Team By Team
New York Giants (8-6)
- Loss 34-0 at Atlanta
- Sunday, Dec. 23 at 4:25 PM at Baltimore Ravens (9-5)
- Sunday, Dec. 30 at 1:00 PM at Philadelphia Eagles (4-10)
- Philadelphia was the last team to shut the Giants out in the regular season. It was a 24-0 loss in 1996. 34-0 is the worst shutout loss ever by a defending Super Bowl champion.
- The Giants have only won two of their last six games. The Giants entered week 15 in control of the NFC East and were in third place when the week ended.
- Baltimore has already clinched a playoff spot. Sunday’s game will mean much more for the Giants than it will for the Ravens.
The Giants are in a tight spot when it comes to making the playoffs. Baltimore has already secured a playoff spot so they could have an easier matchup than it would seem this week. The Cowboys and Redskins both play 1 p.m. games and the Giants play in the late afternoon. If Dallas and Washington both win, the Giants will really be up against it. The Redskins and Cowboys play in week 17 so one of them will be taking a loss, unless we see the second tie of the season.
All that is left for Baltimore to do is to clinch their division. Cincinnati and Pittsburg are behind them and those two teams clash at 1 p.m. on Sunday. The Ravens could have clinched the division by the time they kick off against the Giants. I don’t expect the Ravens to lay down in this one but I would have to assume the Giants would come out with a lot more energy and fight despite being on the road. They simply have more at stake.
Prediction: Win 31-17 at Baltimore
New York Jets (6-8)
- Loss 14-10 at Tennessee Titans
- Sunday, Dec. 23 at 1:00 PM vs. San Diego Chargers (5-9)
- Sunday, Dec. 30 at 1:00 PM at Buffalo (5-9)
- Mark Sanchez is no longer the Jets starting quarterback. Greg McElroy will get his first career start.
- Sanchez had five turnovers in Sunday’s loss at Tennessee. Three of those turnovers came with under nine minutes in the fourth quarter while the Jets were trailing by only four points.
- Tim Tebow believed he had a real chance to become the Jets’ starter when he signed with the team in the offseason. There are multiple reports showing that Tebow will ask out of New York after this season.
- Mark Sanchez is owed $8.25 million next year. It will be tough to mend the damage that has been done by this awfully embarrassing season. Sanchez could also be gone next year.
Sunday’s loss ended the Jets slim hopes of turning 2012 into a successful year. There are teams out there like the Chiefs and Jaguars, who are both 2-12, who have technically had much worse seasons than the Jets. So why are the 6-8 Jets being talked about like they are the worst team in the league? First of all, they are in the major media market that is New York. Second, they have a head coach who oozes confidence and is not afraid to make excessively bold statements in public. Third, they have Tim Tebow, a guy who captured the attention of millions, sitting on the bench behind Mark Sanchez who has been the worst quarterback in the NFL over the last four years.
The Jets two remaining games are can’t-watch TV. The best thing for the Jets, Chargers and Bills is to lose out and improve their draft position. Because of that, I expect the Jets to win both of their remaining games with Greg McElroy leading the way.
Prediction: Win 20-13 vs. San Diego
New York Knicks (19-6)
- Win 100-86 vs. Brooklyn Nets
Next 3 Games:
- Friday, Dec. 21 at 7:30 PM vs. Chicago Bulls
- Sunday, Dec. 23 at 5:00 PM vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
- Tuesday, Dec. 25 at 3:00 PM at Los Angeles Lakers
- Carmelo Anthony scored 30 or more points in his fourth straight game. That’s particularly important because Anthony suffered an ankle injury against the Lakers last Thursday and he dropped 31 against the Nets in his return.
- Tyson Chandler is now averaging 13 points and 10 rebounds per game and Jason Kidd is shooting 44.6 percent from 3-point range.
- The Knicks are now 2-1 against the Nets and the only loss came in overtime.
The Knicks have games at home against Chicago and Minnesota before traveling on a 3-game west coast road trip. At this point the Knicks are 11-1 at home, which is the best home record in the NBA, and their only loss came without Carmelo Anthony. The Bulls are playing well but the Knicks definitely have what it takes to win their next two games before going on the road.
Many believed that Amar’e Stoudemire would be back for Christmas Day at the Lakers and that is still a possibility but it could take a little longer. Stoudemire is the Knicks most offensively talented big man but are concerns about his ability to mesh with this particular style of play. Amar’e and Melo have played at elite levels when playing for the Knicks individually. There have been struggles when they are out there together but Amar’e seems to be content to play in whatever way is best for the team. Stoudemire needs to focus on defense, rebounds and spreading the floor offensively. Points will come for Amar’e, he is too talented not to put up 15-18 points per game even if he is coming off the bench.
