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Andrew Rosario

Andrew Rosario

What’s The 411: NFL Wrap-up Week #3 Upon Further Review

New York, NY - And then there were three! If Week Three is any indication of the kind of football year it will be, both betters and bookies are going to be in for a long, expensive year.

Let's start with the three teams that remained undefeated: One again, the Arizona Cardinals shocked everyone when they stomped the visiting Philadelphia Eagles 27-6 getting off to their best start in 38 years. The Eagles entered the game with the best offense after two games, even though both games were won by a total of two points. Arizona forced two Michael Vick fumbles, one returned for a 93-yard touchdown by James Sanders. The Cardinals pressured Vick all game, sacking him five times as he misfired on 20 of 37 pass attempts. Cards QB Kevin Kolb, once a member of the Eagles, passed for 222 yards on 17 of 24 attempts and two touchdowns. The Cardinals have now won their last seven home games. They have only done that one other time in team history. They host the Miami Dolphins Sunday. Philadelphia will play its first division game of the year when it hosts the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants...

The Houston Texans joined the 3-0 club the hard way going on the road sending Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos to its second straight loss 31-25. The Texans QB Matt Schaub threw four touchdowns and Arian Foster ran for 105 yards on 25 carries. As a franchise, Houston has never begun a year winning its first three games. Up next, the Texans host the Tennessee Titans. Speaking of the Titans, the team came away with the craziest win of the weekend over the Lions in overtime 44-41...

