The New York Giants weren’t the best third down team last year. Or the year before that. The Giants have struggled on both sides of the ball but the defense is notable for coming up just short a lot of the time in 2019, with a number of games where a couple more stops could have put the Giants in a much better position to win.
But they have a new signing who believes third down will be more enjoyable this year. That’s Kyler Fackrell, who was brought in to assist with the pass rush when it looked like there was no way Markus Golden would return.
Golden is back for another year now but the Giants still have the addition of Fackrell, who is looking to repeat his sole season with double digit sacks. Fackrell will have to compete with Golden to get time on the field, but that’s not a concern of his based on his statements.
He’s excited about the talent the Giants have at outside linebacker this year.
Third down to be a fun down in 2020?
“I think weâ€™ve been working, weâ€™ve been getting a lot better in the one on ones and everything. That work has been great. We were watching some clips from last year with pressures and stuff,” Fackrell told reporters. He then praised teammate Oshane Ximines, as well as Lorenzo Carter. “As a rookie, X produced. I think he had four, four and a half sacks, which is awesome for a rookie. The same kind of thing with Zo. Heâ€™s going into his third year.”
But most notably, he says third downs should be better than they were last year.
“Itâ€™s a fun room, itâ€™s a fun group to be a part of. The mixture of us as outside linebackers as well as all the talent in the interior D-line. I think third down is going to be a fun down.”
The Giants getting sacks on third down is an appealing concept, but the team’s pass rush hasn’t been up to par for at least the past three years. This year, there’s a bit more depth on the edge. A chance to change that legacy from recent years.
Time will tell whether or not the players on the current defensive front are able to take advantage of that chance in front of themselves.
If you are a fan of the New York Mets, the last 20 minutes of their game against the New York Yankees was filled with happiness. You found out that Steve Cohen is the last name remaining for the sale of the team, and Amed Rosario walked off, in Yankee Stadium, against Aroldis Chapman. The two-run homer gave the Mets a 4-3 victory and moved the Mets to 15-16 on the season.
The seventh-inning comeback started with an eight-pitch battle, which led to a Jeff McNeil walk. Billy Hamilton pinch ran and ended up stealing second to move in scoring position for Rosario, who was pinch-hitting for Luis Guillorme. He worked himself into a 2-0 count and drove a hanging slider into the empty left-field bleachers for the “road” walk-off.
Peterson Survives Through Four
In his first start off the IL, David Peterson gave the Mets four innings and allowed three runs. He ran into trouble with one bad inning during the third. He allowed all three Yankee runs and walked three in the third inning. If it were a nine-inning game, Peterson likely would have pitched the fifth as well.
Like game one, the Mets bullpen held the Yankees scoreless and gave the Mets a chance to come back. It goes overlooked, but the Mets could have easily allowed the Yankees to pull away through the middle innings.
Dominic Smith led the way once again for the Mets offense. He had two hits, including a double and an RBI. Brandon Nimmo also contributed an RBI double as well and is right behind Smith for the team lead in extra-base hits.
The Mets have not announced a starter for Saturday’s game, but they will face off against J.A. Happ. The first pitch is at 1:05 p.m. ET from Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.
The New York Giants faced off in an intrasquad scrimmage on Friday evening, with the blue (offense) facing the white (defense). The offense escaped with a 23-22 win, with the second string players taking advantage of their opportunities.
Some notable players from the game include Lorenzo Carter, Wayne Gallman, Darius Slayton, and Javon Leake. We will discuss more about their individual performances later on in the article.
Takeaways from the New York Giants’ scrimmage:
To start, head coach Joe Judge stated that Gallman flashed on Friday, scoring two touchdowns, one through the air and one on the ground. After disappearing in 2019 on the depth chart, Gallman showed a lot of improvement and looks like the Clemson running back he once was several years ago.
Joe Judge on Wayne Gallman: He's a guy that's really flashed for us…a guy we've challenged…He showed a lot of improvement for us.
