New York Giants Defense Can’t Wait To Get At Kyler Murray

New York Jets, Markus Golden

Sunday’s game between the New York Giants and the Arizona Cardinals will have big effects for both teams, with the Giants in particular having a chance to move back to one game behind .500 or to fall three games back from even instead. There’s going to be a lot of factors going into the result, including the performance of both quarterbacks and the injuries for the Giants and how well the team can manage to perform without a full roster of weapons on offense, but there’s one factor in specific that stands out.

That factor is top draft pick Kyler Murray, who like Daniel Jones, has found himself playing as a starter during his rookie year. Despite the two players being taken close together in the draft and playing the same position, though, Murray is a very different type of player from Jones – and most quarterbacks for that matter, which only adds to the threat that he poses to opposing defenses.

Russell Wilson has been one of the top quarterbacks in the league this season, and in the buildup to the game, defensive coordinator James Bettcher made a direct comparison to the Seahawks quarterback.

“I have spent 10 games playing against Russell Wilson in Seattle, so I have seen some guys like this that can buy time with their feet who are accurate and can deliver the ball on time and on schedule, then create some off-schedule plays. They’ve created a good amount of explosives in the pass game off of that,” Bettcher said, speaking of Murray.

And the comparison is one that has spread to more than just Bettcher. Outside linebacker Markus Golden also made the comparison, and even said that Murray is better in one area.

“[Murray] reminds me a little bit of Russell Wilson, but he’s probably a little quicker. He’s pretty quick. He’s like a running back back there playing quarterback, so you’re going to have to keep an eye on him and you’re going to have to have a game plan to be able to get after him. Everybody is going to have to work together because he’s a solid player,” Golden stated.

Murray has seven touchdowns to this point, compared to five touchdowns and six interceptions to this point from Jones, although Murray has an inherent advantage in having played more games. What will the two quarterbacks look like statistically after Sunday’s game? That remains to be seen – but the battle between the two might just decide the game entirely.

New York Giants: Evan Engram Returning To A Favorable Matchup

The New York Giants offense was short-handed in their week six matchup with the New England Patriots. The Giants traveled to Foxborough without Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Wayne Gallman, and Evan Engram. This week, it looks like the Giants will be getting a couple of their stars back.

Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram have been full participants in practice and are said to be ready to go for Sunday’s week seven matchup with the Arizona Cardinals. Fortunately for New York, their tight end will be returning against a team that has been getting torched by tight ends this season.

Tight Ends Have Been Torching The Cardinals

Through the first six weeks of the season, the Arizona Cardinals have struggled to defend tight ends. Week in and week out, the Cardinals’ opposing tight end has gotten the better of them.

Opposing tight ends have been having a statistical field day against the Cardinals averaging 8 receptions and 99.5 yards per game. They have totaled 46 receptions, 597 yards, and 7 touchdowns, too. Here is a game-by-game statistical breakdown of what tight ends have done to the Cardinals in 2019:

Lions: 7 receptions 146 yards 1 TD
Ravens: 10 receptions 127 yards 2 TD
Panthers: 6 receptions 75 yards 2 TD
Seahawks: 8 receptions 83 yards 1 TD
Bengals: 4 receptions 28 yards
Falcons: 10 receptions 138 yards 1 TD

According to Pro Football Focus, here is how the tight end production that the Cardinals have surrendered so far: 56 targets (fourth-most), 46 catches (most), 82% catch rate (second), 599 yards (102 more than anyone else), and seven touchdowns (three more than anyone else).

Evan Engram is coming back against the right opponent. He has a very favorable matchup against the Cardinals and should see a fair share of targets on Sunday, especially considering how well he and Daniel Jones have been connecting this season.

The Strong Daniel Jones To Evan Engram Connection

Since Daniel Jones took over as the starter for the New York Giants, Evan Engram has seen 7 or more targets in each game he has played in. In these three games, Engram has accumulated 16 receptions for 209 yards and 1 touchdown. Engram looked to be in for a career year prior to his injury that kept him out of last week’s game.