To finish off the victorious trifecta we travel west to find the Atlanta Falcons visiting the San Diego Chargers. Both teams came into game undefeated but the Falcons rode the arm of QB Matt (Matty Ice) who threw three touchdowns to three different receivers connecting on 30 of 40 passes for 275 yards. Atlanta comes home to host Carolina while San Diego looks to regroup as it travels to Kansas City...The same Chiefs team that kept New Orleans out of the win column despite falling behind 24-6 with little more than six minutes to go in the third quarter. From that point on, KC did not give up another point and did not allow a Drew Brees (20-36, 240 yards) pass completion in all of the fourth quarter or overtime in their 27-24 win...The Saints joined the Cleveland Browns (they may not win a game this season) as the only winless team when they hosted the Buffalo Bills. The ugliest game of the weekend was as exciting as watching paint dry especially after Buffalo lost its leading rusher in CJ Spiller. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for more than 200 yards and three touchdowns, including a 32-yard screen pass that Spiller turned into a touchdown. Soon after, Spiller would get tackled after a first quarter run, landing on his shoulder ending his day. He is not expected to play next Sunday when they face division rival New England...The Patriots may well will be playing without head coach Bill Belichick who made contact with a referee at the conclusion of its 31-30 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. After a game winning 27-yard field goal by Ravens Justin Tucker that just cleared the right goal post, Bellichick attempted to get the attention of a ref. The "Hoodie" tugged at the ref who continued to run off the field. Belichick also questioned calls during the game. Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith was playing with a heavy heart a day after his 19 year-old brother Tevin Jones died in a motorcyle accident the day before. Smith caught 2 touchdown passes. The Ravens have a short week as they host those lowly Browns...Looking like the most dominant team coming into week three, the San Francisco 49ers visited the Minnesota Vikings. Another week and another suicide pool upset. The Vikings saw QB Christian Ponder run for one touchdown and throw for two more in their 24-13 victory. The 9ers were coming off impressive victories over Green Bay and Detroit but could not get anything going consistently on offense or defense. San Fran now has to travel cross country to face a New York Jets team coming off the second ugliest game of the weekend. When the Jets face the Miami Dolphins, games are usually entertaining coming down to the last possession that determines the outcome. Not Sunday in South Florida. The Jets did come away with a win in overtime (the third OT game of the day) but not after both teams did everything they could to give the game away. Dropped touchdown passes, shaky running, pass defense and costly penalties plagued both squads. Making matter worse for Gang Green was losing Darrelle Revis for the rest of the year with a torn ACL in his left knee. The Jets defense is clearly not the same without Revis in the lineup. That was evident after he came out of the home opener win against Buffalo and in the loss against the Steelers the following week due to a concussion. New York may be 2-0 (2-1 overall) in its division but the schedule starting next week is brutal...The other New York team, the Football Giants could not have had a better extended break after routing the Panthers last Thursday night. Big Blue was without four offensive starters (David Diehl, Ahmad Bradshaw, Hakeem Nicks and Dominic Hixon) but the defense suffocated Carolina's Cam Newton all night while the offensive back-ups led by Eli Manning stepped up big in the 36-7 scorching. Newton, who is just as dangerous with his legs as he is with his arm, only ran for six yards on six attempts. Cam was picked off three times while Manning (27-35 288 yards) had all day to find his receivers. Andre Brown ran for 113 yards on 20 carries and two TDs. Ramses Barden hauled in nine passes for 138 yards and one touchdown. The health of the four and whether or not they will be available against Philadelphia has not been determined yet...The Raiders and Jacksonville got into the win column by beating the Steelers and Indianapolis respectfully. Oakland trailed by 10 (31-21) late in the third but shut out Pittsburgh the rest of the game. Seven touchdown passes were thrown (4 by Pittsburgh 3 by Oakland) while the Raiders Darren McFadden gained 113 on 18 carries and one touchdown in the 34-31 OT win. The Steelers get a bye next week while Oakland travels to Denver...The Jags turned back the Colts 22-17 as Maurice Jones-Drew ran for 177 yards on 25 carries and one touchdown. The Colts wasted a passing performance by Andrew Luck who threw for 313 yards and one touchdown. Like the Steelers, the Colts have a bye while the Jags host the Bengals...Dallas improves to 2-1 with an unimpressive win (16-10) in its home opener over Tampa Bay (1-2)...Same for the Bears (2-1) who dropped the Rams (1-2) 23-6 in a game that saw Chicago's Major Wright return a int 45 yards with the score 13-6 extending the lead...The Bears travel to Dallas next Monday night while the Rams host Seattle...Finally, those Seahawks and Packers finished off week three with a rock'em, sock'em affair Monday night that ended in the most bizarre fashion in recent NFL history. Packers QB Aaron Rogers was sacked seven times in the first half as Green Bay was kept off the scoreboard in the first half (7-0). The Packers returned the favor shutting out Seattle in the third quarter while taking the lead kicking two field goals and a touchdown to take a lead (12-6) until the very last possession. If the play that ended the game does not wake up the NFL hierarchy to end the ref lockout, nothing will. Seahawks QB Russell Wilson throws up a Hail-Mary pass in the direction of wide receiver Golden Tate. Just before Tate jumps up, he clearly pushes Sam Shield in the back (with both hands) driving him to the turf. Tate and Packers MD Jennings rise at the same time and it appeared that Jennings came up with the interception (the TV replays shows the ball pressed against Jennings chest) but as they crash to the ground, Tate is awarded possession and the game winning touchdown. The backlash, as a result of the game, will be talked about the rest year even when and if the dispute between the NFL and referee union is resolved.

  • Published in Football

What’s The 411: NFL Wrap-up Week #4:

East Rutherford, NJ - So this is what the New York Jets defense looked like with the best cornerback in football Darrelle Revis out with a torn ACL in his left knee. The San Francisco 49ers spent the week in Ohio rather than travel back home after getting beat by the Minnesota Vikings last week.

After losing 34-0 to the 49ers at MetLife Stadium, it's not only the defense the Jets have to worry about. It's the 11 players on offense that head coach Rex Ryan should be concerned with. Ryan was clearly steamed afterwards using language he had to apologize for. Parents may want to shield their kids from the following quote.

"I apologize for my language," he began his postgame press conference. "Because I was going to say we got our butt kicked. But really, we got our ass kicked. There's no two ways ins or outs about it."

He then dissected how the ass whipping took place.

"We go in and it should be 7-3 at halftime. It's 10-0 because of the mistakes we make. Then we come out, turn the ball over four times. Here's the recipe for getting our ass kicked: 2 for 13 on third down that 15%, four turnovers, a blocked punt when they rush one guy and give up 245 rushing. How's that for a recipe."

