Daniel Jones Runs For Two Touchdowns As Giants Hold On For Thrilling Win

The Giants secured their first win of the season thanks in large part to Daniel Jones, who was named the starting quarterback when New York elected to bench Eli Manning after an 0-2 start.
The rookie QB made quite the first impression, completing 23 of his 36 passes for 336 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Jones also ran for two TD’s of his own in the Giants’ 32-31 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It looked as if Tampa Bay was going to move to 2-1 on the year, but a missed field goal as time expired sealed the win for the Giants.

Jones’ first touchdown came in the second with New York down 12-3 with just over 10 minutes left in the quarter. But he found his opening and took off and just got into the end zone to keep his team in the game.

The post you've waited all week for…#GiantsPride | #NYGvsTB pic.twitter.com/aqOc6x82cT
— New York Giants (@Giants) September 22, 2019

His second one, though, tied the game at 31-31 with just 1:17 left in the game. Jones had a wide open lane up the middle he took advantage of for an easy six points. The Giants took the lead on the PAT, eventually sealing the W.

DJ got us fallin' in love again #GiantsPride | #NYGvsTB pic.twitter.com/aI9xYiuUNw
— New York Giants (@Giants) September 22, 2019

We’re sure Jones will remember this game for a long, long time.

Patriots Notes: How Jarrett Stidham Reacted To Pick-Six In NFL Debut

FOXBORO, Mass. — Some assorted notes and nuggets from the New England Patriots’ 30-14 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday at Gillette Stadium:

— Jarrett Stidham’s NFL career is off to a forgettable start.
Up 30-7 with 8:41 remaining, the Patriots opted to lift quarterback Tom Brady and insert Stidham, the fourth-round rookie who’d impressed enough this summer to bounce veteran backup Brian Hoyer from the roster.
Stidham completed an 11-yard pass to Phillip Dorsett on his first snap, took a sack on his second, completed a 3-yarder to Rex Burkhead on his third and then airmailed a throw over his intended receiver, running back Brandon Bolden, on his fourth. The ball landed in the waiting arms of safety Jamal Adams, who returned it 60 yards for a touchdown.

Prez to the house.#NYJvsNE | #TakeFlight pic.twitter.com/CzLwKAmK43
— New York Jets (@nyjets) September 22, 2019

That proved to be Stidham’s final snap of the afternoon. Head coach Bill Belichick promptly reinserted Brady after the ensuing Jets kickoff.
“It’s obviously not how you want to start things,” Stidham said after the game. “I’ve just got to continue to trust in my ability and get the ball to the receivers the right away. I got a lot of work today. I’m excited about that. Just got to do better. …
“Obviously, I’m very thankful to get a few snaps. But wish it would’ve gone a little better. I just have to make a better throw, so I’m going to continue to get better and have a next-play mentality.”
Despite posting even more lopsided score lines in their first two games, the Patriots didn’t turn to Stidham in garbage time of those. The Auburn product admitted he was surprised when he heard his number called Sunday.
“I wasn’t really expecting it at the time,” he said. “I was ready for it. Yeah, they just said, ‘Get in,’ and that’s what I did.”
— Sunday’s game was a slog for running back Sony Michel, who managed just 11 rushing yards on nine carries.
The absence of fullback James Develin (neck) didn’t help matters — New England promoted rookie Jakob Johnson from the practice squad as a short-term replacement for Develin but hardly used him — but Michel has struggled to find his footing all season. He’s averaging just 2.4 yards per carry through three games, with Rex Burkhead leading the Patriots in rushing yards despite tallying 21 fewer attempts (24 to Michel’s 45).
Michel’s advanced stats also paint an unattractive picture:

I believe there are brighter days ahead, but Sony Michel currently ranks last in PFF's elusive rating among 48 qualified running backs. He's averaging 1.67 yards after contact per attempt and has forced just one missed tackle on 45 rushes.
— Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) September 22, 2019

