Giants’ Golden: ‘We lost the game, so I wasn’t as excited about(playing the Patriots close before coming up short)’

A loss is a loss, and when Pat Shurmur boils it all down, the reason for a loss never radically changes.

“I think we didn’t make enough plays, we made too many mistakes to win a football game,” Shurmur said on a conference call today following his team’s 35-14 defeat at New England.

There’s no disputing that statement. The Giants gained just 213 yards, compiled only 10 first downs, were two-for-10 on third-down opportunities and committed four turnovers, including three interceptions on Daniel Jones passes. They allowed both a defensive (on a fumble return) and special teams (blocked punt) touchdown.

Shurmur and his players won’t use it as an excuse, but they played shorthanded. Their top two running backs, Saquon Barkley and Wayne Gallman, and two leading receivers, Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard, were all inactive due to injuries. If the Giants are going to win their next game – at home against the Arizona Cardinals on Oct. 20 – and enjoy success over the season’s final 10 games, it’s clear they need as many contributions as they can get from those players.

“We’re 2-4 and we’re certainly going to welcome anyone back that can get healthy to play against Arizona,” Shurmur said. “Everybody talked about the players that were injured and weren’t able to be with us last night, so yeah, I’m looking forward to getting everybody back. It’s a good thing when you’ve got a lot of healthy scratches when you put your 46-man (game day roster) together, so we’re looking forward to that. I think we’ll get through this weekend, and we’ve already started, but put all our effort into beating Arizona.”

Asked specifically about Barkley, the reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year who has missed three games with a sprained ankle, Shurmur said, “We’ll see, we’ll see. He’s made good progress. He was out there running around today, so we’ll just have to see what the week brings.”

Prior to the game, football pundits gave the Giants little chance to win. The absences of the four key offensive players – who collectively accounted for an average of 227.4 yards in the first five games – was a major factor. But so was the opponent. New England is the defending Super Bowl champion, is now 6-0 and has the NFL’s top-ranked defense. The Patriots have also won 19 consecutive home games, including playoffs.

But the Giants trailed by just 21-14 entering the fourth quarter. New England scored two late touchdowns to balloon the final margin. Instead of feeling satisfied they kept it close, the players were angry they lost, despite the circumstances.

“We came into the game expecting to win the game,” Jones said. “Maybe other people were surprised, but I don’t think we were. We have a good football team. I don’t think we’re going to let this affect our confidence. When you look at last night, a lot of credit goes to the defense and how well they played. They kept us in the game. On offense, we know we can play better and we have to play better. We expected to be in the game, we expected to win the game. Obviously, we’re disappointed, but there are things to learn from it.”

“I am a win and loss guy, so I always go off of wins and losses,” said linebacker Markus Golden, who scored on a 42-yard fumble return and had a half-sack. “We lost the game, so I wasn’t as excited about (playing the Patriots close before coming up short), but there was a lot of positives that came from it after watching film. We did a lot of flying around, working together, a lot of guys were doing their job. That part is exciting, but at the end of the day, we want to try and get that win.”

Much of that will depend on the continued growth of Jones, who is now 2-2 as the team’s starter. For the first time, he completed less than 50% of his passes (15 of 31). The three-interception game was his first. But Jones continues to show toughness and smarts in and out of the pocket and an arm that can make any throw required of him.

As he does with injuries, Shurmur refuses to use the crutch of inexperience when assessing Jones’ miscues.

“I think, regardless of whether you’re in your first year in the league or you’ve been doing it for a very long time, what’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong,” Shurmur said. “I think it’s fair to say that some of the things that Daniel’s going through, he’s going through for the first time. Part of his charm is he’s willing to try and fit it in there. I think he’s very accurate and he’s got good velocity on his throws, so he’s got confidence to get the ball in there, and he did that last night. Those were not the most ideal conditions to be throwing the ball at times, and I thought he made some really good throws. On the flip side of that, there were some things that happened on the interceptions that need to get corrected. That’s part of it, for all quarterbacks, and it’s a fine line between being aggressive and putting the ball in harm’s way. I think each play and each time he goes through it, he’ll learn something from it.”

