August 13, 2015 Preseason Game #1: New York Jets @ Detroit Lions

 

ALP_9065-article(NewYorkJets.com)

News:

  • Geno Smith out 6-10 weeks w/ broken jaw.
  • Locker room altercation with LB IK Enemkpali resulted in Geno Smith injury. Enemkpali released by team, picked up by Buffalo Bills.
  • Players inactive for preseason opener due to injury: QB Geno Smith, WR Chris Owusu, WR TJ Graham, RB Stevan Ridley, CB Dee Milliner, CB Curtis Brown, TE Steven Maneri, WR Devin Smith, DE Mohammad Wilkerson.

Pregame:

The New York Jets play their first preseason game as a renovated squad on August 13 against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.

Just two days before their first preseason game the New York Jets faced an unfortunate circumstance which resulted in an injury to a significant player and the release to a piece of their revamped defense.

A locker room altercation between quarterback Geno Smith and linebacker IK Enemkpali resulted in Smith missing 6-10 weeks with a broken jaw and Enemkpali being released by the Jets. After his release Enemkplai was later picked up by former Jets head coach Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills.

With Smith absent due to injury backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is expected to lead Gang Green’s offense, which also has new weapons. The biggest weapon being newly acquired Jet wide receiver Brandon Marshall. Fitzpatrick, who was picked up by the Jets during the offseason from the Houston Texans, is expected to equate or surpass statistics he put up last season.

Todd Bowles will coach his first game as an NFL head coach, with new Jets coordinators: Chan Gailey on offense and Kacy Rodgers on defense.

All eyes will be on the renovated Jets defense, which gained versatility, from the line to the corners, but also lost a key component to their defense during the offseaon. The Jets were able to re-acquire cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie, while also drafting the best defensive lineman in the 2015 NFL Draft, USC defensive end Leonard Williams. Defensive end Sheldon Richardson was suspended for four games after failing a drug test, and is more than likely to have an additional multi-game suspension due to an arrest that took place last month.

The Jets hope they will start the preseason on the winning end, as they prepare themselves to takeoff for the season opener.

Postgame:

New York Jets 3

Detroit Lions 23

The New York Jets arrived at Ford Field determined to soar past their opponents in their first preseason game of the 2015 season, but ended up taking a 23-3 loss against the fierce Lions.

All eyes were fixed on Jets backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who led one series in the first quarter. In that series Fitzpatrick went 2 for 3, accumulating 16 yards with a 79.9 passer rating in the game. During postgame interviews head coach Todd Bowles described the quarterback as “cool, calm and collective,” reassuring the media that he got the job done.

Baylor alum, now Jets rookie quarterback Bryce Petty made a lengthy appearance against the Lions, going 10 for 18 for 50 yards.

Bowles went on to describe the lack of productivity from the defense, stating, “Our tackling was extremely sloppy.” The one interception the Jets defense was able to snag came in the third quarter when cornerback Marcus Williams came up with an end zone interception against Lions quarterback Kellen Moore.

Wide receiver Brandon Marshall recorded one reception that went for 12 yards in the first quarter, as well as Eric Decker getting his hands on the ball for 4-yards.

Running backs Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell were able to rush their way through a tight offensive line. Ivory rushed 6 times for 25 yards, while Powell rushed 8 times for 35 yards.

First round draft pick Leonard Williams got his first taste of NFL action, mentioning how much he loved the atmosphere and is ready to move forward with the season, as well as tackling players that aren’t his teammates.

The Jets will face the Atlanta Falcons at home for their second preseason game of the 2015 season at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.

Richardson Woes Can’t Be Defended

Aug 9, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson (91) during a preseason game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

 (Jetssportsblog)

Florham Park, NJ – Sheldon Richardson stood in front of the media, apologizing for violating the leagues substance abuse policy after testing positive for the use of marijuana.

Richardson, who was slapped with a 4-game suspension, went on to say, “I take full accountability for my actions. I apologize to my teammates and the organization. I told them you don’t have to worry about my name being in the news again.”(NY Post)

Then and there Jets nation believed the defensive lineman’s promising statement; a mistake was made and a promise to rid him of his off the field issues was proclaimed.

That wasn’t until news broke out that the 2014 Pro Bowler was arrested in his home state of Missouri after resisting arrest and violating multiple traffic laws.

However, the charges made against Richardson only reveal half of misfortunes Richardson came across on July 14.

