New York Giants Ranked In Top 10 In Important Pass Rush Statistic

New York Giants

The New York Giants haven’t been in the top 10 of many good statistics recently, but that changed with the start of the 2020 season. The team was ranked 8th in pass rush win rate according to statistics which were revealed by ESPN. It’s not a common statistic, such as sacks. But to put it simply, the stat measures whether or not rushers beat their blocker within 2.5 seconds.

The Giants are behind a number of teams including the Steelers, Chiefs, and Bills, but are otherwise ahead of most of the league. That’s a change from previous seasons where the Giants found pressuring the quarterback to be one of their most challenging tasks.

Patrick Graham getting more out of the Giants?

Leonard Williams infamously only gave the team half a sack last year, and the Giants were left looking for free agents to help with the pass rush. They not only added Kyler Fackrell, but brought back Markus Golden for another season after he led the Giants in sacks during 2019. They also added a new defensive coordinator, Patrick Graham.

Whatever Graham is teaching the team about pass rushing so far has worked well based on their performance against Pittsburgh.

While the team’s most dedicated pass rushers didn’t get sacks, two players that don’t typically get as many were able to do so: Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence. Williams was also the leading performer on the defensive line with tackles, registering 5 of them in the game.

While the Giants couldn’t come away with the win, it should be encouraging that Patrick Graham’s defense has gotten things out of players who didn’t make as big an impact under the previous administration.

And, for the first time in a while, the Giants are actually one of the better teams in the league in a pass rush category. That will likely play a big role in a win in week two, if the Giants can pull one off in Chicago.

New York Mets: Peterson’s 10 Strikeouts Highlight 7-2 Win

New York Mets, David Peterson

After getting three straight starters lasted no more than two innings, David Peterson had the tall task of stopping the slump the New York Mets starting rotation are in. Peterson went far and above the call of duty striking out a career-high 10 Atlanta Braves in the Mets 7-2 victory.

Peterson lived up to his top prospect status in this big start. He held the Braves to one run over the six innings he pitched. His slider was one of the major reasons his strikeouts were up, and it was impressive to see him shut down a lineup that scored 15 runs the previous night.

In the seventh and eighth, Miguel Castro, Jeurys Familia, and Justin Wilson combined to keep the lead into the bottom of the eighth. It allowed them to add some insurance runs late in the game.

Patience is Key

Braves starter Ian Anderson held hitters to a .130 average but allowed ten walks over 21 innings. They paid close attention to their scouting report, drawing three straight walks to begin the bottom of the first. Robinson Cano got the Mets on the board with a two-run single to the opposite field to give the Mets an early 2-0 lead.

The only other run the Mets got off Anderson was an RBI single from Robinson Chirinos in the fourth inning. Depsite Anderson struggles, Atlanta’s bullpen held the Mets silent until Chris Martin entered in the eighth. He allowed back to back home runs to Dominic Smith and Robinson Cano to being the inning. Brandon Nimmo finished it off with a two-run single to extend the Mets lead to 7-2.

It was a win the Mets needed, as all of the games have become must-win games. The rubber game of the series comes down to Kyle Wright and Rick Porcello. The first pitch is at 1:10 p.m. ET from Citi Field.

UFC Vegas 11 Recap: Colby Covington dominates Tyron Woodley

UFC, Colby Covington

Tonight, the UFC hosted their final fight night in the US before they head over to Fight Island for the next five weeks. This was arguably the most anticipated ESPN card of the summer with such a heated main event.

In the main event of the evening, welterweight rivals Colby Covington (15-2) and Tyron Woodley (19-5-1) finally fought. UFC Vegas 11 delivered an incredible night of fights so let’s dive into the recap of the main card.

Colby Covington dominates Tyron Woodley

The main event of the evening featured arguably the biggest grudge match of the year. Former champions, Colby Covington and Tyron Woodley stepped into the octagon to finally fight. The two top UFC welterweights have been begging for this fight for years.

