Tag Archives: football

Giants NFL Draft: What’s the move?

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After a 3-13 season, the Giants had struggles all over the field. Injuries to Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard and Brandon Marshall, coupled with a poorly constructed offensive line caused the Giants to fall off the rails last season. The sheer incompetence of Ben McAdoo and Jerry Reese is also to blame.

New general manager Dave Gettleman is looking to build this team back up to the top and has already started to implement changes. With the acquisition of Alec Ogletree, Gettleman is making it a point to have a good line backing core – something the Giants have lacked for years. By trading Jason Pierre-Paul, the Giants freed up cap space and acquired a third-round pick, making it clear that they want no deadweight contracts on their roster. Better yet, he is also addressing the offensive line issues by signing Nate Soldier, a solid left tackle who can finally protect Eli Manning’s blindside.

Gettleman has done a solid job in free agency and with trades, but now comes the biggest test of all. With the number two overall pick in the draft, an aging quarterback, a still-rebuilding offensive line, very little running game and scarce cornerbacks, the Giants could make a lot of different moves. Here are some of the options:

Option #1: Take Saquon Barkley (scouting report below)

Saquon Barkley is one of the most talented guys in the draft, putting the world on notice last year at Penn State. His technique, speed and skill set parallel those of Todd Gurley and Zeke Elliot. However, many argue that running backs are easily replaceable and a “dime a dozen” as well. If they add him, they could have a potentially deadly offense with an OBJ and Barkley tandem. While this could prove unstoppable, the offensive line might not be able to bring that combo to its full potential.

Option #2: Take Sam Darnold/Josh Rosen/Josh Allen (scouting reports below)

Eli Manning is 38 years old and has only two years left, maximum. Many would argue that a QB needs to be taken. Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, or Josh Allen could learn under Manning for a year and then step in and be ready to win. However, many also argue that none of these three guys are the real deal. If a QB isn’t a sure-fire Andrew Luck or Peyton Manning, should you spend the number two pick on them? You could end up with Alex Smith or Sam Bradford instead.

Option #3: Trade Down

The Colts traded their number three pick in exchange for the number six, 37, 49 and a 2019 second-rounder. That being said, the number two pick is worth more, and the Giants potential trade partners in the Cleveland Browns (4), Denver Broncos (5), Miami Dolphins (11), Buffalo Bills (12, 22) and even the Arizona Cardinals (15) could make a deal feasible. If the Colts traded down three spots to receive three additional picks, I’m sure the Giants could get solid value by trading down two or three spots with the Browns or Broncos. However, if the Giants trade down eight or nine picks with the Dolphins and Bills respectively, they could receive a king’s ransom, and may want to consider that due to the significant help they need on the offensive line, as well as the need for a QB (Lamar Jackson maybe) and cornerbacks.

Other Possible Options

The Giants can draft OG Quentin Nelson or DE Bradley Chubb as well. While these two players are exceptional talents, I don’t believe they should pass up on Barkley if they keep number two. That being said, I think if they trade down (depending on the team), they should end up selecting one of the two – preferably Nelson – to bolster the offensive line.

Conclusion

If the Giants decide to stand pat and keep the number two pick, they should draft Barkley. His talent is special and comes around very rarely. However, if they trade the number two pick, a likely trade partner would be the Buffalo Bills. They would most likely receive the number 12 and 22 picks, as well as a few second and or third round picks for the future. However, if they can court the Browns to agree to a trade, they could still get a hefty amount given the number of picks the Browns have at their disposal.

Opinion

I am a huge fan of Barkley and want the Giants to draft him. However, they need to trade the pick because they need to acquire more picks, which will help them solidify the multiple holes the team still has.

Full scouting report summary by @AdemiSmithScout

Sam Darnold: Darnold has all the physical tools to dominate at the NFL level as a pocket passer. However, below average decision-making ability and poor ball security hinder him. Poor OL and WR play hurt him and unfortunately caused him to develop some poor habits. Has the arm strength to make NFL throws and flashed upside with his accuracy. If his decision making, ball security, and touch are coached up he can be a franchise QB. A long-term pick who will require development and time before he shows his full potential.

