Daily Briefing: July 4, 2011

– First off, I’d like to wish a happy Fourth of July to everyone.  I truly believe this is the greatest country the face of the Earth has seen and ever will see.  America was created as a great experiment of Democracy.  235 years later, that experiment has continued to thrive and branch out all across the world.  We continue to be a force for global good and an advocator for peace.  For that reason, we all should be proud of our great nation.

– This weekend’s Subway Series was decent in my opinion.  It’s not as thrilling as it once was, but the games continue to be entertaining.  The Yankees won the series two games to one, but the biggest news was Jose Reyes’ hamstring injury.

– Speaking of New York shortstops, Derek Jeter will re-join the Yankees Monday.

– For the most part, the reaction to the Brad Richards signing has been positive.  There are a lot of reasons to like this deal for the Rangers, and only a handful of reasons to be worried about the deal.  With the last three years of the deal being worth $1 million each, the Rangers could simply buy him out after six years if they are unhappy with him.  Or if Brad has had enough with hockey, he could retire late into the contract while still earning virtually all of his money.  With a $6.67 cap hit, this deal is a huge win for the Rangers.  They even got him to take a substantial pay cut to come here.

– Of course, some uninformed analysts such as Chris Carlin think the move was a mistake.  I have a feeling that if Richards signed with another team, Carlin would have still criticized Sather.  He has been anti-Rangers for as long as I remember, even saying two years ago that they should be embarrassed that the Devils were better than them.  So he doesn’t want big signings, but according to those statements, he’s against a rebuilding mode.  You can’t have it both ways.  This is why people who don’t know anything about hockey should stop pretending that they’re experts on it.  This is also why people from New Jersey shouldn’t be asked their opinion on the Rangers.

– Tom Brady was voted the #1 NFL player of 2011 by the players.  I disagree, but it really has nothing to do with me being a Jets fan.  I believe he has had a much better supporting cast and head coach than Peyton Manning has had.  If you look at how Matt Cassell performed in 2008 with the same weapons Brady had in 2007, you’ll see what I mean.  Cassell, an average quarterback, managed to win 11 games that season.  Peyton Manning never has a receiver as good as good as Randy Moss, and he hasn’t had a player with the skill set of someone like Wes Welker.  In addition, Brady has played under a Hall of Fame head coach, and has had a stellar defense almost every year he’s been in the league.  I think Peyton Manning would have been the right choice.

– I personally don’t care because I believe the list was complete garbage to begin with.  I don’t get why people took the list so seriously to begin with.  It’s impossible to compare multiple positions to each other.  The list also varies depending on how much you value certain traits in a player.  What’s more valuable, Devin Hester’s return game or Nnamdi Asomugha’s cover skills?  Asomugha’s set of skills is the obvious choice to many, but Hester is the best returner in the history of the league.  Are we ranking players in terms of skills or their value to a team?

As always, feel free to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest breaking news on all things New York sports.

Since Tom Brady's last playoff win, the Jets have had four.

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First Round NFL Draft Talking Points

– There were big winners, moderate winner, moderate losers, and big losers in last night’s draft.

– One big winner was the New York Giants, selecting Prince Amukamara 19th overall.  Another big winner were the Lions, snatching up Nick Fairley.  A Avril/Fairley/Suh/Vanden-Bosch defensive line may just be the best in football.  My third big winner comes from the city of New Orleans.  In Cam Jordan and Mark Ingram, the Saints got two quality players in late round picks.

– There were also some moderate winners.  Among these were the New York Jets, the Bills, the Ravens, the Colts, and the Bears.  They all got quality players who could have been taken much earlier in the draft.  If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you know how I feel about Wilkerson.  But I want to specifically talk about the Bills.  They need a quarterback badly.  If Andy Dalton is there when they pick next, take him.

– The moderate losers were the Patriots, Eagles, Dolphins, and Cowboys.  The Patriots lost two years of Richard Seymour to draft an offensive tackle?  C’mon.  And the Eagles could have gotten a star defender, yet they went with an offensive guard who isn’t much more talented than the ones in later rounds.  As far as the Dolphins go, I like Pouncey, I really do.  But you need a quarterback.  Chad Henne isn’t the answer.  As for the Cowboys, Tyron Smith projects to be a great tackle, but is he going to make an impact as much as someone as Watt or Fairley?

– Then there were the big losers.  The Broncos passed up on Marcell Dareus to go strictly for need in Von Miller.  Miller fits the need, but Dareus was the much better player.  The Falcons gave up way to much to move up and select Julio Jones.  He better be the next Larry Fitzgerald.  Then there was the 49ers who needed a quarterback, but passed up on one to reach for Aldon Smith.  A pick later, the Titans passed on Blaine Gabbert for Jake Locker.  Are you kidding me?  At 12 overall, the Vikings took Christian Ponder, who projected to be taken much later.  They could have easily traded down if they really wanted him.  Then came the Chargers who passed on a plethora of great defensive prospects to fill a need at defensive tackle.  Last but not least came the Seahawks, who took a guard projected to be taken much later in the draft.  They could have taken a really good defensive player, yet they passed up on all of them.