As the UFC Vegas 11 main event got underway, Woodley immediately pushed forward. Covington seemed really patient to get things going. Both men exchanged leg kicks in the opening minute. Woodley went for a big right, and Covington immediately took Woodley down.

Covington started going to work with the ground and pound. Woodley worked his way back to the fence and used it to get back to his feet. Woodley was able to separate with three minutes left in the round. Covington continued to press forward pressuring Woodley.

Woodley landed a really good right body shot, but Covington countered with a big body kick. Covington landed a big right hand that he used to get back to a clinch. He did a really good job of landing good elbows in the clinch. Very good first round for Covington.

As the second round started, the former UFC interim champion started the pressure again. Woodley tried to throw some big shots, but nothing major came close early. Covington pushed Woodley back to the fence with shots, and immediately started to work from the clinch.

The two men separated, but Covington immediately pushed forward. Covington landed another body kick, but Woodley timed a good takedown. Woodley threatened with a guillotine as Covington defended, but it wouldn’t stick. Covington worked his way back to his feet.

Covington again looked to press Woodley back against the fence. The two men clinched again, and Covington pushed Woodley back to the fence. After they separated, Covington pushed forward with more pressure. Woodley was more active in round two, but it’s still a round for Covington.

The third round got underway with more Covington pressure. Woodley did seem pretty fresh, but an eye poke immediately paused the action. After the action resumed Woodley looked to press forward with big shots. Nothing hit the target and Covington countered with kicks.

Covington did a good job of keeping his hands up. Woodley pushed forward with big shots again, but Covington clinched him and pushed him against the fence. Covington did a really good job of landing some elbows in the clinch.

Woodley could not get off the fence as Covington’s pressure was very heavy. He tried to explode a few times, but Covington just pushed him back. Much less action in the third round, but its’ still a round that should be scored for Colby Covington.

As we entered the main event rounds, Covington continued to push forward with pressure. Covington landed a big headkick as he pushed Woodley back. Woodley landed a few really nice body kicks before Covington shot in and pushed him back against the fence.

Covington finally got the takedown and pushed Woodley to the ground. Woodley started looking a little fatigued from his back. Covington began to work the ground and pound with punches and elbows.

A big elbow bloodied the eye of Tyron Woodley. Covington was really coming on strong with the ground and pound in the fourth round. Covington’s pressure and shots were very heavy in the fourth round. Dominant fourth round for the former interim UFC welterweight champion.

As the final round got underway, Woodley was bouncing on his feet, but Covington backed him right up to the fence. Covington shot in and got another takedown. As Covington started working his top control something happened to Woodley. He winced in pain from his ribs and called for the fight to stop.

An odd finish, but nevertheless, a dominant win for Colby Covington. Covington called out the UFC welterweight champion and UFC’s BMF after the fight was over. A devastating loss for Tyron Woodley who has been dominated in three straight fights.

Eye Pokes lead to a draw in the Co-Main

The co-main event of the evening featured the UFC‘s record holder in virtually every category. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (36-15, 1 NC) was looking to get back on track after four straight losses. Niko Price (14-4, 1 NC) was the man standing in his way of snapping that skid.

As the fight got underway, Price immediately pushed forward with big shots. Cerrone was getting caught early and often. Price was stunning Cerrone with virtually everything he was throwing. Somehow, Cowboy stayed on his feet through the onslaught.

Cowboy landed a couple of big knees which slowed down Price. The two men engaged in a clinch as the pace slowed significantly. Cerrone looked to be regaining his composure while Price was trying to catch his breath. Cowboy landed a few additional big knees in the clinch.

Cowboy landed a big headkick as the two men broke. Cerrone looked to be more confident until an eye poke slowed his pace. After the fight resumed, Price landed a couple of additional big shots. However, Price caught Cerrone with another eye poke. This one loses him a point. The round should be a 9-9.

As the second round got underway, Price continued to push forward. The two men seemed a little more tactical to start the second round. Price landed a big body shot that backed Cerrone told the fence. Cerrone was looking to work the leg kicks as Price worked the jab.

