New York Jets: LB C.J. Mosley feeling confident after return to MetLife

Donning a New York Jets jersey for the first time since October 2019, C.J. Mosley couldn’t hide his confidence.

It had been over 500 days since New York Jets fans got to see their team play a sanctioned football game at MetLife Stadium in person. Perhaps only an on-field attendee, Jets linebacker  C.J. Mosley, had to wait longer.

Mosley put on his New York uniform on Saturday night to partake in the Jets’ 12-7 preseason victory over the New York Giants. It was the first time his game day equipment had been worn since a Monday night game against New England in October 2019. Mosley helped the Jets’ strong defensive effort, one that held the Giants to 163 yards on the night, get off to a strong start.

Working next to newcomers Jarrad Davis and Hamsah Nasirildeen on the premier unit, Mosley rejected a Mike Glennon pass intended for Darius Slayton. Two plays later, Bryce Huff earned a seven-yard sack to force the Giants into a three-and-out after just 61 seconds of game time. The Jets (1-0) would get the ball at their own 36 after a punt and tallied a 30-yard field goal to go up 3-0 after the opening drives.

Mosley also appeared on the Giants’ second offensive possession, where he picked up two tackles, though one was erased by a Jets penalty. The Giants picked up two first downs, but the Jets limited the damage to 32 yards on seven plays, the last of which was a punt.

Despite relatively minimal work, it was hard for Mosley to hide his enthusiasm in the aftermath. The linebacker issued a foreboding warning to future visitors of East Rutherford that underestimate the Jets’ defense.

“If people come with that same mentality, they’re going to get their (butts) blown out,” Mosley said of those who expect the idea of “Same Old Jets” to continue this year, per Ralph Vacchiano of SNY. “That’s 100 percent, whether we’re at MetLife or anywhere else. If they think there’s anything old about this Jets team, it’s not going to end well for them.”

Mosley will be working alongside several touted newcomers this season. The Jets made their pass rush a priority despite several young breakouts headlined by Quinnen Williams. Pressure artist Carl Lawson comes in from Cincinnati while Sheldon Rankins arrives from New Orleans. The revamped unit was on full display against the Giants, as the Jets took down Glennon and Clayton Thorson five times. Their last takedown becoming a safety when another sixth-rounder (Jonathan Marshall) took down Thorson in the end zone. Huff had two sacks on the night while undrafted rookies Hamilcar Rashed and Michael Dwuomfour also got involved in the tally.

Mosley is a bit of a stranger to New York himself. Signed to a five-year, $85 million deal during the 2019 offseason, Mosley was the last big ticket arrival of the Mike Maccagnan era. He has partaken in only two games since then, besieged by medical calamities of both a football and non-gridiron variety. The former Baltimore Raven and four-time Pro Bowler has appeared in only two Jets games over the last two seasons. Groin issues limited him to two games in 2019 while he opted out of last season’s proceedings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thrown into action in the preseason opener, Mosley was going to take full advantage of any game snaps, even if they came in an exhibition contest. Mundane gameday tasks like getting to East Rutherford and even hooking up with the team during the pregame took on a whole new meaning after nearly two full years away from the field.

“You can never take this game for granted. Any time you step on the field you want to try and give it your all and take advantage of every opportunity you get,” Mosley said, according to team reporter Jack Bell. “Driving to the team hotel, that’s something I haven’t done in a long time. Going to the meetings at night, waking up in the morning and getting back to my routine. There was even a little traffic to getting to the stadium. I’m embracing everything.”

Time will tell if Mosley is a fit in what head coach Robert Saleh and defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich are trying to build through their reintroduction of the 4-3 set. Fate has given him every reason to believe that his New York tenure is cursed, but he’s defying the conventional metropolitan pessimism.

