Jets’ Wilson: ‘We’ve got to be better’

Life without Aaron Rodgers may be difficult for the New York Jets(1-1) after all.

On Sunday, New York went into Dallas and got beat up by the Cowboys(2-0) 30-10.

It’s hard to win on the road in the NFL and even harder when you turn the ball over four times. Furthermore, it becomes even harder when you can’t protect your quarterback. The Cowboys had Zach Wilson under duress for most of the game and sacked him three times.

Wilson had moments, including a 68-yard touchdown pass to Garrett Wilson. In addition, he was able to use his legs to get away from pressure, and he rushed for 36 yards. 

However, Wilson completed 12/27 passes for 170 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions.

Jets head coach Robert Saleh thought Wilson played well for most of the game.

“Up until we had to force it, I thought he did a really nice job,” Saleh said after the loss. “He hit that strike route to Garrett for that big touchdown. I thought he did a really nice job at the end of half, moving the chains, getting some points. It just, like I said, that team, when you have to get into a drop-back game consistently with those guys, it’s not going to be pretty.”

Wilson thought he played well for the first three quarters, but to Saleh’s point, things fell apart for the third-year quarterback in the fourth as all three interceptions came in the final quarter. 

“It’s tough, man,” Wilson said. “I thought I was seeing it well for the first three quarters of the game, but we kept getting stopped. There’s always going to be things we can keep cleaning up. But I thought I was seeing it well, at least for the first three quarters. I think when we watch this film, we’ll be able to keep pushing forward on some stuff.”

Wilson is optimistic about the future despite the loss and the struggles on offense.

“We’ve got to be better,” he said. “I need to be better, but we are right there. So, it’s a long season. We’re going to watch this film and see how we can improve. Everyone trusts and believes in each other. Everyone loves each other. We’re excited for the challenge.”

This loss was not on Wilson. Defensively, New York will need this unit to be at their best. Dak Prescott and the Cowboys did not have much resistance from the defense, so again, this unit must lead the way for the Jets.

 New York returns home next Sunday to host the Patriots.

Zach Wilson on being starting QB for Jets: ‘Yeah, it’s a special opportunity’

Zach Wilson is the man once again for the New York Jets. After Aaron Rodgers was acquired by the Jets in the offseason, Wilson was prepared to be his backup for possibly the next few seasons.

However, things changed quickly in New York after Rodgers tore his left Achilles tendon in the team’s season-opening win over the Bills on Monday night.

Now, it’s Wilson’s turn again to show the Jets why they should have selected with the second pick in the 2021 draft. 

In 2022, Wilson got chance after chance to prove himself, but after a bad performance against the Patriots late in the season, he was benched for Mike White. Ultimately, he would get another shot following an injury to White, but he wasn’t very good.

Some believe Wilson, who will lead the way for the Jets when they travel to Dallas to face the Cowboys on Sunday, has to gain the trust of teammates, but according to the 24-year-old, that’s not the case.

“I don’t think I need to think of it like that,” he said Thursday. “I think how I can go out there and play football, and I will earn that trust back from those guys. I would say I have a really good relationship with everybody in this locker room, you know, we joke around, we eat lunch together, we go out for O-Line, QB dinners, and so I would always feel like the guys in this locker room have my back just like I have their back no matter what.”

The third-year quarterback spent a decent amount of time around Rodgers in the offseason, and he feels being around the four-time league MVP has made him a better player.

“Absolutely,’ Wilson said. “I feel like I’ve been trying to copy every little thing he’s doing, from his footwork to the coaching tips he’s given us. He does an amazing job, more than we could ask for as quarterbacks.”

On Tuesday, Jets head coach Robert Saleh said the Jets are Zach Wilson’s team, which made Wilson feel good.

“It’s good to know he’s(Saleh) got a lot of trust in me,” Wilson said. “As a quarterback, when you’re stepping in, and you feel the belief of the guys around you, it makes you want to go out there and do everything that you can for them, and I think that’s what’s so special about this team. We’re very tight right now, and everything’s been rolling smoothly.”

The Jets look loaded on defense and appear to have a very good team; this is a great opportunity for Wilson, and he knows it.

“Yeah, it’s a special opportunity,” he said. “I’m excited to be a part of this team, man. These guys are very special, so doing my job and allowing the guys around me to do theirs.”

Giants’ Jones on playing Cowboys: ‘It’s a big divisional game for us’

In 2022, the top two teams in the NFC East were the Philadelphia Eagles(14-3), who won the division, and the Dallas Cowboys(12-5).

The New York Giants(9-7-1) were 0-4 against both teams last season.