Two players that Joe Judge thinks has had good camps are colt McCoy and Dion Lewis. Both of their successful starts to training camp have rolled over into the scrimmage, which is a great sign for the Giants who need a solid back up at both positions.
Joe Judge said he thinks Colt McCoy and Dion Lewis have had good camps, which extended to the scrimmage.
As for second your quarterback Daniel Jones, Judge stated he was productive, but just like any other preseason game, extracting film was the primary focal point. Utilizing this film to correct mistakes and prepare for the regular season is essential, given the importance of this contest.
It is important to remember that the Giants have three weeks until the regular season starts, and with just two weeks of practice under their belts, mistakes were going to be made. This isnâ€™t the final product.
Joe Judge said Daniel Jones was productive. It's like any preseason game. They need to be critical after watching film to make corrections.
One of the more exciting individual performances from the evening was by Lorenzo Carter. The third-year player struggled in his sophomore campaign, racking up five sacks on the night. He earned two against rookies tackle Andrew Thomas and two on Cameron Fleming. That is quite disheartening for the offensive line, which will undoubtedly be getting a talking to from Coach Marc Colombo.
Judge also mentioned Javon Leake, who broke off a nice run and returned a kick successfully. His two opportunities were well received and might have gone to an upper hand in earning a roster spot with cuts upcoming.
#GIants#Judge – carter has a lot of position flexibility……can play the edge…improved in coverage and in pass rush…..no surprise he played well tonight
A compilation of highlights available via social media.
Your compilation of Giants highlights from tonight's scrimmage!
-Lorenzo Carter with 5 sacks -Wayne Gallman with 2 touchdowns -Leonard Williams almost earned a sack -Darnay Holmes with a pass defended -Darius Slayton with a couple of nice catches#NYGpic.twitter.com/3QFRCDeZQ8
Better late than never was the motto for the New York Mets in game one of their doubleheader against the New York Yankees. Jordan Montgomery kept the Mets offense quiet through the first five innings. The Mets completely changed their approach in the sixth inning to knock Montgomery out of the game and light up Chad Green.
The only run the Mets picked up through the first five innings came on an error and wild pitch to score Dominic Smith. Two quick singles from J.D. Davis and Michael Conforto in the sixth led to Montgomery’s exit. Chad Green came into to pitch to Pete Alonso and had the at-bat that changed the game.
After getting ahead with two fastballs up in the zone, Alonso worked the count back to a 3-2 count. During that time, he fouled one of those high fastballs directly behind home plate, and it showed he finally had its timing. The high heat was the pitch he drove over the center field fence, tying the game at four and lifting a huge weight off his shoulder.
Dom Adds On
It seemed like the Mets offense was done after the following two batters recorded outs. On an 0-2 pitch, Smith smoked a home run into the Yankees bullpen, giving the Mets a one-run lead. Jake Marisnick went back-to-back with him, making it a 6-4 game in his first since coming off the Injured List.
Michael Wacha also returned from the IL and made his first start in three weeks. He struggled to keep the ball out of the middle, and the Yankees got to him for four runs in three innings. Wacha did record seven strikeouts, but the only pitch he had consistent success with was his change-up.
Walker Lockett (2) and Dellin Betances (1) combined for three shutout innings, working in and out of trouble. Lockett’s outing stabilized the game and got out of a bases-loaded jam against Gary Sanchez, which could have pushed the game out of reach early.
Edwin Diaz recorded the save, showing no ailments from his leg cramps. He struck out the side in the ninth, picking up his second save of the season. With Seth Lugo back in the rotation, Diaz eased concerns manager Luis Rojas could have with the electric closer.
David Peterson also returns from the IL in game two of the doubleheader. The Yankees have not announced who they will go with as of 6:45 p.m. Also, the Mets are the home team in the nightcap.
The New York Yankees dominated the first half of game one in a doubleheader against the New York Mets on Friday afternoon. After taking a 4-0 lead in the second inning, the Mets quietly rallied and took a 6-4 lead in the 6th inning when relief pitcher Chad Green blew a potential save.
