Watching the Atlanta playoff game I realized just how good Matt Ryan is (he threw for 338 yards and three touchdowns). The Falcons offense is impressive but what I really was impressed with was the defense. After a slow start The D tightened up their game and began pressuring Wilson, Seattle’s quarterback essentially ran for his life and took a lot of hits in the process. The second half was even bigger as Atlanta’s defense finished the job. They force two interceptions and made plenty of 3rd down stops.
It's now or never if Phil Jackson is actually going to fix the dysfunctional Knicks. Halfway through the season and the Knicks are 5 games under .500. If it weren’t for Kristaps Porzingis, there would be no reason to ever watch them. Oh, and by the way, who forced Phil to put the no-trade language in Carmelo’s contract?
Travis Kelce is an idiot. Eric Fisher absolutely did have a hold on Steelers linebacker James Harrison.
Antonio Brown will get into the Dingbat Hall of Fame on roller skates one day after exhibiting a rare blend of narcissism and dimwittedness Sunday night. While Steelers coach MikeTomlin was firing up his team with some choice words to describe the Patriots, his blockhead pass catcher was recording it for the more than 1 million people to see and hear. Brown, lost in his own world, was more concerned with the number of people tuning into his Facebook Live session then the message Tomlin was delivering. Stupid.
Are the Nets still a member of the NBA?
Did I happen to mention that Clemson’s Deshaun Watson didn’t just end one of college football’s great championship games with a one-second-left, come-from-behind touchdown pass, but that Watson is one of the great college players of our generation? I mean, in two championship games he throws for more than 800 yards and produces nearly 1,000 yards of total offense against a great Alabama defense.
What a Game! Those poor Cowboys are going to require open heart surgery this offseason, because Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers crushed the Cowboys' Super Bowl hopes in the most devastating, Red Wedding/Titanic sort of way. Riding Aaron Rodgers' hot hand, the Packers held off a Cowboy comeback to win 34-31. The Boys have now lost 5 straight playoff games.
Rodgers zipped a 35-yard pass to tight end Jared Cook with 3 seconds remaining Sunday, setting up Mason Crosby’s game-winning 51-yard field goal in a 34-31 victory over the Dallas Cowboys that moved the Pack one win from a Super Bowl berth.
The wild finish was just what the NFL needed after a postseason that had been void of competitive games thus far. The playoffs’ first six games were all decided by at least 13 points. Last night’s 2 point Steeler win capped off a great day of playoff football.
Cowboy fans will look back on the 2016 season with a measure of pride, but also with thoughts of what might have been, again. This year because of their success, the team once again picked up more new fans or “bandwagon jumpers”. “America’s Team” fans can be obnoxious. Just ask any Giant fan. Their team improved greatly with the passing of the torch from Romo to Zak Prescott, while Elliott had a great rookie year, but when it counted most, yesterday’s mental errors and a slow start served to hinder the team in its quest for a sixth championship. This squad, still needs to learn how to win in the playoffs, and Cowboy fans need to realize that their team has won one playoff game since Bill Clinton was in office, but yet they still act like they are perennial Super Bowl contenders. NOT!
The Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys meet Sunday in Arlington, Texas in the NFC Divisional Playoffs with a trip to the NFC Championship Game at stake. Led by quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the Packers closed out the regular season with six consecutive victories and a big win over the Giants. One I’m sure Giants fans won’t forget. I think the Pack can beat the Cowboys and here’s three reasons why.
Over the last seven games, Aaron Rodgers has passed for 19 touchdowns and zero interceptions. Against the Giants, after a frustrating 1st half, Rodgers completed 62.5 percent of his passes for 362 yards and four touchdowns. It will be tough for the Cowboys to overcome a Rodgers performance that even approaches Sunday's level of proficiency. The Cowboys survived this season because of a dominant offense and a bend-but-don't-break defense. If the Cowboys are unable to generate consistent pressure against Rodgers, the savvy veteran will carve up a vulnerable secondary that’s not as good as the Giants were.
The Packers' secondary, including safeties Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Morgan Burnett along with cornerbacks Quinten Rollins and Damarious Randall, stifled and frustrated Giants receivers Sunday with tight coverage and physical hits. Many said the secondary wasn’t that good. Tell that to Odell Beckham, Sterling Shepard and Victor Cruz. Look out Dez Bryant.