On Sunday night, the Giants host the Cowboys in the season opener, and this would be a good time for New York to start the season with a win.

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, who is 1-6 in his career against Dallas, says playing the Cowboys is a big deal.

“It’s a big divisional game for us,” Jones said on Tuesday. “All the divisional games are certainly big and match up with a lot of tradition and history, so yeah, it’s a big deal. But it’s about what we do; it’s about how we play and taking care of our business first.”

Jones knows playing the Cowboys is not only a big deal to the players but also a big deal for the fans.

“Giants’ fans are passionate, and like I said, there’s a long history, there’s a long tradition of these matchups in the NFC East, and Cowboys is certainly up there,” Jones said. “We understand that, but we know it’s about what we do as a group and how we play and making sure we’re ready to go Sunday night.”

Giants tight end Darren Waller is new to this rivalry and happy to be a part of it.

“Like I’ve said before, growing up in a house with my parents, NFC East fans, I know the history,” Waller said. “I know how heated and competitive these games have been over the years, and I know what I’m about to step into on Sunday. I am honored to take the field.”

According to Waller, his parents were not fans of the Cowboys.

“I just know my parents were kind of like anti-Cowboys as far as their team, so I understood what the deal was,” Waller said. 

The Cowboys and Eagles should be outstanding teams again in 2023, so if the Giants want to make some noise in the NFC East, New York has to be better against the Cowboys and Eagles.

The end should be near for Brady

It never ends the way you wanted it to, but in life, all good things must come to an end, which might be the case for the great Tom Brady.

On Monday night in Tampa Bay, Brady and the Buccaneers were ousted from the playoffs as they fell to the Cowboys 31-14 in the Wild Card round.

The seven-time Super Bowl champion struggled. He was 35/66 for 351 yards, two touchdowns, and a costly red zone interception. The 66 attempts were the most in his 23-year career. Conversely, for Dallas, Dak Prescott threw for 305 yards and five touchdowns, including one on the ground.

In his NFL record 48th playoff game, Brady knew the Bucs did not deserve to win.

“Not the way we wanted to end it, but we didn’t deserve it,” he said after the loss. “I give them a lot of credit; they played a good game – made a lot more plays than we did. So, tough night.” 

After falling behind 6-0 in the first quarter, Brady and the Buccaneers had an opportunity to take the lead early in the second quarter. However, on 2nd & goal from the five-yard line, Brady’s pass was intercepted by Jayron Kearse in the end zone. 

“I was trying to throw it to Chris [Godwin], and the other guys were blocking and just tried to throw it out and didn’t obviously get enough on it,” Brady said. “That certainly didn’t help our cause.”

Unfortunately, it was all bad for the Buccaneers the rest of the way.

Now, Brady and the Buccaneers focus on next season, and at age 45, it might be time for Brady to think about what’s next. Brady did not talk about the future after the game, but he did thank the Tampa Bay media, which could indicate that his time could be done in Tampa Bay, but it doesn’t mean his time in the NFL could be done.

Here’s the question, if you’re an NFL team and you watched soon-to-be free agent Brady against the Cowboys and his play this season, do you really believe he can help you win? Probably not, but if he decides to come back, some team will take a chance on him.

At this point, there’s nothing for Brady to prove. He’s the G.O.A.T., and has done it all. However, if he wants to continue on, he can’t tarnish his legacy because his legacy is complete.

‘Bucs’ Brady: ‘It’s not really who is favored or not favored’

The 2023 NFL playoffs could be Tom Brady’s last ride, and of course, he wants to go out on top, but according to Vegas, the Buccaneers’ season will end Monday night in Tampa Bay against the Cowboys(12-5) in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.

The Buccaneers(8-9) are home underdogs(Cowboys 2.5 point favorites), but according to Brady, none of that matters.

“It’s not really who is favored or not favored; it’s who plays the best,” Brady said Friday. “I’ve never really paid attention to those things. I just try to go play the best I can.”

During the 2020 Super Bowl run, the Buccaneers wore white jerseys, pewter pants, and helmets. In addition, Tampa Bay defeated the Cowboys 19-3 in the season-opener, but Brady knows that the jerseys and the previous matchups don’t matter. 

“Yeah, they’ve got a great team,” he said. “I’ve played them quite a bit over the years, and I have a lot of respect for the organization, their history, a lot of great players. But all of its about three hours on Sunday – Monday night – and everything’s going to come down to what we do those three hours. Nothing in the past, nothing about the color jerseys we’re wearing. It’s who’s playing, what we’re doing, how we’re executing, how we’re executing under pressure. That’s what it’s going to come down to.”