Entering the series on a five-game losing streak, the Yankees desperately needed to start off with a victory. Utilizing a band of misfits toys as their lineup, most werenâ€™t confident that the Yankees could pull off a win. Those people wouldâ€™ve been correct, despite a fantastic outing by starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery.
FINAL SCORE: 6-4
New York Yankees bad news and good news:
The offense for the Yankees wasnâ€™t necessarily their problem against the Mets in game-one. Leadoff hitter Luke Voit went 3-for-4 with two runs. In the two-hole, Clint Frazier was 2-for-2 with three RBIs and a walk. However, behind them the offense fell off significantly. The only other Yankees who managed to get hits were Brett Gardner, Mike Ford, and Estevan Florial. They collectively had 10 strikeouts, further proving that the reserves arenâ€™t as gritty as previously thought. Interestingly, the Yankees sat Mike Tauchman to give him rest going into the second game of the doubleheader.
Frazier was the most impressive aspect of the Yankees on offense, but Montgomery was fantastic as a starter for the first few innings of the game.
Before giving one run up in the fifth inning, he had struck out six batters and allowed just four hits.
The bad news was predominantly in the latter half of the batting order. From Miguel Andujar down to Tyler Wade, they only recorded one hit and struck out six times. Their lack of efficiency significantly hurt the Yankeesâ€™ chance at pulling out a win. In addition, relief pitcher Chad Green gave up five runs in one inning. Those five runs came off three separate homers.
The Yankees’ pitching continues to degrade and sparks more suggestions that they should be active during the trade deadline on August 31. General manager Brian Cashman is undoubtedly looking at his options and considering what to do.
Thereâ€™s also suspect that DH Luke Voit came up gimpy after running to first base. An injury to Voit would significantly restrict the Yankees from surviving the next few days.
They desperately need DJ LeMahieu to return to the lineup. Slugger Aaron Judge is back on the injured list and will be out for multiple weeks. Starting shortstop Gleyber Torres will also be missing 3-6 weeks with hamstring and quad issues.
ESM’s NASCAR experts return to debate the hot topics heading into the final Cup Series regular season race at Daytona.
ESM’s panel of NASCAR experts is back to debate the sport’s hot topics as the Cup Series ends its regular season in spectacular fashion in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday night (7:30 p.m. ET, NBC). The Xfinity and Truck Series likewise inch their way toward the playoffs with respective events on Friday night (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN) and Sunday afternoon (12 p.m. ET, FS1).
Which do the four turns take the ESB this weekend? Read on for their predictions and thoughts…
Turn 1: For the first time in NASCAR history, Daytona will host a regular season finale, eschewing its traditional July 4th spot. Thoughts?Â Â
Geoff Magliocchetti:Â I was a bit wary of the prospect in the beginning. July 4th weekend at Daytona was a fun, midsummer tradition in the win of the MLB All-Star Game. It felt almost sacrilege to deny The World Center of Racing an American tradition. But, looking at the standings, it’s impossible to deny just how smart it was to give the unpredictable Daytona the final race of the regular season. Daytona desperation is a new kind of chaos, one that can create pulse-pounding moments in the grandstands and behind the wheel. It’s insanely poetic as it is that three drivers at the end of the playoff picture are separated by only nine points. But combine that with Daytona’s propensity to produce unexpected winners…remember Justin Haley last season?…and we could see an unexpected playoff man rise to the occasion. If you think drivers go all-out to win February’s Daytona 500…the first race of the season…just imagine what they’ll do to win a race that determines the NASCAR playoff bracket.
Dylan Price:Â I love the move. Daytona is always the most unpredictable track on the circuit. Yes, intense bubble racing is fun, but what about everyone remotely close to the bubble giving it their all for a win. Everyone has something to prove with the playoffs a week away. Who knows, we may even see a driver come out of nowhere to make the playoffs for the first time in their career.
Nathan Solomon:Â I think that having Daytona as the season finale is overall a good move. It gives anyone that isnâ€™t already in the playoffs a chance to get in with a win and puts more pressure on drivers and spotters. It should also boost ratings since itâ€™s, well, Daytona. On the other hand, someone could get lucky and win and take away a playoff spot from someone already in the hunt. But, the new playoff format has always favored wins, and a win gets you in.
