It’s been a good week for New York sports. Mariano Rivera is back with the Yankees for another year, the Jets are still alive in the playoff race and the Giants crushed the Saints. David Wilson is finally being appreciated for his speed and strength when running the ball and R.A. Dickey’s trade value has been steadily rising. All this and more covered in this week’s NYSE.
Question of the Week
Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent hopped into his Mercedes with his practice squad teammate Jerry Brown last Saturday night. Brent was believed to be traveling at a high rate of speed down a highway service road after a night out and a number of drinks. A few moments later Brent was trying to drag Brown’s body from his car which had flipped and caught fire.
“You get a new outlook on life and some of the mistakes I’ve made. You realize a lot of things, how naïve and how dumb you can be sometimes.” That statement was made by Brent to the Chicago Tribune in 2009 after being pulled over by Police near the University of Illinois campus and arrested for drunk driving. Brent received two years probation and was sentenced to 60 days in Champaign County jail. He was released after serving half the time. It was announced Thursday morning that Brent’s blood alcohol level was tested at .18, the legal limit being .08.
How strong should the punishment for DUI be? What should the punishment be? Is there any way to prevent people from getting behind the wheel drunk or is this a fact of life that everyone needs to watch out for?
Author's Answer: There comes a point when something can just not be accepted any longer. Is it fun to wait for a ride home? No. Is it fun to pay for a cab? Of course not. Is it fun to wake up in the morning and live another day? Yes. It is common sense for the vast majority of people to not drive if they were to become intoxicated. However, common sense is out the window when someone is intoxicated. Do I want to blow into a tube for my car to start? No, but something needs to be done. It shouldn't be left up to the person who has had a few drinks, their decision making ability, just like their driving ability, is impaired.
Team by Team
New York Giants (8-5)
Win 52-27 vs. New Orleans Saints
Next 3 Games:
- Sunday, Dec. 16 at 1:00 PM at Atlanta Falcons (11-2)
- Sunday, Dec. 23 at 4:25 PM at Baltimore Ravens (9-4)
- Sunday, Dec. 30 at 1:00 PM vs. Philadelphia Eagles (4-9)
- David Wilson has gained 211 yards on his 31 carries this season, an average of 5.1 yards per carry. Ahmad Bradshaw is averaging 4.4 yards per carry.
- The Giants travel to Atlanta and Baltimore over the next two weekends. Baltimore is 5-1 at home and Atlanta is 6-0 at home this season. The Redskins travel to Cleveland, 4-3 at home, and Philadelphia, 2-4 at home. The Cowboys are home to Pittsburg, 3-4 on the road, and New Orleans, 2-4 on the road.
- The Cowboys and Redskins are only one game behind the Giants in the NFC East. The Giants could easily be in third place two weeks from Sunday.
Ahmad Bradshaw injured his knee against the Saints and was in and out of the game after the injury. Bradshaw had an MRI and underwent a number of tests on his knee Monday. No major injury has been reported but Tom Coughlin said Bradshaw’s status moving for this week will be determined by medical staff. If it were up to Bradshaw, he would play.
David Wilson would love to get out there against the Atlanta Falcons. Atlanta is allowing 4.9 yards per carry against them. Only one team in the NFL is worse than the Falcons in that area, the New Orleans Saints at 5.1 yards per carry.
The Giants need to win two out of their next three to lock up a playoff spot and that won’t be easy with two tough road matchups in a row over the next two weeks. Atlanta is a great passing team and the Giants have serious issues in the defensive backfield. Kenny Phillips and Prince Amukamara are not practicing as of mid-week.
Prediction: Loss 34-23 at Atlanta
New York Jets (6-7)
Win 17-10 at Jacksonville
Next 3 Games:
- Monday, Dec. 17 at 8:30 PM at Tennessee Titans (4-9)
- Sunday, Dec. 23 at 1:00 PM vs. San Diego (5-8)
- Sunday, Dec. 30 at 1:00 PM at Buffalo (5-8)
- The Jets can win out and get to a 9-7 record before the season is over. The Bengals and Steelers are both one game head of the Jets. It looks like only one of those three teams will be in the post season.
- Shonn Greene has run for at least 70 yards in three straight games but has only one touchdown since week eight.
- Bilal Powell has only run for over 70 yards once all season but has four touchdowns in the last four games.
- The Jets travel to Tennessee this week where the Titans are allowing over 127 rushing yards per game and have allowed 12 rushing touchdowns on the year.
- The Jets suffered the subtle humiliation of having their Sunday night game against the Chargers downgraded to a 1 p.m. kickoff.
The Jets need to win out if they are going to have any hope of making the playoffs. Andrew Luck and the Colts are very close to securing a wild-card slot. The Jets have one of the easiest schedules in the league over the last three weeks of the season. Even if the Jets win out they could still fall short of making the playoffs depending on what the Bengals and Steelers do. Their schedules are much more formidable.