The Packers have only turned the ball over one time over the last seven games. Over the seven-game winning streak, Rodgers and the Packers beat four playoff teams and a critical component to that success was protecting the football. By contrast, the Cowboys have turned the ball over eight times in the past six weeks.
The Packers didn’t start Sunday’s wild-card playoff game against the Giants that well, but they finished it looking like one of the most dangerous teams left in the playoffs.. Dallas and the New England Patriots have been the NFL’s best teams for most of the season. But the best team doesn’t always win in the playoffs. Sometimes the hottest team can roar through the postseason and to the Super Bowl. The Packers did in 2010 and I believe they can back to the big game again. Packers 24 Cowboys 20.
Ok, I have to admit, I actually nodded for a moment when Clemson Quarterback Deshaun Watson hit wide receiver Hunter Renfrow on a 2-yard touchdown pass with 1 second remaining to give the Tigers a 35-31 win in the College Football Playoff national championship game.
The Clemson win breaks a 26-game Alabama winning streak and denies Alabama a fifth national title in eight seasons. It also means coach Nick Saban will wait at least another year for the opportunity to tie Alabama coach Bear Bryant for the most national championships (6) in college football history. Thank goodness they kept replaying the catch or I fall asleep thinking Alabama wins another championship and miss ESPN’s overdone treatment of Saban like he’s responsible for world peace.
Brock Lesnar is six-foot-three, 265-pound professional wrestler and former UFC champion. He’s also a hockey fan. After the Winnipeg Jets game on Monday night, of which Lesnar was in attendance, he was invited back to the Jets locker room to have a look around. What he didn’t know is that he was about to break one of the cardinal (AND RIDICULOUS) rules of an NHL locker room…he stepped on the Jets logo on the floor. Those in attendance playfully got on his case.
Lesnar should have challenged Dustin Byfuglien to a cage match on the logo right there. The wrestler was in good spirits though. Big Buf is saved from a Suplex City. I’m told that’s a wrestling move that slams the opponent to the mat. It wasn’t that long ago, when NHL players were slamming each other to the ice with regularity.
What is it about the NFL and boats? “Beibergate now know as “Boatgate” is the overarching storyline for the Giants’ offseason now that they’ve been eliminated from playoff contention. On Monday, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was photographed on a Nantucket ferry in the week leading up to New England’s AFC Divisional round game against the Houston Texans. It was all over the internet in minutes.
Should the Patriots be concerned? No way, as the New England is a whopping 16-point favorite over the Texans on Saturday night’s game up in Foxborough. Belichick was just hanging out in New England where boats are everywhere. He’s probably already devised a game plan to clobber Houston on Saturday night anyway. Boatgate Part Deux?
That didn't take long. Minutes after the Giant’s embarrassing loss to the Packers, the media along with twitter targeted Odell Beckham and (as Sip Bayless called it), the "Yacht Club”. The now infamous trip to Miami on the team's off day to party with the likes of Justin Bieber and Johnny Manziel is "kind of the elephant in the room," said Fox Sports' Joe Buck during the Fox broadcast. His broadcast partner Troy Aikman commented that he didn't think the shirtless picture from the yacht with the Timberlands was a very bright idea. After Beckham and Sterling Shepard each dropped two passes in the first quarter, the Bieber twitter jokes started flying, and they haven't stopped. But that’s not the only reason (the dropped passes, not the trip) the Giants lost.
The Giants lost because after dominating the Packers for most of the first half, an Aaron Rodgers-to-Randall Cobb 42-yard scoring strike capped a frenzied final 2:20 of the first half that changed the game as the Packers wound up sprinting away from the Giants over the last two quarters resulting in an embarrassing 38-13 loss, knocking them out of the NFC playoffs. They lost because Rodgers absolutely shredded the Giants’ stout defense, throwing for 362 yards and 4 touchdowns. They lost because Paul Perkins didn’t play through the whistle. They lost because Bobby Rainey forgot the kick off rule. They lost because Ereck Flowers is the worst left tackle in the NFL. They lost because they can’t run the football. They lost because the Packers are a better team. Regardless of what the Yacht Club did with their free time, the Giants would have needed a big time performance to upset the Packers. They were after all, favored.