Turn 2: Yet ANOTHER win for Kevin Harvick at Dover; where’s he going to rank in terms of the greatest drivers ever when all is said and done?
Geoff Magliocchetti:Â What Harvick has been doing since the return to the track is not a Hall of Fame case. That was probably happening long before this season began. Instead, it’s a case to be included in the top ten greatest drivers off all-time. One cannot effectively tell the story of American auto racing without Kevin Harvick. The start to his Cup career…replacing the late Dale Earnhardt…was enough pressure to live up to as it was. He had made a strong impact on both the Cup and the Busch/Nationwide/Xfinity Series levels. But for him to go out and continue to not just run strong in, but straight up dominate, race in this new era of no practice or qualifying is nothing short of extraordinary. He’ll perhaps need another championship or two to truly warrant consideration for NASCAR’s “Mount Rushmore”, but the second could very well come this fall at Phoenix.
Dylan Price:Â Harvick has written a hell of a chapter in the book that is his career in 2020. With seven wins and still 11 races to go, Harvick is on pace to contend for the record books in terms of single-season wins in the modern era (since 1972). Not only that, but he and Denny Hamlin are the clear favorites for the championship.
Nathan Solomon: Harvick will no doubt be one of the best the sport has ever seen, and likely a unanimous first ballot hall-of-famer when it comes time. He seems to get better and better each year at Stewart-Haas. His seven wins are so impressive, and all have come after the coronavirus stoppage. This year is a big year for him, as another title would certainly cement his legacy. If he keeps racing for a long time, he may be one of the winningest drivers in history.
Turn 3: Three years, still no win for William Byron. What do you make of his Cup career thus far?
Geoff Magliocchetti:Â To call Byron a downright “bust” would be cruel. His Cup Series debut has been laden with expectations. The hype alone can derail otherwise promising careers and only exacerbate struggling careers…remember Casey “The Next Jeff Gordon” Atwood under Ray Evernham? Additionally, his No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet is not Gordon’s No. 24 Chevrolet, but rather the declining No. 5 that Kasey Kahne left behind with a fresh coat of (Axalta) paint. Thus, it’s not fully appropriate to get down on Byron, who has also been a constant victim of bad luck. But it’s fair to say he could be on some sort of hot seat next season (his fourth at the Cup level and third with Chad Knaus) if he doesn’t get a win. Such a finish at Daytona would certainly go a long way in soothing some concerns.
Dylan Price: To this point, William Byron has not even close to filling the shoes left behind by Jeff Gordon. Byron has yet to tap into his true potential and finds himself on the bubble of the playoffs this year. Rick Hendrick and Gordon supposedly both think very highly of Byron. With that said, on track production is needed and that means a win or at least consistent finishes. So, Iâ€™d say Byron is at a point where heâ€™s underperforming and could find himself looking for a new ride if he doesnâ€™t step up by the end of next season at the latest.
Nathan Soloman:Â William Byron needs to step it up a little bit in he wants to stay at Hendrick for a long time. That all starts this weekend if he can secure a birth into the playoffs. Has he had some bad luck? Yes, he absolutely has. But thatâ€™s no excuse since heâ€™s in the same cars that Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon had extreme success in. Byron could use a win at a track like Daytona and has won a Duel race there in the past. Could luck finally be on his side this weekend?
Turn 4: Which driver outside of the top 16 has the best chance to steal a playoff spot at Daytona?
Geoff Magliocchetti:Â The thing about this Daytona field is that there are so many talented drivers that can steal a playoff spot. Perhaps the most attractive underdog driver is one who has no chance at the playoffs…Ross Chastain is back in a Cup car, taking over the same No. 77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet Haley navigated to victory last July. Chastain, who is competing for Xfinity Series points, was running well in the same car during February’s Daytona 500, but a late crash took him out of contention. He has run two other races in the No. 77, finishing on the lead lap in the latter at Indianapolis. A strong run at Daytona would give him some well-deserved exposure and a chance to impress potential suitors for a new, better-equipped ride next season.