Houston Texans, Arizona Cardinals and Atlanta Falcons Still Undefeated

Things won't get any easier for Gang Green as they host one of the three teams that remain undefeated in the Houston Texans. They stayed perfect by rolling over the Tennessee Titans 38-14...The other two teams that are without a loss, Arizona and Atlanta, had to work hard to come away with victories.

The Cardinals needed overtime to best the Miami Dolphins (24-21) as QB Kevin Kolb threw for 324 yards and two touchdowns. Miami wasted a great performance by their QB Ryan Tannehill as he threw for 421 yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver Brian Hartline entered the Dolphins record book by hauling in 12 catches for 253 yards...The Falcons needed to go 90 yards with a little over one minute left to eke out a 30-28 win over the Panthers. Matt (Matty Ice) Ryan finds Roddy White for a 59-yard pass completion and then watches Matt Bryant kick the game winning 40-yard field goal. Ryan finished his day throwing for 369 yards as White caught eight passes for 169 yards...

Washington, Rams, Vikings, Patriots, Chargers and Broncos Among the Winners

Redskins wonder QB RGIII passes for 323 yards in its 24-22 win over Tampa. Another nail biter as Washington's Billy Cundiff nails a 41-yard field goal with three seconds left...Seattle was brought back to reality after its gift win Monday night against Green Bay as the Rams turned them back 19-13. Rams field goal kicker Greg Zuerlein was feeling his oats as he converted four field goals. The first, 58 yards that was followed up by a club record 60 yards. Expect him to be named special team player of the week...The disappointing Lions lose for the third time in four weeks after as the Vikings go on the road and come away with a 20-13 win. Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson continues to impress coming off knee surgery as he ran for 102 yards on 21 carries. Detroit's QB Matthew Stafford threw for 319 yards...For the second time this year, the Buffalo Bills gave up more than 45 points in a game. Sunday, they gave up 52 to the New England Patriots. The Bills did take a 14-7 halftime lead then saw their defense give up 45 points in the second half in the 52-28 loss. Patriots QB Tom Brady threw for 340 yards and two TDs...San Diego (37-20) and Denver (37-6) routed Kansas City and Oakland respectively. The Chargers jumped out to a 20-0 lead and Denver scored 21 third quarter points running away with the victories...

Bengals and Ravens Tied for First in AFC North; Cleveland and New Orleans Still Winless

Don't look now but the Cincinnati Bengals are tied for first in the AFC North after its 27-10 road win over Jacksonville. The Bengals are tied with the Ravens who just got by the winless Cleveland Browns last Thursday 23-16. The Browns had a chance to send the game into overtime but Cleveland's QB Brandon Weeden pass in the end zone went out of bounds...They join the only other winless team, the New Orleans Saints who were edged by Green Bay 28-27. The Saints had a chance to take the lead but Garrett Hartley misses a 48-yard field goal with a little less than three minutes in the game...

New York Giants Lose a Heartbreaker to Philadelphia Eagles

The New York (Football) Giants fell to 2-2 and 0-2 in the division after losing Sunday night in Philadelphia 19-17 to improve their record to 3-1. Big Blue had a chance to win it after Lawrence Tynes missed his first attempt at 54 yards but Eagles head coach Andy Reid called a time out. Tynes could not take advantage of the second opportunity as the kick came up short. Giants QB Eli Manning did throw for 309 yards and two touchdowns but the running game was non-existent. The Eagles did not turn the ball over for the first time this young season. The Giants host those lowly Browns Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

Everything is not Big in Texas As Dallas Loses to Chicago Bears at Home

Finally, the Chicago Bears (3-1) went into Dallas (2-2) and picked off Tony Romo five times (tying a career high) coming away with a 34-18 win. Bears QB Jay Cutler completed 18 of 24 passes for 275 yards and two TDs while wide receiver Brandon Marshall pulled in seven catches for 138 yards and one touchdown. Dallas now gets a much needed bye week as Romo and the offense try and figure out how to get straightened out. When they return to the field, four of their five following games will be on the road.