Josh Allen: Extremely raw prospect with rare combination of size, athleticism, and arm strength. Is still learning how to use his arm and currently has below average accuracy. Lacks touch and the ability to hit receivers in stride. Played in very simple offense and habitually made ill advised throws to covered receivers. Very good athlete with the ability to outmuscle some DL and outrun some LB in space. Physical player with raw strength. Gets lost when inside the pocket and has no clue what pressure is around him. Long term investment

Josh Rosen: Pocket passer with potential to run any offense like a well-oiled machine. Strong mental processing skills with ability to diagnose defenses and quickly go through reads. Arm talent to float the ball in awkward areas and quickly squeeze through tight windows. Very fundamentally sound, with coachable low release. Natural pocket player stands tall and can sense the pressure. Concerns with inability to extend plays due to lack of mobility, which may result in excess of hits which is concerning considering injury history.

Saquon Barkley: Game changing RB who can become a consistent All-Pro. Rare athlete who can outrun, and outmaneuver any defender. Not a physical runner but can convert inside on short yardage situations. Vision to hit any hole with quickness to utilize cut back lanes. Very consistent ball security. Raw in the passing game but has the athleticism to terrorize LBs and DBs. Good pass blocker but needs to avoid dropping helmet to block.

What do you think the Giants should do?

About Me: I’m Spencer Alexander Zied, a freshman at the University of Miami from New York, New York. I love to play basketball and tennis and am a big fan of the Knicks, Giants, Yankees and all U. Miami sports. I’m also a big fan of First Take and Sportscenter on ESPN. You can email me at spencer.zied@gmail.com or connect with me on Twitter, on Facebook, or on Instagram (secondtakewithspencera).

NFL Playoffs: Wildcard

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Wow. What a crazy season it has been. Who thought it would turn out this way? I certainly know I didn’t. With the season giving us surprise after surprise, there’s no doubt there will be craziness in the post-season as well.

As week 17 wraps up, the cold, ragged road to the Super Bowl begins. Here is how I believe it will play out.

Wildcard Round

NFC

Cardinals @ Panthers: This one will be a grind-it-out type of game. With two very strong defenses going head to head, we’ll see who packs a bigger punch to seal the deal. Cam Newton will be able to have some fun, but not too much fun as I believe that vaunted Cardinals secondary will definitely impact his decision making, forcing Cam to make mistakes.

Score: Cardinals win 23-16

Lions @ Cowboys: Tony Romo and Demarco Murray have been absolutely phenomenal this season. They have led the Cowboy squad out of the 8-8 doldrums as the seek prosperity for the first time in a long time. Without Ndamukong Suh, the Lions will still have a very strong defense, but with Romo and Murray, the Cowboys attack is too strong. Did I mention Dez Bryant and Jason Witten? Matt Stafford and Calvin ‘Megatron’ Johnson will certainly do some damage, along with the wildcard wide receiver Golden Tate. This game will be fun to watch.

Score: Cowboys win 34-31

AFC

Ravens @ Steelers: This division rivalry never gets old. If this were 2012, the Ravens defense with Ray Lewis and Ed Reed would be no match for the Steelers newly high-powered offense. However, those Raven players are gone, leaving the team’s  defense weaker. The Steelers have clicked on all cylinders and have been a ‘pick your poison’ offense this season. Joe Flacco will connect with Tory Smith and Steve Smith and will make it interesting.

Score: Steelers win 27-21

Bengals @ Colts: Andrew Luck has been nothing short of amazing this season. The Bengals have never won in the playoffs with Andy Dalton, and that trend will continue this weekend. The Colts struggle on defense, but Andrew Luck can crank it up a notch on offense to solidify a relatively easy victory.

