Daily Briefing: June 28, 2011

– Today’s biggest news is probably David West’s decision to opt-out of his contract and test the free agency waters.  Could the Nets be interested?  We reported on it a few months ago.  He’s certainly a great fit.  Kris Humphries is still fairly unproven.  Humphries coming off the bench would be great for the Nets’ depth.  That’s where the one-year-wonder belongs on a playoff team.  Now I love Humphries and have defended him since he was acquired.  But I’m just not sold he can be a consistent impact player.  Could he be?  Of course.  But I’d rather have him right now as my second power forward.

– David West leaving the Hornets will almost guarantee Chris Paul will not be a Hornet in 2012-2013.  There’s no way he would have stayed anyway.  Losing West is just another reason to leave.

– Contrary to West, Tim Duncan won’t opt-out of his deal.  No surprises there.  The Spurs are the Devils of the NBA.  They’ll still be good next year, and for years to come as long as Duncan is there.  Think of Duncan as Martin Brodeur.  Once either one of those guys leave, a massive rebuilding/retooling phase will be necessary.  But until then, their teams will be extremely competitive.

– According to sources, Dave Checketts, a former president of the Knicks, will serve as a basketball consultant to the Detroit Pistons.

– Derek Jeter resumed batting practice and running yesterday.  That’s good news for the Yankees.

– Deion Branch and Eli Manning both expressed optimism yesterday for a new CBA.  I think it’s safe to say a deal will be reached, probably within the next two weeks or so.

– I, as well as many others, wholeheartedly believe Brad Richards will be a Ranger come Friday.  I’ve said it multiple times.  However, the Leafs and Lightning still both think they’ve got decent shots.  Still, it will be a major upset if someone can prevent Richards from wearing red, white, and blue next season.

– Chris Drury was not placed on waivers today, which would have been the first step towards buying him out.

– Brooks Laich was signed to a ridiculous 6 year, $27 million per deal by the Caps this this morning.  Hilarious.

– The Penguins hope to reach a agreement on a one-year deal with former Ranger Jaromir Jagr before Friday.

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

Three days until Brad Richards is a Ranger.

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How Giants Fans are Coping with the NFL Lockout

Week 4 NFL Postgame

How about that for a Jets win?  The Jets defeated the Buffalo Bills today by a score of 38-14.  While the Jets shouldn’t get too excited over this win, they did dominate both sides of the ball  Mark Sanchez played well, and the running game almost netted 300 yards.  LT scored two touchdowns and both of the Jets’ feature backs gained over 100 yards.

Today was great, but next Monday night is the big game.  The Jets have to try to end Brett Favre’s career next week.  If the Jets can beat the Vikings, you begin to wonder just how good the Jets really are.  How many other teams can you consider better than the Jets if they win next week?  It should be a fun night at New Meadowlands Stadium.

Interesting fact: Mark Sanchez’s projected stats for this year are 2844 yards, 32 TDs, and 0 INTs.

Sanchez: 14/24, 161 yards, 2 TDs
Tomlinson: 19 carries, 133 yards, 2 TDs
Greene: 22 carries, 117 yards
Edwards: 4 catches, 86 yards, 1 TD
Keller: 4 catches, 28 yards, 2 TDs

The Giants had a great game as well, winning 17-3.  The pass rush was on all day, accumulating 10 sacks.  It was a good day for the Giants, but there is nothing to get excited about yet.  All they did was beat the Bears’ backup quarterbacks by two scores after Jay Cutler got hurt.  Still, tonight was a positive.  The Giants will take their momentum into Houston for a showdown with the Texans next week.

Manning: 18/30, 195 yards
Bradshaw: 23 carries, 129 yards, 1 TD
Nicks: 8 catches, 110 yards

And since the Bears lost, the Jets now lead the league in wins.

Week 4 NFL Preview

It’s that time of week again.  Are you ready for some football?  The Jets and Giants both have very important games this week.  A win or a loss could set either team on the  right or wrong path to the playoffs.  Let’s get started.

The Jets enter their game against the Bills at 2-1.   The key for the Jets in this game is to protect the football.  If Mark Sanchez limits his mistakes, the Jets should have this game wrapped up by halftime.

Even with both Calvin Pace and Darrelle Revis out, the Jets defense should have no problem handling Buffalo.  If the Bills score more than two touchdowns, it will be a huge accomplishment for them.  I can’t see this game not becoming a one-sided affair.

Final Score Prediction: 34-7 Jets

The Giants are a little more desperate than the Jets.  Sitting at 1-2, this game is a must win.  The Giants will have to establish the run early against Chicago.  If they can’t, it will be a long day.  The Bears don’t have a great secondary, but Julius Peppers will get the quarterback in the pass rush.  If Eli gets banged up early, this game could take a turn for the worse for the G-Men.

The Giants defense may be the biggest question mark in the NFL right now.  For a defense that was so overhyped coming into the season, you’d expect much more out of them.  If they play well, the Giants will win.  If they don’t, the Giants will lose.  It’s that simple.

I see this game being close early, but I don’t think the Giants have the discipline right now to close out games.  A few late scores should help the Bears win this game.  Look for Jay Cutler to light up the Giants secondary.

Final Score Prediction: 31-10 Bears

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

Giants Postgame: Week 1

A somewhat impressive victory for Big Blue today against Carolina.  While there are still many areas of concern, the Giants defense seemed to keep the Panthers in control for the second half.  The first half was rough on both sides of the ball, but thankfully the Giants pulled it all together for a 31-18 victory.

Panthers
Matt Moore- 14/33, 182 yds, 1 TD, 3 INT
Deangelo Williams- 16 carries, 62 yards
Steve Smith- 5 catches, 75 yards, 1 TD

Giants
Eli Manning- 20/30, 263 yards, 3 TD, 3 INT
Ahmad Bradshaw- 20 carries, 67 yards, 1 TD
Hakeem Nicks- 4 catches, 75 yards, 3 TD

The big story of this game was Hakeem Nicks’ three touchdowns.  If he can continue to play at a high level, the Giants will have a dangerous receiving corps.  Mario Manningham also added 85 yards on four catches.

A huge concern for the Giants has to be their punter Matt Dodge.  He was shaky all day and had a punt blocked.  If the Giants can limit their turnovers against the Colts next week, they have a legitimate shot at winning.