Richardson, who was also defensive rookie of the year in 2013, was clocked for driving 143 mph while police tried to get a hold of him. When caught, police not only found three other passengers in the car, one of them being a twelve year-old boy, but they also discovered a loaded semi-automatic licensed handgun in the car and a stench of marijuana within the vehicle.

The league, nor the Jets have settled with consequences for Richardson after the news of the arrest was exposed.

We Are … Still Strong!

I wrote this article for my school’s newspaper late last year. If you haven’t heard about this story, I hope you take time out of your day to read about it. Truly inspiring! #WhyILoveSports #TBT

devon-still

At one point in September I became increasingly overwhelmed by the amount of bad publicity the NFL was receiving.

Starting with Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice and several domestic violence cases against NFL athletes to Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson being accused of abusing his 4-year-old son.

However, one day I was flipping through Instagram and noticed that Sportscenter had posted a picture of Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis and defensive end Devon Still.

The caption stated, “Why We Love Sports Today: Bengals are keeping Devon Still on the practice squad to help him pay for his daughter’s cancer treatment.” In that moment a wave of emotion overcame me and I finally had faith in humanity and the NFL. In that moment I instantly became a fan of Devon Still and the Bengals.
Devon Still’s vibrant 4-year-old daughter, Leah Still, was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma in June 2014.

Devon Still (who is a former defensive end for our very own Nittany Lions) began missing preseason practices and games by being a father to his daughter, a job he was blessed with four years ago, by standing by her side as she fights a cancer that gives her a 50-50 chance of survival.

The decision the Cincinnati Bengals made to keep Devon still remains the feel good story of the season.

The Bengals decided to put Still’s jersey up for sale, with the proceeds going to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to help fund pediatric cancer research.

In the first 24 hours of sales, Still’s No. 75 jersey became the fastest-selling jersey in Bengals history.

Week 5 of the NFL season, the Bengals visited the Patriots in Foxborough, Mass. During the game you could spot the New England Patriots cheerleaders wearing unfamiliar attire. In honor of Leah’s fight the Patriots cheerleaders wore Devon Still’s No. 75 jersey, and Patriots owner Robert Kraft donated $25,000 to Cincinnati’s Children Hospital.

Classy notion, New England.

Many organizations around the league have shown their support by sending Leah gifts, cards and their priceless prayers.

On Oct. 19, sales of Devon’s jersey ended. The Cincinnati Bengals sold 14,945 Still jerseys. Jerseys were being sold from around the nation and around the world, from rival teams, to other sports organizations, to supporters who help fight cancer. New Orleans head coach Sean Payton made a tremendous contribution by purchasing 100 Still jerseys to support the cause.

On Nov. 6 the Bengals hosted the Cleveland Browns at a Thursday Night Football match up. However, this wasn’t just an ordinary Thursday Night Football` game, as there was one special person in attendance: Leah Still. Leah was in the stands waiting to see her father play football for the first time. All around the stadium there were people wearing Still jerseys and hoisting signs that encouraged Leah’s fight against neuroblastoma.

During the pregame ceremonies, there was a roar from the crowd when Leah stepped onto the field to accept a check in her name that would later be given to Cincinnati’s Children Hospital.

The check from the proceeds of Still jerseys sold were beyond anyone’s expectations. The Bengals raised $1.25 million for the Cincinnati’s Children Hospital and research for pediatric cancer.

All in all, we remember that football is more than a game. Also, we realize the biggest battle isn’t being played by big men on the gridiron but by those who fight for their life every day.

Leah is a reminder of how we should all live our lives – with fearlessness and the will to defeat whatever obstacles face us in our everyday lives.

We are… Still Strong!

The M.V.P. Series

curry-and-harden

 (Cornell Sports Business)

This season the NBA witnessed two astounding players lead their respected teams into the 2015 Western Conference Finals. Prior to the start of the NBA playoffs these two players happened to be in the fight for possession of the 2014-2015 NBA Most Valuable Player award. Wardell Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors and James Edward Harden, Jr. of the Houston Rockets have presented athleticism, statistics and leadership that are worth recognition of the M.V.P. award.

Throughout the course of his five-year professional career Stephen Curry has showed maintaining a small stature, for a typical pro basketball player, doesn’t portray your ability to perform at an elite level. His ability to move quickly on the court has been an advantage for Golden State. Curry, who averages 20.9 points a game throughout his career, was able to rack up a 23.8-point average and a .487% field goal percentage in 80 games during the season.