— Running back James White missed the game to attend the birth of his first child. Special teams captain Matthew Slater happily reported White and his wife, Diana, welcomed a baby boy into the world.
— In an odd quirk, all seven Patriots players who were inactive last week in Miami (Brandon Bolden, Marcus Cannon, Jermaine Eluemuor, Damien Harris, Jakobi Meyers, Joejuan Williams and Deatrich Wise), were active Sunday. Harris and Williams made their NFL debuts against the Jets after sitting out the first two games as healthy scratches, as did Johnson.
— The Patriots’ defense still has yet to allow a touchdown this season. They held the Jets to just 105 yards of total offense, the lowest total of the Bill Belichick era and the fourth-lowest in team history. New York also went 0-for-12 on third down.
Defensively, the Patriots have surrendered just three points this season. The two touchdowns New England has allowed have come on offense (Stidham’s pick-six) and special teams (Gunner Olszewski’s muffed punt).
“It’s exciting, but we can do better,” safety Duron Harmon said. “There were some plays out there that we wish we could have back that we played a little better, maybe not the proper technique that we wanted to play with. And that’s the good thing about being in Week 3. There’s so much you can improve on. Even when we have games that are as good as we’ve had, we know there’s so much we can improve on.”

Gunner Olszewski Aims To Regain Patriots’ Trust After ‘Unacceptable’ Muffed Punt

FOXBORO, Mass. — The inspiring Gunner Olszewski story hit its first major roadblock Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium.
Olszewski, who enjoyed an unlikely and meteoric rise this summer from undrafted Division II product to New England Patriots punt returner, muffed a punt near his own goal line during the Patriots’ 30-14 win over the New York Jets.

Shoutout @arthurmaulet_ for the hustle.#NYJvsNE | #TakeFlight pic.twitter.com/HAyT5FPqFP
— New York Jets (@nyjets) September 22, 2019

The Jets pounced on the ball in the end zone, resulting in the first touchdown the Patriots had allowed this season.
“I called a fair catch, and I lost focus,” Olszewski said after the game. “I didn’t look it all the way in, and it went through my hands. Unacceptable. There’s no excuse for it.”

Roster spots are tenuous for players in Olszewski’s position, and the former Bemidji State standout was visibly distraught on the sideline following his miscue. He remained clearly frustrated with himself when he addressed reporters at his locker.
“They put me back there because they trust me,” Olszewski said, “and I just want to show them they can trust me in any situation, not just when we’re up by 30. Game on the line, I can go back there and I can catch the ball. … I’m going to learn from it, and it won’t ever happen again.”
The Patriots stuck with Olszewski after his muff, and his next punt return — an 11-yarder — proved to be his best of the afternoon. The rookie fielded eight of Jets punter Lachlan Edwards’ nine boots without incident, absorbing frequent and heavy hits from New York’s coverage players.
“Sometimes running with the ball angry helps you a little bit,” he said. “But I’ve just got to prove to them that they can trust me and that it won’t happen again.”
Olszewski received support from his teammates both on the sideline following his mistake and in the locker room postgame. This came from all corners of the roster: offensive linemen Ted Karras and Marcus Cannon both were seen trying to boost the youngster’s confidence after his media scrum had dispersed.
“(We told him to) keep his head up,” said special teams captain Matthew Slater, who returned kickoffs early in his career. “We all support him, and we know what type of kid he is. He’s an asset to this football team. Everyone in this locker room has a lot of faith and confidence in him. And look, those mistakes happen. No one knows more about muffing balls as a returner than I do. So we support him, stay positive and just get ready for Buffalo.”
Said Olszewski: “They told me to pick my head up. We’ve got more game to play. And don’t let it happen again, pretty much.”
The Jets’ second touchdown was the result of another rookie mistake. On the third pass of his NFL career, first-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham overthrew running back Brandon Bolden, resulting in a 60-yard pick-six for safety Jamal Adams.

New England Revolution and Portland Timbers Both Stumbling into Critical Match

New England Revolution and Portland Timbers Both Stumbling into Critical Mid-Week Match With MLS Playoff Berths On The Line

On Wednesday the New England Revolution will take on the Portland Timbers at Providence Park. Both Portland and New England couldn’t find the back of their net in their previous matches despite the pair having home-field advantage.

The Revolution are 1-2-5 in their last eight MLS league matches and are 10-10-11 overall on the season as they hang on by a thread to the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. On the other side of this matchup, the Timbers are 13-13-5 on the season with 44 points. Portland has been held scoreless in their past three matches and has a 7-5-3 record at Providence Park this season.