For the Buccaneers, it’s win or go home, and Brady, who won seven Super Bowls titles and has the most playoff wins in NFL history, knows this all so well.

“Yeah, I feel there’s a lot urgency naturally this week,” Brady said. “Everyone knows what we’re playing for – you’re playing for a chance to move on. There’s no, ‘Oh, we were close,’ or, ‘It was almost there. Two more plays.’ Look at two seasons ago – we ended up winning it all [and] there was a lot of really close plays. Last year, it comes down to plays at the end of the game that they made, and we didn’t. You’re going to have make the plays at the end. It’s tough because there’s good teams, and there’s little margin of error. All these teams are well-coached, they’ve got good offenses, good defenses, they’ve got a lot of good playmakers. These are the best teams that are playing right now, and you’ve got to play [well] if you want to advance.”

Before losing to the Falcons in a meaningless game in their regular-season finale, Tampa Bay had won two straight, and in the NFL, as we’ve seen in the past, it’s not the best team that always wins, but it’s the teams that are playing the best, which Brady discussed on Friday.

“It’s not the best team that wins; it’s the team that plays the best [that] wins,” he said. “I was part of a team that won every game until the Super Bowl, and we didn’t play the best that day, and we lost, and you don’t end up reaching your goal. I’ve been on the other end of it where I was a big underdog, my first year starting against the Rams, and we played better than they did that day. But that’s all that matters. That’s what single elimination is all about. You’ve got to be at your best in that moment.”

By record and on paper, the Cowboys are the better team, but as we’ve seen throughout his 23-year career, Brady can still make things happen but at age 45, and with the talent on the Buccaneers, that might be a tall order.

Giants-Cowboys most-watched NFL game in league history

Thanksgiving and football are perfect together. On Friday, the NFL announced that the Giants-Cowboys showdown was the most-watched NFL regular season game in league history.

The late afternoon game on FOX between the Giants and Cowboys averaged 42.0 million viewers(TV+Digital).

According to the league, The total unduplicated audience across all three games – Buffalo Bills vs. Detroit Lions, New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots vs. Minnesota Vikings – was 138 million – the highest Thanksgiving total audience on record. The 138 million total unduplicated audience number surpasses the previous high of 126 million in 2016 and is up +34% vs. 2021 (103 million).

The average viewership (TV+Digital) across the three games was 33.5 million – the highest Thanksgiving Day NFL average on record. The 33.5 million average viewers surpass the previous high of 32.9 million in 1993 (two games) and is up +6% vs. 2021 (31.6 million).

Giants’ Barkley: ‘When the running game is not working, it starts with the running back’

After the 30 minutes, the New York Giants were playing well against the DallasCowboys on Thursday and had a 13-7 lead at the break, but an NFL game is 60 minutes, and the second half was all Dallas.

The Cowboys scored on three straight possessions in the second half and dominated the Giants. Ultimately, they would defeat New York 28-20 at AT&T Stadium to sweep the season series.

New York(7-4) has now lost two straight and three out of their last four. The theme of the last two games is their inability to run the ball. Last Sunday, the Lions held Saquon Barkley to 22 yards on 15 carries, and it wasn’t much better on Thursday, as Barkley had only 39 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown. If New York is not running the ball at a high level, more than likely, they will lose. The Giants have been held to under one hundred yards in their last three losses. Due to injuries and quarterback play, New York is not built to throw the ball a bunch of times. They need their running game, and that running game is just not getting it done right now.

“We’ve been missing some bigger plays that usually help in the run game,” Giants coach Brian Daboll said after the loss. “We just haven’t popped through there. The blocking, the running, the design, we have to do a better job all the way around with the run game. Coaching it, executing it.” 

Barkley says it’s on him.

“When the running game is not working, it starts with the running back,” Barkley said. “I’ve got to be better.” 

It all starts upfront, and the Giants are banged up on the offensive line. Three of the team’s five starters on the offensive line were out against the Cowboys.

The running game is on everybody; the coaches, offensive line, and running backs, but again it has to be better if New York hopes to finish the season strong. Barring a late-season collapse, the Giants still should make the playoffs. However, this is not the most talented team to begin with, so they have little margin of error.

They hope to regroup and be better against the Commanders next Sunday.

Bucs add Keanu Neal, re-sign Gabbert

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed safety Keanu Neal and re-signed quarterback Blaine Gabbert, the team announced Wednesday.

Neal, 26, played linebacker last season in Dallas, but he’s expected to go back to safety in Tampa. brings six years of NFL experience to Tampa Bay.