Dylan Price:Â I have a lot of guys Iâ€™d love to eye with this pick. I really would love to see an underdog come from out of nowhere and win. Especially a back of the pack guy like Corey Lajoie could use a career-defining win. Still, outside of the top 16, one guy sticks out to me: Erik Jones. Jones is now without a ride for next season and heâ€™s racing like a man with nothing to lose, and thatâ€™s scary. Jones could win this race and likely lock down a top tier ride for next season, so Iâ€™ll go with him outside of the top 16.
Nathan Solomon:Â Jimmie Johnson is outside the top 16, but could still easily make it in on points. However, I see either Ricky Stenhouse Jr. or Ryan Newman stealing a win to get into the playoffs. Both are known to be pretty good plate racers, and now they have one final chance on the last day of the regular season. Plus, what an awesome story it would be for Newman to win his first plate race back at Daytona after his horrific crash in February.
The New York Jets‘ running back group was just recently strengthened with the addition of Kalen Ballage. He isn’t going to be a starter by any means, but he’s a capable back who adds depth. With Ballage now added to the mix, the Jets’ depth chart is currently as follows, according to ESPN:
The order behind Bell could change a little, but it’s expected to be extremely similar once the season begins. Bell is going to be the workhorse and get the majority of the playing time and touches, but behind him, it’s all open. It seems pointless to discuss the expectations for Le’Veon because they have been spoken about so frequently. Instead, let’s take a look at some expectations and predictions for the three backs behind him.
The future Hall of Fame inductee currently sits third all-time in career rushing yards with 15,347. While his best days are behind him, Gore can still provide key help when needed. Le’Veon Bell can easily be an every-down back but Gore can be used in late-down situations very well. Third-and-short situations are where I see the long-time veteran taking most of his touches. He can pound the ball up the middle to get the one, two, or three yards to move the chains.
Gore most likely isn’t going to have pretty stats this season, but he doesn’t need them. If he can use his experience and intelligence to just keep drives alive, he can be a nice part of this New York Jets offense.
The rookie out of Florida had a solid college career, finishing ninth in career rushing and receiving yards in team history. He will be getting nowhere near the same amount of touches that he’s used to this season, and he knows that. It’s hard to predict just how much he’ll be used, but it’s probably going to be sparingly, at least to start. He’ll be the third back behind Bell and Gore, and he’ll have to show he deserves to get touches.
The question isn’t whether or not he’ll see the field, because he will. He won’t be appearing on every drive, but he should get around 5 touches a game to start. It could be more, it could be less, but it should be around there.
The third-year back has never had the chance to be featured consistently on offense. That will continue with the New York Jets. Across two season in Miami, he started just 6 of the 24 games he played. In his career, he’s totaled 326 yards and 4 touchdowns thus far. Those are very limited numbers in limited playing opportunities. The downside for him now is that he’ll have even fewer opportunities, if he plays at all.
Ballage may never see the field in a Jets uniform, since he was added simply for back-end depth. He’s capable of being a rotational piece in a backfield, and that’s what he’ll be if he touches the field. He seems to be an addition for the potential scenario where injuries diminish the group. Whatever his usage is or isn’t, he adds back-end security for the Jets backfield.
The New York Islanders selected forward, Simon Holmstrom, with the 23rd pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. It was a controversial pick, as most thought he’d fall to the second round. But, he was injured for most of 2018 with hip surgery, a broken thumb, and a concussion. Holmstrom recorded decent stats in the SuperElit Hockey league. Most recently, Holmstrom scored seven goals and had 13 assists in 21 games for HV71 in 2018. Holmstrom would play for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers this year and record eight goals and seven assists in 46 games. As of today, Holmstrom has been put on loan to Vita Hasten in the Swedish league.