New England has had a bit of luck as of late to hold onto the seventh seed in the East with the Montreal Impact falling to the LA Galaxy 2-1, Orlando City dropping to the Houston Dynamo 2-1, and the Chicago Fire drew 0-0 with FC Cincinnati on Saturday night. For the Revolution who are three points above the playoff line to make the playoffs they have to take four points in their final three matches. That is easier said than done of course with Portland coming in just as desperate and then NYCFC and Atlanta closing out the 2019 regular season for the Revolution.

“We know we can play our games and we get results; we’ll be in the playoffs,” said Revolution defender Andrew Farrell on Saturday night.

Portland has slumped with their top attacker in Brian Fernandez dealing with a stomach virus in recent weeks and in a 0-0 game on Sunday he was subbed off. Either way, this will be a tough match for the Revolution in front of a boisterous Providence Park crowd. New England has had an impressive form this season against Western Conference opponents with a 6-1-4 record against the West in 2019. On the road, the Revolution have been even more impressive in the pacific time zone with their last loss coming on May 8, 2016, at the LA Galaxy.

It feels like this match is there for the taking for New England, but then again, many of them have.
The post New England Revolution and Portland Timbers Both Stumbling into Critical Match appeared first on Trifecta Sports.

Devin McCourty Knows Bill Belichick Will Find Flaw In Patriots Defense

FOXBORO, Mass. — The New England Patriots defense looks as well-oiled as it has been in quite some time.
The Pats’ defense has not allowed a touchdown through three games this season, and was again dominant in a 30-14 win over the New York Jets on Sunday.

While it has not been against the the toughest competition the league has to offer, New England’s D has been suffocating and ball-hawking. The Jets managed just 105 yards of total offense, averaging just 2.2 yards per play. Luke Falk was picked off by a red-hot Devin McCourty while Le’Veon Bell was held to 35 yards on 18 carries.
Still, McCourty expects Bill Belichick to have plenty of errors and adjustments queued up when the Patriots reconvene for meetings and film review.
“If you ever sit in a Bill Belichick meeting, don’t worry. He’ll find it,” McCourty said of defensive flaws. “So we’ll come in here tomorrow and he’ll have it broken down. Whether it’s run technique, whether it’s pass-rush games up front, leveraging coverage, depth on the safeties on the half-field, on the middle. All of those fundamentals he’ll have down.”
That’s hardly a surprise given the defensive mind of Belichick, who doesn’t exactly come across as one to rest on his laurels.
“I think we’ve played good team defense at times,” Belichick said. “There’s still things we need to work on and be a little more consistent at, things we can definitely coach better, but our players have prepared well. The communication has been good.”

How Matthew Slater Made Incredible Special Teams Play Late In Patriots Win

FOXBORO, Mass. — If New England Patriots special teams ace Matthew Slater ever makes it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame — and he has a strong case — this will undoubtedly be one of the clips shown in his highlight reel.

SPECIAL TEAMS HIGHLIGHT pic.twitter.com/x41RWaePfk
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) September 22, 2019

Patriots punter Jake Bailey booted the ball from the Jets’ 40-yard line with a hangtime over 4 seconds. Slater, from the right gunner position, sprinted past his blocker, saw the ball was going to sail over the head of the returner, Braxton Berrios, tracked the punt and lateraled it into the field of play as he fell into the endzone.
Sure, the Patriots were probably going to beat the Jets anyway. They had a 16-point lead with just over five minutes left in the game, but that downed punt by Jonathan Jones might as well have been the dagger. The Jets had scored two second-half touchdowns but went three-and-out backed up to their own end zone. That was pretty much all she wrote in the Week 3 matchup.

