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 Deja Blue

It all looked so familiar.  The Giants were trailing the Patriots with the ball with just minutes remaining.  Eli Manning would have to lead an improbable drive down the field to get Big Blue a Vince Lombardi Trophy.  The underdog Giants would have to come from behind to defeat arguably the greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL, Tom Brady.  The Giants would have to prove all the nay-sayers wrong once again.  Sunday night, Patriots fans had that feeling of deja blue.

Super Bowl MVP, Eli Manning would lead another magical drive down the field with the Giants trailing 17-15 and just 3:46 remaining.  The Giants scored a touchdown that was not as memorable as Plaxico Burress’s touchdown in Super Bowl 42, but one that left the same exact feeling in the stomach of Patriots fans.  Ahmad Bradshaw would run it into the endzone with 58 seconds on the clock to give the Giants the lead, 21-17.  The biggest play of the drive came on the very first play.  Pinned back at his own 12 yard line, Manning threw a gorgeous pass to Mario Manningham who made an incredible play to stay in bounds and make the catch at the 50 yard line to give the G-Men great field position.  The Patriots challenged the play and ended up losing a timeout that would have helped in their final drive in the last minute of the game.  The Manningham catch reminded many of the David Tyree catch in Super Bowl 42 off his helmet.  It was the big throw and catch that gave them life and kept the drive going.  The difference between this drive and the drive in Super Bowl 42 was that the Giants made it look much easier last night.  They did not have one third or fourth down on the drive.  The Patriots answer had no answer for Manning and the Giants offense.  Manning found Manningham and Nicks the entire drive wherever and whenever he wanted.  Eli was making passes in his brothers building that we would normally see his brother make.  His throws were as accurate as they could be finding every opening in the Patriots defense.  It was evident that the Pats defense was fatigued as the Giants were finding open receivers on every play.

The Patriots would get the ball back with 58 seconds left and a timeout at their own 20 needing a touchdown to win.  It would end up being too little too late for Bill Belichick’s team.  There would be another deja blue moment on the drive as Justin Tuck would send Brady down on a sack on 3rd and 10 that forced the Patriots to use their final timeout.  That had Giants fans thinking of the sack rookie Jay Alford put on Brady in Super Bowl 42 that would put the Pats away.  It all looked so familiar as the events unfolded.  It seemed to be destiny for the Giants who once again entered the playoffs at 9-7 and made a magical run to a Super Bowl Championship.

Tom Coughlin, the coach on the hot seat just weeks before the playoffs began will now be holding up another Vince Lombardi Trophy in the Canyon of Heroes in the greatest city in the world on Tuesday.  Eli Manning will be holding his second Super Bowl MVP trophy.  Millions of fans will be packed into the streets celebrating another Giants championship.  A team that looked to have the keys to be headed home in December will now be presented with the “Key to the City” Tuesday in what is set to be another memorable parade in New York.

 Staff Picks for Super Bowl XLVI

Here are the picks from some of our staff:

Mike Carver
Patriots 27 Giants 20
Belichick & Brady have had 4 years to think about Super Bowl XLII and will be razor sharp focused to pay the G-Men back.

Brandon Contes
Giants 27 Patriots 20
We’ll see more defense than people are expecting, take the under.

Rob Kowal
Giants 41 Patriots 17
Eli will dominate and the Giants front-four will ruin Tom Brady and the Patriots night.

Bill Donohue
Patriots 31 Giants 27
This is like watching a Phillies-Yankees World Series for me…torturous.

Derek Wasiak
Giants 34 Patriots 31 OT
The Giants will become the 1st 9-7 team (400 points allowed, 32nd ranked rushing offense) to win the Super Bowl. Why? They are healthy!

Greg Locke
Giants 27 Patriots 24
See-saw battle ending with a Tynes FG in the waning seconds. Manning MVP.

Adam Kern
Giants 27, Patriots 24
The G-Men’s defense is healthy and clicking, and Eli will lead the way in a tough-fought battle to claim another Super Bowl.

Cody Normand
Patriots 24 Giants 21
The game will come down to a last second Steven Gostkowski field goal to win the game for the Pats.

