Giants’ Judge: ‘I don’t quit things, these players don’t quit things’

After one quarter, the New York Giants led the Rams 3-0. However, things fell apart in the second quarter. New York would turn the ball over three times, which led to 14 of the Rams’ 28 points in the second quarter. The game was pretty much over as Los Angeles led 28-3 at the break. The Rams(5-1) would score 38 straight points and defeat the Giants(1-5) 38-11 at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

New York came into this game for the second straight week missing key players on offense, including RB Saquon Barkley and WR Kenny Golladay. Against the Rams, New York would lose rookie wide receiver Kadarius Toney and second-year LT Andrew Thomas. 

New York had a hard time protecting quarterback Daniel Jones, who was sacked four times on Sunday. In addition, Jones, who had struggled with turnovers in previous seasons but had done an excellent job this season of protecting the ball, had four turnovers against the Rams. Jones finished the game 29/51 for 242 yards with three interceptions and lost a fumble. 

Despite the turnovers, Judge still has a lot of faith in Jones.

“We’ll look specifically at what happened, but Daniel has improved as a player,” Judge said. “Daniel is a guy that we’re going to have success with. He’s a tough dude; he’s a good competitor; he’s a leader on this team, does everything we ask him to do, does everything the team needs to see from a guy in the leadership standpoint to do and perform. We’re going to have success with Daniel. There are obviously things we have to clean up from today.”

New York also struggled defensively against Los Angeles. Rams QB Matthew Stafford threw for 251 yards and four touchdowns, interception, and Los Angeles had 131 yards on the ground. Last week, the New York’s defense gave up 516 yards of total offense and 37 points against the Cowboys, which defensive coordinator Patrick Graham called unacceptable.

“We obviously gave up too many points no matter what the situation was,’ Giants DE Leonard Williams said. “We allowed them in the end zone too many times. No matter how we started off, we didn’t finish the way we wanted to.”

At 1-5, the Giants have put themselves in a hole, but Judge believes there’s still time to turn things around.

“There’s a lot of ball left to be played,” he said. “There’s a lot of ball left to be played. We’re in Week 6, so to turn around and start tapping out now – I don’t know what kind of mentality other people have, I don’t quit things, these players don’t quit things. We’re not going to do that.”

The Giants are not a good football team right now, and injuries have definitely hurt this team, but their last two games have been unacceptable, and they have to find a way to get things right next Sunday against the visiting Panthers if they went turn the season around.

Brady on career: ‘I certainly don’t think in my wildest dreams I could’ve imagined what’s happened’

Twenty years ago at Foxboro Stadium, Tom Brady started to build his legacy. In 2001, against the Jets in Week 2, Brady, who was a second-year quarterback, replaced an injured Drew Bledsoe, and he would not give the job back. 

Brady would lead the Patriots to a victory in Super Bowl XXXVI. Ultimately, Brady would win five more Super Bowls with the Patriots.

Last season, in his first season in Tampa Bay, Brady added another Super Bowl at age 43, and after two weeks, Brady continues to play at a high level. He has a league-leading nine passing touchdowns, including five against the Falcons last Sunday, which is why he won the FedEx Air Player of the Week for the second straight week on Wednesday. Brady is tied for the second-most passing touchdowns through two games in NFL history. 

On Wednesday, Brady did a little reminiscing, and according to the former sixth-round pick, he could have never imagined his career would turn out the way it did.

“I don’t think anyone thinks 20 years ago where their life would be,” Brady said. “I certainly don’t think in my wildest dreams I could’ve imagined what’s happened. I am just very appreciative and grateful for all of the different things that have happened over time. Really, it’s just about the support system of people. My teammates over 20 years, my coaches, my family, my friends – I just have great memories.”

On Sunday, Brady returns to his home state of California as the Buccaneers(2-0) travel to Los Angeles to battle the Rams(2-0) in a big early-season game in the NFC. These are one of those games that could determine home-field advantage.