Cowboy landed a big combination that seemed to get Price’s attention. Cerrone really started to find a rhythm with jab in the second. Price seemed more content to counter strike while Cerrone was throwing more combinations.

Halfway through the round, Price started picking up the pace again. Cowboy found himself against the fence and Price really started to throw some serious heat. Price started to pull away with the striking numbers late in the second round. Very close second round that I slightly lean towards Price.

The final round got underway with both men embracing. Price got the action started with some heavy leg kicks. Again, Price was pushing Cerrone back to the fence. Cerrone timed a nice takedown and briefly had Price’s back, but Price got right back to his feet.

The two men then started striking from distance. Cowboy was doing a really decent job of finishing combinations with kicks, but Price kept pushing the pace. Halfway through the round, Cowboy timed another really good takedown and got to Price’s back.

However, this time, Cerrone was able to hold onto the back for about 30 seconds. No damage, but significant control time. Both men then resumed the striking contest. These two were just trading, and both were landing good shots.

With one minute left, Cerrone really started to land the better shots. However, Price kept pushing forward. Cerrone was landing cleaner shots with 30 seconds left. Both men exchanged massive combinations near the end. I gave the final round to Cerrone which makes the fight a draw. The judges agreed scoring the fight a draw (29-27, 28-28, 28-28).

Khamzat Chimaev’s UFC hype train continues

The biggest prospect in the UFC took center stage tonight. Khamzat Chimaev (8-0) was looking to continue to ride the incredible momentum that he gained over the summer. Veteran Gerald Meerschaert (31-13) was looking to derail the hype train.

As the fight got underway, Chimaev could not stop smiling at Meerschaert. Chimaev pushed forward with kicks and pressure. Meerschaert was pressed back to the fence and Chimaev lands one massive right that puts Meerschaert out cold. The Chimaev UFC hype train just went to the next level.

Johnny Walker finishes Ryan Spann in the first

The third fight on the UFC Vegas 11 main card featured a light heavyweight contest between Johnny Walker (18-5) and Ryan Spann (18-6). Spann was looking to remain unbeaten in the UFC while Walker was looking to get back to his old form after two straight losses.

As the first round started, Johnny Walker immediately landed a massive leg kick and followed it with a shot that wobbled Spann. After seeming rocked for a second, Spann shot in and landed a takedown. Walker worked his way back up to his feet, but Spann pressed him against the fence.

Walker was able to break the clinch, but Spann dropped Walker with a massive shot. Spann followed up with some big shots, but Walker regained his composure. Spann dropped him again briefly, but then shot in for a takedown.

In close quarters, Walker started landing massive shots to the side of Spann’s head. Spann seemed rock from the shots, but kept trying for a takedown. Walker landed a massive elbow that crumbled Spann. The ref called a stop to the action, and Walker got back in the UFC win column with a TKO.

Dern’s Jiu Jitsu too much for Randa Markos

The second fight that was live on the UFC Vegas 11 main card was a strawweight contest between jiu jitsu world champion, Mackenzie Dern (9-1), and veteran, Randa Markos (10-9-1). Dern was looking to make it two in a row on her climb in the strawweight division.

As the first round started, both ladies immediately had a big exchange. Dern slipped trying to throw a head kick and landed on her back. Shockingly, Markos followed her to the ground and almost found herself in a triangle.

Dern was really showing off her elite grappling skills. She was able to transition her triangle attempt into having top control. After landing some solid elbows, Dern moved to attacking an armbar. She was able to lock it in, and Markos was forced to tap. Another impressive display and UFC win for Mackenzie Dern.

UFC Vegas 11 final takeaways

UFC Vegas 11 delivered with some excellent fights. Of course one of the big stories of the evening has to be Khamzat Chimaev who decimated Gerald Meerschaert in the first round. Of course the main event was a one sided beating from Colby Covington.

Now, the UFC makes their way to Fight Island for an insane five weeks of fights. It’s going to be fun, and fans should be excited.

New York Yankees: Good news and bad news following 10th straight win

New York Yankees, J.A. Happ

The New York Yankees secured their 10th consecutive win and second of the series against the Boston Red Sox on Saturday evening. By a score of 8-0, the Yankees displayed their offensive fire-power once again, tallying 57 total runs over the past five games.