– One team you really could put anywhere is the Panthers.  The Cam Newton debate is a crazy one.  I think he, along with Tim Tebow, will be one hell of a player to watch and follow throughout the next few years.

– Overall, it was a crazy first round.  There are still many great players left such as Akeem Ayers, Da’quan Bowers, and Andy Dalton.  Anything can happen in rounds two and three, therefore it will be a great watch tonight.

A Look Back at My NFL Predictions

Original article

AFC North

1. Baltimore Ravens (11-5)
2. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6)*
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7)
4. Cleveland Browns (3-13)

I was wrong here.  I thought the Steelers wouldn’t be able to rebound from losing Big Ben at the beginning of the season.  I got the Ravens’ record correct though.

AFC East

1. New York Jets (12-4)
2. New England Patriots (10-6)*
3. Miami Dolphins (7-9)
4. Buffalo Bills (2-14)

I got the bottom of the division right, but the Patriots ended up beating the Jets out for the division.  The Jets got their revenge in the postseason.  I got the Dolphins’ record right as well.

AFC South

1. Indianapolis Colts (14-2)
2. Tennessee Titans (9-7)
3. Houston Texans (9-7)
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11)

The Jags were a lot better than I thought, as they nearly won the division.  It was a really strange year for the AFC South, but once again Indy won.

AFC West

1. San Diego Chargers (10-6)
2. Oakland Raiders (7-9)
3. Denver Broncos (6-10)
4. Kansas City Chiefs (4-12)

Maybe the shocker of the year, the Chiefs came out of nowhere to win the division.

NFC North

1. Minnesota Vikings (12-4)
2. Green Bay Packers (11-5)*
3. Chicago Bears (8-8)
4. Detroit Lions (4-12)

Completely wrong.  The Vikings collapsed, and the Bears ended up winning the division.

NFC East

1. Dallas Cowboys (11-5)
2. New York Giants (10-6)*
3. Washington Redskins (7-9)
4. Philadelphia Eagles (6-10)

The Cowboys collapsed, the Giants collapsed, and Michael Vick’s Eagles won the division.  Who would have thought that would happen?

NFC South

1. New Orleans Saints (13-3)
2. Atlanta Falcons (9-7)
3. Carolina Panthers (7-9)
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12)

Wrong here again.  The Falcons won the division.

NFC West

1. San Francisco 49ers (10-6)
2. Arizona Cardinals (7-9)
3. Seattle Seahawks (6-10)
4. St. Louis Rams (3-13)

The Seahawks won the division.  Yeah, it was a crazy year for the NFL.

AFC

Ravens > Bengals
Pats > Chargers

Colts > Pats
Jets > Ravens

Jets > Colts

The Steelers (who I had out) beat the Jets in the AFC title game.

NFC

Cowboys > Giants
Packers > 49ers

Packers > Saints
Cowboys > Vikings

Packers > Cowboys

I was right about the Packers winning the NFC Championship Game.

Super Bowl 45

Jets > Packers

Packers > Steelers, but I came close.  Overall, I did pretty poorly.  But in reality, no one’s predictions were close.  It was an insane year for football.  Let’s hope next season, if there will be one, will be just as exciting.

Week 2 Football Wrap Up

The football day started with a win for the Miami Dolphins, putting pressure on the Jets to win their division game against New England.  Tom Brady and the Patriots are never easy foes, especially when the Jets play them at the Meadowlands.  Luckily, today we saw the evolution of the Jets from a sloppy team to a Super Bowwl contender.

Down 14-10 at the half, Darrelle Revis’s return was called questionable.  While many fans thought this to be the end of the game, the Jets battled back with a quick touchdown and two-point conversion.  After an interception, the Jets put another touchdown on the board to extend their lead to 28-14.  On the next drive, Jason Taylor sealed the deal with a strip sack that was recovered by Gang Green.  An L.T. fourth down conversion on the next drive put the nail in the coffin.

Jets
Sanchez: 21/30, 220 yds, 3 TD
Tomlinson: 11 carries, 76 yards (102 APY)
Greene:  15 carried, 52 yards
Keller:  7 catches, 115 yards, 1 TD
Edwards: 5 catches, 45 yards, 1 TD

Patriots
Brady: 20/36, 248 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT
Moss:  2 catches, 38 yards, 1 TD
Welker: 6 catches, 38 yards, 1 TD
Hernandez:  6 catches, 101 yards

Maybe the best game of Sanchez’s career. A huge win for Gang Green today. How about that for a Jets victory?

Final Score:  Jets 28, Patriots 14

The Giants didn’t have as much luck as the Jets had. The Manning Bowl turned out to be a blowout in Peyton’s favor. The Colts manhandled the Giants en route to an easy victory. While the Giants have many issues to address, it is important to remember that the Colts are an elite team. The Giants need a good game next week at home against the Titans to get back on track.