Ty Hardamon
Giants 31 Patriots 24
G-men will get it done!

Jake Brown
Giants 23 Patriots 20
Game winning field goal by Tynes will win it; Eli gets MVP.

Joe Gucciardo
Giants 27 Patriots 17
The Giants offense is much more explosive than it was four years ago, and Patriots are not even close to the their 18-1 team that same season.

Should be great game! Be sure to tune in to SPORTSTALK1240 after the game (airing from 9:00pm to 11:00pm this and every Sunday night!), and call us with your thoughts on the outcome. Remember, you can listen live online while watching WGBB’s studio webcam by simply linking to http://webcam.sportsradiony.com!

 The Book of Eli- The Ultimate Road Warrior
  Rematch isn't the word, Eli awaits his Legacy

Eli Manning in Shotgun Formation; Photo by Rajiv Patel

Finally we have a Manning playing in Lucas Oil Stadium.  Strangely, this Manning wears #10, not #18. Eli Manning has earned the right to play in Super Bowl XLIV, almost killing the discussion that he is the second Manning on the depth chart.

The late Giant run has been inspiring and exciting. Coach Tom Coughlin officially removed the Bunsen burner from his chair, and used it to illuminate his path to Canton, Ohio.

Victor Cruz has been nothing short from amazing. Simple as that! Undrafted, pulled up from the practice squad, only to allow the salsa dancing wide out to finish both third in receiving yards (1,536) and yards per reception this season (18.7).

Manning has showed that he no longer casts in the shadows of his older brother. Heck, he has done things nobody has, let alone is brother, since 1966. Manning has three straight games with 275 pass yards and multiple touchdowns in a single postseason.

This past Sunday, Manning set a record for road playoff wins by a quarterback. Manning stands at five, while bunkmate Mark Sanchez has four … who would have thought that huh?

“I knew there was a shot. We have talent on this team; we have guys who are committed to being good. It’s just a matter of, ‘Can we put it all together? Can we play our best football at the right time? And that’s just what’s happened,” Manning said Monday in an interview on ESPN New York 1050’s “The Michael Kay Show.”

The Giants are loaded with talent. They have three quality defensive ends, usually only two on the field at a time, but Justin Tuck has earned sacks as a defensive tackle. Wide out Hakeem Nicks has the hand size of Andre The Giant, which means he could catch a football with WD40 on his hands.

The Giants will win on February 5th. In the back of the mind of Manning holds the whispers from the epic 07 season. Critics uttered that it was luck for the Giants to stand with the Lombardi trophy. The respect was not given and I’m sure Manning remembers that. Pretty soon he will have defeated arguably the two best quarterbacks of the last decade, brother Peyton Manning and opponent Tom Brady on the same day on the road. What will people say then? He is the Ultimate Road Warrior?

 Jets Suffer Crushing Loss to Pats

Photo by by Keith Allison

The Jets may be loaded with talent defensively, solid receivers, and a good running game, but they do not have the one man that can make the difference to put them over the edge. That man for the Patriots is Tom Brady.

The Jets came into Sunday night’s game against the Pats with a great opportunity to get a win and capture sole possession of first place.  The Jets were riding a three game win streak coming,  and playing at home where they were 4-0 on the season.  The Pats had come in losing two straight games and struggling defensively.  The Jets were looking for revenge for their 30-21 loss at New England in week 5.  The winner would stand alone in first place.

The Patriots handed the Jets a crushing loss, 37-16 to essentially take a two game lead in the AFC East.  They hold the tie breaker by defeating the Jets in both games this season.  The Jets had no way of stopping Brady, the three time Super Bowl champion.  The future hall of famer had an extraordinary amount of time in the pocket to throw the ball.  The Jets defensive line was atrocious in forcing Brady into any bad throws.  Brady’s offensive line was remarkable in allowing him all the time he needed to get it to his receivers.  The extra time allowed him to hit his tight ends alone for 12 receptions and 154 yards.  Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez were unstoppable down the middle of the field.  Pats receivers also had big games against a Jets secondary who is considered one of the best.  Wes Welker and Deion Branch had 104 yards and 11 receptions combined.  Even Chad Ochocinco, who has been ineffective this season had two catches for 65 yards.  The Jets had no problem stopping the rush.  They only allowed 60 rushing yards total.  Brady was just too good throwing for 329 yards to six different receivers.  The Jets had no answer for arguably the best quarterback in the league.