Score: Colts win 31-20

Agree? Disagree? Share your predictions in the comments below. And be sure to check out my Second Take With Spencer A post next week for my divisional, championship, and Super Bowl picks!

Image of Peyton Manning via Sports Illustrated Kids.

About me: I’m Spencer (Alexander) Zied, a 10th grader from New York, New York. I love to play basketball, football and tennis, and am a big fan of the Knicks, Giants, Yankees, Oregon football and North Carolina basketball teams. I’m also a big fan of First Take and Sportscenter on ESPN. You can email me at spencer.zied@gmail.com or connect with me on twitter, on Facebook, or on Instagram (szied713).

Flawed NFL Playoff Format

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This NFL season has been a great one. There have been many surprises and intriguing match-ups so far this year. The question is, is there anything to look forward to? Of course there is! The NFL Playoffs are just around the corner!

The playoffs are sure to be riveting, but the flaws in the system could unfairly put some of the better teams at a disadvantage.

The format of the NFL Playoffs is a simple one. The top four division winners from each conference along with the two remaining teams with the best records will qualify. Then, the top two division winners have a bye week, in which the three seed plays the six seed, and the four seed plays the five seed. Then, the one seed and two seed matchup respectively and battle it out to the Super Bowl.

In my opinion, the current system leaves out some very important things that could contribute to exciting playoffs. The two division winners that play in the first week of the playoffs against the two wildcard teams get a home field advantage, even if their record is worse than the wildcard teams’. A few years back, the 7-9 Seahawks won their dreadful division and played the wildcard Saints who had a better record. The game was in Seattle, and therefore the Seahawks advanced due to their enormous home field advantage. So, the home field advantage should absolutely not be based on whether or not you won your division, it should be based solely on your record.

However, even if that much-wanted change took place, there would still be a gaping hole in the playoff system. If, for example, a division winner is 6-10, and the two wildcard teams have a 10-6 record and an additional team has a 9-7 record and did not win their division, the 9-7 team would be eliminated from the playoffs. If the playoffs began today, the Atlanta Falcons sitting atop the NFC South division at 4-7, would get home field advantage against the Seattle Seahawks at 8-4. Additionally, they would make the playoffs while the Dallas Cowboys (8-4) and the San Fransisco 49ers (7-5) would not. That, in and of itself, seems extremely flawed.

This brings up the question: Should there be home field advantage for division winners? The majority would agree that there should be.

But another lingering question remains: Should the NFL expand the playoffs? One idea by fans would have the NFL adding two teams, making the playoffs eight from a conference as opposed to six, and eliminating the bye weeks. Of course the arguments for or against this could require years before a decision is made.

I believe that the NFL playoff system is extremely flawed. I believe the top six teams should enter the playoffs so it remains a privilege rather than having half of the teams per conference being allowed to enter. I believe the NFL should do away with basing playoff seeds of division winners, and should take the top six teams from each conference and seed them based on records. That seems to be the most logical way to do it!

What do you think? Should the NFL playoffs change?

About Me:

I’m Spencer (Alexander) Zied, a 10th grader from New York, New York. I love to play basketball, football and tennis, and am a big fan of the Knicks, Giants, Yankees, Oregon football and North Carolina basketball teams. I’m also a big fan of First Take and Sportscenter on ESPN. You can email me at spencer.zied@gmail.com or connect with me on twitter, on Facebook, or on Instagram (szied713).

NFL Not So GOODell

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Throughout the last couple of weeks, multiple NFL players have gotten into trouble. Yes, every year NFL players get into trouble before, during or after the season. But this year, in just the first couple of weeks of the new season, several NFL players have been accused of or arrested for domestic violence.

The tape of Ray Rice’s assault of his then fiancé (and current wife) was seen for the first time by the NFL (yeah right), which led to Rice being cut from the Ravens. Unfortunately, his wife dropped the charges against him. Still, Rice has been suspended indefinitely and is now a free agent.