James Harden makes spectators question whether his beard is the reason for his success as a shooting guard for the Houston Rockets. He has shown great leadership on the court, becoming an enforcer for a team that has players like Dwight Howard, Josh Smith, Jason Terry and many more who are championship hungry. Harden averaged 19.7 points in his career, and averaged 27.4 points per game and .440% field goal percentage while playing in 81 games during the course of the 2014-2015 season.

At the end of the regular season and going into the playoffs the M.V.P. was announced. Stephen Curry was named the 2014-2015 NBA Most Valuable Player.

With that being set, it made the Western Conference Finals even more exciting. The most valuable player in the league versus the runner-up. This match up will allow the NBA to see which player would be able to lead their team to basketball’s holy land, the finals.

Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals took place in Oracle Arena, home of the Golden State Warriors. Dub nation watched their team snag the first game of the series with a 110-106 win over the Rockets. Curry accumulated 34 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists after playing nearly 40 minutes in the game. Harden came up with a solid 28 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists while spending nearly 42 minutes on the court.

Game 2 was played with high intensity till the end. With the game tied going into the second half with a score of 55-55, both Harden and Curry lead their team to fight it out to the last seconds of the game. The game ended with the Warriors winning the game 99-98. The Rockets falling 0-2 in the series.

Game 3 was a must win for the Rockets, who would be a game away from elimination if failing to win this game. The game was played in the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas where many of the Rockets fans hoped their team would salvage a win while having the advantage of playing on their home court. However, The game was dominated by a very optimistic Golden State offense, which was led by Curry who put up an impressive performance for the Houston faithful, with 40 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists. Harden was only able to collect 17 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists.

The Houston Rockets, who were a game away from being eliminated from the playoffs and having their championship hopes shattered, were able to live another day in the playoffs. The Rockets were able to take the most crucial game of their season, defeating the Warriors 128-115, taking the series back to Oracle Arena. James Harden proved to be the most valuable player of that game putting up M.V.P. numbers in game 4 with 45 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists. Curry, who missed significant playing time with an contusion to the head after a bad fall in the first half was only able to attain 23 points, 1 rebound and 4 assists.

With Dub nation awaiting the return of their team for game 5, the Houston Rockets knew they had to overcome many adversities to keep their season alive and force the series to return to Houston for game 6. However, Dub nation had other plans. The Warriors played valiantly in front of their fans, proving they’re the best team in the Western Conference defeating the Rockets 104-90, solidifying the Warriors spot in the NBA finals. Stephen Curry was able to finish the night with 26 points 8 rebounds and 6 assists, while James Harden finished his season with 14 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists in game 5.

James Harden’s accomplishments for the season would not go unnoticed, coming in second in the M.V.P. race and leading his team to the Western Conference finals. But in the end Stephen Curry was able to possess the M.V.P. award and help guide his team to the 2015 NBA Finals to face LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Living Out My Dream

Hello! I’m excited to share this blog with those who are willing to help me take a big step in attaining my aspirations. Just by viewing this site you’re doing me a great service. I hope you’re able to enjoy reading my sports articles, as much as I enjoy writing them. I’m not only open to positive comments but to criticism as well, which will help craft me into the journalist I wish to be.

I started this blog during my freshman year of college for an English course I was taking, but decided to maintain the blog, hoping to realize what kind of writer I was destined to be. Since then I’ve had a change in writing style, taking on new approaches to sports writing. There has been an inconsistency in the dates I’ve posted my articles, but I’ve decided to go public with the blog, hoping it will motivate me to post articles every week. Thank you for taking the time to read this, it means the absolute world to me.

            Much Love,

              Nicole Michele Perez

A New and Improved Look

          (www.nytimes.com)

New York, NY — How do you repair a jet that doesn’t run well? You remove the worn out parts that don’t allow the jet to function as it once did.

The same concept has been shown by the New York Jets during the off season. They’ve removed pieces of their front office and coaching staff, that have showed a lack of efficiency during the past couple seasons. With the decline of productivity Jets owner Woody Johnson replaced the beaten down coaching staff with coaches who have proven to have a polished expertise in their position.

The one managing air traffic control for the Jets would be general manager Mike McCaggnan. The new pilot for Gang Green, Todd Bowles, was awarded the Assistant Coach Award following last season, while he was positioned as the defensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals, and is now the head coach for the New York Jets.

His new co-pilot’s consist of names that have been in the league for a while, offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers, and special teams coordinator Bobby April.