Giants
Eli Manning: 13/24, 161 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Ahmad Bradshaw:  12 carries, 89 yards
Steve Smith:  4 catches, 35 yards
Mario Manningham:  4 catches, 75 yards, 1 TD
Hakeem Nicks: 2 catches, 38 yards, 1 TD

Colts
Peyton Manning: 20/26, 225 yds, 3 TD
Joseph Addai: 20 carries, 92 yards
Reggie Wayne: 7 catches, 96 yards, 1 TD
Austin Collie: 4 catches, 25 yards, 1 TD
Dallas Clark: 5 catches, 83 yards, 1 TD

An overall pathetic performance by the G-Men. No real positives to come out of this game besides Matt Dodge. An interesting storyline to this game was Brandon Jacobs throwing his helmet into the stands. We’ll keep you updated on any fines or suspensions given out. It’s been a fun day, see you next week.

Final Score: Colts 38, Giants 14

Week 3
Jets @ Dolphins, Sunday, 8:00 PM
Titans @ Giants, Sunday, 1:00 PM

Sunday Night Football Preview

With the Giants 1-0 and the Colts 0-1, it would seem as if momentum is on Eli Manning’s side heading into the Manning Bowl.  Unfortunately, momentum means nothing when you are playing Peyton Manning and the Colts.  Just ask the Jets last season.

Besides the passing game, in what other areas does Indianapolis really have a huge advantage over the Giants in?  You can say the Colts have a better pass rush, but it’s not like the Giants are lacking in that area.  As crazy as it sounds, the Giants may be a more balanced team than the Colts are right now.

If the Giants can run all over the Colts defense, this could be a very close game.  With Hakeem Nicks questionable and Dwight Freeney looking to bring down Eli, the Giants better have a solid running game.  Don’t forget Robert Mathis as well.

Like most games, I have feeling this game will come down to who has the least amount of turnovers.  If the Giants can protect the ball on the running game and limit their interceptions, they will be in a good position.  You can’t give Peyton a chance to score after a turnover in your own territory.

With all of that said, I don’t think the Giants have nearly enough in their linebacker corps or secondary to shut down Reggie Wayne, Anthony Gonzalez, Dallas Clark, Pierre Garcon, Austin Collie, Joseph Addai, and Donald Brown.  This game could be a close one, but I just don’t see the Giants being able to stop the Colts on offense based on their sloppy performance last week.  They played well in the second half last week, but that was against Matt Moore and the Panthers.

On the road against one of the tougher teams in the league, I see this week being more like the first half of last week rather than the second.  Jonathan Goff and Matt Dodge are still two huge question marks at middle linebacker and punter.  I predict a blowout.

Final Score Prediction: 41-17

Week 2 NFL Predictions

Week 2

1. Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans
2. Miami Dolphins at Minnesota Vikings
3. Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons
4. Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals
5. Kansas City Chiefs at Cleveland Browns
6. Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys
7. Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions
8. Buffalo Bills at Green Bay Packers
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers
10. Seattle Seahawks at Denver Broncos
11. St. Louis Rams at Oakland Raiders
12. Houston Texans at Washington Redskins
13. New England Patriots at NY Jets
14. Jacksonville Jaguars at San Diego Chargers
15. NY Giants at Indianapolis Colts
16. New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers

Nick

Titans
Vikings
Falcons
Ravens
Chiefs
Cowboys
Eagles
Packers
Panthers
Seahawks
Raiders
Texans
Patriots
Chargers
Colts
Saints

Zach

Titans
Vikings
Falcons
Ravens
Chiefs
Cowboys
Eagles
Packers
Panthers
Seahawks
Raiders
Texans
Patriots
Chargers
Colts
Saints

Jets Postgame: Week 1

Words can not describe the pitiful performance put on by the Jets tonight.  The 10-9 Ravens win was a huge kick in the pants for Jet fans.  To not score one touchdown in any game is disgraceful, but to hype yourself and then choke like this is just terrible.

Some quick notes from tonight:

– The Jets were extremely overhyped.

– Sanchez was terrible. No excuse.

– Shonn Greene perhaps was a little overrated based on last year’s playoff performance.

– Releasing Alan Faneca was the WRONG move.

– The Ravens defense was no excuse to not score at least one touchdown.

– Realistically, the Jets are no more than a wild card team right now. The Patriots should be looked at as the frontrunners to win the division.

– They’re still better than the Dolphins, who could barely beat the Bills last week.

– They’re probably still better than the Giants, who are probably going to lose to the Colts next week.

– I don’t think the Jets will win next week and could very well start the season 0-3. Going to Miami is always rough.

– Brian Schottenheimer shouldn’t have a job.

Jets
Sanchez: 10/21, 74 yards
Tomlinson: 11 carries, 62 yards
Jenkins: Left early (knee injury)
Folk: 3/3 FG
Pouha: 2 fumble recoveries

Ravens
Flacco: 20/38, 248 yards
Rice: 21 carries, 43 yards
Boldin: 7 catches, 110 yards
Heap: 6 catches, 71 yards

After a performance like that, I don’t even know what to say.  This team had no problem talking in the offseason about cheeseburgers, snacks, their kids, leading the league in wins, ground and pound, and how great their team was.  Guess what, this is reality.  You lost.  In New York, you win first and then talk.  If you talk before you win, you better win the damn game.  The Jets didn’t to that tonight.  An absolutely overall pathetic performance.