Should The Giants “Tank”?

By Jake Navarro ’20 and Jack Lev ’20

After being 1-6 to start the season, the New York Giants hopes of making the playoffs are plummeting. Many Giants fans have pondered whether or not the Giants should tank in order to earn themselves the number one draft pick in 2018.    

Many Giants fans hold strong opinions on the future of their season. Sammy Guthartz ’20 is an extreme football fan and a diehard Giants fanatic. Guthartz believes the Giants should tank the remainder of their season considering their best player, Odell Beckham jr., is injured. Guthartz went on to speak of the benefits of tanking, such as earning the number one draft pick, which in turn, enables the Giants to select the potential best player in the draft.

Although Guthartz holds a strong opinion, many other people disagree with the fact that the Giants should tank, as they could actually make the playoffs. Jake Glickman ’20 has been a Giants fan since 2004. “Although we might have lost the first five games of the season, the rest of the schedule appears to be a lot easier,” he said.

Glickman went on to state how although a number of players are injured, the Giants may finally be able to establish a run game with the helps of running backs Orleans Darkwa and Wayne Gallman. Also, in 1992 the Los Angeles Chargers started out 0-5 just like the Giants, yet they made the playoffs, proving it is possible for the Giants to make it.

Holden Cohen ’20 is a fan of the New York Jets and feels that the Giants won’t win another game, and they might turn out to be the worst team in the league this year. “With the losses of Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall, elite wide receivers in the Giants offense, they might never bounce back,” he said. “They still can’t establish a run game after drafting Wayne Gallman and their offensive line gives no help.”

While there is still some hope for the Giants, as the losses pile up, their chances of making the playoffs seem to be rapidly fading.

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Local NFL Teams Off to Bad Start

By Teddy Dienst ’20 and Alex Massoud ’20

 

Patriots:

After winning the Super Bowl last season, and acquiring many key free agents such as cornerback Stephon Gilmore, running back Rex Burkhead and wide receiver Brandin Cooks, there was talk that this year’s Patriots team could go 16-0, matching that of the 2007 Pats team. However, after being dismantled by Alex Smith and the Chiefs in their opener, losing 42-27, those talks of a superteam died down. The Patriots bounced back the next week, handley defeating the Saints 36-20, but struggled at home against Houston the next Sunday. They went down by five with just over two minutes to go, but Tom Brady led another game-winning drive and delivered a touchdown pass to Brandin Cooks with 23 seconds left to give New England the win. The Panthers came to New England this past Sunday, in what looked to be a surefire blowout for the Patriots as the Panthers were beat by the Saints the previous week, but the Panthers surprised the world and beat the defending champs. Carolina went up by two touchdowns early in the fourth quarter when Belichick’s crew started to comeback, tying up the ballgame with three minutes left. However, the 2015 NFL MVP Cam Newton set up Carolina kicker Graham Gano in field goal range, who proceeded to hit a 48-yarder as time expired to send the Patriots to .500 on the season. The Patriots will head to Tampa Bay to face the Buccaneers on Thursday night and will look to get back on the winning path.

 

Jets:

Going into the 2017 season, most analysts had very little hope for the New York Jets. They said they lacked talent and leadership above all. Through four weeks, these critics look to be somewhat incorrect. After stumbling out of the gates against the Buffalo Bills, the Jets traveled to Oakland to face the Raiders. The twelve and four team from a year ago certainly looked the part against the very flawed New York Jets, winning the game 45-20. However, Head Coach Todd Bowles and the Jets bounced back, winning two consecutive games against the Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars to even themselves up at 2-2. Local Jets fan Jake Thaw ’20 attributed the two wins to the fact that they were both at home. “With the expectations of this team being so low, they were getting bombarded by opposing fans which only decreased their spirits. Coming back home really brought a lot of energy and life to a team that was seemingly dead,” Thaw said. The Jets look to continue their hot streak and potentially make the playoffs as the obvious dark-horse candidate for this 2017 season.

 

Giants:

After coming off an impressive 11-5 season the New York Giants are still seeking their first victory as the first quarter of the NFL season comes to an end. It has been an injury packed year for them with star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. coming off a hurt ankle and starting running back Paul Perkins suffering a rib injury in a 27-24 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Negatives seem to be taking over New York season but one positive is that every game they have played they have gradually been playing better. In week one, the Dallas Cowboys almost shut out the Giants by beating them 19 to 3. In week four the Giants were beating the Buccaneers late in the fourth quarter But couldn’t hold on to that lead and lost on a game winning field goal. This doesn’t justify the horrific start they have had but it should give New York fans some type of hope to grasp onto as the season progresses. “They are starting off very underwhelming,” George Nelson ’20 said. “It is clear that the offensive line and Eli Manning are struggling.” This is true, and if the Giants fill those gaps and get rolling, they could be on the verge of a much better season.

Philadelphia Eagles Vs New York Giants Preview

By Jarod Ferguson ’18

Two teams that desperately need a win to save their seasons, the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants, clash in the City of Brotherly Love. The Eagles enter this contest at 1-1 and open up as 6.5 point home favorites. They play their first home game in 2017 after starting the season with two straight road games in Washington D.C. and Kansas City. They exercised their demons by beating the Redskins, a team they lost to five times in their previous meetings, 30-17. In week two, the Eagles played a red hot Kansas City Chiefs team at Arrowhead Stadium. They lost 27-20 and look to get another division win this week against their rival up the turnpike.