“(We have) an explosive D-line that’s going to get after it, especially when we get teams in second-and-long and third-and-long,” Mosley said, per Dennis Waszak of the Associated Press. “Even third-and-short, we’re going to get our defensive line trying to get after the opponent’s quarterback. I think we’re going to be a defense that’s going to make you try to throw over the top and we’re going to make you try to run the ball on us because if you don’t, it’s going to be a long day for your quarterbacks.”

“We’ve just got to make sure that we hold each other accountable every day when we go to practice, make sure we try to stay as healthy as possible…have the same mindset, same goal to win every game.”

Mosley and the Jets will return to preseason action on Saturday night, when they battle the Green Bay Packers on Saturday late afternoon at Lambeau Field (4:25 p.m. ET, WLNY/NFL Network).

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags 

Dodgers Make It Look Easy in 14-4 Win to Complete Sweep of Mets

mets, pete alonso

After the New York Mets missed two great opportunities to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Dodgers made sure they took away any hope of a Mets win early on. They clubbed five home runs and 12 hits on their way to a 12-4 victory on Sunday Night Baseball.

The Mets were bad at every facet of the game, from pitching to hitting to managing. Carlos Carrasco started to show that the Mets rushed him back as he struggled again. Carrasco allowed six runs in two innings and needed 57 pitches to make it through the awful start. It only took three batters for Justin Turner to hit a two-run home run and give L.A. a 2-0 lead. Will Smith added on with another homer in the first inning, and the Dodgers never looked back. Max Muncy also mixed in two more homers throughout the blowout as well.

Mets manager Luis Rojas made a baffling mistake in the second inning when he decided to let Carrasco hit for himself in the bottom of the second. The Mets were down 6-0 against Dodgers ace Max Scherzer, but Rojas allowed Carrasco to bunt instead of using a pinch-hitter. As usual, the Mets failed to capitalize with runners in scoring position and left it at 6-0.

Please Get a Hit

The Mets’ offense continued their theme of getting runners on base and leaving them there consistently. Despite scoring four runs, they went 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base. They also continued their trend of struggling to hit the fastball. J.D. Davis was the poster child by striking out three times on the same up and in fastball.

All of those trends allowed Scherzer to survive through seven innings on a night where he did not have his best stuff. Scherzer pitched six innings, allowing two runs, and struck out seven when it seemed like he had runners on base every inning. Once Scherzer left the game, the lower-tier reliever made the game interesting for a short period. Darien Nunez left Edwin Uceta with a bases-loaded jam, with the Mets down by six in the seventh inning.

Davis ended up sending a majestic sacrifice fly to center field, which was about five feet from becoming a grand slam and completely changing the game. Instead, the sac fly took the win out of the Mets sails, and Jonathan Villar struck out to end the rally. Geoff Hartleib and a couple of position players allowed the Dodgers to turn it into a laugher and end any Mets hopes.

On Monday, the Mets drag themselves into San Francisco to play the best team in baseball in the Giants. The first pitch from Oracle Park is scheduled for 9:45 p.m. ET.

 

New York Liberty: 3 stars from Sunday’s loss at Minnesota

A brilliant return for Natasha Howard wasn’t enough for the New York Liberty to end Minnesota’s WNBA-long eight-game winning streak.

The New York Liberty enjoyed an eventful return to WNBA action on Sunday night with an electric showing from Natasha Howard. Alas for New York, it didn’t come with a win.

Sylvia Fowles fell a rebound short of a double-double with 18 points, shooting 9-of-10 from the field in an 88-78 victory for the Minnesota Lynx at Target Center. New York (10-12) maintained its hold on a WNBA playoff spot thanks to Sunday losses from Washington and Dallas while Minnesota (13-7) stretched its WNBA-best winning streak to eight games. The WNBA returned to regular season action on Sunday after a month-long break for the All-Star Game in Las Vegas, the Summer Olympics in Tokyo and the Commissioner’s Cup competition won by the Seattle Storm.