 

NFL Draft 2013: Jets and Giants on Opposite Ends of the Spectrum

Giants' Picks Appear to be More Strategic

The 2013 NFL Draft held last week at Radio City Music Hall further revealed the differences between the direction of the New York Giants and the New York Jets. For the Giants, they continue to show an organization that has been a model of consistency on and off the field (with the exception of the Plaxico Burress fiasco), while the New York Jets continue to be a dysfunctional group from the owner to the head coach and it's players. The new General Manager John Idzik is trying to change the direction of the team so he can't be judged at this stage. Suffice it to say though, the moves he's made up to this point has all the making of adding to the soap opera atmosphere.

Two years ago, the New York Giants won its second Super Bowl under head coach Tom Coughlin. Last year, they failed to make the playoffs. Looking to shore up its offensive line, General Manager Jerry Reese took Justin Pugh the 6-4, 301lbs offensive lineman from Syracuse University with its first pick hoping not only to protect Eli Manning but to improve the team's running game. Reese then got defensive with his next two picks taking Ohio State defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins 6-2, 320lbs and defensive end/linebacker Damontre' Moore Texas A & M 6-5, 250lbs. Moore does come with some baggage, as he was arrested in 2011 for marijuana possession. Reese is hoping his age (21) and playing with veterans will enable him to excel in putting pressure on opposing QB's. With Manning having a relatively healthy career, Reese raised eyebrows by using its 4th pick to take QB Ryan Nassib another 'Cuse alumn. Reese compared him to Andy Dalton and says Nassib has the "it" factor. At 6-2, 227lbs Nassib led the Orangemen to a 8-5 record and defeated Geno Smith (more on him later) in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Two of the last three draft picks were on offense with guard Eric Herman 6-4, 320lbs from Ohio and running back Michael Cox 6-1, 214 lbs from UMass. Reese is hoping he can be a sleeper as scouts like his size and are impressed with him catching the ball out of the backfield. The last defensive pick was Richmond's safety Cooper Taylor 6-4, 228lbs who comes to the team with health issues including a knee injury in 2011 and a pec tear in 2012. His size intrigued Reese as he could also be used in a linebacker role.

Said Reese, "I can envision him on special teams with that size and speed."

The New York Jets drafted Mark Sanchez four years ago and he immediately proceeded to take them to within one game of the Super Bowl in his first two years. The "Sanchize" was thought to be a Jet for the rest of his career. The last two years has turned into a recurring nightmare for him and the team. They have missed the playoffs the last two years as the roster has been turned into a virtual minor league team due to injuries and trades. Most recently the trade of the best cornerback in the league in Darrelle Revis. The Tim Tebow experiment was a total bust and his saga ended Monday when he was released by the team. That said, Idzik took 6 of 8 offensive players hoping that whoever is under center will be able to get the team in the end zone. A place they hardly saw all of last season.

The Jets began its draft night by taking CB Dee Milliner replacing Revis and hoping he can be at least half the player Revis is. That may be possible as Revis is coming off major knee surgery. Milliner, 6-0, 201lbs from Alabama will have a tremendous amount of pressure on him especially if Revis comes back strong with his new team Tampa Bay. At 6-3, 294lbs, Sheldon Richardson from Missouri was taken as their second pick. The defensive lineman has been touted as a effective run stopper. The Jets next six picks were all on the offensive side of the ball. The team had Radio City buzzing when they selected QB Geno Smith 6-3, 218lbs from West Virginia. Smith is now part of a QB roster that includes Sanchez, newly signed free agent David Garrard, Greg McElroy and Matt Simms. Sanchez will clearly have to show signs of his first two years if he wants to be the starter when the season begins. At least Sanchez will not have the circus that was Tebow around him. Whoever is under center, they will be hoping that the final draft choices will lead to a effective passing and running game. Offensive guard Brian Winters 6-4, 320lbs from Kent State, offensive tackle Oday Aboushi 6-6, 310lbs from Virginia and offensive lineman William Campbell 6-6, 310 from Michigan rounded out the picks. How they handle the transition from the college game to the pros will remain to be seen. The Jets like Aboushi's versatility and although listed as a OL, Campbell is expected to be switched to the defensive side of the ball. Trading with New Orleans, the Jets picked up four-year veteran running back Chris Ivory. Idzik likes the fact that Ivory is a "physical runner" who has size and speed. Ivory will be looking to take over from the often injured Shonn Greene who was not retained by the team after declaring for free agency.