The team has made distinguished moves during the offseason that will drive the jets into clear blue skies for the 2015-2016 season. McCaggnan was able to bring in new parts to the offense and defense, these acquisitions consist of wide receiver Brandon Marshall from the Chicago Bears, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatick from the Houston Texans, guard James Carpenter from the Seattle Seahawks, cornerback Buster Skrine from the Cleveland Browns and running back Stevan Riley from the New England Patriots.

One of McCaggnan’s most notable moves was retaining former players of the Jets defense, Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie.

There were many questions surrounding the Jets’ motive going into the 2015 NFL Draft with the 6th pick overall in the first round. To many people’s surprise University of South California defensive end Leonard Williams, notably the best player in the draft, was available when the Jets were on the clock. That’s when Mike McCaggnan went into high gear, drafting the defensive end and adding an above average defensive lineman, making the Jets defense one of the most solidified defensive lines in the NFL.

Leonard will be seen positioned next to former first round defensive linemen, Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Calvin Pace and Quinton Coples.

The Jets showed how aggressive their new front office is by averaging an A- rating for their role in the draft. Overall, the Jets acquired seven players in the draft: USC defensive end Leonard Williams (round 1), Ohio State wide receiver Devin Smith (round 2), Louisville linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin (round 3), Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty (round 4), Texas A&M outside linebacker Jarvis Harrison (round 5) and Northwestern St. nose tackle Deon Simon (round 7). The seventh player acquired in the draft was through a trade with the St. Louis Rams, in which the Jets acquired running back Zac Stacy while the Rams were given a seventh round pick.

With OTA’s on the way the Jets hope to build a chemistry that will help the team thrive during the upcoming season. The Jets have a lot to be excited about with all the new faces hoping to lift their team off the ground and soar to the ultimate destination, Super Bowl 50.

#1 in the ALE

Why the surging Yankees should roll to AL East title(New York Post, Paul J. Bereswill (2); Getty Images)

  Bronx, NY – Who would have expected the New York Yankees to be as good as they are this early on in the season. As of May 12 the Bronx Bombers uphold a 21-12 record, which places them on top of the American League East.

Most aspects of speculation for this season have been answered: How will Alex Rodriguez perform after serving a season suspension? Will Mark Teixiera be explosive? Will CC Sabathia be the same pitcher he was when he signed with the club six years ago? How will the team move on from the departure of Derek Jeter?

Most of the Yankees surprises came from both sides of the diamond, both on offense and defense. The power surges from the Yankees lineup have had Yankee fans breathing a sigh of relief. The biggest sigh of relief coming from A-Rod’s unexpected bounce back from his suspension. It’s unlike Teixeira to connect with the stands in the month of April, but he came up with 8 homers in the first month of the season. Can’t allow Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner go unnoticed, after they all suffered a disappointing 2014 season, all showing major improvements in the swing of their bat and the flash of the leather. But who can forget how the power of the pinstripes has affected Chris Young’s performance since being traded across the R.F.K. Bridge from the Mets to the Bronx Bombers?

The starting rotation has also been a pleasant surprise. Major enforcers have come from the back end of the rotation with Michael Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi and Adam Warren starting off the season on the right foot. However, the biggest disappointments of the season so far are the two pitchers who were expected to drive the rotation, both CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanka. To this date Sabathia sustains a 1-5 record and 5.20 ERA. After pitching in four games Tanaka was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained forearm.

The bullpen is as solid as it has ever been, with the setup man being Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller officially being named the Yankees closer.

With much baseball still left to play, the Yankees hope to continue playing dominant baseball, while maintaining their spot on top of the American League East Division.

He’s back.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at New York Jets

East Rutherford, NJ — New York Jets general manager Mike Mccagnan and Jets owner Woody Johnson were on a mission the day they were allowed to pursue any player that became a free agent on March 10, 2015. Their mission? Bring cornerback Darrelle Revis and his island back to the New York Jets.

As the clock reached 4p.m. EST, indicating that free agency had begun, the New York Jets and their fans knew they had a shot. A shot at bringing home the best cornerback in the league. A shot at Revis making his return to Gang Green. A shot at renovating a Jets defense that has been scarred since his departure to Tampa Bay, and later rivaled New England.

Four hours into free agency and no word was made informing the nation which team had signed the high priced cornerback. Everyone knew Woody Johnson was opening his checkbook to have his beloved Pro-Bowler return to the Empire State, but in the NFL no one knows who will come from behind and snatch what you’ve been dreaming of the past couple of nights (or seasons).