ESM has three stars from the Liberty’s return…

3rd Star: Sami Whitcomb

12 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals

Despite Minnesota shutting holding the Liberty’s fearsome outside unit to a season-low 16 three-point attempts, Whitcomb managed to pick up where she left off from her appearance in the WNBA’s three-point competition in Vegas (coming in third place in the so-called Allie Quigley Invitational) by sinking two triples, including one that helped give the Liberty the lead at the end of the third.

2nd Star: Sabrina Ionescu

14 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists

Burdened with an “overuse” injury during the first portion of the season, she came back recharged and re-energized in the first game back. Ionescu began to resemble her old, dominant, agile self through strong on-court movements and shot 6-of-11 from the field. She has now shot at least 50 percent in three of her last five games, showing a drastic improvement from an 0-for-6 showing in the first half’s finale against Connecticut. Ionescu also continued to develop some strong early chemistry with Howard, who planned to create a “Shaq and Kobe”-like relationship upon her arrival this winter.

1st Star: Natasha Howard

30 points, 4 rebounds

During the pregame, Liberty head coach Walt Hopkins said that Howard, back on the court for the first time in 15 games, would be on a “loose” minutes restriction. He declined to put a number on it, as he wanted to see how Howard was feeling as Sunday night progressed. It’s safe to say that Howard was feeling like her old self, scoring 20 points in the first half, even sinking two triples from the outside, as she wound up coming three points short of her career-high. Howard’s return comes at the perfect time as the Liberty fight for a playoff spot. Her expertise as a Defensive Player of the Year and three-time WNBA champion could come up huge as New York seeks traction.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Giants: David Sills V speaks on performance vs Jets

david sills, new york giants

The New York Giants came into their first preseason game looking to evaluate players rather than focus on a win, and one player who made a strong mark is one of the under the radar receiving targets for Daniel Jones this season. David Sills V is one of a number of receivers competing for playing time in an expanded and competitive lineup, but set himself apart in the receiving game despite his low profile status heading into this offseason.

Sills had 49 yards and 3 receptions, which led all receivers for the Giants in their loss to the Jets. He was also targeted 5 times, which was more than any other player, and had the longest reception of the game at 37 yards. In other words, Sills was a bright spot in an offensive performance where the Giants only put up 7 points overall.

Impressively, this performance comes in Sills’ first appearance since the 2019 preseason after spending 2020 on the injured reserve following a training camp injury.

It was awesome being out there. That was my first time being in a game since preseason of 2019. So, it was really good and exciting to get out there. It was nice to kind of get that first catch, first hit, kind of got the nerves going a little bit, but after that, it’s kind of like, all right, let’s go, let’s go have some fun,” Sills told reporters after the loss.

Sills speaks on big catch

Sills also gave a description of what was going through his head during the big reception that turned out to be the biggest chunk of yardage the Giants offense produced.

We got man coverage, we checked into a fade and I thought Clayton threw me a great ball, gave me a chance on it, so it’s something I think my teammates, the quarterback and my coaches expect me to make that play. It was nice to be able to make that play, but still didn’t come out with outcome we wanted, winning the game,” Sills elaborated.

The Giants might not have gotten the outcome they wanted, but the individual performance is encouraging nonetheless. Especially when the quarterback play was largely lacking for the Giants as they chose to rest Daniel Jones and instead exclusively rely on their backups.

A point of interest in the future will likely be the chemistry between Jones and Sills, as if Sills keeps it up he may just end up being one of Jones’ targets in the lineup of regular season receivers.

New York Yankees Recap: Nestor Cortes Jr. brilliant in Yankees series win over the White Sox

This afternoon was the rubber game with the New York Yankees playing game three against the Chicago White Sox. The Sox won the Field of Dreams game on Thursday night, and the Yankees won last night’s game in the tenth inning. Today, Nestor Cortes Jr. faced the Sox ace Lucas Giolito. The Yankees won the game 5-3 and the series for their 10th in 11 tries.