It was a frustrating game for any Giants fan. After watching the defense put pressure on Rodgers early, we saw a total collapse after the “Hail Mary”. After watching the 4 sacks, we watched Rodgers slipping one defender after another getting up to 10 seconds in the pocket before completing pass after pass. After watching Eli playing one of his best games of the year, we saw receivers dropping passes, two for what appeared to be touchdowns (after watching what appeared to be a long scoring drive, we saw a failed short-yardage situation. (a questionable substitution by Ben McAdoo). After watching seldom used wide receiver Tavarres King make a great 41 yard touchdown reception. We never saw him line up for the remainder of the game.
The Giants' first playoff stint in five seasons is kaput after one game. They conclude their first season under McAdoo at 11-6, the offense having failed the defense one last time. After 2 6-10 seasons we do have something to look forward too. With a young, talented defense and plenty of projected cap space, the Giants should be playoff contenders again in 2017. But they have to fix their offense, and they must do plenty of soul-searching to figure out how, while Odell Beckham will have to bear the brunt of all the Miami backlash for an entire offseason.
The last time the Giants were in Green Bay Wisconsin, they were floundering at 2-2, on their way to 2-3. Running back Paul Perkins was just a rookie trying to make his way on special teams. Cornerback Dominic Rodgers-Cromartie was in and out of the lineup because of a groin injury, and a hamstring injury forced first-round corner Eli Apple to exit after just a few snaps. Aaron Rogers wasn’t Aaron Rodgers, Eddie Lacy, now on injured reserve, was the Packers' leading rusher. Ty Montgomery was a backup wide receiver, and Jared Cook was inactive. How things have changed.
This Sunday, a different Giants team returns to Lambeau Field to face a different Packers squad led by future Hall of Famer Rogers. Certainly must see TV even if you aren’t a Giants fan.
Between Rodgers (33) and Giants quarterback Eli Manning (36), they own three Super Bowl titles, so experience in big-game situations isn’t an issue. But Rodgers is currently performing at a much higher level. He has played himself into the MVP race after throwing for a league-best 40 touchdowns versus only 7 interceptions for a hot team that's won its past six games. Manning has plenty of talent and experience, but has been awful for most of this season, yet the Giants led by their top flight defense have won 9 of 11 since their last visit to Green Bay. In his career, Manning has won both his playoff games at Lambeau, including the 2007 NFC Championship Game.
A few observations…It will be cold Sunday, maybe 13-15 degrees at game time. The Giants are allowing only 17.8 points per game. And after a slow start, the pass rush has been ferocious, generating 8 sacks in the last four games. Rodgers may be playing the best at his position in the league right now, but the current Big Blue defense will be his toughest test yet. This might be the matchup that decides the game. The other interesting matchup could be the receivers, Jordy Nelson vs Odell Beckham. The numbers are closer than you think. Nelson has 97 catches, 1,257 yards and led the NFL with 14 TDs. Odell has 101 receptions for 1,367 yards and 10 touchdowns. The difference is that Beckham can on a 6 yarder over the middle quickly turn it into a 50 yard sprint into the endzone at any time.
For me the big question will be can the Giants get any kind of a run game to take some pressure off of Eli and give the defense a blow. Last week, late in the game, the exhausted D gave up a number of completions while not putting any pressure on Kirk Cousins, because the offense couldn’t sustain a drive to give them a rest. If you give Rodgers enough opportunities he will burn you, so lets keep him off the field as much as possible. If the Giants O line give him a chance, “Playoff Eli” could emerge. He won’t, though, unless the guys around him give him some help, if they do then the party boys can help with some key catches.
Many have predicted that the Packers will end the underdog Giants postseason run before it even gets started. Those not in agreement will automatically respond “Hey remember 2007 and 2011”. I say with the exception of Manning that’s in the past, it’s a totally different Giants team. Just about everyone would say I’m crazy if I said Giants 17-Packers 14. Crazy huh?