Brady, who is from San Mateo, California, expects many of his family members to be in attendance on Sunday.

“I have a lot of family from there(Los Angeles),” he said. “My sister lives down there, and my niece goes to school at U.C.L.A., so I have a lot of family and friends coming to this game. It’s pretty cool. I’ve never played in L.A.; it’s the first time I’ve ever played there. It’s pretty amazing to have never had the opportunity in all of my years of sports to kind of be on the field there, but I’ve done a lot of practice out there and done a lot of workouts out there. And I obviously know a lot of people there, so it should be a great atmosphere. I’ve heard great things about the stadium.”

At age 44, who knows how much football Brady has left, but it’s clear, for now, he’s still got it, and Tampa Bay will need him to at his best if they want to return to SoFi Stadium for Super Bowl LVI in February.

Giants’ Judge: ‘I’m proud of the way our guys fought, I’m proud of the way they played’

If it’s true that young NFL teams must learn how to win, the Giants are enduring those growing pains.

For the second time in three weeks, they had a chance to stave off defeat and perhaps earn their first victory of the season and in Joe Judge’s tenure as coach with a touchdown in the final minute. Once again, they had to force their way into the end zone to cap an impressive final possession.

Two weeks ago in Chicago, they trailed by four points when they drove 50 yards without a timeout in the final 2:02. But their chance to hold a locker room celebration ended when wide receiver Golden Tate was penalized for offensive pass interference in the end zone on the game’s final play.

Late Sunday afternoon, they were eight points behind when they traveled 62 yards to the Los Angeles Rams’ 18-yard line with 57 seconds remaining. But on the seventh play of the drive Daniel Jones’ pass for Damion Ratley was intercepted by diving cornerback Darious Williams at the five-yard line.

The Giants’ only turnover of the game left them no way to escape an 0-4 start.

“Certainly, frustrating for me,” Jones said. “There at the end of the game with a chance to score and go for two and tie up the game, and to not do that, certainly frustrating. So, we’ve got to stay at it and learn and keep moving forward.”

“Obviously, we came up a little short today,” Judge said. “I’m proud of the way our guys fought, I’m proud of the way they played. We have to make sure we clean up and eliminate some mistakes and keep making more positive plays going down the stretch. I’m proud of the way they fought. They are an improved team from last week, and I’m proud of how they worked last week, I’m proud of the improvement they made. We have to keep pushing on and making strides going forward.”

The defeat was particularly hard to swallow because the Giants’ defense played superbly most of the game. The Rams scored a touchdown on their first possession on a two-yard run by tight end Gerald Everett. But in its next six possessions, Los Angeles totaled 86 yards and scored just three more points.

After giving up 36 points to the 49ers last week, the Giants held the Rams – who averaged 30 points and 449.7 yards in their first three games – to 17 points and 240 yards – 200 under their average. The Rams gained just 116 yards in the first half.

“I love the way our defense is playing right now,” Judge said.

“I think it was awesome,” linebacker and defensive captain Blake Martinez said of his unit’s performance. “I think that’s the type of team we want to be, and I think overall it’s something we’ll hold our hat high on, but at the end of the day, it’s a production league, it’s getting wins, and that’s what we want, and I think we’re not going to be satisfied until that happens.”

It didn’t happen on Sunday because the Giants were held out of the end zone not only on their final series but the entire game. For the second week in a row, their scoring was limited to three Graham Gano field goals – from 35, 37 and 27 yards.

“Offensively, I like some of the things you saw down the stretch,” Judge said. “We have to get the ball to the end zone more, but we just have to keep pushing on forward, keep making corrections and adjustments, and getting better as you go down the stretch.”

The Giants kept plugging away despite their offensive sluggishness. Gano’s three-pointer as time expired in the first half cut the Giants’ halftime deficit to 10-6. After a scoreless third quarter, he made it 10-9 early in the fourth quarter.

