

New York Jets: Sam Darnold is getting a monster playmaker back

New York Jets, Chris Herndon

The New York Jets offense hasn’t been the same without second-year quarterback Sam Darnold, considering his first game back he managed to overcome a tough Dallas Cowboys team. Beating Dallas on Jerry Jones’ birthday is like celebrating Christmas twice, ask Giants fans.

With the Jets gearing up to face off against a stout New England Patriots team on Monday night, they’re also preparing to welcome back one of their best offensive weapons, tight end, Chris Herndon.

Darnold salivated over the idea of gaining back his security blanket, stating:

“Right now we’re just missing Chris, once all the guys are back together, I think we’re unstoppable as an offense or we can be,” Darnold said after Thursday’s practice. “It’s up to us how we execute or how well we go out there and play.

“It’s really up to us how many points we score, I think. I think we’re capable of scoring so many points. Our offensive line, too, they played well the last game, with the way we’ve been running the ball and the way they’ve been protecting, I think sky’s the limit for us.”

Darnold sliced the Cowboys defense for 338 yards on 23 completions and two touchdowns. The Patriots defense is an entirely different beast, though, as they allowed their first passing touchdown of the season last week against the Giants. Yes, you heard that right, their FIRST passing touchdown of the season.

The Jets undoubtedly have the talent to tack on the second and third, but it comes down to Darnold and if he can carry the momentum into Monday night.

What have the New York Jets been missing in Herndon?

The top tight end for the Jets amassed 502 yards and four touchdowns in 2018 over 12 games started. He’s not only a red-zone target for Darnold, but it was only his rookie season, and working out the kinks in his game was a priority. Going into his sophomore campaign with experience and chemistry with Darnold should make him a deadly option moving forward.

New York Knicks: The point guard position might be in huge trouble

New York Knicks, Frank Ntilikina

The consensus was that New York Knicks point guard Dennis Smith Jr. would look far different this upcoming season, why? Because he’s been spending a ton of time in the gym working on his jump shot – but then again, every play is doing that. Expecting him to elevate his game exponentially doesn’t make much sense, but it’s natural as a Knicks fan to think that way.

How did the point guards perform for the New York Knicks against Atlanta?

Both Smith Jr. and Frank Ntilikina looked abysmal offensively, finishing a combined 2-for-9 from the field. Neither hit a three-pointer on two attempts each and had six assists between them. Shutting down Atlanta’s star player Trae Young, was the task at hand for the point guards, and both got into early foul trouble and allowed him to run ramped for 23-points and nine assists.

Not only was their offense terrible, but their combined defensive efforts looked even worse. Ntilikina’s +/- rating was -7 and Smith finished at +5.

“Absolutely,’’ Fizdale said when asked if Smith was rusty. “Especially offensively. No rhythm at all. He has to play through that stuff and start shaking it off.”

There’s little doubt that Smith isn’t at his peak performance yet, considering the time he has missed, so take that into account when thinking about this narrative. Ntilikina, on the other hand, looks awful and hasn’t been the FIBA World Cup player we all hoped he would be.

Smith has the athleticism and talent to be a top PG in the NBA, but finding his mental game and refining those tools in his shed will be the priority. Mechanics, decision making, awareness, etc.

With the optimism for Dennis, Ntilikina is falling off the shelf a bit. His offense was once again non-existent, but his defense late in the game kept the Knicks involved. He will likely be used in that facet during the regular season – a situational player that is utilized for his defensive qualities.

“We didn’t play the way we wanted to play on offense,’’ Ntilikina said. “But it’s only the third preseason game. We know defensively we can be a good team. The offense will come.’’

I’m not so sure, Frank, the offensive hasn’t come for quite some time.

New York Giants: Just how good has Dexter Lawrence been in his rookie season?

New York Giants, Dexter Lawrence

The New York Giants didn’t expect 17th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Dexter Lawrence, to emerge into one of the league’s top interior lineman in his rookie season. Maybe the Giants brass did, but the perplexed look on the faces of fans didn’t exactly indicate, “happiness.”