The six-year veteran appeared in 63 career regular season games, with 53 starts, while playing for the Falcons (2016-20) and Dallas Cowboys (2021), earning 2016 NFL All-Rookie honors and a 2017 Pro Bowl selection. During that time, Neal has tallied 402 tackles (19 for loss), 16 passes defensed, eight forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, two interceptions and 2.0 sacks.

In his rookie season in 2016, Neal was part of a Falcons team that won an NFC title and advanced to Super Bowl LI. He has started all five postseason games in which he has appeared, recording 41 tackles, one fumble recovery and one pass defensed.

After losing Jordan Whitehead to the Jets in free agency, they added former Giants safety Logan Ryan and now they add more talent to the backend of the defense in Neal.

The 32-year-old Gabbert has appeared in 10 games with the Buccaneers over the last two seasons in Tampa Bay (2020-21), completing 16-of-27 passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns, earning a 108.6 passer rating.

He originally signed with Tampa Bay on March 27, 2019, but spent his first season with the Buccaneers on Injured Reserve.  The 11-year veteran was a member of Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl LV championship roster.

Gabbert entered the league as a first-round pick (10th overall) of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2011 NFL Draft, spending three seasons with the Jaguars (2011-13) before playing for the San Francisco 49ers (2014-16), Arizona Cardinals (2017) and Tennessee Titans (2018). Gabbert has appeared in 66 career games, with 48 starts, completing 858-of-1,525 passes for 9,273 yards. He has thrown 50 touchdowns and 47 interceptions, for a 72.4 passer rating. He has also rushed 195 times for 640 yards and three touchdowns.

Chiefs-Broncos, Cowboys-Eagles set for Saturday

The NFL finalized today the schedule for Week 18, Season Finale on Saturday, January 8 and Sunday, January 9.

The week begins with a Saturday doubleheader:

At 4:30 PM ET, the Kansas City Chiefs will visit the Denver Broncos.

Then at 8:15 PM ET, the Dallas Cowboys will visit the Philadelphia Eagles.

The regular season will conclude with the Los Angeles Chargers against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday Night Football.

The Week 18 schedule (all times ET, pm):

Saturday, January 8


Kansas City at Denver




Dallas at Philadelphia



Sunday, January 9


Pittsburgh at Baltimore




Cincinnati at Cleveland




Green Bay at Detroit




Tennessee at Houston




Indianapolis at Jacksonville




Chicago at Minnesota




Washington at New York Giants




Seattle at Arizona




New Orleans at Atlanta




New York Jets at Buffalo




San Francisco at Los Angeles Rams




New England at Miami




Carolina at Tampa Bay




Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas





Giants’ Judge: ‘You’re not going to win a lot of games in this league with four turnovers’

For the fifth straight season, the New York Giants(4-10) have lost 10 or more games as they fell to the Dallas Cowboys 21-6 at MetLife Stadium Sunday.

With the loss, the Giants have lost three straight and four out of their last five.

The Cowboys(10-4) forced four turnovers, which led to 15 points.

“You’re not going to win a lot of games in this league with four turnovers,” Giants head coach Joe Judge said after the game. “That’s obviously something we preach and work on consistently. We’ve got to make sure that we eliminate the turnovers. Too many penalties today. Obviously, a lot of things we have to improve on as a team. The focus and the goal is the same as it always is; make adjustments now, come back in and be a better team than we were today to have success this week.”

Giants QB Mike Glennon was not very good Sunday. He completed 13 of 24 passes for 99 yards, zero touchdowns, and three interceptions. Ultimately, he would get pulled in the fourth quarter.

Judge explained why he pulled Glennon and went with Jake Fromm.

“We got to a point in the game where I wanted to see what Jake(Fromm) could do, point blank,” Judge said. “We weren’t doing enough moving the ball otherwise, so I wanted to make sure I had the chance to see Jake, and that will obviously open up a conversation about what we’re going to do this week. We’ll talk about it as a staff, and we’ll make the best decision for the team.”

Fromm, who made his NFL debut Sunday, gave New York a spark, and if Jones is still out, the New York should probably go with Fromm. 

The Giants got more bad news on the injury front as they lost wideout Sterling Shepard to a torn Achilles late in the fourth. Saquon Barkley, who finished with 50 yards rushing Sunday but lost a fumble, discussed Shepard’s injury.

“It’s definitely tough,” Barkley said. “He’s a spark to this team; he’s a leader of this team. Just the energy that he brings every single day on the field and off the field. Anytime you see a guy go down, it’s a sad thing. One thing I know about Shep, he’s a fighter, so it’s a setback, but I know he’s going to attack this rehab.”

Next week, New York heads to Philadelphia to battle the Eagles.