The New York Giants managed one win without their starting quarterback when they took down the Seahawks in Seattle, but not many fans want them to try repeating the task of winning with a backup. Even though the Giants pulled out a win, it was clear they needed Daniel Jones for their passing attack to get back to what it could be. However, they may just have to put Colt McCoy in for at least one more game thanks to Jones still being questionable because of his hamstring injury.
Questionable is how he was listed on the Friday injury report for the Giants, and with only one day to practice left before the game, things aren’t looking so great on this front. A hamstring injury, of course, can have varying recovery times. Some players have bounced back from them very quickly and other times players have been taken out for months by them. It depends on the severity of the injury. With Jones, it was originally assumed he would only miss up to a week. But that may not have been an accurate prediction.
Giants show little indication that Jones will start
“Look, I’m fairly optimistic. At the same time, there is a ways to go and we have to be fair to him. I’m going to talk with the trainers and medical team and coaches to make sure we’re all on the same page and do the right thing by this guy,” Giants head coach Joe Judge said on Friday about the injury situation.
If they do have to start Colt McCoy, they’ll be putting in a player that went 13 for 22 with 105 yards, a single touchdown, and a single interception last Sunday. Despite McCoy’s best effort, it was largely the defense that won the game for the Giants.
It doesn’t look like the Giants are trying to rush Jones back as fast as possible, and are preserving his health instead. That’s despite the fact that, for the first time in years, these December games mean something for the team’s playoff hopes.
The Cardinals are a 6-6 team headed into this game, so it doesn’t appear the Giants are entirely out of it if they have to start McCoy once again. But unless the passing attack improves without Jones, all other areas of the team will have to have peak performance for the team to win.
The New York Giants earned a clutch victory over the Seattle Seahawks last week. New York’s formidable defense shut down Russell Wilson and the Seahawks’ high-flying offense, helping backup quarterback Colt McCoy earn a victory in place of the injured Daniel Jones.
This week, the Giants will play another NFC West team. New York will host the Arizona Cardinals in another crucial matchup with major playoff implications. The Giants are hoping to have their second-year starting quarterback Daniel Jones back from injury. Jones missed the Giants’ Week 13 matchup after injuring his hamstring in the Giants’ Week 12 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.
All reports on Daniel Jones’s health have been positive this week, though, as he aims to play on Sunday. If Jones is out there, it will be a battle between the top two quarterbacks taken in the 2019 NFL Draft. Arizona’s quarterback, Kyler Murray, was the first overall selection in last year’s draft. The Giants drafted Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick in 2019.
Both of these quarterbacks, Jones and Murray, have made significant improvements in their sophomore season. One area where both of these young signal-callers have excelled this season is the deep-passing game. Kyler and Daniel have been two of the most accurate and efficient quarterbacks in the NFL on throws traveling over 20 yards.
Daniel Jones & Kyler Murray going deep
According to Pro Football Focus, Daniel Jones and Kyler Murray have the first and second highest passer ratings on 20+ yard throws. Daniel Jones ranks first with a passer rating of 143.1. Kyler Murray ranks second with a passer rating of 129.2.
When throwing passes 20+ yards down the field, Kyler Murray has not thrown an interception. He has thrown 8 touchdowns and totaled 691 passing yards on 20+ yard passes.
Daniel Jones has not thrown any interceptions deep either, but he has not gained as much yardage or thrown as many touchdowns as Murray. Jones has thrown 5 youchdowns and totaled 535 passing yards on 20+ yard passes.
Both of these quarterbacks have turned into gunslingers in their second seasons. Murray and Jones have been aggressive when throwing downfield, but also efficient. The Giants and Cardinals both possess excellent defenses, but if these two gunslingers get hot, we could see a deep-ball shootout in MetLife on Sunday.
In fact, the rookie has been leaning on Randle among other Knicks frontcourt players to learn the league’s ropes.
“I’ve been matched up against Julius Randle, Nerlens [Noel], and Mitch [Robinson] sometimes. Playing against those guys, they gave me a lot of feedback. They’re great guys especially Jules. He’s been helping me throughout this whole process,” Toppin told reporters via zoom call ahead of his preseason debut against the Detroit Pistons at 7 p.m. Friday E.T.