The Millennials or as they call themselves the “Me Generation" are the first to come of age in the era of the Internet, smartphones and social media. And in a big way they yearn to be noticed, to be the center of attention. Just take a look at Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Twitter. They love to tell the world where they are, what they did and with whom they did it with, no matter the repercussions. In sports you see the “Hey look at me” bat flips, endzone dances and chest pounding stare downs on the hoops court, that moments later appear all over social media. And that brings us to “Biebergate”.
Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz, Sterling Shepard, Roger Lewis and others flew down to Miami to party with the likes of Johnny Manziel, Justin Bieber (now that’s quite a pair) and others. To make matters worse, the veteran Cruz thought it necessary to post a photo on Instagram. Cruz later deleted the post, but it was preserved on social media. On Sunday night, Beckham and his teammates went out to the LIV nightclub in Miami and stayed until the early morning (6:00am), hanging out with Justin Bieber, Lil Wayne, Jamie Foxx, Khloe Kardashian, and Johnny Manziel. Not exactly fine upstanding citizens. We all know nothing good happens after midnight.
Beckham, Cruz and rookies Shepard and Lewis are grown men and obviously allowed to do what they want on their day off. Even though the players were on their own time, it was a bad look and immature, less than one week before the Giants are in their first playoff game in five years. Head Coach Bob McAdoo blew it off saying he expects the players to be back and ready to prepare for their game in Green Bay this coming Sunday. I’ll bet he doesn’t watch the Kardashians or have any Bieber on his Spotify playlist.
Did they break team rules or laws of the land? No they did not. Did they show immaturity by drawing attention to their getaway, yes they did. Victor Cruz the veteran of the group didn’t do McAdoo any favors. He should have set an example and made sure their trip was kept under wraps. He should have known better but again as elder statesmen of the Me Generation he couldn’t resist drawing attention to himself and his fellow teammates. He HAD to let everyone know he and his buddies were hanging out with celebrities.
NFL players crave getting rest this time of the year when they are fortunate enough to still be playing. Only Cruz has playoff experience. Experience he should have used to educate his rookie buddies. Nine years ago, Tony Romo went to Cabo San Lucas with then-girlfriend Jessica Simpson and best buddy Jason Witten prior to playing the Giants in the 2007 divisional round of the playoffs. We all know what happened then, lets hope that doesn’t happen again.
As we all know the greed of the YES Network and Comcast collectively, denied Yankee fans watching the Bombers on regular cable TV. Im happy to let you know that an agreement has been made between the two adversaries. Yankee games will be broadcast during the 2017 season.
Here’s what happened…The Dec. 31 expiration of Comcast’s Fox News Channel pact gave 21st Century Fox the leverage to open the door for carriage of the YES sports cabler as well as extending agreements for 12 other Fox-owned regional cable networks. Sports networks have become a flashpoint of tension between programmers and distributors as they are routinely the priciest channels per subscriber on cable, often with limited appeal among a broad subscriber base.
YES was dropped in November 2015 on Comcast systems serving almost 1 million subscribers in outlying areas of New York City, which included parts of New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. YES had been on Comcast’s New York City-area systems since the channel’s launch in 2002. But a few months after Comcast dropped its bid to acquire Time Warner Cable, which would have made Comcast the dominant cable provider in market, Comcast ended its carriage of YES, saying it wasn’t generating enough viewership to justify the high price tag. FOX News channel is coming off the most-watched year in its 20-year history, fueled by the surge of interest in the presidential election. According to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the deal, the new Comcast deal raises Fox News’ per subscriber fee to $1.50 per subscriber per month, with annual increases to come over the pact believed to run about four years. Comcast wanting to keep FOX News had no choice but to include the regional networks in the deal.
While I’m Not a fan of Comcast, I’m glad the deal was done. I was lucky to see the Yanks on Sling TV this past season, but why pay extra for Sling, if it’s already included in my way too expensive Comcast monthly fee. I won’t be surprised to see a “Regional Sports” increase in my bill. Those greedy bastards!
Now, the bad news: Reports say YES will not return to Comcast subscribers immediately, and it’s possible it won’t be back until later in the spring, after the start of the regular season. That would be a bummer, though at least it’s coming back at some point. That’s better than nothing.
