Who do Jets, Giants have to fend off?

Who do Jets, Giants have to fend off?

We now have hit the midway level of the NFL season with Week 9 wrapping up Monday evening, and the Giants and Jets usually are not simply on observe to play significant video games within the second half — they’re each on observe to make the playoffs.

Earlier than you cue up the Jim Mora “Playoffs?!?” video, the disclaimer: Lots can occur over the following 9 weeks, together with two New York groups falling again to earth after a stunning first 9 weeks.

However with the Jets getting into their bye week and the Giants popping out of theirs, it looks as if a pure time to take a quick peek on the playoff image and see what they’re up towards through the second half of the season.

Jets guard Laken Tomlinson celebrates the stunning win over the Payments that narrowed the race within the AFC East.Robert Sabo

If the common season ended at this time, these can be the first-round playoff matchups:

AFC present wild-card video games

No. 5 Jets at No. 4 TitansNo. 6 Dolphins at No. 3 RavensNo. 7 Chargers at No. 2 Chiefs

NFC present wild-card video games

No. 5 Cowboys at No. 4 BuccaneersNo. 6 Giants at No. 3 SeahawksNo. 7 49ers at No. 2 Vikings

Once more, there’s an extended approach to go earlier than both staff has to start out worrying a few potential playoff opponent or jockeying for seeding. Simply moving into the dance would qualify as a smashing success primarily based off of preseason expectations. What stands in the best way of creating that occur?

Brian Daboll has guided a Giants staff many anticipated can be among the many NFL’s worst into the thick of the NFC playoff race.Getty Pictures

First, we’ll deal with the Jets’ possibilities. A have a look at the AFC standings in the mean time:

1. Payments (6-2), first place AFC East2. Chiefs (6-2), first place AFC West3. Ravens (6-3), first place AFC North4. Titans (5-3), first place AFC South5. Jets (6-3)6. Dolphins (6-3)7. Chargers (5-3)8. Patriots (5-4)9. Bengals (5-4)10. Colts (3-5-1)11. Browns (3-5)12. Broncos (3-5)13. Jaguars (3-6)14. Raiders (2-6)15. Steelers (2-6)16. Texans (1-6-1)

Profitable the AFC East continues to be in play after the Jets shocked the Payments on Sunday — particularly with Josh Allen now being evaluated for an elbow damage associated to his UCL, ESPN reported Monday. However so long as Allen’s damage doesn’t flip into one thing greater, it nonetheless looks as if a good wager to pencil in Buffalo because the eventual division champs. We will additionally undertaking the Chiefs because the AFC West champs, thanks partly to their third-easiest power of remaining schedule (per Tankathon), the Ravens as AFC North champs, because of their best power of remaining schedule, and the Titans as AFC South champs, contemplating the second-place staff within the division (the Colts) simply fired their head coach on Monday.

Josh Allen and the Payments will probably be holding their breath hoping the quarterback’s elbow problem doesn’t sideline him.Charles Wenzelberg

That would go away 5 groups — the Jets, Dolphins, Chargers, Patriots and Bengals — combating for 3 spots, except a sub-.500 staff catches fireplace within the second half (such because the Browns as soon as Deshaun Watson returns from his suspension). Barring that, right here’s the way it would possibly break down, with every staff’s power of remaining schedule (SORS):

Jets (SORS: .551): If they will end what they began, it’s going to be on the again of their protection. The primary two video games out of the bye will probably be essential. They get a rematch towards the Patriots after which host the Bears in a sport they need to win, even with QB Justin Fields starting to seem like an actual menace. Then they’ll face the Vikings, Payments, Lions, Jaguars and Seahawks earlier than ending up towards the Dolphins in Miami. Think about if that finale turns right into a winner-gets-in sport?

Dolphins (SORS: .500): With Tua Tagovailoa again wholesome — to not point out including cross rusher Bradley Chubb on the commerce deadline — the Dolphins are legit. They’re 6-0 in video games Tagovailoa begins and finishes.