The Yankees have now won 12 straight games against the Boston Red Sox, the first time since August 1952. Ted Williams was still flying missions in the Korean War at this point, so this should give you a decent idea of how long ago this really was.

Good news and bad news for the New York Yankees:

GOOD NEWS:

There was plenty of good news to go around in the Yankees’ victory. Starting pitcher JA Happ lasted 8.0 innings, allowing just four hits and zero earned runs. He struck out nine batters over 113 pitches. Happ now hosts a 3.25 ERA and has looked stellar since finishing a porous 2019 campaign.

Having finished 2019 with a 4.91 ERA, Happ’s success this year could prove to be expensive for the Bombers. If the former Toronto Blue Jay starts in 10 games or pitches over 60 innings, a $17 million vesting option for 2021 will be triggered. He’s only three games away from earning a one-year deal with the Yankees, which might hurt their chances of finding an alternative next year in the free-agent market.

Offensively, the Yankees were stellar, recording 11 hits and eight earned runs. Four Yankees had two hits or more, with Clint Frazier having a fantastic evening. He was 3-for-4 with three RBIs.

The playoff magic number for the Yankees is now one.

BAD NEWS:

There wasn’t much bad news to extract from the victory, aside from some individual performances. On offense, only two batters weren’t able to record a hit, Aaron Judge and Mike Tauchman.

Nonetheless, Judge managed two BBs, while Tauchman scored a run on a flyout (he grounded into a fielders choice, allowing him to reach first).

The Yankees have one more contest lined up against the Red Sox on Sunday afternoon. With just two series left in the regular season against the Blue Jays and  Miami Marlins, the Yankees are quickly closing in on the postseason. Things are about to get exciting, folks.

New York Yankees: Gary Sanchez heating up at just the right time

New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez

One of the New York Yankees biggest storylines of the 2020 season was the struggles of Gary Sanchez. He looked absolutely lost most days and was even benched at times.

But suddenly, Sanchez has finally hit his stride. Just a week and a half away from the postseason, the Yankees are starting to see the Gary Sanchez that they need.

Sanchez has just 21 hits on the season, but seven of which came just this past week. He’s bat .292 with three home runs and nine runs batted in this week. On Friday, he hit a two-out, game-tying home run in the ninth inning against the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees would go on to win the game in extras, extending their win-streak to nine games.

Another big stat over the past week is a 1.162 OPS for him, meaning he’s getting on base and driving in runs. Over a third of his RBIs have been within the last week as well.

Things are looking up for the New York Yankees. Entering last Saturday, Sanchez entered with a .125 batting average, and has since raised it by over 30 points. Not just that, but the team is healthy again, making Sanchez feel more comfortable in the lineup. In a weeks span, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gio Urshela have all returned from injury.

And as the team has gotten healthier, the team’s gotten hotter. Just two weeks ago, it wasn’t even certain if the Yankees would make the postseason. They were trending downwards and were not healthy. But now, the team’s magic number is down to just two, meaning they can clinch as early as Saturday night.

With a healthy squad and a hot Gary Sanchez, the New York Yankees are looking very dangerous as the postseason nears.

New York Yankees: Aroldis Chapman’s suspension could be delayed until next year

New York Yankees, Aroldis Chapman

Back when the New York Yankees weren’t winning every game they played, they had some trouble dealing with the Tampa Bay Rays. During those games filled with tension, Aroldis Chapman threw behind Mike Brosseau and received a controversial three-game suspension.

That night had a benches-clearing incident and also some salty post-game comments from Rays manager Kevin Cash, who indicated that his team also had several pitchers capable of throwing high-90s heat directly toward the Yankees’ hitters.

The Yankees closer, however, may not have to serve his suspension in the shortened 2020 campaign, which is certainly a welcome development since the season is very short and even three games seem like a lot.