“I’ve been getting extra shots up, and watching films. He’s been teaching me a lot. He’s been in the game a little bit. So I’m just taking in everything those guys are telling me and getting better every day,” he added.
Both players play the power forward position, although Toppin has played as a small-ball center in Dayton. Based on their scrimmages, Toppin could see minutes at both positions depending on the matchups.
Before Randle took the rookie under his wings, the former Kentucky star said they could co-exist.
â€œHe can shoot it and run the floor. So I think weâ€™ll be able to complement each other well,â€ Randle said.
Tonight will be the first time we’re going to see whether there should really be a cause for concern or not.
Toppin, one of the oldest rookies, has been a picture of composure so far. His maturity has been above the class. The rookie’s measured approach is the exact opposite of the dysfunction that plagued this Knicks team for a while.
His underdog story has taught him that everything should be earned and nothing is given. So he exactly knows he needs to earn his spot behind the veterans.
“You come into a league where everybody is getting money to provide for their families. They’re gonna do everything in their power to not get their spot taken. It’s a competitive league but it’s also a brotherhood. So going into this team like everybody is competing, everybody is doing what they have to do to stay on the court, but at the same time, they respect you,” Toppin said.
“You’re there for a reason. They’re gonna help you every step of the way. Everybody’s been helpful since Day One.”
Toppin’s focus is not to win the starting job but rather the game.
It’s been exactly nine months since the Knicks last played. On the other hand, Toppin has been preparing all his life for this moment to step on the NBA floor.
“The time is finally here so I have the opportunity to say I’ve been on the court with NBA guys and we’re gonna work to get a W today,” Toppin said.
As the season nears its merciful end, Adam Gase and the New York Jets are running out of defenders due to injury.
In an ironically cruel sense of timing, Adam Gase and the New York Jets are in desperate need of help in the secondary as a matchup with Jamal Adams looms.
Gase had a dire outlook on his secondary’s injury situation, as he began his Friday statements by declaring that safeties Ashtyn Davis (foot) and Bennett Jackson (hamstring) will miss Sunday’s visit to Seattle (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS). Further ailments on the offensive line, including Greg Van Roten (toe) and injured-reserve listee Alex Lewis (non-football), had Gase joking that he was “looking for volunteers” to finish out the season.
“We have a plan as far as if we had anybody go down, we cross-trained multiple guys,” Gase said, per notes from the Jets. When it comes to the defense, Gase said “We do have two guys that have had some experience playing back there that are ready to go if we have any kind of injury.”
Marcus Maye and Matthias Farley are the only current safeties on the roster with NFL experience. Former Giants draft pick Corey Ballentine has mostly worked on special teams, while practice squad reps Saquan Hampton (a Rutgers alum) and Zane Davis could also be considered. First-year defender Elijah Campbell has also been called up to the active roster. Offensively, rookie draft pick Cameron Clark could take over for Van Roten, who has partaken in 93 percent of New York’s offensive snaps this season.
It sets up quite a conundrum for the Jets (0-12), who will be playing the first of four games under interim defensive coordinator Frank Bush on Sunday. Bush, formerly the team’s inside linebackers coach, is taking over for the ousted Gregg Williams, who was let go after a questionable defensive play call at the end of their latest loss, a 31-28 decision at the hands of the Las Vegas Raiders last weekend.
“These kids have always been resilient,” Bush said of his unit this week, per Jets notes. “One of the most unique things about our players is that, when they hit the field, they hit the field running. They come out with the right intent. The attitudes have always been good. Iâ€™m yet to see one day when they come out with a bad attitude and we have to push them to go. We just have to make sure theyâ€™re going in the right direction.”
Bush and his group did receive a bit of good news as they go into a dangerous matchup with a Seattle offense boasting the talents of Russell Wilson and DK Metcalf: Gase announced on Friday that he expects Bless Austin to return to the lineup alongside rookie Bryce Hall. Austin, another former Scarlet Knight from Piscataway, has struggled to gain momentum after a strong rookie season after spending time on injured reserve with a neck injury. He was activated this week alongside tight end and fellow sophomore Trevon Wesco. Lamar Jackson will serve as a reserve, should Austin make his start as anticipated.