Engram was out last week, but he will be back this Sunday and looking to get his career-year back on track with a favorable matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. Evan Engram has a tremendous big-play ability for his position. Here is an example of Evan’s big-play ability against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week three (Daniel Jones’s first career touchdown pass):

New York Giants: Daniel Jones Ready to Take Another Surge with a Restocked Offense

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

New York Giants‘ quarterback Daniel Jones has made strides since taking over the starting job back in Week 3. Now, with weapons on offense back in play, Jones is ready to take another surge.

Daniel Jones burst onto the scene in his debut back in Week 3, leading the New York Giants to a come from behind victory in which he threw for 336 yards and two touchdowns. But since then, Jones has reminded everyone that he is still a rookie and that some growing pains are needed in order to develop for the future.

That’s been apparent in his last two outings, in which Daniel Jones and the Giants offense have faced off against arguably two of the NFL’s premier defenses in the Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots. Jones managed to hold his own and did so without key offensive players like Saquon Barkley and Sterling Shepard in the fold.

Come Sunday however, that is about to change, and we very well may see another surge for Daniel Jones and this Giants’ offense.

New York is welcoming the return of Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram, who both practiced fully on Friday and were cleared for action on Sunday against Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals.

In a battle between the top two quarterbacks taken in the NFL Draft, both Murray and Jones are set to put on display the skills that warranted their respective franchises for selecting them. Only now, Jones has some new weapons around him that should help make his job easier, and provide an opportunity to take another step forward.

Daniel Jones has not played a single snap with his offense together at full health (meaning his top weapons in Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard, and Golden Tate). Shepard has been ruled out once again on Sunday, but three out of four is better than none.

The Giants have mustered just 64 and 52 rushing yards respectively in their last two outings, and despite missing nearly half the season Saquon Barkley is still the Giants’ leading rusher. His presence in the backfield should keep defenses honest and allow Daniel Jones’ more opportunities to be aggressive in the air.

After missing last week’s game against New England, Evan Engram will look to get right back where he started. Engram leads the Giants in catches (33), receiving yards (373) and touchdown receptions with two this season. After averaging just 171 yards passing in the past two weeks, Jones has a great opportunity to attack through the air with Engram back and suited up.

Games like Jones’ electric debut against Tampa Bay may very well be on the horizon, especially with a favorable schedule with a majority of games at home coming up. Without so many offensive weapons, Jones had a tall task at hand but very much held his own.

Now, he has a restocked offense to take another surge, and there is no better opportunity to do so then when the number one pick Kyler Murray and the Cardinals come to MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

New York Knicks: Implementing Defense Sooner Than Offense May Be a Great Strategy

New York Knicks, Allonzo Trier

The New York Knicks started the preseason with their offense looking mostly stagnant. A offense that lacks precise ball movement allows opposing defenses to collect itself. Once opposing defenses get comfortable guarding the stagnant offense ran by the Knicks, turnovers begin to pile up. All of a sudden, the Knicks are on the opposite end of a 12-2 run.

David Fizdale and his coaching staff been harping on defense during practices all training camp and preseason. Defense is definitely priority for the Knicks, however, poor offense can be detrimental to any defense. Therefore, Once the offense and chemistry for the Knicks catch up, the Knicks defense will begin to flourish especially if Knick players are still sold on the gritty tough style of defense Fizdale wants them to play.

Fizdale has belief in the Knicks offense, which is why he’s letting the offensive side of the ball take care of itself for now. As the season goes on, more offense will be taught. The New York Knicks has a plethora of young talent at the guard position. The more an offense play together, the more chemistry and trust they build and it clearly shows on the court. Lots of player rust is being shaken off during preseason by certain players fighting for rotation minutes. Therefore, it’s extremely crucial for Knick fans to stay patient because the true product might not reveal itself until the middle of the season once everybody is fully acclimated with one another on the basketball court offensively and defensively. The Knicks could very well flourish during the second half of the season.