Jones was picked off by John Simon in the first quarter, Duron Harmon in the second, and Stephon Gilmore in the third. Each turnover will be stored in his memory bank and used to prevent a repeat of the offending pass.

“That’s the biggest thing for me, is to prevent making a mistake twice,” Jones said. “I don’t think the fact that I’m young or the fact that I haven’t played much, it isn’t an excuse. I don’t think that helps. I’m not going to use that to help myself feel better. But there are still really bad mistakes, things I can’t afford to do. The challenge is I have to be able to learn from those and to prevent them from happening again.”

That will be easier to do when the Giants offense is again at or near full strength.

*Shurmur said defensive tackle Olsen Pierre’s concussion was the only injury of note from last night’s game.

*The Giants today re-signed quarterback Alex Tanney and waived running back Austin Walter. Because they had just two healthy backs, the Giants yesterday signed Walter off their practice squad and released Tanney. Walter played one snap vs. the Patriots.

Courtesy: Michael Eisen
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Canelo on GGG-Derevyanchenko: ‘Obviously for me — Derevyanchenko won the fight’

Last Saturday night at MSG in New York City, we got a “Fight of the Year” candidate when Gennady Golovkin captured the vacant IBF middleweight title by defeating Sergiy Derevyanchenko by unanimous decision.

This fight had a lot of action. In the second round, a Golovkin right hook to the top of the head put Derevyanchenko on the canvas. A bad cut over the right eye of Derevyanchenko in the second round was further cause concern for the Russian – but the blood only spurred him on and he started the third round at a ferocious speed, sparking a round of fireworks where both men had their moments, and this fight was back and forth the rest of the way. Many believe Derevyanchenko won the fight, including unified middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez, who will move up two divisions to challenge WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev on November 2.

“We saw it. Obviously for me — Derevyanchenko won the fight,” Alvarez recently said on a conference call.  “It was a fight where he really looked well. It was his fight. Regarding Triple G, we all know, everyone knows, it’s unnecessary to say more, but he looked slow, and I think I gave everyone the pathway to see how to hurt him, which is the body, and that’s what we saw…

“Like I said before, and I’m going to repeat it again. I said it before the fight, and I’m going to repeat it. For me that fight presents no challenge to me right now. We fought two times, 24 rounds. I beat him, so he represents no challenge. However, what he does represent is some good business, so if they offer me something really good, maybe the third fight can happen. But for me, no, because he represents no challenge for me.”

Golovkin, 37, is no longer in his prime, but he is still very good. I think GGG won the first fight against Canelo. However, I think Canelo probably won the second fight, and while I don’t want to see Canelo-GGG III, I do believe it still would be a close fight, and in reality, this fight makes the most money for both guys. And after the way GGG looked against Derevyanchenko, it might be in Canelo’s best interest to make the third fight with Golovkin. 

I believe the fight will happen in May or September of 2020. Mark it down!

Photo: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing

Jags’ OC on Minshew: ‘I think that you see an organization believe that he’s going to go out there and perform’

When Jaguars QB Nick Foles went out with a collarbone injury in Week 1 against the Chiefs, many thought Jacksonville’s chances of making a playoff run were over. No way anyone thought a sixth-round pick could save the season. Well, after five weeks, that sixth-round pick, Gardner Minshew, is doing just that.

Minshew has done his best to keep the Jaguars’ season alive. He is 2-2 as a starter, and the Jaguars(2-3) are only one game out of first place in the AFC South, and at this point, if Minshew continues to play well, he might continue as the starter when Foles returns.

According to Jaguars offensive coordinator John Defilippo, Minshew is playing well because of what he is doing away from the field.