Around this time of the year, but in 2019, Carlos Beltran was supposed to take over as the manager of the New York Mets. He was a well-respected veteran fresh off retirement two seasons ago, in 2017. He had played with the Mets and was seen as a passionate baseball man. Still is, to be fair.
However, the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal came to prominence, and executive Jeff Lunhow and manager AJ Hinch were suspended for their roles. MLB fined the team and took away a couple of draft picks. As it turns out, Beltran was heavily involved in the scheme, which took place in 2017 (his last playing season.)
The New York Mets decided to part ways with Beltran and replaced him with Luis Rojas. However, Darrly Strawberry, a man who believes in second chances himself, has Beltran’s back.
The Mets elected to look elsewhere after the scandal
“Carlos is a wonderful guy. Everybody makes mistakes and falls short in some areas, but I think he deserves another chance, no question about it. I thought the Mets should have stuck with him, and looked at who he is as a person. … Heâ€™s a wonderful guy, a wonderful player, and a wonderful student of the game. He will help so many young players learn how to play at the highest level, because thatâ€™s where he played.”
Beltran was one of the league’s premier outfielder in the mid-to-late 2000s. He played there from 2005 to 2011, and performed admirably as a player.
He was the man chosen by the Wilpons to manage the Mets this past season, but the sign-stealing scandal aftermath was too much to handle for the former owners.
That night, Figueiredo was able to successfully defend his title against Alex Perez. Perez was the fourth ranked flyweight contender, but the UFC gave him the title shot. Figueiredo was able to submit him in the first round.
It’s been an incredibly dominant year for the UFC champion. He started things out by starching Joseph Benavidez back in February. That fight was supposed to be for the vacant flyweight title, but Figueiredo missed weight.
They rematched in July and Figueiredo finished Benavidez quicker than he did the first time. A sensational 2020 has book the UFC flyweight champion on the map and he looks like a destroyer that the division has truly never had.
The challenger tomorrow night is Brandon Moreno. Despite being the top ranked contender in the UFC‘s flyweight division, Moreno didn’t get the title shot a few weeks ago. Instead, he took on Brandon Royval and he won by TKO.
Since returning to the UFC in September of last year, Moreno has gone 3-0-1 with wins over Royval and Jussier Formiga. Moreno is looking to become the UFC’s first Mexican born champion tomorrow night.
UFC 256 Prediction
This is such a fun matchup and honestly it’s the matchup we should have had at UFC 255. Moreno is clearly the top contender in the division if you ask me. He’s got very good striking skills and we’ve seen him show off his grappling.
What’s impressed me in his last few fights is how he beats opponents at their own game. People expected Brandon Royval to have the grappling advantage, yet Moreno dominated the grappling at UFC 255.
He’s strong wherever the fight goes and you know he’s going to be prepared. However, he has an extremely tall order tomorrow night. Deiveson Figueiredo is not your normal flyweight. For lack of a better term, he’s a destoryer.
He has incredible power for a flyweight. On top of that, he’s incredibly slick on the ground and can submit you from anywhere. Now that he has his weight under control, the UFC champion truly doesn’t have a weakness in his game.
What concerns me for Moreno is I’ve seen him struggle against power punchers. See the Alexandre Pantoja fight as an example. I’m worried that Figueiredo’s power is really going to throw off Moreno tomorrow night.
If Figueiredo wasn’t the champion, I truly believe that Brandon Moreno could be. However, Figueiredo is the champion and he stands in Moreno’s way tomorrow night. Unfortunately for “The Assassin Baby”, I don’t think the belts going anywhere.
ESM looks back on the winning moves that propelled Beane to a multi-year extension with the Buffalo Bills.
The Buffalo Bills’ 2020 season, one that’s on pace to end with an AFC East title, carries on, but they’re already welcoming back crucial pieces for the journey moving forward. On Thursday, the Bills brought back the architect, signing general manager Brandon Beane to a multi-year extension. Beane took over shortly after the 2017 NFL Draft, replacing the departed Doug Whaley.