The top of the first inning saw DJ LeMahieu face Giolito; he flew out to center. Brett Gardner walked on the 13th pitch of the at-bat. Aaron Judge also walked. Joey Gallo went down looking. Giancarlo Stanton struck out swinging on a ball well out of the zone, leaving two on base. At the bottom, Tim Anderson had a comebacker right back to Cortes. Hernandez ground out to Odor, who made a spectacular throw to first. Jose Abreu blooped to center of a single. Eloy Jimenez singled with Abreu going to third, and with the throw going to third, Jimenez took second. Andrew Vaughn hit back to Cortes with the Sox, also leaving two on base. No score.

The top of the second was led off by Luke Voit, who singled to left. Rougie Odor hit a two-run homer to right-center. Kyle Higashioka went down on strikes. Tyler Wade struck out swinging. LeMahieu singled to left. Gardner doubled with LeMahieu going to third. LeMahieu made it home on an errant throw to second. Judge popped out to second. At the bottom, Yoan Moncada tipped back into the glove of Higgy. Luis Robert flew out to Gardner in center. Danny Mendick singled up the middle. Seby Zavala struck out swinging. New York Yankees 3 White Sox 0.

Joey Gallo led off by hitting a push bunt on the first pitch he saw in the third inning. Stanton flew out to the warning track in center. Voit singled to left with Gallo going to second. Odor struck out swinging. Higashioka went down looking. Anderson led off the bottom by grounding out to Wade at short. Hernandez hit a comebacker to Cortes. Abreu walked. Jimenez singled down the right-field line with Abreu going to third, but Vaughn ground out to end the inning. New York Yankees  3 White Sox 0.

Tyler Wade led off the fourth by going down on strikes. LeMahieu flew out at the left-field wall. Gardner walked. Judge reached on an E4. Gallo struck out swinging with a chance to blow the game wide open, leaving Gardner and Judge on base. At the bottom, Moncada singled to Wade on a ball he couldn’t handle. Robert went down looking. Mendick struck out to end the inning. Yankees 3 Sox 0.

Giancarlo Stanton led off the fifth inning by walking against new Sox pitcher Ryan Tepera. Voit flew out to center. Stanton advanced on a passed ball. Odor went down swinging on the 10th pitch. Higashioka struck out but reached on a wild pitch, with Stanton going to third. Wade flew out to the left to end the half. At the bottom, Anderson singled past Odor at third. Hernandez hit into a 5-4-3 double play. Abreu went down, looking to end the inning. Yankees 3 Sox 0.

It was the top of the lineup for the Yankees in the sixth inning. LeMahieu tapped out to third. Gardner flew out to the left-center. Judge walked. Judge stole second. Gallo struck out to end the half.  Jimenez leading off the bottom, struck out. Vaughn homered into the left-field stands to get the Sox on the board. Moncada ground out. Robert went down, looking to end the inning, but the Sox got on the board. New York Yankees 3 White Sox 1. Nestor Cortes Jr. pitched a season-high 98 pitches.

Stanton started the seventh inning with his second walk of the game. Voit went down on strikes. Rougie Odor faced new pitcher Aaron Bummer and went down looking on an awful call. Stanton advanced to third on a wild pitch. Higashioka went down looking stranding Stanton. At the bottom, Jake Lamb pitch hitting for Mendick against Stephen Ridings, walked on four pitches. Collins pinch-hitting for Zavala struck out. Anderson hit into a double play to end the inning.  Yankees 3 Sox 1.

The eight-inning was led off by Wade, who ground out. LeMahieu walked. Gardner ground out. Judge was intentionally walked. Gallo went down on strikes stranding two. At the bottom, Hernandez walked. Abreu faced new pitcher Jonathan Loaisiga and hit into fielder’s choice. Jimenez stuck out. Vaughn popped out to get Loaisiga out of a jam. Yankees 3 White Sox 1.