The Yankees’ All-Star closer insists he didn’t do it on purpose

According to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone said today that his All-Star closer could have a second hearing regarding his appeal of the three-game ban stemming from the contest against the Rays.

That development would delay the suspension until next season and allow the lefty fireballer to put the incident behind him for the time being.

Chapman, who had to deal with a bout of COVID-19 to start the season and missed some games, has gone on the record as saying that he didn’t throw at Brosseau’s head on purpose and, per Jack Curry of YES Network, isn’t happy about the length of the punishment.

It is the first time that Chapman has been suspended or punished for an on-field incident in his career. However, he did have to sit for 30 games in 2016 because of a violation of the league’s domestic violence policy.

This season, Chapman has a 3.72 ERA with a 3.71 FIP and a 2.83 xFIP in 9.2 frames. He had a rocky start, likely because of the rust, but has been back to his dominant self as of late and has a 16.76 K/9 mark.

New York Mets: Cespedes’ decision to opt out wasn’t just about COVID-19, per report

New York Mets, Yeonis Cespedes

When negotiating the terms of the 2020 shortened season, MLB and the union agreed on the fact that a ballplayer could opt out of playing because of concerns or fears of COVID-19. Numerous players elected this route, most notably David Price, Mike Leake, Michael Kopech, Marcus Stroman and others. Joining the group is controversial New York Mets‘ outfielder/designated hitter Yoenis Cespedes.

It has been over a month since Cespedes failed to report to a New York Mets’ game, presumably without letting anybody of the team know about his decision to opt out of the season.

But was it only related to COVID-19? Or is the issue a lot deeper? SNY’s Andy Martino investigated and reached some conclusions about the matter.

First off, Cespedes was presumably upset with the Mets ever since they worked to restructure his deal following the ankle fracture that the infamous boar incident produced. He was forced to accept a deep paycut, with some money available through bonuses.

“Paranoid” about the Mets’ actions and intentions

One of those bonuses, a $5 million one for making the opening day roster, was met. But after not seeing his name in the lineup for the fourth game of the season, the Mets’ slugger reportedly was “paranoid” over the fact that the team could be intentionally limiting his playing time so he wouldn’t hit the incentives of his re-worked pact.

According to Martino, Cespedes also wasn’t happy about playing in the DH role. He said playing the outfield helped him feel “engaged” during games. Between the new position, the aforementioned grudges and his perception that the Mets wanted to manipulate his playing time to avoid paying him, the Cuban star decided to quit.

His decision was met with much criticism, but truth be told, he hasn’t been the reason behind the Mets’ inability to accumulate enough wins to contend in the NL East. His replacement, Dom Smith, received an extended opportunity and is now slashing .338/.399/.635 with eight homers and 40 RBI.

New York Giants: Andrew Thomas vs Khalil Mack A Key Matchup To Watch In Week Two

New York Giants, Andrew Thomas

The New York Giants‘ offensive line struggled mightily in Week One. According to Pro Football Focus, the Giants’ offensive line allowed pressure on 52.1% of the team’s pass plays against the Steelers last week. This week, New York has to face one of the best pass-rushers in the NFL.

Khalil Mack is coming off of an impressive Week One performance that saw him record 6 total pressures. Mack, the three-time First-Team All-Pro, will be lining up against rookie left tackle Andrew Thomas this weekend. Thomas played well in Week One against a fierce Steelers defense. But this week’s matchup will be a true test for the rookie.

Mack v Thomas

Rookie left tackle Andrew Thomas made his debut in Blue against one of the best defenses in the league last week. Thomas’s primary task was blocking Bud Dupree. This was a challenge, but Thomas held his own and looked like the best offensive lineman on the Giants in Week One.

In Week Two, Thomas has an even more challenging task at hand. The rookie out of Georgia will be blocking one of the best pass-rushers in the NFL this week. Khalil Mack will likely be Thomas’s toughest blocking assignment of the 2020 season.

Granted, Thomas will not be blocking Mack the entire game. Khalil played 60% of his snaps lined up over the right tackle last week. But the Bears like to move their star pass-rusher around and get the best matchups possible. They will undoubtedly face him off with Andrew Thomas to test the rookie.