“Yeah, that was a really tough play because you have to respect the returner,” Patriots head coach and special teams aficionado said Sunday. “You don’t want to run past him and let him catch the ball and return it, so Matt did a great job of recognizing that the ball was going to go over Braxton’s head and then was able to find it and make the play and keep it inbounds. It’s tough to catch those as punts. It’s even harder to run from the line of scrimmage and turn around and handle them or keep it out of the end zone.
“Matt’s probably the best in the game at that. He’s had a lot of great plays, works very hard at it in practice. It’s great to see that practice work pay off, but he gave us a lot of leadership out there today. We were missing a few guys on special teams and Matt stepped up like he always does.”
These types of plays are why Slater is a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, four-time first-team All-Pro and one-time second-team All-Pro. A player with those types of accolades at most other positions would be shoo-ins for the hall of fame. Slater’s father, former Los Angeles Rams offensive tackle Jackie Slater, made the hall of fame after being selected to seven Pro Bowls and earning three first-team All-Pro nods and two second-team All-Pro teams.
Slater would be the first non-kicking specialist to make it, though. At this point, after playing in five Super Bowls and winning three of them, he’s probably passed Steve Tasker as the most notable specialist of all time.
So, how did he make that play?
“We practice that a lot,” Slater said. “Obviously Jake and I have had to start working at it a lot more. We haven’t had a lot of time working at it together, but we’ve spent a lot of time at it, and he gave me a ball that I could play. We try to make a play on it, and it’s nice to be able to contribute in a good team win like that.”
Slater was humble when asked where that downed punt ranks among the better special teams plays of his career.
“That was fun,” Slater said. “That was fun. Jake gave me a chance to get there and make a play on the ball. He kept it in play, and sometimes the ball bounces your way.”
Although Slater played on offense last week as a blocker, he exclusively worked on special teams during training camp. It seems those long mornings in the hot Foxboro sun are paying off.

Rams Vs. Browns Live Stream: Watch ‘Sunday Night Football’ Game Online

Are the Cleveland Browns contenders or pretenders?
Through two weeks, it’s kind of tough to tell. However, there’s a nice opportunity on deck to set the dialogue surrounding them. Baker Mayfield and Co. will host the reigning NFC champion Los Angeles Rams in “Sunday Night Football” action.

The Browns opened their season by getting throttled by a mediocre Tennessee Titans before pounding the lowly New York Jets in Week 2. The undefeated Rams snuck past the Carolina Panthers before easily dispatching the New Orleans Saints in Week 2.
Here’s how to watch Rams vs. Browns:
When: Sunday, Sept. 22, at 8:20 p.m. ET
TV: NBC
Live stream: FuboTV — free trial | NBC

David Ortiz Recalls Night ‘Angel’ Drove Him To Hospital After Being Shot

It’s been just over three months since David Ortiz was shot at a bar in his native Dominican Republic. And now he’s opening up about that June 9 night.
The Red Sox legend sat down with a handful reporters recently to discuss the moment he knew what was happening and his “angel” who drove him to the hospital, as well as his message to the doctors who saved his life.
To hear from Ortiz, check out the “Ultimate Red Sox Show” video above, presented by Harbor One.

Boston Cannons Set to Take on Denver in MLL Playoffs

Boston Cannons Set To Take On Denver In MLL Playoffs After Falling In Season Finale At Veterans Memorial

Saturday was a bittersweet moment for Boston Cannons fans at Veterans Memorial Stadium with the 2019 regular season coming to a close. Boston fell to the Dallas Rattlers 16-15 in their final home game of the season but their journey doesn’t end there. Unlike Dallas, the Cannons will be headed to the Major League Lacrosse playoffs.

Boston with the loss locked in a matchup with the Denver Outlaws who finished the season as the third seed. The Cannons finished their regular season with a 9-7 record, one game back of first place Chesapeake. Despite a great atmosphere for their first season in Quincy, the Cannons mustered just a 3-5 record on their home turf this season while going 6-2 on the road.

The Cannons will now have two weeks off ahead of the MLL semi-finals which are set to take place on October 4th at the University of Denver. If Boston is able to defeat Denver they will face the winner of the Bayhawks vs Blaze matchup in the league championship on October 6th at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
The post Boston Cannons Set to Take on Denver in MLL Playoffs appeared first on Trifecta Sports.