The ninth inning was led off by Giancarlo Stanton who got a double to right. Jonathan Davis was sent in as a pinch-runner. Voit hit a two-run homer into the left-field stands. Odor singled to right. Higashioka hit into what should be a double play but reached second on an errant throw that Higgy knocked out of Abreu’s glove. Wade struck out, and Lemahieu flew out to end the half.

At the bottom of the ninth, with the last licks on the line for the White Sox Moncada against Lucas Luetge, he walked. Robert singled to left. Lamb popped out at second. Collins doubled to the right-field wall just out of the reach of Aaron Judge as Moncada scored. With Anderson coming up, the Yankees turned to Wandy Peralta to close it out for the Yankees. Anderson singled driving in Collins. Hernandez hit into a double play to end the game.

The final score was the New York Yankees 5 and the Chicago White Sox 3. The winning pitcher was Nestor Cortes Jr., and the loser was Lucas Giolito. The save went to Wandy Peralta.

 

 

 

 

NASCAR: A.J. Allmendinger wins wild debut on Indianapolis road course

The NASCAR Cup Series’ first race on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course featured an upset win mired by late calamities.

Late carnage yielded an unlikely winner at the NASCAR Cup Series’ maiden voyage at Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course.

After the first 70-plus laps of Sunday’s Verizon 200 ran without major incident, a curb of calamity in the sixth turn took out numerous contenders in violent wrecks. In the end, it was A.J. Allmendinger, a NASCAR Xfinity Series regular running a part-time schedule that stole the victory in Kaulig Racing’s No. 16 Chevrolet. It’s the first win for Kaulig, an Xfinity team that is set to make the leap to the premier Cup Series next year, and Allmendinger’s first Cup win since August 2014 at Watkins Glen.

Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, and Matt DiBenedetto rounded out the top five.

Sunday marked the Cup Series’ first road course endeavor at the legendary IMS, having run on its famous oval annually since 1994. Rumble strip curbs, made to prevent drivers from going into the trackside infield, in Turn 6 caused some trouble in yesterday’s Xfinity Series race. NASCAR removed one such rumble strip after that race but kept the rest of the curbing, including a relative “launchpad” that sent Kris Wright’s Xfinity car airborne.

The Turn 6 curbing was adjusted several times through the course of the race to clean up debris, but caused its biggest accident at lap 78. A 19-minute red flag period followed, during which a majority of the curbing was removed, though the launchpad stayed. Another wreck immediately ensued, setting up a second overtime session.

Rookie Chase Briscoe and Denny Hamlin led the field into the narrow first turn, during which Briscoe’s No. 14 Ford was sent through the nearby infield and back on the track. Briscoe was penalized for shortcutting the track but briefly continued to race Hamlin for the lead. In the ensuing battle, Hamin was spun out, giving third-place runner Allmendinger the opening he needed to steal the win. Briscoe and Hamlin shared a tense but ultimately peaceful confrontation on pit road.

The win was an emotional event for Allmendinger, who previously ran 11 years as a full-time Cup Series driver (2008-18). Allmendinger, made a name for himself as a professional racer on the open-wheel circuit, earning five wins on the Champ Car circuit. The 39-year-old is set to represent Kaulig Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series playoffs this fall.

After consecutive weeks at road course, the NASCAR Cup Series returns to an oval next week at Michigan International Speedway’s FireKeepers Casino 400 (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN). Two races remain in the Cup Series’ regular season, which will end on August 28 at Daytona.

For full results, click here

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

Chicago Bears: Recapping the win over the Dolphins and more

With the Chicago Bears opening the preseason up with a win over the Miami Dolphins, let’s recap some standouts and what to look forward to as the Bears prepare for the Buffalo Bills on Saturday, August 21st.

Standout Stars

1) QB Justin Fields 

Any list recapping the Bears game would be foolish to not include Fields, who finished the game 14-for-20 with 142 passing yards, averaging 7.1 yards per attempt. Fields’ mobility kept the chains moving as the 11th overall pick scrambled five times for 33 yards, including a 21-yard run that was capped off by a touchdown to tight end Jesse James two plays later.