After an exchange of punts, the Rams took possession at their own nine-yard line with 9:46 remaining. Eight plays later, Los Angeles faced a third-and-three at their own 49. A Giants stop would have put them in a position to get the ball and take the lead with another Gano field goal.

What followed instead was the game’s biggest play and the only one of the Ram’s 57 offensive plays to gain more than 16 yards. Jared Goff threw to a wide-open Cooper Kupp, who caught the ball at the Giants’ 40, sidestepped a tackle attempt by cornerback James Bradberry inside the 25 and sprinted to the end zone for the touchdown that increased the home team’s lead to 17-9.

“They hurried up to the line,” Bradberry said. “It was just miscommunication on the back end. We’re all accountable for that. We didn’t communicate enough. That’s what led to the touchdown.”

“Obviously, anytime that there’s a touchdown, nothing went exactly right,” Judge said, “so we’ve got to look and make sure we identify the breakdown and correct it going forward.”

On their next possession, Jones’ pass to Tate on fourth-and-11 fell incomplete. But the defense remained tough, forced a punt and gave the Giants a chance to tie the game with a touchdown and two-point conversion.

Starting at the 20, Jones immediately connected with Darius Slayton for 33 yards, the Giants’ longest play of the game. Jones ran for gains of 13 and 11 yards and threw a five-yard pass to Evan Engram that set them up on the 18. But the seventh play of the drive was unlucky as Jones’ pass landed in the wrong hands.

Asked what he learns from moments like those, Jones said, “You can’t force the ball in those situations.”

Moments later, he said, “I think I may have had the opportunity to run and have to learn from it and move on.”

For the Giants, it’s on to Dallas and their first NFC East game of the season – and another chance to earn that elusive first victory.

VIa: giants.com

Chargers, Rams to be featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks

HBO Sports, NFL Films and the two Los Angeles-based NFL franchises are teaming up for an unprecedented and unfiltered all-access look at what it takes to make it in the National Football League when HARD KNOCKS: LOS ANGELES kicks off its five-episode season this summer. One of the fastest-turnaround programs on TV, the 15th edition of the 18-time Sports Emmy®-winning series debuts TUESDAY, AUG. 11 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), with other hour-long episodes of the first sports-based reality series debuting subsequent Tuesdays at the same time, culminating in the Sept. 8 season finale.

HARD KNOCKS will have encore plays Wednesday nights and will be available to stream on HBO via HBO Max and partners’ platforms.

In an unprecedented programming move, the 2020 edition of the venerable series will spotlight both Los Angeles NFL teams: The Los Angeles Chargers of the AFC West and the Los Angeles Rams of the NFC West. The two franchises are set to share the spectacular new 70,000-seat SoFi stadium that is nearing completion in Inglewood, California.​

The arrival of HARD KNOCKS each August is a unique NFL tradition and NFL FILMS and HBO Sports are making plans for an all-new season of the most acclaimed serialized sports series on television.

One of sports television’s most successful and enduring partnerships, HBO Sports, NFL Media and NFL Films have reached agreement on a multi-year extension of the HARD KNOCKS franchise.

“The HARD KNOCKS franchise continues to excel as the preeminent sports reality series,” says Peter Nelson, Executive Vice President, HBO Sports.  “Our partnership with NFL Films, which dates back to 1977, consistently produces groundbreaking television programming. We are grateful to the Chargers and Rams organizations to be able to present the 2020 training camp experience.”

“NFL Films cherishes the relationship we’ve had with HBO for over four decades, and specifically with the HARD KNOCKS franchise since 2001,” says NFL Films senior executive Ross Ketover. “To be able to announce this extension as we embark on an unprecedented two team series this summer brings us incredible pride and only heightens our excitement for the return of football.”

Camera crews will head to southern California in the next few weeks to begin filming, with the action heating up in August when the cinéma vérité show focuses on the daily lives and routines of players and coaches.

