Preseason Weekend Recap and MNF Giants-Jets Preview (August 16, 2010)

Hurley Concludes Week 1 of Pre-Season At 6-1!
Monday Moneymaker cashes in on the diamond!
Tigers (+165) Yankees 3-1
A big dog payoff builds bankrolls!


By Jim Hurley:

Hope you all had an opportunity to check out some real live NFL ball this past weekend - sure, the won/loss results don't count right now but there were plenty of interesting news/notes and in today's edition of Jim Sez we will delve head-first into the most pertinent information from these weekend games.

In fact, we'll get to the key News & Notes regarding the NFL Preseason Week #1 games played from this past Saturday/Sunday (that's 9 games in all) and we will take a quick preview look at tonight's game at the New Meadowlands Stadium pitting the New York Giants "at" the New York Jets but first let's get you this ultra-important message:

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers get you all the NFL Preseason Winners (a perfect 6-0 this weekend!) plus all the Major-League Baseball Winners too when you either call the toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or else when you log online at Important Note: The check-in times are after 11 a.m. ET for the weekday afternoon Baseball Games; after 1 p.m. ET for all the NFL and MLB weeknight games; and anytime after 10 a.m. ET on Saturdays and Sundays for all your sports action

Note that in the NFL Preseason Week #2 card there are a pair of Thursday night affairs (that's Indianapolis versus Buffalo in Toronto) and New England at Atlanta (on Fox) plus a single Friday night game (Philadelphia at Cincinnati on Fox) - so don't miss out!

Now, here is a quick-hitter preview on tonight's Giants-Jets game:


Hey, just in case you didn't get enough of the loud-mouth J-E-T-S in last week's debut episode of Hard Knocks on HBO, here's another serving of the NFL's most-hyped team for the 2010 season.

Okay, so maybe Rex Ryan's club will be every bit as good as they claim this year but that doesn't mean everything's perfect these days as Pro Bowl CB Darrelle Revis continues to sit out his well-documented contract battle and center Nick Mangold may get treated with kid gloves here in this game after getting pounded in the head in a mid-week practice session (yes, he's another unhappy Jets player who is having his own contract issues).

On the flip side, in this first football game ever at the New Meadowlands Stadium - it will get a corporate name as soon as someone steps to the plate and dishes out millions of dollars to the Mara/Tisch and Johnson families! - the Jets will show off some of their new players including born-again RB LaDainian Tomlinson, CB Antonio Cromartie and first-round draftee CB Kyle Wilson (Boise State). Note the latter also figures to see time as a kick/punt return specialist.

Meanwhile, the more buttoned-down Giants did have some trash talk tossed NYJ's way late last week when defensive back Terrell Thomas claimed that New York City is still "a Giants town" but otherwise things have been relatively quiet in "Camp (Tom) Coughlin" but word did come down Sunday afternoon that always-injured TE Kevin Boss (hamstring, ankle) will not play in this Gotham City showdown plus the injury/out list also includes S Michael Johnson (back), G Chris Snee (knee) , S Kenny Phillips (knee) and Pro Bowl WR Steve Smith (groin).

If you would like to keep your eye on something specific here with the Giants tonight, than check out rookie punter Matt Dodge (East Carolina) who has been a bit erratic in camp although he did launch an 85-yard wind-aided punt in camp at Albany (N.Y.) this past weekend.

A summertime game in the swamp isn't about to decide "who's town" is it but there could be a fair share of fisticuffs here as this annual Preseason game - normally played on the third weekend of the Preseason schedule - does have some buzz surrounding it this year.
Now, here are the NFL Preseason Week #1 Re-Caps from Saturday & Sunday:

On Saturday, it was ...
Miami 10, Tampa Bay 7 - If you checked out the Dolphins' telecast (it was on NFL Network) than you know much was made of the fact that new Fish WR Brandon Marshall didn't catch a ball despite being targeted on four different occasions (including a pair of drops) while Miami's starting QB Chad Henne completed five passes for a not-so-whopping 19 yards. P.S., wide-out Brian Hartline also dropped a Henne pass.

True, an early-game downpour really put a damper on both offenses here while both teams had to navigate their way through the muddy Florida Marlins infield but Bucs' second-year slinger Josh Freeman did complete all four of his pass attempts for 53 yards and that included a 13-yard scoring strike to WR Sammie Stroughter in the opening quarter.

Pittsburgh 23, Detroit 7 - Speaking of foul weather, this Preseason tilt was delayed some 73 minutes late in the first half (the teams never did break for halftime thus confounding anyone who wished to wager on the second half!) and about the only player who kept a clean uniform was Steelers' QB Ben Roethlisberger who got a DNP despite the fact head coach Mike Tomlin teased the local media in the days leading up to this game as to whether or not his suspended signal-caller would play.

The Lions, meanwhile, didn't get a single tackle from the draft's #2 pick DE Ndamukong Suh who played briefly following his contract holdout that will net him a minimum of $40 million guaranteed plus Detroit's offense really bogged down at the end of drives behind backup QBs Shaun Hill and Drew Stanton who combined to complete 15-of-21 passes for 147 yards.
Arizona 19, Houston 16 - Here's your typical example of "reading the score wrong" in this Preseason game because the 2-point road favored Texans sported a 13-0 halftime lead when starters/key reserves were in action ... but that doesn't mean you overlook a key part of the first half when Houston RB Steve Slaton fumbled right at the goal line and that continues to be a daunting issue for this AFC South club.