It was just after the four hour mark when the ‘Breaking News’ text appeared on the television screen and Darrelle Revis’ face appeared along side the New York Jets logo.

Mission accomplished.

The New York Jets had signed Darrelle Revis to a 5-year $80 million contract, $49 million guaranteed.

Penn State Nittany Lions @ Rutgers Scarlett Knights

 

Penn State Rutgers Football-1

Piscataway, NJ—With 1:13 left in the game the Nittany Lions were able to overcome a four point deficit going into the fourth quarter.

How? The Nittany Lions began the drive at their own 20 and cruised all the way to the end zone. Christian Hackenberg relied on wide receivers, Geno Lewis and DaeSean Hamilton, to help him become a playmaker. Eventually setting up the game winning TD, which came off the heals of senior running back Bill Belton, with a 5 yard rushing touchdown. Which allowed kicker Sam Ficken to solidify the final score13-10.

The Nittany Lions had a chance to get on top early by kicking a 34-yard field goal. However, freshman Kemoko Turay was able to get his fingers on the ball and block the punt that was kicked by Ficken.

Throughout the entire game Penn State had trouble finding the end zone. Relying on Ficken’s feet to put points on the board. Christian Hackenberg averaged 7 points when going 25 for 44 and mounting 309 yards throughout the entire game. His only interception came in the third quarter with the team down 10-0.

Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova showed off his running abilities, scoring an impressive 14- yard-rushing touchdown that gave the Scarlett Knight the lead early on in the second quarter.

However, Nova had trouble finding the hands of his own receivers, throwing the ball into the hands of the Lions’ defense four times in the game. Two of the four interceptions came from Penn State’s junior cornerback Trevor Williams.

UMass is the next opponent on the Lions’ schedule. Penn State has high hopes to go 3-0.

We Are… Now eligible for postseason football!

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It’s just after 2:30pm ET on Tuesday, September 9, 2014, and an alert has been sent to my phone by Bleacher Report Team Stream stating, “Breaking: NCAA Immediately Restores Penn State’s CFB Postseason Eligibility; Will Return Full Scholarships in 2015-16.”

In that moment of reading the alert, it was as if I could hear all the Penn State campus’ rejoicing in unity.

Penn State University has been banned from bowl contention and has been limited to athletic scholarship distribution since September of 2013, when a scandal blindsided the University.

The University was expected to be in exile from postseason play till after the 2016 season. However, the NCAA stated “Penn State University’s significant progress toward ensuring its Athletics Department functions with integrity.”

Penn State was only allowed fifteen recruits a year, while majority of teams are qualified to recruit twenty-five. Which meant by the end of the 2017 season, the Nittany Lions could only have sixty-five players possessing scholarships.

Additional sanctions that were handed down to Penn State by the NCAA but not modified were the amount of wins that were stripped away from Penn State’s history. All 112 wins from the year 1998 through 2011 have been removed from the history books. Which stripped former legendary head coach Joe Paterno of his accolades and title of being the most victorious coach in college football.

These sanctions were being hovered over the university due to the sex abuse scandal, perpetrated by former PSU football assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky.

With the sanctions lifted, the Big Ten Conference has agreed to allow the Nittany Lions to be eligible for the conferences championship game.

With word spreading like wildfire, Penn State students at University Park made their way onto the streets, gathering around Beaver Stadium in the hundreds chanting and rejoicing their entrance back into postseason eligibility.

Nittany Lions head coach, James Franklin, learned of the news through social media (like majority of us), and had to this to say about the topic:

“It’s nice to know that they’re not being limited or held back from any opportunities. They have a chance to chase their dreams now. I’m not going to sit here and say it doesn’t have an effect on our preparation, but morale and chemistry are important, and this has a huge impact on morale and chemistry.” (USA Today)

Some Penn State players chose to express their excitement on the ban lifting via Twitter. Sophomore defensive end, Garret Sickels posted: “We are and will always be! #PennState #PSUrivaled.” Junior defensive tackle made sure to say “Praise The Lord, I’m beyond happy right now and we all are blessed …….‪#WEARE

Before the sanctions were lifted the Nittany Lions were 2-0 on the season, with wins over UCF in Dublin, Ireland and Akron in the iconic Beaver Stadium.

With bowl aspirations, the Nittany Lions hope to continue dominating and prove they’re the team to beat.

 

correctionpennstaterally