Overall, the New York Knicks have an improved team this season. No fan should mention tanking at all. It’s a process which must be trusted and defense will catapult the change that Knick fans been drooling for.

New York Knicks: Elfrid Payton Starting Could Be An Indictment On DSJ And Ntilikina

New York Knicks, Elfrid Payton

The New York Knicks have a plethora of guards fighting for playing time all through training camp and preseason. Elfrid Payton, Dennis Smith Jr., and Frank Ntilikina are the main point-guard candidates, however, some think Elfrid Payton shouldn’t have a chance at winning the point guard battle, and it’s not even because they don’t believe Elfrid’s a pretty good serviceable point-guard capable of an impressive triple-double at any given moment and on a nightly basis. The narrative amongst some fans indicates DSJ and Ntilikina should have enough individual talent to put up a better fight for the point guard position. The concern is now about Ntilikina and Dennis Smith Jr. not being good enough to start which could become an indictment against them especially if Elfrid Payton wins the job at point guard.

This scenario is making some fans question their evaluation of talent at the point-guard position especially after watching DSJ’s first game back after missing scrimmages and preseason games due to a lower back strain. Fans were also concerned with Ntilikina’s poor shooting and Elfrid Payton’s three-point bricklaying company he started this preseason. The question now is whether or not the Knicks actually have any serviceable point-guards at all to lead the way. Some Knick fans even feel comfortable with RJ Barrett becoming the starting point-guard instead. The faith is definitely shaky amongst Knick fans when it comes to point-guard play.

Only time will tell and fans must not forget it’s still only preseason. Dennis Smith Jr. is working himself back into shape after rehabbing his sore back, Elfrid Payton is learning his new teammates, and Ntilikina is still learning as well especially after being hindered by an injured groin a season ago. This Knicks roster is having defense drilled into them constantly because the coaching staff understands the current personnel lacks sharpshooters and elite scoring.

New York Knicks: How Will Allonzo Trier factor into the 2019-20 season?

New York Knicks, Allonzo Trier

New York Knicks combo-guard Allonzo Trier played a total of 25 minutes in preseason so far. The last game Knicks played, Allonzo Trier was a DNP. It has been a head-scratching scenario and sequence regarding playing time for the Knicks scoring guard Allonzo Trier. Now is the time to wonder how the New York Knicks undrafted second-year scorer will factor into the crucial 2019-20 NBA season.

Is it possible that Fizdale and his staff already know what they have in Allonzo Trier which leads them to give newer additions more opportunities? That definitely could be the case. If so, there should be no concerns about Allonzo Trier’s playing time as the regular season approaches. Besides, if Trier can continue shooting the three-ball efficiently regardless of improved volume, then there should be nothing to worry about. Especially with the shooting woes of Payton, DSJ, and Ntilikina.

RJ Barrett has been a pleasant surprise throughout the preseason for the Knicks even though he also struggled with shooting from the field and the free-throw line. However, Trier must be a spark off the bench that can not only score the basketball, however, he must also be able to play plus defense and facilitate an offense. If Allonzo Trier improves his playmaking ability, watch out!

Allonzo Trier has the ability to be a quality sixth man off the bench for scoring. The defense must improve for the second-year player out of Arizona. The former Wildcat must continue working hard on his playmaking ability. Fans of Allonzo Trier will have to be patient because there’s definitely a strong possibility of a sudden boost in playing time for the natural scoring Seattle native.

New York Knicks need to trade Frank Ntilikina while there’s still time

New York Knicks, Frank Ntilikina

With the point guard position battle becoming somewhat of a joke for the New York Knicks, they must find value where there currently is none. Dennis Smith Jr. has the potential to develop into a good player, but his first preseason game was nothing but disappointing as he made just one shot from the field.

Frank Ntilikina was once again ineffective on the offensive side of the ball, earning just one basket on four attempts over 21 minutes. Both players struggled mightily, and veteran Elfrid Payton has also been quiet in his first games with the Knicks. The position is seeming to be one of weakness, and Ntilikina surely isn’t providing any significant value to help push him over the trade-rumor hump.