Opposite of Khalil Mack, the Bears have another talented pass-rusher. Robert Quinn, coming off of an 11.5 sack 2019 season with the Cowboys, is now a member of the Bears’ defense. Quinn did not play in Week One, though, and he is questionable to play this week. If he does, this matchup will be even more challenging for Andrew Thomas.

Khalil Mack References Justin Tuck as Mentor and Hall of Famer

New York Giants, Chicago Bears, Khalil Mack

Chicago Bears linebacker Khalil Mack, who is preparing to face the New York Giants this Sunday, is one of the top players in the NFL at his position. In 2016, as a member of the Oakland Raiders he was the league’s Defensive Player of the Year.

He is 29 now and he has shifted his focus to winning, rather than individual accolades.

“I want to do a lot individually,” said Mack, “but ultimately, when you think about the individual effort, that comes with winning. That’s the only thing I really care about, man, is winning, at this stage in my career, and getting to the ultimate goal at the end of the season. So I can’t really place too much focus on myself. ”

Mack has begun to mentor the younger players on the Bears’ defense.

“That’s another part that I’m learning, as I get old, to bring guys along,” said Mack. “That’s the biggest thing for me this year: Just leading by example and bringing guys along and winning. That’s pretty much it.”

Mack learned that skill from playing on a Raiders defense with Charles Woodson and former Giants captain Justin Tuck, two players who were named two of 14 first-year nominees for the 2021 class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Thursday.

“Those guys, they let me know early on that time goes by, man,” said Mack, “and you can’t waste any time. It goes by fast. It goes by quicker than you think, and yeah, just knowing that you can’t waste any time You can’t waste any snaps. Every snap counts, and ultimately, winning is everything in this league. That’s the main focus.”

Woodson is a lock to get into Canton. If not on the first ballot, he’ll get in shortly thereafter. Tuck, on the other hand, may not get the call, but Mack believes both players are worthy in his eyes.

New York Islanders: Team Awards Part 1 (Hart Trophy)

New York Islanders, Brock Nelson

The New York Islanders‘ season is officially over. And as sad as it is to hear that for Isles fans, the team took a huge leap this year. There aren’t questions on if the team can make a deep run, but the question is how far now. The Hart trophy is the trophy given to the MVP of the NHL. There is no one on the team who was in contention for the award, but team awards still exist. I will include playoff performance here as well. So, without further introduction, let’s see the winner and runner-ups of the Hart Trophy for the Isles.

Brock Nelson

Brock Nelson was the best player on the Islanders this year, so he takes home the Hart trophy. He finished on 5 points behind Barzal in the regular season. Nelson possesses the best shot on the team by far, and he’s arguably the best two-way forward as well. Nelson’s forechecking is absolutely phenomenal, it’s what makes the 2nd line so dangerous. His playoff play wasn’t superb, but scoring isn’t everything. Nelson is the best shooter, 2nd best faceoff guy, a great penalty killer, and one of the most dangerous weapons the Isles have.

Mat Barzal

I only have to say this once, but when Mat Barzal learns to shoot more, he will win the Art Ross trophy year after year after year. Barzal is outright deadly when he shoots; the problem is, it’s sporadic. Barzal had to be triple-teamed against the Lightning, and still, he got by every one. He’s the best passer in the NHL. He’s one of the fastest skaters in the NHL. The best part is, he’s only 23. The Islanders have a gem in their hands who can become one of the very best very soon.

Anthony Beauvillier

There was a point in the offseason where I said, “there’s no reason for Beau to get resigned; he’s not going to develop soon enough.” Wow, did he prove me wrong. Beauvillier always was the guy for the Islanders all throughout the season. His forechecking is unmatched by anyone. He’s the 2nd fastest player on the team. Beau’s shot has improved vastly; it used to all be just five-hole shots, now he can pick his corners. He’s insanely smart with the puck and creative off the puck. Beau produced tons of memorable moments for the Isles, especially in the playoffs; it’ll be awesome to see him continue to grow.