The turning point of the game came in the second quarter with around 1:20 to go in the half instead of letting the clock run down all the way then using a timeout, Sanchez called a timeout with plenty of time still on the play clock.  The Jets would score the touchdown on the next play, but they left the Patriots 1:20 on the clock and two timeouts to drive down the field.  Rex Ryan told NBC at the half it was “The stupidest thing in football history.” Clearly, Ryan was in fuming that Sanchez used a timeout with so much time remaining for a Patriots team that is known for their offensive capabilities.  The Patriots would end up scoring a touchdown with nine seconds left and go into the half with all the motivation in the world.

The Jets were outplayed and out-coached by Bill Belichick and the Patriots Sunday night.  This was a demoralizing loss for two reasons.  One being that the Patriots looked dominant in both games this season against the Jets.  The second being that the Patriots remaining schedule is one of the easiest in the NFL for the final seven weeks.  Of their seven remaining games, the only team above .500 that they play is the last game of the season at home against a Bills team that has lost three of their last four after starting 4-1.  The Jets will only play two more teams with a winning record as they face the Bills and Giants.  Five of the Jets last eight games will be on the road.  When asked if his team still had hope to win the division Ryan said, “It looks doubtful right now.”  The division seems to be a long shot for the Jets.  They will hope to get one of the two wild card spots in the playoffs.

The Jets will now have a short week as they hit the road to face the Broncos in Denver Thursday night.  Tim Tebow has had the Broncos playing well of late and still in the race in the AFC West. It is going to be a tough road for the Jets from here on out.  The key will be to come out strong Thursday night with no signs of a hangover effect from a pivotal loss Sunday night. The Jets will need to avoid any “Tebow magic” and head back home with a victory under their belt as they face Buffalo the following week at the Meadowlands.

 01/16/2011 – SPORTSTALK1240

Hosted by Adam Kern. Discussion of the Jets 28-21 playoff win against the Patriots dominated much of the discussion. Guests included former New York Jets LB Marvin Jones, who gave his insight and analysis on the game, in addition to talking about his playing career with the Jets. Mike Carver also called in to offer his opinion on the game, and the Jets chances next week against the Steelers. Thanks also to the contributions made from callers Robbie from Ramsey, NJ and Stubby from East Rockaway, NY.

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 01/16/2011 – The Starting NYNE

Steve Rogan and Tom Goren sat in to host for Paul Revelant. The Jets big 28-21 playoff win against the Patriots was the focus of the program. Guests included former New England Patriots quarterback Steve Grogan, who gave his thoughts on the game and reflected on some memories from his playing career. A record 7 callers to the 1-hour program tonight, 4 of which calling from Jericho, NY and one from down in North Carolina. Thanks to Dylan, Steve, Coach, Charlie, Jackson, Dave, and Debbie for contributing to the program this evening!

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 The Tape Rolls On for the Jets

Midway through another NFL playoff week, Jet’s Nation is realizing something very special: they still matter. No more talk of their place in the draft, no murmurs of replacing the head coach, no quarterback controversy. No. Only the next game.

The tapes are rolling indeed. Belichick is in a Boston compound singeing film until the wee hours, and Ryan is trying to keep up. There will be no rest this week. With the coaches, there is no controversy as to who’s the superior. Three heavy, sparkling fingers on Bill’s hand says enough. (Also, Ryan, in a recent press conference, said outright “he’s better.”) There is a lot of work ahead.

Jets fans are, frankly, unaccustomed to all this. By mid-January most have already lit the hot-stove: talking in innings and runs as opposed to quarters and touchdowns. Three years ago, a hot start from, (who else?) Brett Favre, led to a puttering, non-playoff end. Gone was Favre. Gone was the maligned “Man-genius” who proved worthy of anything but the “genius” moniker. Gone was hope. Again. And so it goes with the Jets. So it goes. The playoffs? Playoffs!? No. The Jets are not used to the playoffs.