On the flip side, Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt claimed his first- and second-stringers on offense were "too sloppy" as QB Matt Leinart was sacked twice by DE Mario Williams and once botched a handoff play to RB Tim Hightower plus don't forget backup QB Derek Anderson (13-of-22 passing) was picked off twice. Remember that last year Anderson was intercepted 10 times while throwing just three TDs for the Cleveland Browns.

Minnesota 28, St. Louis 7 - It's not like Vikings' backup QB Sage Rosenfels is gonna send any kind of "message" to is-he-or-isn't-he retired Brett Favre but the journeyman slinger did steal the show in this battle by the arch while completing 23-of-34 passing tries for 310 yards with 3 TDs and 0 INTs. Rosenfels shined despite the fact the Vikes didn't play either of their starting WRs as Percy Harvin continues to suffer with migraine headache issues and Sidney Rice stayed sidelined with a hip injury.

St. Louis rookie QB Sam Bradford (Oklahoma) only wished he could have sat this one out - the league's top draft pick this past April was a human pin cushion in this tilt as he was sacked four times and hurried on many of his 13 passes (he finished 6-of-13 for 57 yards) and note the Rams chose to sit out RB Stephen Jackson).

Cleveland 27, Green Bay 24 - The final headline for the night became PK Phil Dawson's game-winning 46-yard field goal as time expired but what really made Cleveland football fans smile was QB Jake Delhomme looking sharp en route to a 6-of-7, 66-yard passing night as his one drive led to a Browns' TD and some real-live optimism. Delhomme completed a fourth-down pass play to WR Mohamed Massaquoi that set up a RB Jerome Harrison four-yard scoring scamper and the former Carolina slinger never showed any signs of a bad arm/shoulder.

However, rookie QB Colt McCoy (Texas) did suffer a game-ending injury after banging his right hand on the back of a teammate's helmet following a pass attempt. Cleveland head coach Eric Mangini didn't think the injury was serious but still pulled McCoy (5-of-10 passing for 25 yards with two INTs and 25 yards rushing) anyway. Conversely, Packers' QB Aaron Rodgers completed his first 10 passes en route to a 12-of-13, 159-yard, 1-TD night. 

San Diego 25, Chicago 10 - Forget the fact that Chargers' top draftee RB Ryan Mathews (Fresno State) had to throw up before this game ever started as his nerves calmed and he looked good while gaining 50 yards on 9 rushes to go along with his two receptions worth 11 yards.

No doubt all eyes are on Mathews this summer as he looks to replace the aforementioned Tomlinson as it's key for San Diego to have a player that can hit the "home run" via the ground route while combining forces with veteran QB Philip Rivers (see 28-yard scoring strike to a now-healthy WR Legadu Naanee).

No doubt that the Bears will need further time to get acclimated to new offensive coordinator Mike Martz but maybe Chicago's biggest concerns coming out of this game was the injury factor as three defensive players were hurt:

LB Hunter Hillenmeyer (foot), S Craig Steltz (ankle) and rookie S Major Wright (Florida) - he injured a finger -- all were removed from this game.

Seattle 20, Tennessee 18 - No doubt the most moving scene of this Preseason Week #1 was when Titans rookie RB Stafon Johnson (USC) suffered a dislocated right ankle on the final play of the third quarter. Johnson, you'll remember, was the player who suffered that horrendous weight-room injury to his windpipe last year while playing for his then Pac-10 team and so the sight of former SC head coach/now Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll comforting the first-year pro was tear-jerking stuff indeed.

In terms of this left coast game, the story was Seahawks' backup QB Charlie Whitehurst who really zinged it (see 14-of-22 passing for 214 yards with two TDs and 1 INT) in his Seattle debut and rest assured that he will be giving incumbent Matt Hasselbeck (4-of-10 passing for 26 yards) a run for his money all summer long. Whitehurst - who benefited statistically from that bang-bang 51-yard catch-and-run scoring play from WR Mike Williams - really commanded the huddle well and threw the ball with authority - and that's something Hasselbeck couldn't say about his Preseason '10 debut.

On Sunday, it was ...

San Francisco 37, Indianapolis 17 - It's a good thing that four-time league MVP quarterback Peyton Manning never misses a game 'cause backup Curtis Painter isn't very good.

Last year's meltdown in that second-to-last regular-season game against the Jets became legendary stuff 'round the league - hey, it really kick-started the Jets' whole late-year/playoff run! - but here in this Preseason opener there was Painter airing three INTs and blowing a handoff too and so no doubt that GM Bill Polian will be checking the waiver wire for help - and keeping fingers crossed that Manning (8-of-10 passing for 91 yards) stays healthy all year long after helping to produce 10 points on 16 offensive plays here.

Cincinnati 33, Denver 24 - Maybe the post-game headlines for this one all had to do with Broncos' rookie QB Tim Tebow (Florida) who completed 8-of-13 passes for 105 yards and scored a so-what, last-second rock-'em, sock-'em touchdown while getting sandwiched by two Bengals defenders but the rookie that really opened up eyes on Sunday night at Paul Brown Stadium was Cincy WR Jordan Shipley (Texas).

Shipley snagged five passes for 50 yards and showed his speedy stuff on special teams too. Hey, he least he caught what was thrown his general direction (the same could not be said of Cincinnati WR Terrell Owens who dropped a pair of passes en route to a 4-catch, 23-yard showing).

NOTE: Catch more NFL Preseason action - plus College Football and Baseball too - in the coming editions of Jim Sez.


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