â€œBrandon is an outstanding leader, and he has brought a great level of stability throughout our organization. One of the things we appreciate and respect about Brandon is that he is very thorough in his decision-making process,â€ Bills owners Kim and Terry Pegula said in a statement on the team website penned byÂ Maddy Glab. â€œNo decision he makes comes without a great deal of study and research. We appreciate his strong communication skills, and he works extremely well with us, with Sean, and with all levels of the organization. We are happy to extend his contract and to have Brandon and Sean leading our football team for many years to come.â€
Under Beane’s tenure, the Bills have ended a franchise-long playoff drought, reaching two of the past three postseasons. Buffalo is also one of a dozen teams in the NFL with a winning record since 2017 at 34-26, good for sixth in the AFC.
How did it get to this point? ESM looks back on the finest moves of Beane’s era to date…
All-In on Allen
Sammy Watkins left behind a complicated legacy in Buffalo. Flashes of brilliance were apparent…it’d be silly to say otherwise after 2,029 yards and 15 touchdowns over his first two seasons…but Watkins had trouble staying healthy over the latter stages of his third season and later expressed dissatisfaction with his role with the team, leading to Buffalo declining his fifth-year options. Watkins has since earned redemption as a postseason hero in Kansas City, primarily through a 38-yard reception that changed the direction of Super Bowl LIV.
Either way, Watkins’ time in Buffalo had run its course by the time Beane arrived. In the midst of preparation for the 2017 season, Watkins and a sixth-round pick were dealt to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for cornerback E.J. Gaines and a second-round choice. Buffalo held onto that pick, eventually shown to be 56th overall, all the way through draft day, when they send it off again, this one going to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The swap involved exchanging first-round choices, moving the Bills up from 12th to 7th, and Buffalo sending both of their second-rounders over (Buffalo also obtained a seventh-round choice, the penultimate pick of the draft).
With that first-round choice, Beane opted to take Josh Allen, the third quarterback chosen in a highly-publicized throwers’ class. In the vein of Allen fan Rainn Wilson/Dwight Schrute going from a thumbtack to a telescope through “the art of the swap” on The Office, Beane was able to turn a disgruntled wide receiver into a franchise quarterback.
Perhaps the one downside to Allen’s emergence is the fact that his 2018 drafting has somewhat blurred the success of linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, who went nine picks after the quarterback. More draft day dealing from Beane, this one through collaboration with Baltimore, allowed them to move up six spots to the 16th overall pick, where they chose Edmunds.
The linebacker has been one of the most consistent contributors in not only the Bills lineup but in the NFL today. Last season, quarterbacks had a 76.3 passer rating when throwing in Edmunds’ area in a year that also saw Edmunds earn 10 tackles for a loss and a safety. He was rewarded with a Pro Bowl nomination at the end of the campaign, shortly after he earned 12 tackles, a sack, and a fumble recovery during Buffalo’s playoff cameo in Houston.
In addition to the Thursday acquisitions of Allen and Edmunds, Beane managed to find a strong contributor after Mr. Irrelevant had heard his name called.
Wallace was a big part of Alabama’s 2017-18 national title trek, but his name wasn’t called during the selection meeting due to criticisms about his size and speed. Buffalo took him as an undrafted free agent and he has since gone on to become one of the team’s biggest defensive stars. While this season has been marred by both injuries and time spent on the COVID-19/reserve list, Wallace went to become Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded first-year cornerback during his freshman campaign. Notably, Wallace earned a crucial interception during the Bills’ playoff-clinching victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers last December.
In addition, the Bills also obtained serviceable reserve receiver Robert Foster in their post-draft scouring of the free agents’ list.
A Minneapolis (Transactional) Miracle
With the Bills’ offensive line relatively solidified, Beane’s next move was to find Allen more suitable weapons for the trek ahead. Opportunity knocked in the form of the trading block, as the Minnesota Vikings sought to move playoff legend Stefon Diggs. The Bills came calling, though it came at a hefty price. Even before the Vikings used one of those choices to take first-year sensation Justin Jefferson, Diggs had a lot to live up to, as the Bill sent over their first, fifth, and sixth-round choices from the spring, as well as a fourth-rounder for next year.