Josh Gordon Goes ‘War Daddy Deluxe’ In Gutsy Performance Vs. Jets

FOXBORO, Mass. — Someone get Josh Gordon a truckload of ice and a long massage. He deserves it after what he went through Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium.
Gordon was battered and bruised during the New England Patriots’ 30-14 victory over the New York Jets, twice leaving the field with injuries that required medical attention. But both times, the veteran wide receivers returned, playing through a back/hip ailment and what appeared to be a dislocated finger to lead all players with 83 yards on six receptions.
The Patriots have a term for a performance like that, according to special teams captain Matthew Slater.
“We call that War Daddy Deluxe,” Slater said after the game. “He was out there taking hits, dislocating — I don’t know what he did to his finger, but I’m assuming it wasn’t good. He showed a lot of toughness today.”

Gordon’s initial injury came on a long incompletion late in the first half. The big wideout drew a defensive pass interference call on the play but also slammed hard on the Gillette turf, forcing him to hobble into the sideline medical tent.
He was back in the game to begin the third quarter, but less than five minutes later, his left hand caught on the collar of cornerback Nate Hairston. Doubled over in pain, Gordon made his way to the Patriots bench, where a small group of trainers and team doctors went to work.
“He’s tough,” fellow wideout Phillip Dorsett said. “He’s a warrior for him to come back in the game, because he knew we needed him. He’s a warrior.”
Before long, Gordon was trotting back out to the huddle, strips of white tape connecting his pinky and ring finger. He caught a 3-yard pass from Tom Brady on the ensuing Patriots possession, then submitted an early entry for Catch of the Year two plays later.
With New England facing a third-and-22, Gordon ran an out-and-up, elevated over cornerback Darryl Roberts and somehow got both feet down in the field of play, holding the ball in his non-mangled hand as Roberts shoved him out of bounds.
The play went for 28 yards down to the Jets’ 4-yard line. Rex Burkhead scored three plays later to put the Patriots ahead 30-0.
“We had good field position, and Josh made a huge play,” Brady said. “He made a bunch all day. He went wire-to-wire; he’s going to be pretty tired tomorrow. I’m proud of him and what he accomplished today. That was a huge play in the game.”

HOW?!
What a catch, @JOSH_GORDONXII! pic.twitter.com/2LSyzkPbj8
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) September 22, 2019

Gordon added another highlight-reel grab on the opening play of the fourth quarter, out-jumping safety Marcus Maye to pull down a 22-yard seed from Brady.
“I think the mindset going into every game as a wide receiver is to attack the ball ferociously,” Gordon said. “You can’t come down with all of them, but the ones that you’ve got a good chance of grabbing, you’d better try to grab it as best you can.”

"CAUGHT BY GORDON, WHAT A GRAB!"@JOSH_GORDONXII | #GoPats pic.twitter.com/hvv9PhQseD
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) September 22, 2019

Oddly enough, Gordon seemed to find his groove after he’d been banged up a bit. He caught just one of his first five targets — continuing a trend from last week, when he caught two of five passes in a blowout win over the Miami Dolphins — but hauled in five of his final six.
“You know, some weeks are more painful than others,” Gordon said when asked about his pain tolerance. “Obviously, it’s not always that bad, but it’s part of the game. I don’t think anybody likes to get banged up or have to come out of the game, but it’s just the reality of it. I think the more important part is just how many times can you get knocked down and come back?
“That’s my mindset. That’s my attitude. If it doesn’t take me out all the way where I can’t physically do it, I’m going to be back out there within a couple plays. If medically, I’m approved to do so, I’m going to go back out, no matter what it is that’s hurt me.”
Gordon wasn’t the only Patriots receiver who dealt with an injury Sunday. A chest/rib issue knocked Julian Edelman out of the game late in the first half, though X-rays on the area reportedly came back negative.
If Edelman misses time, Gordon, who had his indefinite NFL suspension lifted late in the preseason, will become the Patriots’ No. 1 wideout. He ranks third among Patriots pass-catchers with 11 receptions for 175 yards this season, and his 15.9 yards-per-catch average ranks first among Patriots with five-plus catches.
“We’re happy that Josh is back with us because that means he’s doing well personally,” Slater said. “We support him, and it’s been tremendous to see him come back in this locker room, be embraced, dive right in, work hard, be selfless, keep his head down and just take things one day at a time. …
“You can’t help but smile when you see him out there running around the field, doing what he loves to do. We’re really happy for him.”