The following season, when Rex Ryan was appointed head coach along with a young QB from USC (at significant cost), Jets fans still had little reason to dream big. Then a funny thing happened. Rex opened his mouth; immediately making proclamations of a Super Bowl victory. Fans appreciated the enthusiasm, the tone of a head coach that actually talks to the press and fan base, but they couldn’t take these claims seriously.  Not even a little.

Later that same year, during the AFC Championship game, the Jets put up a quick 17 points against Peyton Manning and his Colts. Ryan’s lunatic predictions sounded nothing short of prophesy. The Super Bowl was 30 minutes away. Doubters be damned. That game ended with the Jets watching Manning pick them apart, 30-17, and the Jets fanned stammered away from their televisions; heartbroken, but hopeful for their next playoff chance.

In 2010/2011, they find themselves in the playoffs again. They are the perennial underdogs…again. They slayed the Manning beast in his own home during Wild- Card Week, and move on to Foxboro. The tapes are rolling.

Round One:   Jets win 28-14. 
Round Two:  Pat’s win 45-3.
Round Three: ?

Let’s face facts: Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have created another masterpiece. Nobody, absolutely nobody predicted a 14-2 Patriots season, and yet here they are. Cobbling together talent young and old, led by perhaps the most clutch QB of all time, and strategically directed from possibly the greatest coach in NFL history, the Patriots are a juggernaut. They have not only beaten their opponents, they have outright embarrassed them. They are an 8½- point favorite as of Wednesday. They’re not chirping at all; that’s not their style.  In their silence, the Jets fans tremble.

To attain an unlikely victory, we know what must happen. Mainly, Brady cannot get comfortable. He doesn’t have to get sacked all day, but he cannot have time in the pocket. He relishes picking apart defenses like that. Also, Sanchez has to be more accurate, and his running backs must provide an effective ground game.  The Jets know what has to happen.  The Patriots (clearly) know how to beat the Jets. With an exception for the quarterback position (unfortunately for the Jets, far and away the most important position in football), the players match up evenly. This is a battle of strategy, execution and most importantly: will.

Will the Jets embrace the “Us Against The World” mentality? Will they be David, and throw a fatal stone at Goliath? Will Belechick disembowel the Jets like he did a month ago? Will Sanchez step up? Will Brady live up to…Brady?

For the Jets fans, all of this is so sudden and new. They’re alive, they’re dangerous and they matter. The same old Jets? It can not be. Ryan already has the most post-season wins as a Jets coach. The same old tape for this franchise can be burned. There is new film in the canister. Question is; will this tape roll on?

 Jets/Pats Tonight: Staff Predictions

The New York Jets and New England Patriots enter tonight’s game with identical 9-2 records. The Jets defeated the Pats 28-14 earlier this season, giving them the lead in the AFC East. Tonight’s winner will have the inside track at a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs

For the New York Jets, this is one of their biggest regular season games in quite some time. Much of the media seems to believe the Pats will be to much for the Jets to handle this evening in Foxboro. This evenings matchup will provide the Jets an opportunity to prove their nay-sayers wrong with a strong performance. What do you think?!

Here are the predictions for tonight’s game from some of our staff:

Paul Cuthbert
Patriots 28  Jets 9

Mike Carver
Patriots 27  Jets 17

Brandon Contes
Patriots 27  Jets 17

Michael Schimmel
Patriots 38  Jets 30

Anthony Ambrosino
Patriots 30  Jets 27

Adam Kern
Patriots 20  Jets 17

Mark Elliot Wishnia
Patriots 28  Jets 27

Aaron Lloyd
Jets 23  Pats 21

Rob Kowal
Jets 17  Patriots 13

Zachary Schulman
Jets 23  Patriots 17

Justin Zucker
Jets 28  Patriots 21

Frank Maniscalco
Jets 31  Patriots 24

Kevin Cunningham
Jets 31  Patriots 14

 

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