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was put in jail and released on bail for abusing his four-year-old child. At first, the NFL reinstated him, but after powerful negative reactions, mainly by the governor of Minnesota, Peterson was placed on the exempt list and will not be allowed to play until things are figured out. If he’s found guilty of the charges against him, he could serve a maximum of two years in prison.

The Panthers defensive lineman Greg Hardy was arrested for assaulting his ex-girlfriend during the summer. Like Peterson, he has been placed on the exempt list.

The 49ers defensive lineman Ray McDonald, accused of felony domestic violence, has not been charge with the crime. He has played all three games so far this season and has not missed any practices. Although he hasn’t been formally charged with the crime, it seems that it’s still being investigated.

According to the police, Cardinals running back John Dwyer was arrested a few nights ago for domestic assault against his wife and his son. While he has been deactivated, no charges have yet been filed. He will most likely be suspended indefinitely, if not eventually put in jail.

The NFL and Roger Goodell have been under a lot of scrutiny for their selective harshness towards certain cases or players and their laid back attitude towards others. Although the NFL has had a lot to do and the media and fans are not happy, team owners remain in support of Goodell. Although the NFL has its policies, not all of them are fair or necessarily fit the crime.

I feel that the NFL should create firm guidelines and rules for the following. If you are a first offender to DWI you should pay a $15,000 fine, then a $30,000 fine, then a $60,000 fine. For domestic violence you should be dealt with by law enforcement and suspended indefinitely. For a drug violation you should serve a one-game suspension for the first offense, a two-game suspension for the second offense, a four-game suspension for the third offense, an eight-game suspension for the fourth offense and banned for the season for the fifth offense. If a player is arrested, he should automatically serve a two-game suspension and pay a $15,000 fine. That cannot be tolerated. Any other violation of the law should be dealt with only by law enforcement. The NFL should not have a say in its players’ personal lives based on it thinks, and its rules should be based on laws.

As for the continuing trend of NFL players getting into trouble, there is truly nothing the NFL can do to stop it. However, it can make clear guidelines for everyone to follow so that players know what their punishments will be ahead of time. Hopefully the NFL and Goodell will figure out how to deal with this whole mess soon.

How do you think the NFL should handle these situations in the future? 

About me:

I’m Spencer (Alexander) Zied, a 10th grader from New York, New York. I love to play basketball, football and tennis, and am a big fan of the Knicks, Giants, Yankees, Oregon football and North Carolina basketball teams. I’m also a big fan of First Take and Sportscenter on ESPN. You can email me at spencer.zied@gmail.com or connect with me on twitter, on Facebook, or on Instagram (szied713).

2014 NFL Predictions

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With the NFL season beginning September 4th, everyone from SI.com to Foxsports.com to ESPN.com is weighing in on what they think will happen during the upcoming season.

My predictions are based on what took place this offseason with each team. However, I am taking into account little of last year’s results.

NFC playoff teams

Division winners

Philadelphia Eagles: 10-6

Green Bay Packers: 11-5

New Orleans Saints: 11-5

Seattle Seahawks: 12-4

 

Wildcard teams

Carolina Panthers: 10-6

Detroit Lions: 10-6

 

Will miss the cut: San Francisco 49ers

I do not believe the San Francisco 49ers will make the playoffs for a multitude of reasons. They lost Aldon Smith for nine games; the aging of Frank Gore and Patrick Willis will hinder their progress as well. Navarro Bowman recovering from an ACL injury won’t help either. In addition, the 49ers lost Carlos Rodgers and Donte Whitner to free agency.

 

NFC Championship Game

Seattle Seahawks vs. New Orleans Saints

 

AFC playoff teams

Division winners

New England Patriots: 12-4

Cincinnati Bengals: 10-6

Indianapolis Colts: 11-5

Denver Broncos: 12-4

 

Wildcard teams

Kansas City Chiefs: 11-5

Oakland Raiders: 9-7

 

Will miss the cut: San Diego Chargers

The San Diego Chargers will not make the playoffs this season not because of their offense, but because of their depleted defense. Late in the season they always fall apart because their offense is not on the field enough due to the defense’s slacking. As talented as Phillip Rivers is, the Chargers don’t have enough firepower to pull through.