Interior defenders aren’t “sexy” picks, but “Sexy Dexy” is rounding himself into a force on the defense and one of the best at his position. In a 3-4 defense run by James Bettcher, the Giants expect their interior defenders to rush the passer as well. Lawrence has been stellar in nearly every category. Earning 17 combined tackles, two sacks, two tackles for a loss and three QB hits, the Clemson product has contributed in many different ways.

The New York Giants have another challenge ahead:

His next challenge will be to stop speedster Kyler Murray, quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals. The No. 1 overall pick from the draft is far smaller than the average passer, making him more elusive and quick. Lawrence believes, though, that he can still catch the little guy.

“In my mind, I could chase anybody,” Lawrence told The Post. “Just let my play do the talking, and if I catch you, I catch you. If I don’t, I’m gonna get you next time.”

At 6-foot-5, 342 pounds, “Big Dex” is equivalent to a meteor plummeting through the Earth’s atmosphere. It takes at least two offensive linemen to slow him down, and that’s usually not even enough.

When it comes to being proactive and a quality football player, Lawrence seems to have figured it out:

“I just try to force myself not to be one of those just big, lazy guys,” Big Dex said. “You can’t coach effort, you can’t coach like athletic ability. If you got it, you got it. So I just take advantage of everything God has blessed me with and use it to the fullest.”

Dexter’s primary job is to plug the A-gaps and keep the opposing running game to a minimum. The forces running backs to bounce the ball outside, and since Lawrence’s counterpart B.J. Hill is also having a solid season, their run-stop grade lands them at No. 9 in the NFL.

Despite the New York Giants’ secondary being a mess and the linebacker corps thin, the men in the trenches have been impressive. General manager Dave Gettleman has done a fantastic job piecing together this unit through the draft.

New York Giants news, 10/18 – Best free agent signing, Saquon Barkley injury update

New York Giants, Markus Golden

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

Nobody expected former Arizona Cardinal and current New York Giants outside linebacker, Markus Golden, would shine in his comeback season after a significant injury stunted his progression.

At just 28-years-old, Golden is finally coming into his own, and once again, it’s with defensive coordinator James Bettcher calling the plays. The defender has racked up an impressive 5.0 sacks this season, already ranking second in his career — the most coming in 2016, his second season in the NFL, under Bettcher (12.5).

He has been stellar for Big Blue this season, making him the most influential free agent signing this season. I cannot imagine general manager Dave Gettleman will not look to extend him towards the end of the season if he can remain healthy and productive. In a high-priced pass-rush market, grabbing a guy like Golden is a rarity. Counting just $3.75 million against the cap this season, his price-tag could jump up to $8-9 million next year, but it would be 100% worth the investment.

Markus is currently tied for eighth in the league with 5.0 sacks, and he will have a favorable matchup against the Cardinals this Sunday. He’s playing for future money, so expect him to continue domination at the line of scrimmage.

Saquon Barkley injury timetable:

Barkley has been going through individual drills for quite some time now, but risking the star running back was not worth the consequences. Barkley stated on Thursday that there was “no doubt” his ankle would hold up in line-action.

The New York Giants’ 2nd overall pick from 2018 suffered a high ankle sprain in week three against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, meaning rookie quarterback Daniel Jones has been without his most valuable asset on offense. Despite losing Barkley, Jones averaged over 30 points in his first two starts. Gaining back the playmaker will only benefit the offensive productivity and, hopefully, give them the edge against Arizona.

Nonetheless–

Your top news of the day:

Andie Hagemann – Saquon Barkley: ‘No doubt’ ankle would hold up

Wally McKeon – New York Giants: Should Daniel Jones’ Recent Struggles Cause Concern?
Michael Eisen – QB Daniel Jones continues to grow as starter
Matt Citak – PFF: Dexter Lawrence highest-graded NFL rookie