“I think it’s as much off the field as it is on the field,” Defilippo said on Thursday. “I think he trusts his preparation. I think anytime you go through game week after game week after game week; I think you get into a routine. I see him much more comfortable in his routine throughout the week.

“On the field, I just think it has more to do with the ten guys that are around him than it does him. I just think you see the other 10 guys believe. It was kind of an unknown for all of us when he went in there against Kansas City when Nick went down on play [No. 11]. I think you see an organization, not only players and coaches, but I think that you see an organization believe that he’s going to go out there and perform. That is a credit to him.”

It’s very evident that the Jaguars do believe in Minshew, and while Jacksonville has invested a lot of money into Foles, Minshew may have shown enough for the team to think about moving on from Foles. However, that decision won’t be made anytime soon, but for now, the team continues to get behind Minshew.

Official statement on Errol Spence’s condition

Unified welterweight champion Errol Spence, who recently defeated Shawn Porter to capture the WBC welterweight title, was involved in a single-car accident Thursday morning in Dallas. The 29-year-old Spence was reportedly ejected from his white Ferrari.

Here is an official statement from Errol Spence’s team on his condition:

“Errol Spence Jr., IBF/WBC unified welterweight world champion, was involved in a serious, single-car accident in Dallas early Thursday morning and is being treated at a Dallas-area hospital. Spence is awake and responding and his condition is listed as stable. He did not sustain any broken bones or fractures, but has some facial lacerations. He is expected to make a full recovery.

He is currently resting with his family by his side. They want to thank everyone for their prayers and well wishes and are extremely grateful to the Dallas first responders who rushed to the scene to attend to Errol after the accident and the doctors who are taking care of him at the hospital.”

Haney: ‘Let’s not forget Loma lost to a man who has 14 losses’

Undefeated WBC interim champion, Devin “The Dream” Haney (23-0, 15 KOs), is calling out all promoters to join him and his co-promoter, Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, in their quest to bring boxing back to its glory days, where the best always fought the best. You

After his stunning victory over Zaur Abdullaev (11-1, 7 KOs), where he fractured his orbital bone with a crushing overhand right, Haney became the mandatory challenger to fight pound for pound king Vasyl Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs), who holds the WBC lightweight title. Haney feels it’s important for boxing to flourish, if all elite fighters in their respective divisions fight one another.

“A lot of writers are saying I’m not ready to face Lomachenko, that’s ridiculous,” said the twenty-year old phenom Haney. “All the guys he beat, I would beat also. Let’s not forget Lomachenko lost to a man who has fourteen losses(Orlando Salido), so to say I’m not on his level is crazy talk. Loma fought for a world title in his second professional fight. He was 1-0, I’m 23-0. Who wouldn’t want to watch me and Loma fight? The answer is everyone would want to watch that fight and that’s a fact. I hate to say it, but it must be said, It’s embarrassing for Lomachenko if he keeps ducking this twenty year old, but in reality, there is no one that I can’t beat at 135 pounds!”

“Every promoter in boxing should put aside their egos and make the big fights,” continued Haney. “I know the fans will appreciate the best fighting the best and they deserve to see these big fights. Right now, boxing is so fragmented. I’m a fan of the sport and it would be a travesty if some of these big fights don’t get made.  Arum said I signed with the wrong company, but he’s not making the big fights the people want to see. He’s serving the interest of his company and I knew that mentality could hold me back from becoming one of the greats in this sport, hence me signing with Matchroom. There are many more sensational matchups that are long overdue.  It’s good business, and boxing will thrive, if the best are fighting the best.”

While networks and sanctioning bodies play key factors in making big fights, things can always get complicated. Haney feels confident that the sport will grow immensely, if his vision comes to fruition.