The 2014 Super Bowl will take place at Met Life Stadium in New Jersey the home shared by both the Giants and the Jets. No home team hosting the game has ever played in the game. By the recent actions of both organizations, one team, the New York Giants has a better chance of getting to the big game. Unfortunately for the New York Jets, they will be lucky to finish the year with a decent record. The Giants have to deal with the re-signing of wide receiver Victor Cruz which could affect how successful they could be. The Jets, aside from the quarterback issues, are also dealing with Santonio Holmes coming back from a major injury and not having a possession receiver.

Training camp for both teams are going to reveal so much more than their draft picks.

 

Jets In For A Long Year

It seems like forever since Rex Ryan was hired to coach the New York Jets with the promise of turning the franchise around. After drafting QB Mark Sanchez and surrounding him with seasoned veterans on both sides of the ball, Ryan's philosophy seemed to work. The ground and pound offense and suffocating defense saw them go to two straight AFC Championship games to the surprise of everyone. The last two years saw them revert to the pre-Ryan days of not making the playoffs.

There were reports that the locker-room was in total disarray as players bickered with each other on and off the field. The result was the firing of GM Mike Tannenbaum with many Jets fans wanting Ryan to follow him out the door. Owner Woody Johnson hired John Idzik to replace Tannenbuam and got the go ahead to trade cornerback Darrelle Revis who was coming off major knee surgery and was looking to redo his contract. The trade went through and Revis was shipped off to Tampa.

 

Draft night saw Idzik pick two offensive linemen Brian Winters and Oday Aboushi, cornerback Dee Milliner to replace Revis and quarterback Geno Smith that had the draftniks shaking their heads. When the Jets do take the field on Sunday, they will be without Sanchez who had his throwing shoulder busted in a meaningless pre-season game against the Giants. Why was he in the game late in the 4th quarter with the second unit offensive line? Why was it so important for the Jets to win that game? Smith was thoroughly outplayed by Sanchez during training camp but starts by default. Late Monday they signed veteran quarterback Brady Quinn. Smith will be on a short leash and will surely be pulled if he and the offense struggles.

Offensively the Jets will be challenged as they have no wide receiver that scares any defense. Santonio Holmes, a great talent, but one of the biggest divisive players on the roster, is coming off surgery and more than likely will miss the first couple of games. They cut veteran Braylon Edwards who was attempting his third stint with the team. They are hoping Stephen Hill, Jeremy Kerley and tight end Jeff Cumberland can get them to stretch the field. The offensive line is solid with center Nick Mangold and left tackle D' Brickashaw Ferguson and they will have to be on the top of their games if running back Bilal Powell and fullback Tommy Bohanan are going to have any success.

Defensively, Ryan again boasted that they will be in the Top 5. Where have we heard that before? Antonio Cromartie anchors the secondary and it will be interesting to see if Milliner can take up where Revis left off. No doubt he will be tested early and often. The linebacker corpse of Garrett McIntyre, Demario Davis and David Harris will be hard-pressed to stop the run and put pressure on the opposing quarterback.

The turmoil that ended last season costing jobs and the uncertainty of the current roster did nothing to suggest the Jets will be the team that had the success they had in Ryan's first two years. It will be the third straight year they will not make the playoffs and no one would be surprised if Ryan is fired before the year is over. This has all the making of a 5-11 year.

The team opens up the season against the Tampa Bay Bucaneers on Sunday at Met Life Stadium.

 

  • Published in Football
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