Mark Sanchez is playing for his career as a starter in the NFL. Rex has been ignorantly loyal to Sanchez over this season. Sanchez has been the worst starting quarterback in the league. Sure John Skelton and Ryan Lindley have been worse in Arizona but keep in mind that Sanchez got pulled against the Cardinals and his backup came in and saved the Jets’ season. Rex has said for years that Sanchez is his guy. Most coaches will make the tough decision to make a change if ‘their guy’ is dragging the team down. Rex has decided to go down with the ship. He will not bench Sanchez until this season is completely lost and when that happens, it could cost both of them their jobs.
Prediction: Win 23-17 at Tennessee
New York Knicks (16-5)
Win 100-97 at Brooklyn Nets
Next 3 Games:
- Thursday, Dec. 13 vs. Los Angeles Lakers
- Saturday, Dec. 15 vs. Cleveland Cavilers
- Monday, Dec. 17 vs. Houston Rockets
- The Kicks are first in the Eastern Conference at 16-5 just ahead of the Miami Heat (14-5). The Knicks are 2-0 against the Heat this year winning each game by exactly 20 points.
- Carmello Anthony is one of two players in the Eastern Conference averaging over 20 points a game.
- LeBron James is second in the east averaging 25.2.
- Anthony leads the east averaging 27.7.
- Anthony received resounding cheers for MVP at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Tuesday night.
Tuesday night was the second great game we have seen in our battle of the boroughs that began this year when the Nets moved to Brooklyn. The first game between the Knicks and Nets Nov. 26 went to overtime and the Knicks fell 86-89. Jason Kidd hit a 3-pointer with just a few seconds left to beat the Nets 100-97 on Tuesday.
The Knicks kick off a 6-game home stand against the Lakers Thursday evening. four of those six games are against teams with losing records. It is important for them to handle their business at home and not let any winnable games slip away. The Knicks are capable of winning all six of these games and it would definitely be a disappointment if they win less than four of them.
Amar’e Stoudemire worked out for 90 minutes on Monday and didn’t suffer any setbacks which is great news for Knicks fans. Although Stoudemire won’t commit to the speculated return on Christmas Day against the Lakers, this is clearly a positive step toward his return.
Win 92-84 vs. Lakers, Loss 102-94 vs. Cavilers, Win 104-90 vs. Rockets, Win 96-92 vs. Nets
Brooklyn Nets (12-9)
Win 94-88 at Toronto
Next 3 Games:
- Friday, Dec. 14 at 7:30 PM vs. Detroit Pistons
- Saturday, Dec. 15 at 8:00 PM at Chicago Bulls
- Tuesday, Dec. 18 at 7:30 PM vs. Utah Jazz
- The Nets just lost five games in a row. The last four of those games came at home.
- Brooke Lopez has missed the last 6 games. The Nets were 10-4 with Lopez and 1-5 without him.
- The Nets travel to Madison Square Garden to take on the Knicks for the first time as the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday Night.
Right now the most important thing for the Nets is to play well against the Pistons on Friday night. Detroit is 10 games under .500 and the Nets have been in a bit of a free-fall. The Nets and Knicks were tied for second about two weeks ago and the Nets fell four games behind their intra-city rivals in that span.
So often in the NBA the difference between playoff success comes down to winning games you should win, especially at home, during the regular season. The Nets just lost four in a row at home and they need to get back on track unless they want to get stuck playing a team like the Heat in the first round of the playoffs. Ask the Knicks how well that worked out for them last year.
Win 110-96 vs. Detroit, Loss 88-82 at Chicago, Win 96-90 vs. Utah, Loss 103-91 at Knicks
MLB Offseason Reports
New York Yankees
- Mariano Rivera signed a 1-year $10 million dollar deal with the Yankees for the 2013 season. The all-time leading closer with 608 regular season and 42 playoff saves is still not at 100 percent after tearing his ACL early last May. Rivera has been rehabbing for months and is confident that he will be ready to go by Opening Day when the Yanks host the Red Sox on April 1.
- The Yankees Signed Kevin Youkilis to a 1-year $12 million deal. Youk has been very good against the Yankees throughout his career but had a really rough season last year batting only .235 in 122 games. Youkilis will do a decent job in the field until Alex Rodriguez returns.
- Rodriguez is expected to have hip surgery in January. They found the problem with Rodriguez’s hip in late November and many are wondering why a man who makes over $25 million a year can put off his surgery for over a month. Well, in this case Rodriguez doesn’t have much choice. Doctors have asked Rodriguez to “strengthen” the area before he goes under the knife.
New York Mets
- This offseason there were three pitchers on the market who could eventually be the ace of a staff. Zack Grenkie, James Shield and NL Cy Young winner RA Dickey. During the Winter Meetings in early December the Mets reportedly listed to offers from over half a dozen teams that were interested in Dickey’s services. Sandy Alderson and the Mets were not willing to part with Dickey for any of the offers presented.
- Understandably, Dickey means a lot to the Mets after winning the Cy Young and being the only real bright spot in an otherwise dark and dreary season. But the time to deal Dickey could be approaching. With Grenkie and Shields both off the market, Dickey remains the best arm available and it’s not close. As the last available chip, the offers for Dickey will likely go up as teams get desperate. Alderson had better be listening. Dickey is 38. Get what you can and be thankful you got that.