“Everyone would benefit if the big fights are made,” concluded Haney, who is the CEO of his own promotional company, Devin Haney Promotions. “I became a promoter early in my career because I want to bring the sport of boxing together. A formula needs to be made where all parties can be compensated, and the fans get to see great fights. Eddie Hearn and Matchroom boxing whom I co-promote with, put their fighters in tough, but they get them really paid. Now that’s something you can respect. Boxing needs to unite, and the mega fights should be made immediately.”

Photo: Top Rank

Pederson on decision to trade for Jackson: ‘The injury part didn’t factor into it much at all’

In Week 1 of the 2019 NFL season, Eagles WR DeSean Jackson came out the gate very strong against the Redskins. The 12-year veteran had eight catches for 154 yards and two touchdowns. However, the following week, against the Falcons, Jackson would leave the game with an abdominal injury and has missed the past three games. Jackson did not practice on Wednesday and is not expected to play on Sunday when the Eagles travel to Minnesota to battle the Vikings.

The 32-year-old Jackson has played in 16 games two times in his career, and last season, Jackson missed four games with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

On Wednesday, when asked about whether Jackson’s injury history factored in their decision to bring him back to Philadelphia in the offseason, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson had this to say.

“Yeah, it’s part of it, but it’s not what makes or breaks the deal,” Pederson said. “We knew the type of player we were getting, the explosiveness, an electric player, and a player that wanted to be back in Philly.

“The injury part didn’t factor into it much at all.”

Philadelphia seems to be missing what Jackson brings to the table, which is the ability to stretch the defense. In a lot of ways, he makes this offense explosive, and the two touchdowns he had against the Redskins were big plays(touchdown receptions of 53 and 51 yards). Jackson is not the savior for this offense, but Philadelphia does need him back on the field at some point in 2019, especially if the Eagles want to go far this season.

Twitter reacts to Ben Simmons hitting a three

It was a special night in Philadelphia on Tuesday as the 76ers hosted China’s Guangzhou Long-Lions. On this night in Philly, something that has never been seen before happened! Ben Simmons hit his first three-point shot in the NBA. While it’s only preseason and took three years for this to happen, the fans at the Wells Fargo Center celebrated like it was 1999.

Here is how Twitter reacted to Simmons’ big shot:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Banks on GGG: ‘Did Michael Jordan take it easy when he caught the flu?’

Gennady Golovkin is a champion once again, but it was not easy. Golovkin was able to squeak by Sergiy Derevyanchenko by a controversial unanimous decision to capture the vacant IBF middleweight belt on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Golovkin dropped Derevyanchenko in round 2, and was able to win the late rounds to get the decision.

After the fight, it was revealed by promoter Eddie Hearn that Golovkin was dealing with an illness going into this fight, which Hearn thinks had an impact on GGG’s performance. Golovkin’s trainer, Johnathan Banks, agreed with Hearn’s assessment.

“It had a huge impact,” Banks told goforitradio.com. “If you wouldn’t been told that, I wouldn’t said nothing. Whatever happens, happens. He chose to stay here and fight, so once he made that decision, I supported him and said, ‘Let’s go'”

According to Banks, once Golovkin decided to fight, he had to find a way to work through his illness.

“I told him whether you sick or not if you choose to fight, fight,” Bank said. “Doesn’t matter. Like, did Michael Jordan take it easy when he caught the flu?”

Golovkin, 37. easily could have lost this fight, but no matter how you feel about the decision, it was not a robbery.

However, it should be interesting to see if Golovkin does the rematch with Derevyanchenko, or does he continue to try to chase a third fight with Canelo Alvarez. No matter what he does, it’s clear that Golovkin is starting to show his age. You saw it a little bit against Steve Rolls back in June, and it became very apparent against Derevyanchenko. But, even at his advanced age, Golovkin is still one of the best middleweights in boxing.