Should the New York Knicks trade Frank Ntilikina?

Realistically, getting any value from Ntilikina, who seems to only show up on defense, is the best move at this point. Despite making a few solid defensive stops towards the end of the game in the loss to the Hawks on Wednesday, he contributed in allowing Trae Young to thrash the Knicks for 23 points and nine assists.

Rumors of the Detroit Pistons having an interest in Frank should be a glowing light at the end of a rather disappointing tunnel for the Knicks. Yes, some players take time to develop into their own, but the issues for the Frenchman are purely fundamental. He lacks consistency driving to the hoop and doesn’t have the strength to muscle his way into the paint. Ntilikina is a smooth player that ultimately lacks the hit-rate from the field and succession in the paint to be a quality player in the NBA.

Some things you cannot teach, and it seems as if Ntilikina will forever be plagued by his inability to score. He’s currently averaging 5.3 points per game over 21 minutes in the preseason, which is incredibly low, considering this is the period where teams are testing different players and schemes.

If the Knicks could find a suitor willing to part with a second-round pick, they shouldn’t even think twice about taking it.

Could the New York Giants trade Eli Manning to the Kansas City Chiefs?

New York Giants quarterback, Eli Manning.

With Kansas City Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes going down with a dislocated patella (knee cap) on Thursday night, the potential for trade has opened up, and New York Giants veteran passer Eli Manning could be included.

Can the New York Giants even trade Eli Manning?

Let me start by saying; there’s about a 1% chance Manning gets traded, considering his no-trade clause and desire to stay in New York for the remainder of his career. Uprooting his family to move to a city in the mid-west makes little sense, especially when his kids are in school and established.

However, Manning heading to the Chiefs for the remainder of the season doesn’t sound all too unrealistic. There are a few significant road-blocks in a potential deal, aside from his no-trade clause. His cap-hit, being $11.5 million at this point, would have to be split with the Chiefs, so they would take on a huge hit to sign a quarterback that might not even be as good as Matt Moore, their current backup.

From Darryl Slater of NJ.com:

Manning’s 2019 salary is $11.5 million, and the Chiefs would have to pay the prorated amount of that, depending on when they traded for him. Since there are 10 weeks left in the regular season after this week, the Chiefs would owe Manning 58.8 percent of his salary (10/17th) — or $6.76 million.

 

And they’d have to give up something for him, obviously. Likely a mid-round draft pick. The Giants, meanwhile, might as well consider getting something for Manning, who is done with the organization after this season anyway.

 

Manning, for all his flaws, would be a clear upgrade from the Chiefs’ current No. 2 quarterback, Matt Moore.

However, if the Chiefs did express interest in Manning, what would be his incentive to make a move? For the Giants, they would love to send Eli off in the best way possible, but if he’s keen on continuing to play, taking his talents to a contending team could be well worth the move. The Giants have already moved on to Daniel Jones, but that’s no indication of disrespect, as they have stuck by Manning through far worse situations.

The reality is, Big Blue has been good to Manning, despite providing him with terrible talent over the last few seasons. He has won two glorious Super Bowls and lifted the franchise in the face of adversity. He’s a staple for every Giants fan over the age of 20, and keeping him as a symbol of their past success is necessary. So, while the idea of trading Manning and dumping his massive contract on to Kansas City might sound appealing, his deal ends after 2019 regardless, and this will likely be his final season in Blue.

New York Giants news, 10/19 – Sterling Shepard’s return imminent, Saquon Barkley unleashed

New York Giants, Sterling Shepard

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

While New York Giants’ top wide receiver Sterling Shepard will miss Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals, his recovery is going far better than most anticipated initially. After suffering his second concussion of the season against the Minnesota Vikings in week five, Shepard was forced to miss last Thursday’s gamer against the New England Patriots.