 

AFC championship game

Denver Broncos vs. New England Patriots

 

Super Bowl

New England Patriots vs. Seattle Seahawks

The winner of the Super Bowl will be…The New England Patriots! In this day and age, it’s nearly impossible to repeat as champions in the NFL as the Seahawks are attempting to do. The Patriots have one of the best, if not the best, quarterback (Tom Brady), coach (Bill Belichick), and tight end (Rob Gronkowski). With the additions of Darelle Revis and Brandon Browner, the ‘legion of boom’ will be compromised and will not have enough offensive firepower to outlast the Patriots now vaunted defense. Keep in mind they have Vince Wilfork, Rob Ninkovich, Chandler Jones, Donta Hightower, Jerod Mayo in their front seven. It will be an arduous task for anyone to beat this well-oiled machine, if they stay healthy.

Super Bowl MVP: Tom Brady

Think I’m right? Think I’m wrong? Weigh in with your predictions in the comments below.

 

About me:

I’m Spencer (Alexander) Zied, a 10th grader from New York, New York. I love to play basketball, football and tennis, and am a big fan of the Knicks, Giants, Yankees, Oregon football and North Carolina basketball teams. I’m also a big fan of First Take and Sportscenter on ESPN. You can email me at spencer.zied@gmail.com or connect with me on Twitter, on Facebook, or on Instagram (szied713).

2nd Take with Spencer A

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I’m a big fan of ESPN’s First Take, hosted by Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless. I love how they argue and debate. I also know that they know what they’re talking about.

Watching the show for the last three years inspired me to write my own blog and give my opinions, predictions, and thoughts about anything that has to do with sports, both on and off the court or field. I also plan to interview athletes and coaches and anyone who works in or comments on sports.

Here are some of highlights from this weekend in sports:

  • The NFL put new rules in for domestic violence cases. This should hopefully reduce crime in the NFL.
  • Aldon Smith was suspended from the NFL for nine games for using banned substances, having multiple DUI arrests, and for getting arrested at the airport for saying “bomb.” I think that’s just the right amount of time for now.
  • The potential first openly gay NFL player Michael Sam was cut from Rams, but can sign with any team’s practice squad. I think the Giants and 49ers are top contenders to sign him.
  • USA defeats Finland and Turkey in FIBA World Cup matchups. We should expect nothing less from the greatest basketball players in the world.
  • NBA star Kevin Durant signs a new Nike deal worth $300 million over 10 years.

I’m excited for September, when the NBA and NFL seasons begin and the sports world awakens from its summer break. Although it has been relatively quiet, the offseason in the NBA and NFL hasn’t been. Some highlights:

*Lebron James returned home to Cleveland;

*Carmelo Anthony signed long term with New York;

*Paul George broke his leg and will miss the season; and

*James Harden claims he’s the best player alive.

With the plethora of new coaches and players, the NBA season will surely be a special one.

As for the NFL, there will be high entertainment as well. With Johnny Manziel drama on one hand, and the intense wait for the season to start, this NFL season will kickoff well.

I don’t know about you, but I am excited! I just hope that this year there won’t be an arrest every single week in the NFL, that there won’t be as many teams regretting the huge contracts they’ve given some of their players, and that athletes will focus more on their game and less on Instagram.

What are you looking forward to most during the upcoming NBA and NFL seasons? Post your comments below.

 

About me:

I’m Spencer (Alexander) Zied, a 10th grader from New York, New York. I love to play basketball, football and tennis, and am a big fan of the Knicks, Giants, Yankees, Oregon football and North Carolina basketball teams. I’m also a big fan of First Take and Sportscenter on ESPN. You can email me at spencer.zied@gmail.com or connect with me on Twitter, on Facebook, or on Instagram (szied713).