So far, Diggs has risen to the challenge and then some, leading all NFL receivers with 90 receptions entering Week 14 action. Set to be dealt over $45 million over the next four seasons, Diggs is proving to be well worth the investment in the early going and figures to be a lasting part of Buffalo’s ongoing endeavors.
Knight in Golden Armor
It had been a long time since the Bills had given their fans a reason to tune into day three of the draft. Beane has slowly made Saturday an intriguing event, however, as day three has netted hidden gems like Taron Johnson, Siran Neal, Tyler Bass, and Dane Jackson.
Beane’s biggest find to date has likely been Gabriel Davis, the all-time leader in touchdown grabs at UCF. The former Knight was chided for his lack of separation, but the Bills opted to take him in the early stages of the fourth round last spring. Davis has become one of Allen’s more reliable in blue and red, particularly in scoring situations. His five touchdowns are tied for third amongst rookie receivers and his 64.1 percent catch rate is sixth amongst first-year catchers with at least 30 targets.
The New York Yankees confirmed via general manager Brian Cashman that Domingo German would return to the 2021 Yankees’ pitching rotation. Cashman made the announcement last night confirming that German will be there on opening day. This was apparently approved by owner Hal Steinbrenner that said just a few months ago that German would have to prove he was a changed man after his domestic violence suspension.Â I don’t know what he has done to prove that, but it may have more to do with the Yankee’s need for pitching.
Domingo German will likely be the number two starter behind ace Gerrit Cole at least as the season starts and until Luis Severino returns later in the season. The Yankees so far have not been about to sign a number two type starter, or are not willing to spend for one, which may have led to the decision to take German back, and apparently with open arms as Cashman has stated, “we will count on him.”
German is presently playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic for the Toros del Este. He has started four games so far with a 0-1 record and an ERA of 5.17 across 15.2 innings. This is not surprising after not pitching for over a year. However, in videos, he looks pretty sharp with more than a strikeout per inning. The Yankees hope he will be up to speed at the beginning of the season.
Domingo German, even in a shortened 2019 season, was the New York Yankeesâ€™ winningest pitcher; he went 18-4, far exceeding the record of any other Yankee pitcher.
His 2019 wins almost eclipsed the performance of Gerrit Cole; unfortunately, he didnâ€™t get to test his skills in the postseason, where the Yankees lost to the Astros.
Domingo German, when he returns, the Yankees have control over a Bauer-like pitcher through the end of the 2024 season, perhaps harnessing him in the prime of his career. Going into free agency in 2025, he will be 32 years old.
After not pitching in a professional game for 19 months, he is now pitching in the Dominican Winter League. In his first game, he pitched three scoreless innings. In his second start on Tuesday against Leones del Escogido, German conceded just one run and three hits over five innings in a no-decision for Toros in a 3-2 win at Juan Marichal Stadium in Santo Domingo, D.R.
Domingo German and Luis Severino will be under an innings watch after not pitching for so long. Both German and Severino will miss starts to accomplish that, giving some of the new boys much needed playing time.
German will earn in 2021 just $575k, quite a bargain for a number two pitcher.
The decision to bring back Domingo German says loud and clear to me that the New York Yankees, although still looking for another starting arm, that they probably won’t sign anyone of importance or high cost. Cashman in the Hot Stove interview said as much when he said he was satisfied with the rotation they have now.
The New York Islanders have two sizable problems going into the 2020-2021 season. One problem is that they don’t have a winger who can score at will. The other problem is that they don’t have the cap space to make a move to get one. But, luckily for them, the Islanders still have two second-round picks laying around from the Devon Toews trade.
What if I told you that there’s a way to kill two birds with one stone? That the Islanders can resign all their guys and still get a top 6 forward. Enter Max Pacioretty.
Max Pacioretty was just an average top 6 forward who was declining with age when he was shipped to the Vegas Golden Knights. Then the 2019-2020 season hit, and Max Pacioretty broke out for the second time. It’s almost like he was reborn when he went to Vegas.