Fields may have started out slow but found his groove as the game progressed, which is good news for the Bears general manager Ryan Pace Pace and head coach Matt Nagy, who’ve invested the Bears’ future in Fields.

“It was actually kind of slow to me to be honest,” Fields said following the game. “I was expecting it to be a little bit faster but practicing, you know game speed, going at it with my teammates everyday, of course, you know we have a great defense. Me going against them everyday, it definitely slowed the game up a little bit for me. I felt comfortable out there.”

Fields showed enough promise to warrant being the week one starter. Don’t write off Andy Dalton but Fields performance was encouraging enough to warrant being given a serious chance with the first-team offense in training camp.

2) OLB Charles Snowden 

After going undrafted due to an ankle injury, it didn’t take long for Snowden to make an impression, despite playing just 22 percent of snaps yesterday. The former UVA product totaled two QB hits, one sack, and one TFL throughout the second half on Sunday. After Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn, the Bears have Trevis Gipson, Jeremiah Attaochu, and Snowden to complete the OLB room.

Snowden will need to continue stacking strong performances to have an opportunity to make Chicago’s final roster but he’d also be an ideal practice squad candidate to develop as a player who could eventually take over in 2022 as a starter or rotational player.

3) RB Khalil Herbert 

The Bears needed to add some juice on offense this offseason and Herbert provided plenty yesterday as a runner and receiver. Averaging 6.3 yards per carry and 3.7 yards per reception, Herbert showcased his ability to be a dual-threat running back. Despite being buried on the depth chart behind Damien Williams and David Montgomery, Herbert’s strong showing yesterday was more of an indication of what’s to come for the sixth-round pick.

Herbert’s strong performance bodes well for the Bears, who are uncertain about when running back Tarik Cohen, who is still recovering from a torn ACL suffered early last season, will return. Too much depth in the NFL is never bad and Herbert can make the Bears offense expendable by creating mismatches throughout games.

4) CB Duke Shelley 

With uncertainty about who will be the starting slot CB, Shelley stepped up to the challenge on Saturday, putting together a performance that bodes well for his career moving forward. Entering his third season, Shelley spent 2019 and 2020 buried on the depth chart behind veterans Kyle Fuller and Buster Skrine, seeing limited regular season action.

Shelley’s preseason debut in year three saw him with six tackles and one PBU. With the Bears competition at slot receiver being wide open, the 2019 sixth-round pick will have the opportunity to seize the starting role if he can put together strong performances against the Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans.

5) LB Alec Ogletree

Very rarely do veteran players steal the show in preseason but there’s an exception to every rule and in this case, it’s Ogletree. After stealing the show at training camp with six interceptions, despite being a late additon, Ogletree racked up four tackles, including one PBU and one TFL.

Bursting onto the scene after starting just one game for the New York Jets in 2020, Ogletree has quickly emerged as the front runner for MLB3, a title that many thought would originally go to veteran Christian Jones.

6) The Bears offensive line

Believe it or not, the Bears had just two starters from last season present on the offensive line for Saturday’s contest: Sam Mustipher and Cody Whitehair. The rest of Chicago’s offensive line was injured, forcing the Bears to use a number of second, third, and fourth-string players.

Here’s a fun fact: Chicago allowed zero sacks on Saturday, a stat that will surprise many. Suddenly, offensive line coach Juan Castillo has instilled confidence into a unit that’s been ravaged by injuries, leading to questions about how good the OL can be when fully healthy. A unit that was solid in the running game yesterday was even better in pass protection. The question now remains: Can the OL keep this up until Teven Jenkins, James Daniels, and Germain Ifedi return?

One question for the offense

Will Fields strong performance yesterday make the Bears coaching staff second-guess who the starting quarteback should be on opening day? It’s too early to tell. Remember that Nagy did say Fields would receive a majority of the reps in the preseason, so the 11th overall pick playing about 63 percent of snaps was likely in the original gameplan.