Photo/courtesy: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA

 

Eagles’ Schwartz: ‘Derek(Barnett) is always a guy that plays with a chip on his shoulder’

Philadelphia Eagles DE Derek Barnett might be getting a reputation as a dirty player. In Week 4 against Green Bay,  the third-year player laid a vicious, helmet-to-helmet hit on Packers RB Jamaal Williams, which concussed Williams and sent him to the hospital, and last week against the Jets, during Nathan Gerry’s interception return for a touchdown, Barnett was called for a personal foul penalty for his block on Jets offensive lineman Alex Lewis.

While some may believe Barnett is a dirty player, Eagles DC Jim Schwartz does not think that is the case.

“Yeah, both my daughters wear Derek Barnett jerseys to the games, so that tells you how much I think of him,” Schwartz said on Tuesday. “Derek is always a guy that plays with a chip on his shoulder. It’s one of the things that makes him successful.

But you have to be careful about crossing that line, and interception returns traditionally have been — I mean, you go back and I don’t want to bore you — but like 20 years ago the interception return would be like nine guys on defense trying to go mess up the quarterback.

“You get offensive linemen that are knocking you around the pile or holding you the whole time, and now it’s like, I’m going to go get that guy back. You can’t make it a personal war. It has to be about the team, whether it’s who gets the sack or who gets the block, whatever it is.

“The one dynamic that’s a little bit different this year — doesn’t really affect — hasn’t had anything to do with Derek, but the whole peel-back block going in. We’ve tried to really emphasize that, because you can’t go in with any kind of force. You have to wall guys off with your hands.

“It’s so hard to make plays and get interceptions or scoop fumbles. The last thing you want to do is take that away with a penalty. Derek knows that. He just has to balance playing with that chip on his shoulder and playing tough and physical and hustling, all the things we love about him, and just make sure we don’t cross the line into doing something that hurts the team.

Those hits by Barnett were unnecessary, and in today’s NFL, those types of hits will get you fined and maybe even suspended. While it’s too soon to call Barnett a dirty player, it’s in Barnett’s best interest to clean things up moving forward.

Usyk to battle Chazz Witherspoon on 10/12

Oleksandr Usyk will face Chazz Witherspoon on his Heavyweight debut at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago on Saturday night, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

Witherspoon (38-3 29 KOs) second cousin of former two-time World Heavyweight ruler Tim Witherspoon, is unbeaten in five years with his last win coming in March in Atlantic City over Santiago Silgado and now the 38 year old Philadelphian gets a huge opportunity to pull off a massive upset as Ukrainian pound-for-pound king Usyk moves up to Heavyweight after leaving the Cruiserweight division as the undisputed ruler.

“I can’t wait to face Usyk in Chicago,” said Witherspoon. “I have been in training ready for a big fight, and it doesn’t get bigger than this. Oleksandr is stepping up to Heavyweight – and he’s going to find out that it’s a totally different game.

“I’ve won my last eight fights and I really feel that I’ve been waiting in the wings for a huge opportunity like this and I am going to put every ounce of myself into the fight on this massive stage.”

Witherspoon replaces Tyrone Spong in the main event on the stacked card in the Windy City after there were adverse findings in two of Spong’s urine samples. As a result, the Illinois State Athletic Commission will not license Tyrone to box and rescinded their approval of the bout with Usyk.

Usyk’s Heavyweight bow against Witherspoon is part of a huge night of World championship action in Chicago as Dmitry Bivol defends his WBA World Light-Heavyweight title against Lenin Castillo and unified Super-Lightweight champion Jessica McCaskill defends her WBA and WBC titles against old foe Erica Farias.

Unbeaten Super-Middleweight talent Anthony Sims Jr returns to action against Morgan Fitch, Charles Conwell defends his USBA Super-Welterweight title against Patrick Day, an all-Chicago Super-Featherweight clash between Josh Hernandez and Giovanni Mioletti, former World title challenger TJ Doheny returns to the ring, Reshat Mati is back after recovering from a shoulder injury and a fourth pro outing for rising starlet Otha Jones III.

Photo: Marchroom Boxing