Iman Shumpert has been doing defensive drills, driving to the hoop during practice and even dunking the ball. Shumpert is looking at an early-mid January return and that will be a real shot in the arm for the Knicks. Shumpert is a real character who brings energy and effort on both ends of the floor.
Brooklyn Nets (13-12)
- Loss 100-86 at New York Knicks
Next 3 Games:
- Sunday, Dec. 23 at 3:00 PM vs. Philadelphia 76ers
- Tuesday, Dec. 25 at 12:00 PM vs. Boston Celtics
- Wednesday, Dec. 26 at 8:00 PM at Milwaukee Bucks
- The Nets are playing four of their next 5 at home. It is important for the Nets to play better at home.
- Brooklyn will be on the road for four of the five games following that stretch. That trip includes games at San Antonio and Oklahoma City.
- The Nets are scoring only 95 points per game which has them ranked 22nd in the NBA in scoring.
Brooklyn is in a rough patch at the moment. Over the last three weeks, the Nets are 3-8 and have lost five out of six at home over that stretch. Brooke Lopez is not 100 percent and hasn’t been able to play full time minuets since late November. Lopez is essential to the Nets success. He is the only real presence under the basket on the defensive side of the ball.
The Nets next two games come at home against division rivals Philadelphia and Boston. With Lopez working his way back onto the court the Nets will be trying desperately to bounce back and break out of their current funk.
Things almost came to blows when the Nets and Boston last hooked up. Kris Humphries is a physical player, which is the way a big man is supposed to be, and Rajan Rondo thinks he is the toughest guy to ever put on an NBA jersey. I would expect some definite friction when Boston comes to Brooklyn on Christmas. Rondo will not back down and Humphries has nothing to fear. When Rondo drives the lane I would bet there will be some contact.
MLB Offseason Update
New York Mets
The New York Mets made a huge move this week by trading reigning National League Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey. It is not often that a team is willing to part ways with a pitcher of that caliber but Dickey is different. Dickey is 38 years old and although knuckleballers can usually pitch longer than a standard pitcher, the Mets had to make this deal.
Travis d’Arnaud is one of the top catching prospects in baseball and is one of the top overall prospects as well. D’Arnaud, pronounced “Dar-No”, is 23 years old and is a value in all aspects of the game. Not only was he named the best defensive catcher in a 2011 poll of Double-A Eastern League managers but he batted .311 in 2011 and .333 in 2012.
Noah Syndergaard is a 20 year old, 6’5” Right hander from Texas who struck out 122 batters in 103.1 innings pitched in 2012. Syndergaard only allowed 81 hits over that same period and his 1.08 WHIP is an elite number for a starting pitcher.
New York Yankees
The details have not yet been disclosed but the Yankees have come to terms with Ichiro Suzuki on a 2-year contract. The deal was sealed Wednesday night and the Yankees now have one of their outfield slots locked up. Ichiro’s numbers slid in Seattle over the last few years but he bounced back when he came to New York last July. Seattle is one of the toughest places in the league to hit homers Suzuki hit five homers in 677 at bats in Seattle in 2011 and he hit the same number of long balls in 227 at bats as a Yankee. Suzuki batted .261 as a Mariner over 95 games in 2012 and .322 for the Yankees in 67 games with the Yanks last year.
Raul Ibanez is 40 years old and hit only .240 last year in his first season with the Yankees but he hit 19 home runs in sporadic playing time. Ibanez was responsible for a few of the brightest moments of the Yankees season and is clearly still a guy who can come up with a big hit in a big situation. Brian Cashman and the Yankees are in talks with Ibanez about a possible return in 2013.
Addressing the Newtown Tragedy
Remember, as trivial as they are, sports do a lot for people and can really make a difference. Being a part of a team can improve physical health through exercise and mental health through teamwork and working together. Jack Pinto was killed last Friday morning and was buried in his Victor Cruz jersey.
If there weren’t guns available to Adam Lanza he would not have been able to do what he did. Lanza may have gone on a rampage. But without access to firearms, the skinny 20 year old would not have been able to inflict nearly as much damage nearly as quickly. Without guns, these things don’t happen. Tragedies will occur whether we have guns or not. Not having guns simply makes things harder for the sick people who would attempt to create such carnage. I feel for and send love to everyone affected by this tragedy.
Previous NYSE posts:
- 'How Naïve and How Dumb' Can Someone Be?—DUIs Kill
The point of this weekly post is to pass along detailed information on New York sports while sprinkling in some humor. You will be updated on everything New York sports and I’ll take time to discuss some of the bigger stories nationwide in the sports world. Feel free to comment with any ideas, questions or comments. Your feedback is welcome. Get your exercise, keep smiling and please enjoy.