Well, there are two reasons for this. “Patches” got back to powerlifting, the thing that gave him his famous speed, and he had something to prove. Max Pacioretty turned back the clock 6 years. He played like a 26-year-old but had the experience of a 32-year-old. Max Pacioretty is exactly what Mat Barzal needs.
Speaking of Mat Barzal, how can the Islanders retain his salary and take on Patches’? It’s actually a lot easier than you think. Barzal signs a bridge deal, 3 years $7 million. This deal works for both sides, Barzal gets a good amount of money, and the Isles still have cap space. Then, Matt Martin and Andy Greene both get $1.25 million for 1 year. Now, Andrew Ladd must be sent to LTIR, this deal doesn’t work without that. Next, Thomas Hickey, Leo Komarov, and Ross Johnston get sent down to the AHL. Finally, the Islanders trade both second-round picks and Robin Salo to Vegas in exchange for Max Pacioretty. The deal is done, the Islanders get everything they want, and the Island is happy.
The New York Giants endured a massive challenge against the Seattle Seahawks and stopping future Hall of Fame quarterback Russell Wilson in week 13. They did a phenomenal job limiting him in the passing game and contained him in the pocket with spies.
Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham drew up a perfect game plan against Wilson, trying to confuse him at the lighten of scrimmage and fill passing lanes. Since Russell isnâ€™t the biggest quarterback, he needs passing lanes to see his targets, so filling them with big bodies and delayed blitzes flushed him out of the pocket and subsequently filled those lanes.
The New York Giants activated their fastest pass rusher in a unique way:
When the Giants landed Carter Coughlin in the seventh round of the 2020 NFL draft, most didnâ€™t believe he would be an impactful player in his rookie season. Coughlin previously had pass-rush win rates in the upper echelon of categories in 2018, fitting in alongside names like Joey Bosa, Chase Young, and Nick Bosa.
He has fantastic speed for an outside linebacker (4.57 40-yard sash) and has the ability to drop into coverage when need be. We saw him do a variety of different things for the Giants against Seattle, and I expect to see him in a similar way against Arizona.
When's the last time you saw an OLB, especially one has thin as Carter Coughlin line up over the center?
Either this man Patrick Graham went to Hogwarts or he was just doing random stuff to create confusion haha pic.twitter.com/be7Bc9IKsc
Carter maneuvered his way around the trenches, lining up in the zero technique and as an outside linebacker quite frequently. His entire job was to confuse Russell Wilson and utilize delayed blitzes and a quarterback spy to keep him from running outside of the tackle box.
As you can see from the clip above, Carter bluffs a blitz at a zero technique over the center, dropping back a few feet and hovering to contain Wilson. He has his eyes on the quarterback the entire play â€” he did this throughout the contest, forcing Wilson to throw the ball and allowing the big interior linemen to collapse the pocket.
Jabrill Peppers gets the credit for this sack here but look at this bull-rush by Carter Coughlin.
He might've taken Russ down if not for Pep!
Carter shows incredible strength with his two-hand push, and his athleticism allows him to disengage and redirect momentum toward QB. pic.twitter.com/O2bb7pkzoC
However, in this clip, you see Coughlin rush from the OLB spot, beating the right tackle with a bull-rush and hand swipe down to hit Wilson simultaneously with a mad-man in Jabrill Peppers who bursts through two players at the line and gets to Russ.
Against Arizona and Kyler Murray, who is a very similar quarterback to Wilson, I expect Carter to act in a similar role. Playing quarterback spy and containing the edges will be his primary task.
Since Arizona has a far superior offensive line compared to Seattle, this will be a much more difficult contest for the Giants, but I expect to see them taking advantage of a weak center in Mason Cole.
According to PFF, Coughlin played in 45 total snaps this past weekend, the most in his career. He also dropped back into coverage 14 times and rushed the passer 24 times. He was rarely on the field during running plays but still picked up two tackles, three quarterback hurries, and two stops.
With his influence clearly showing up on film, I predict he will be another spy for a majority of the contest against Murray in week 14. His speed makes him a threat against running quarterbacks, so this is a perfect match up for him once again.