The real QB competition will take place when Dalton receives a significant amount of reps against the Buffalo Bills. Chicago should give Fields the same amount of reps as Dalton, in order to truly see where both quarterbacks are at before making one final decision.

One question for the defense

Should we stop worrying about the status of DT Eddie Goldman, who opted out in 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns? Probably. Rookie DT Khyiris Tonga had a pretty solid outing yesterday, including a play where he penetrated the offensive line, leading to a goal line stand for the Bears defense.

To be clear, Tonga’s performance is encouraging but Goldman would still take the Bears defense to another level. Factor this in: Goldman hasn’t suited up in nearly 20 months, so there will likely be plenty of rust to shake off before Goldman returns to form.

Who’s not making this roster?

I’ll tell you this much and the answer is pretty obvious: WR Javon Wims. After three seasons where Wims has underperformed but then also been the center of confrontation, leading to tension with the coaching staff, Wims needs to get cut. The false start penalty on Fields first drive should be the final straw for the Bears coaching staff, who are simply wasting time and reps by keeping Wims around. Rather than keep Wims around, how about signing another young wide receiver to take his place, creating some more competition?

What’s next for the Bears?

Mitch Trubisky will be coming to town for week two, which means the boo birds were certainly be out in full effect the moment that Trubisky takes the field. The last time I even remember there being some serious booing at a Bears preseason game is when Jay Cutler returned to Denver in 2009 to take on his former team after being traded just four months earlier.

As Patrick Star says in an episode of Spongebob: “You had your chance and you failed.” The same applies for Trubisky, who’s return to Chicago will be a storyline that dominates that week.

Buffalo’s defense should provide the Bears with another test to see where Chicago’s offense is really at, especially if the Bears decide to give their first-team starters a significant amount of reps throughout the game.

WATCH: Knicks’ Quentin Grimes top plays from Saturday’s win over Cleveland

quentin grimes, knicks

The New York Knicks are close to wrapping up the Summer League, with one more game against the Atlanta Hawks on Monday evening.

The team has seen ups and downs over the past few games, but the development witnessed by rookie guards Miles McBride and Quentin Grimes has stood out.

McBride has made a surprising impact, providing solid defense as a sleight of hand specialist and Grimes providing adequate shooting from three. In the victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday evening, Grimes had his best performance this summer.

The Houston stand-out posted 28 points, shooting 8-of-20 from the field and 6-of-14 from three-point range. He also connected on 6-of-7 free throw attempts, collecting six rebounds and four assists.

Grimes showed off his athleticism and shooting prowess throughout the contest, giving the Knicks a good base to work off of as they look forward to the start of the 2021-22 season.

Grimes’s standout plays in the victory:

Grimes was considered the second-tier option after Chris Duarte, who the Knicks desperately tried to trade up for. Of course, the comparisons will be frequent for the rookie, but Grimes is proving to be a solid addition who can contribute in multiple ways. As a primary 3-and-D player, Quentin is trying to break that mold and offer a bit more athleticism and aggression in the paint.

The Houston product has leaned on the shoulders of two former NBA stars, Allan Houston and Penny Hardaway.

“Allan Houston told me to keep shooting. Everything will gonna follow. Penny (Hardaway) was texting me: ‘everything will gonna follow. Shoot is what you do.’ That’s why I came out a little bit more aggressive today at all times,” Grimes said.

The more shots Grimes puts up, the better he’s going to look and the more comfort he’s going to feel. Expanding his sample size is the only way to take a positive step forward, and during meaningless games, it is the best time to work out his kinks and develop chemistry with his teammates. Being a bit possessive of the ball and creating shots is how he can adapt to the NBA faster, which will allow him to make an impact on the floor when called upon by head coach Tom Thibodeau.