Simon Holmstrom was by far the youngest player on the Sound Tigers at just 18 years of age. Due to COVID-19, the AHL season wasn’t supposed to start until December 4th. Loaning off Holmstrom to Sweden, whose season starts September 11th, gives Holmstrom more of a chance to develop quicker. Head coach Barry Trotz calls Holmstrom “a really intelligent kid.” Barry Trotz also gave Holmstrom an extended look during training camp earlier this year.Â And AHL head coach Brent Thompson talks about how excited he is to coach Holmstrom in the future. Holmstrom is on loan for now, but the Islanders can choose to recall him soon.
Simon Holmstrom has a long way to go before he cracks the NHL roster, but he’s on the right track right now. Not too many players come in as a late first-round draft pick and play immediately. There’s a learning curve for all NHL players, and Holmstrom is experiencing this curve right now. The AHL is not some league for only developers; the AHL is a league full of veterans, young, good prospects, and up-and-down NHL players. Holmstrom will have to find his footing in the Swedish league on more time before coming back over.
The future is very bright for the first-round pick. The Islanders have the best coach in Hockey, and really good assistant coaches like Lane Lambert. If Holmstrom listens to his coaches and follows the system, he will be a mainstay in the NHL for a long time. I predict 18 goals and 12 assists for Holmstrom in the Swedish league. Although he’s not a tremendous goal scorer, he makes a ton of smart decisions in the neutral zone. Holmstrom won’t score 30 goals, but he’ll create good offense for the rest of his line. Heads up Islanders fans, the winger you’ve all been clamoring for may be coming soon.
After the New York Mets postponed their game on Thursday, they open up a packed weekend series in the Bronx with their crosstown rival, New York Yankees. They will attempt to fit five games over three days, which includes doubleheaders on the first and last days of the series. All players will wear 42 as their number in honor of Jackie Robinson Day, usually celebrated on April 15.
The current Yankees offense is the equivalent of the Mets’ starting rotation, both completely in shambles and barely giving each team a chance to win. The game one lineup for the Yankees features five hitters batting under .200 and a player making his major league debut. For the Mets, after Michael Wacha, they have no clue who to pitch after that.
Get Back to .500
A series against the ailing Yankees is what they need before they face stiffer competition. The Yankees are not a bad team, but they do not have the talent they assembled when the season began. For Wacha, this is a good lineup for him to face in his first start off the injured list. It does not strike the same fear a lineup consisting of Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gleyber Torres.
It is tough not to speak of sports without mentioning the boycotts and protests that have taken place. After Thursday’s postponement, it seems the Mets heads are a lot clearer and are mentally in a better position than they were yesterday. Assumingly, there will likely be plenty of Black Lives Matter discussions, but nothing points to another postponement this weekend.
If the Mets take four out of five from the Yankees, they can get to .500 with 26 games left in the season. They will get an off day before playing the Baltimore Orioles, which can put them in a good streak towards the end of the season.
It doesn’t seem like it can get any worse for the New York Yankees. In addition to Aaron Judge going on the IL, third baseman Gio Urshela has a bone spur in his right elbow and is currently listed as day-to-day.
Manager Aaron Boone announced in his press conference on Friday that he believes the injury isn’t significant. Urshela reportedly wants to play, but will have the day off. Since Friday is a doubleheader, he will miss two games against the Mets.
After the doubleheader, the Yankees will have three more games with the Mets in two games, making up last weekends series that was postponed due to the Mets having positive coronavirus tests.
The Yankees are entering the second half of the season with just one off-day remaining. That means that starting on Friday, the team will play 32 games in 30 days, and they will be doing so without some of their best players.
Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, DJ LeMahieu, and many others are all on the IL as the team is starting to come down the stretch. The Yankees have lost their last five games and have lacked any offense.
The Yankees have released Luis Avilan, but it’s possible they resign him. Avilan had a 4.32 ERA in 10 appearances this season. Additionally, Estevan Florial will be making his big-league debut on Friday. He will patrol center-field and bat seventh with number 90 going on the back of his debut pinstripes.
Right now, Gio Urshela is not expected to go on the IL, but that could change. We’ve seen Boone say that injuries are day-to-day before, and then the player winds up out for some time. Hopefully, that won’t be the case for Urshela.