The Giants are 0-2, coming off  a loss against the Detroit Lions. New York came into this season with high expectations, even with some saying they could reach the Super Bowl this year, but they have been inconsistent at best. With star wideout Odell Beckham Jr. hampered with a high ankle sprain, the Giants offense has been struggling. Scoring 13 points in two weeks is not a recipe for success and they hope to get back on track against the Eagles this Sunday. Their defense has been as good as advertised but to maximize their effectiveness, they need their offense to stop putting them in bad situations.

These two division rivals will be fighting to restore hope in their respective seasons and will be a tough game for both teams. Whoever comes out on top will have a crucial division win and the loser will have dug themselves in an even bigger hole in the NFC East.

 

Draft Recap: Philadelphia Eagles

By Ari McCoy ’17

The City of Brotherly Love has not been feeling much love lately. The team has slowly been falling, from division winner to a below .500 team to a rebuilding franchise. After a bottoming out year, Philly is trying to return to the spotlight. After hiring Jim Schwartz as defensive coordinator last offseason, the team is continuing to supplement the defense.

 

Round Name Position College
1 Derek Barnett DE Tennessee
2 Sidney Jones CB Washington
3 Rasul Douglas CB West Virginia
4 Mack Hollins WR North Carolina
4 Donnel Pumphrey RB San Diego State
5 Shelton Gibson WR West Virginia
5 Nathan Sherry S/LB Nebraska
6 Elijah Qualis DT Washington

 

Barnett and and Jones could both be day one starters (as soon as Jones gets healthy). Barnett was the most polished defensive lineman in the draft and had the stats to back it up, as the Vols all-time sack leader. Jones was considered a top 15 talent who fell after tearing his achilles at his pro day. Jones can start on the outside and has both ideal size and speed to go along with strong man coverage skills.

While they wait for Jones to recover, Rasul Douglas could play a huge role for Philly as a large corner who thrives in man coverage. At 6’2” and 209 lbs, the WVU corner could see a ton of snaps for the size deprived group of DBs.

Hollins is an intriguing size/speed guy, at 6’4” with a 40 yard dash at 4.53 seconds. He’ll contribute on special teams while remaining a depth player and deep ball threat.

Pumphrey has a wide open shot for a starting job, as expected starter Ryan Mathews is to be released upon passing his physical. The SDSU running back was the top FBS rusher in history, amassing over 6,000 career yards from scrimmage. While he’s only 180 lbs, Pumphrey has carried the ball over 300 times in each of the past two seasons, proving his durability.

Gibson is a true burner, averaging over 23 yards per catch over his past three seasons at WVU. While he isn’t a lock to make the roster, he’ll have a shot if he can prove to be useful on special teams.

While he was a college safety, Jim Schwartz appears to be converting Sherry to a linebacker. At only 218 lbs, he’ll need to bulk up if he makes the team. He’ll start out as a special teams player, but may be able to make a difference in sub packages as he develops.

Qualis has a good chance to make the team, unusual for a sixth rounder. An athletic, powerful defensive tackle, he may be able to join the rotation featuring Fletcher Cox, Timmy Jernigan and Beau Allen in Schwartz’s rotating defense.

The Eagles are fighting to get out of the NFC East basement. With a rebuilding but not too far off team like they have, Philly went for the correct approach, acquiring high upside players who can also contribute in the short term. If these players can develop as projected, the Eagles will be a playoff contender sooner than expected.

Grade: B+

NFL Draft Recap: Pittsburgh Steelers

By Ari McCoy ’17

The Pittsburgh Steelers are known for making smart, calculated decisions when acquiring new players, whether through the draft or free agency. They don’t make large splash moves, but rather draft and develop their own. Nothing changed this year, but the Steelers’ class is more lauded than usual, with bigger names falling to them in the draft.

 

Round Name Position College
1 TJ Watt OLB Wisconsin
2 JuJu Smith-Schuster WR USC
3 Cameron Sutton CB Tennessee
3 James Conner RB Pittsburgh
4 Joshua Dobbs QB Tennessee
5 Brian Allen CB Utah
6 Colin Holba LS Louisville
7 Keion Adams DE Western Michigan

 

Watt, the brother of Texans superstar DE JJ Watt, was a fearsome pass rusher in a conference full of future NFL lineman. He’ll be the third stringer for at least his rookie year, behind James Harrison and Bud Dupree, until he can potentially take over for Harrison. Smith-Schuster, an athletic receiver who can play inside and out, will have time to learn behind Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant and Eli Rogers. He could contribute early on, especially if injuries take a toll on the receiver group.

Cameron Sutton can come in day one and play as their nickelback, maybe even playing outside in a pinch. He’ll also bring added value in the return game. Conner was a powerful, punishing runner at Pitt, and after surviving cancer during his college career he became a local hero. He’ll play tandem to Le’veon Bell while providing depth and a change of tone.

Josh Dobbs combines the athleticism and arm strength of a top tier signal caller with the brain of a rocket scientist. For now, he’ll be the heir apparent for Big Ben under center. Allen was essentially a late round flier, with ungodly athleticism to go with a 6’3” frame.

Holba will compete for the ever valuable position of long snapper, where one or two young guys get drafted every year. A former basketball player, Adams definitely has the athleticism to make the team, but at 6’2” and only 245 lbs, it’ll be a struggle to avoid the practice squad and beat out the five players ahead of him.

This was a great draft class for Pittsburgh. They picked up players who can help in the short term, like Schuster, Sutton and Conner, while also finding players like Watt, Dobbs and Allen who will contribute down the road. It’s tough for rookies to make an impact on veteran teams, but the Steelers found guys who can contribute at a high level early on.

Grade: A-