Some believed that Shep could miss several months, as numerous concussions in a season can be detrimental to one’s health. The pass-catcher has been sporting yellow non-contact jersey during individual drills in practice, but his designation against the Cardinals is “out.”

However, there’s hope that he will return against the Detroit Lions next week, but that’s still uncertain.

In the absence of Shepard, Golden Tate and Evan Engram will see increased roles. Engram is returning after missing last week due to a sprain MCL. Having the tight end available will be a massive boost for rookie quarterback Daniel Jones, considering how successful they had been together before the injury.

Engram is a massive part of the offense and has been a focal point so far this season. Racking up 373 yards and two scores over five games, he’s on pace for 1,119 yards (includes missed game) and six scores. He would not only be the Giants’ best receiver if those numbers come to fruition, but he’d be an established option for Jones moving forward. In just his third season, the Giants still have control over him for two more seasons, which is a very positive fact.

Saquon Barkley making a return:

Saquon Barkley will be available against Arizona on Sunday, as well as backup, Wayne Gallman. Barkley has been taking his high ankle sprain day-by-day but stated earlier in the week that it would be able to hold up in live-action. The Giants will undoubtedly take the safe route with their star running back, but at 2-4, they have no time to waste.

I anticipate the Giants fully unleashing Barkley, as playing him conservatively would not be worth activating him. If he’s ready to go, we should expect him to get close toa  full workload.

Nonetheless–

Your top news of the day:

Zach Braziller – Giants reaching full strength with Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram returns

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

Ed Valentine – Giants’ Markus Golden returning to pass rush excellence

Zach Braziller – Giants’ Jabrill Peppers gives blunt take on his own game

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

How the New York Yankees can steal game six of the ALCS against Houston

New York Yankees, Didi Gregorius, Aaron Judge

The New York Yankees grinded out a phenomenal victory against Justin Verlander and the Houston Astros in their final home game before heading down south. Staving off elimination was no easy feat for the Bombers, who rode a four-run first inning to victory, thanks to a DJ LeMahieu leadoff homer and a three-run blast by Aaron Hicks shortly after.

Verlander was immediately stunned and will undoubtedly be disappointed in his performance Friday night, but he did manage to work his way into the seventh inning without allowing a run after his porous first-inning.

The Yankees have a tall task ahead of them in Houston; however, they may hold the advantage due to their solid bullpen. Game six of the ALCS will be what some call a “bullpen game,” as both teams will tap into their reserve pitchers to help either tie the series or close it once and for all.

The Yankees have the advantage in this category, as their bullpen has been stellar throughout the season, but the ALCS has imposed its will at times. The Astros have quality hitters up and down their lineup, which has proven to be difficult, especially in game four, when Chad Green allowed a three-run blast to Carlos Correa to secure the win for Houston.

Green, who has an 11-4 record when opening games this season, will help give the Yanks a running start on Saturday night, a quick turnaround due to a lost game on Wednesday (bad weather).

It seems, though, that starter James Paxton has been the catalyst for the Bombers, as he’s been at the forefront of both their wins, in games one and five. His 112 pitches across six-innings were the headline of the game, as he mowed down nine batters, allowing just four hits and one run. Unfortunately, he cannot pitch every game.

To win game six, the Yankees have to utilize their bullpen strategically. Green needs to take them into the third inning without giving up any significant damage. It’s also possible they elect to star J.A. Happ, despite his struggles this season. If he can step up to the plate and offer three good innings before handing the ball over to Green, that would be more than acceptable.

Here’s the predicted pitching order for the New York Yankees on Saturday:

1.) J.A. Happ

2.) Chad Green

3.) Zack Britton

4.) Tommy Kahnle

5.) Adam Ottavino

6.) Aroldis Chapman

This order will give them an experienced starter to open the game, a trusted relief pitcher to carry them into the latter portion of the contest, and then their primary closers to finish off the Astros. Now, it all comes down to Gary Sanchez catching the ball and not letting pitches fly by him at an astronomical rate. Sooner rather than later, manager Aaron Boone will need to plug LeMahieu in at catcher.