The playoff bound Giants trip to Lambeau Field became official hours after the Giants finished up their 11-5 season with a 19-10 win in Washington on Sunday afternoon. When the Packers (10-6) defeated the Detroit Lions 31-24 Sunday night, they clinched the NFC North title and the No. 4 seed in the NFC. That set up a date with the fifth-seeded Giants in the wild-card round Sunday at 4:40 p.m. ET. So, the question is: Can the current Giants with their struggling offense, repeat history?
Of the four first round game possibilities heading entering Sunday, the Packers might have been the opponent the Giants least wanted to face. Not only did the Packers beat the Giants in Green Bay, 23-16, back on Oct. 9, but the Packers have been rolling, heading into the playoffs on a six-game winning streak. And in his last seven games, dating back to the week before Thanksgiving, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has thrown 18 touchdown passes without an interception. Eli on the other hand has continued to struggle. Is Eli a hall of famer? Hasn't had a great year but in big games he's the best
If Big Blue plays like they played in the first half against Washington, Rodgers won't know what hit him. Give him time and he'll pick them apart or run for big yardage.
Some teams might be intimidated by a winter trip to Lambeau Field, especially with high temperatures next weekend expected to be only in the teens. But the Packers, 6-2 at home, are not nearly as unbeatable in Green Bay as they used to be, especially in the postseason. Maybe nobody knows that better than Eli, who beat the Packers in overtime in frigid Green Bay in the 2007 NFC Championship Game, 23-20, and then beat the 15-1 Packers, 37-20, in Lambeau in the 2011 NFC divisional round.
Both times, Manning and the Giants went on to win the Super Bowl.
So here we are in the last week of 2016; time to look back at the biggest (so many to choose) sports stories of the year. Unless Tiger Woods wins this coming weekend or Todd Bowles gets fired, I think I have it covered. 2016 gave us some of the most dramatic scenes and incredible performances in many years. So after careful deliberation…
The Peyton Manning retirement was certainly a story. Manning wins the Super Bowl despite barely being able to throw a ball farther than 10 yards. Funny thing is after injury he wins his old job back from a guy who, one year later, would be benched in favor of someone named Tom Savage.
Sadly we lost Jose Fernandez who wasn't just an amazing pitcher; he was a bridge to the next generation of baseball fandom, a player who had an unabashed exuberance and joy for the game and wasn't afraid to express it. Unfortunately he decided to drive a boat at 2:00am while under the influence.
The great Muhammad Ali died. There were many legends to die this year (Arnold Palmer, Pat Summitt, Gordie Howe), but Ali might have been the most influential, important American athlete since Babe Ruth.
The Rio Olympics certainly gave us a handful of stories. Everybody has their favorite. Usain Bolt. Simone Biles. Michael Phelps and his 6 medals. But for my money, the most amazing athlete was 19 year old Katie Ledecky, who was so dominant that she made all her opponents look like they just learned to swim. Let’s not forget Ryan Lochte’s shaky credibility.
Lebron James leads the Cavs past the seemly unbeatable Warriors to win the NBA title, while Alabama wins the NCAA football championship, and Kris Jenkins hits a last second shot to give Villanova the basketball title. The Penguins beat the Sharks to win the Stanley Cup, and a team from Leicester City (wherever that is) pulls off the most amazing upset winning a soccer title.
There were other stories like Kolbe’s 60 points in his final game, Colin Kaprnick’s stand to not stand, Rex Ryans, firing, Vin Scully’s retirement, Tom Coughlin’s resignation, the sex scandal at Baylor, and Kevin Durant’s signing with the Warriors.
Locally we had a few stories of our own, like the retirement of Mark Teixeira, and the Alex Rodriguez drama. But the real Yankee story was the firesale in the Bronx, losing Miller, Chapman, and Nova while making room for the future, especially Gary Sanchez. The Mets failed to get back to the playoffs with all their injuries and Big Blue’s return to the NFL playoffs.
The biggest story may be that the curse is over, the Cubs won the World Series. Seriously: The Chicago Cubs did win the World Series. I swear, I didn’t make it up!
Happy New Year
WHAT IS THIS?
It's a somewhat tongue in cheek OPINIONATED sports blog that promises to cover baseball, football, hockey, basketball, and any other stupid, and absurd STORY related to sports.