So far, during Summer League play, Grimes is averaging 33.7 minutes, 13.2 points, 36.7% shooting from the field, and 38.1% from range. He’s also contributing 6.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. While he would prefer to have a bit more efficiency from mid-range and driving to the hoop, he has plenty of time to develop and prepare for the start of the regular season.

Luckily, New York went out and signed sharpshooter Evan Fournier, previously with the Orlando Magic and Boston Celtics. Having an established veteran at the SG/SF position should give Grimes the cushion necessary to take a more strategized approach toward his development and growth. Leaning on Fournier as a mentor will also be extremely beneficial, as he possesses the ability to create shots for himself and spread the floor for opposing defenses.

NASCAR Cup: William Byron wins the Busch Pole for the Verizon 200 at the Brickyard

With a time of 87.765, William Byron was fastest in Busch Pole qualifying for Sunday’s Verizon 200 at the Brickyard in the NASCAR Cup Series. He’ll start next to Indiana native Chase Briscoe on the front row. Below is the entire starting lineup for the 82-lap dash (15/35/82 stages) at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this afternoon:

Starting Position:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

11.

12.

13.

14.

15.

16.

17.

18.

19.

20.

21.

22.

23.

24.

25.

26.

27.

28.

29.

30.

31.

32.

33.

34.

35.

36.

37.

38.

39.

40.

 

Driver:

William Byron

Chase Briscoe

Chase Elliott

Kyle Larson

Daniel Suarez

Martin Truex Jr.

Joey Logano

AJ Allmendinger

Ross Chastain

Cole Custer

Tyler Reddick

Michael McDowell

Austin Cindric

Denny Hamlin

Matt DiBenedetto

Ryan Blaney

Christopher Bell

Aric Almirola

Chris Buescher

Kurt Busch

Kyle Busch

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Austin Dillon

Alex Bowman

Kevin Harvick

Corey LaJoie

Bubba Wallace

Erik Jones

Justin Haley

Ryan Preece

Brad Keselowski

Ryan Newman

Anthony Alfredo

James Davison

Andy Lally

Josh Bilicki

Cody Ware

Quin Houff

Garrett Smithley

Timmy Hill

Car Number:

24

14

9

5

99

19

22

16

42

41

8

34

33

11

21

12

20

10

17

1

18

47

3

48

4

7

23

43

77

37

2

6

38

15

78

52

51

00

53

66

Yankees’ Aaron Boone instills confidence in his team, ‘this team has heart’

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

After a disappointing defeat to the Chicago White Sox in the Field of Dreams game, the New York Yankees bounced back in Chicago to steal a victory in extra innings. With Jamison Taillon on the mound, displaying another solid performance, pitching 5.0 innings and giving up three runs, the bullpen was left to finish off the contest.

The Yankees starting pitching rotation has been shredded with injuries and Covid situations. Taillon putting together a solid performance was exactly what they needed. However, a pesky Chicago team pushed them until the final moments, as Tim Anderson had an opportunity to steal another win in the 10th inning but fell short as he ground out to end the game.

“This team has heart,’’ Aaron Boone said after a gritty win over Chicago “It’s not been easy for us this season, at all. But they’re tough. They compete. We keep grinding away and throwing punches and we’ll continue to do that the rest of the way.”

Sluggers Aaron Judge and Joey Gallo combined for five hits and seven RBIs, which pushed the Yankees over the edge and secured the victory. Judge, recorded a double, home run, and single, having one of his best games of the season when the team needed him most. Gallo is finally looking like himself after a problematic start in pinstripes. He picked up a homer in the 1st and 10th innings, showcasing his lefty power.

The Bombers currently sit 6.5 games in the American League East and 2.5 games back in the Wild Card. Unfortunately, the Boston Red Sox pummeled the Baltimore Orioles 16-2 on Saturday, making it their second consecutive win. The Orioles are one of the worst teams in baseball this year, but Boston will take on the Yankees in a three-game series starting on Tuesday, giving New York an opportunity to overtake them for a playoff spot.