Under fourth-year head coach Sean McVay, the Rams are just a season removed from a Super Bowl appearance and have a roster featuring an intriguing mix of high-profile players, established veterans, and free-agent acquisitions.

After an injury-plagued 2019 campaign, the Los Angeles Chargers are looking for a return to the winning formula that helped them finish tied for the AFC’s best record in 2018. Led by fourth-year head coach Anthony Lynn, the Chargers overhauled roster features young, rising stars on both sides of the ball, a new quarterback behind center and an influx of veteran talent added this offseason.

Both franchises will also be debuting new logos and uniforms when they open their new, state-of-the-art SoFi Stadium home later this year.

Los Angeles Chargers Head Coach Anthony Lynn said, “Having been part of Hard Knocks before when I was with the New York Jets, my biggest takeaway from that whole experience was that you get out of it what you put into it. There’s a reason that season was probably the most popular Hard Knocks ever. If you’re going to do a show, do it right. You can’t fake it. We didn’t have a problem providing access because we built a relationship with the crew. There was a mutual trust that exists to this day with those people, and many of them will actually be working on this year’s show. Broadcasting your internal business all over the world isn’t something you regularly want to do, but in a year with as many challenges as this one has had, I’m glad we can be part of bringing football back to the fans this summer.”

“We are looking forward to having Hard Knocks in our camp this year,” said Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Sean McVay.  “Hard Knocks always offers a rare opportunity for our fans to see our players’ hard work to prepare for the season, as well as gives them a peek behind the curtain to observe these guys off the field, too.  This year will be special because the show will also get an unprecedented look at SoFi Stadium, Stan Kroenke’s vision for professional football in L.A.”

Willie McGinest on Rams: ‘They have a monster squad’

The Los Angeles have done a lot in this offseason to strengthen their team. They added two big-time corners in Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters, and this week, they agreed to terms with five-time Pro Bowl DT Ndamukong Suh.

With all these additions, many expect the Rams defense to be one of the best in football, including the NFL Network’s Willie McGinest:

“They’re one of the best. I would say the addition of Suh, Talib and Peters on the outside,” McGinest told TMZ Sports.  “They were already solid, already a well- coached team. When you add pieces like that, man, it makes them even more dominant than what they were.”

The Rams already have Aaron Donald, who might be the best defensive tackle in football. Now, you add Suh to the mix, and according to McGinest, that’s going to be tough for offenses to handle:

“It’s hard to game plan as far as protection, who you going to slide to; you can’t double-team one guy anymore, and Wade Phillips does a great job of scheming; using players and putting them in the right position, so they got a monster squad, man. It’s going to be exciting to see how this comes together.” McGinest said.

McGinest believes Donald and Suh together could be one of the best interior lineman combinations in the history of the game:

“It’s a scary combination. I can’t go through history, but that’s one of the best as far as interior defensive linemen playing together,” McGinest said. “That’s definitely one of the most feared twosome you’re going to have playing (with) one another, so teams are going to have to figure it out. Offensive coordinators are going to be up at night trying to figure that out.”

 

While Suh, Peters, and Talib come with some baggage, McGinest expects these players to be fine in Los Angeles:

“I love Talib, and I love Suh. They’ll be alright. Sean McVay runs a tight ship. He lets players be opinionated, be themselves, but he also runs a tight ship with structure,  and discipline, and they’re going to respect him,” McGinest said. “They’re going to love playing for him. And it’s not about one or two guys. They understand it’s about the team, and players go through things at times. I think they’re going to be in a good situation. They’re in California; they’re on a very good team. They gotta chance to go deep into the playoffs. So, they want to prove something. They’re somewhere new. Anytime you go to a new home, you want to prove that you belong, and you want to do your part, so I don’t see it being a distraction.”

Last season, the Rams were able to win 11 games, which was good enough to win the NFC West and host a Wild Card playoff game, but their season ended in that round as they lost to the Falcons.

Now, with all that the Rams have, anything short of a deep playoff run, would be a disappointment.