Chargers (SORS: .473): Their 5 wins have come towards under-.500 groups, ande two of their three losses got here towards playoff groups. They’ll must show they will beat prime groups, however with Justin Herbert below heart, they’re all the time harmful.

Patriots (SORS: .603): Much like the Jets, their protection is essentially accountable for their strong begin. However they’ve the second-toughest schedule left within the NFL, that means they’ll possible want their offense (and quarterback Mac Jones) to tug a few of its weight.

Mac Jones might want to navigate the NFL’s second-toughest remaining schedule to get the Patriots to the postseason.Getty Pictures

Bengals (SORS: .552): The reigning AFC champs got here out of the gates sluggish, however might nonetheless give the Ravens a run for the AFC North title. If not, Joe Burrow and Co. are a menace to seek out their footing within the second half.

Now for the Giants and the NFC standings:

1. Eagles (8-0), first place NFC East2. Vikings (7-1), first place NFC North3. Seahawks (6-3), first place NFC West4. Buccaneers (4-5), first place NFC South5. Cowboys (6-2)6. Giants (6-2)7. 49ers (4-4)8. Falcons (4-5)9. Commanders (4-5)10. Rams (3-5)11. Saints (3-6)12. Packers (3-6)13. Cardinals (3-6)14. Bears (3-6)15. Lions (2-6)16. Panthers (2-7)

The Giants have some extra respiratory room — and seemingly much less competitors — than the Jets in the mean time. Quite a lot of anticipated NFC contenders have been disappointments by way of the primary half, together with the Rams, Packers and Cardinals.

The Rams’ late-game loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday didn’t assist their flagging efforts to defend their title.AP

With the Eagles within the driver’s seat for the NFC East, the Vikings for the NFC North and the Seahawks for the NFC West, plus the Buccaneers simply barely main the depressing NFC South, that leaves three playoff spots for … what number of real looking contenders?

The three wild playing cards proper now — the Cowboys, Giants and 49ers — have nice pictures to get in. Right here’s how the race breaks down:

Cowboys (SORS: .539): They weathered the storm whereas Dak Prescott was out and now have him again for the stretch run. Higher but? Their protection has been among the finest within the NFL.

Giants (SORS: .587): Brian Daboll has the Giants taking part in above their expertise degree, although it actually helps having Saquon Barkley wanting like his outdated self and Wink Martindale scheming the protection (which misplaced priceless security Xavier McKinney for not less than 4 weeks as a result of a hand damage suffered in a trip ATV accident). They arrive out of the bye week with winnable video games towards the Texans and Lions earlier than getting into the guts of their division schedule with 4 straight video games and 5 of the final seven towards NFC East foes.

49ers (SORS: .456): Their plans for the season went haywire when QB Trey Lance suffered a season-ending ankle damage in Week 2. However Jimmy Garoppolo has steadied the ship, and the commerce deadline addition of Christian McCaffrey makes their offense much more of a menace.

Christian McCaffrey has averaged 5.1 yards per speeding try and scored two touchdowns in two video games with the 49ers.AP

Falcons (SORS: .380): May the Falcons truly sneak into the playoffs? They do have the second-easiest power of remaining schedule within the NFL, which might preserve them in competition down the stretch.

Rams (SORS: .481): The hangover is actual for the defending Tremendous Bowl champs. However at what level can Sean McVay and Co. be totally counted out?

As we speak’s again web page

New York Publish

Learn extra about Monday’s NBA information and outcomes:

🏀 Julius Randle leads Knicks’ 3-point barrage in win over Timberwolves

🏀 Voices urging towards Ime Udoka rent rising louder in and round Nets

🏀 Nets lose to Mavericks as Kevin Durant misses probability to be hero

Warming up within the ‘pen

MLB free company begins at 5 p.m. on Thursday, and there aren’t any lack of big-name targets in the marketplace. For the Yankees and Mets, there are large free brokers of their very own to attempt to preserve in New York earlier than they attempt to deal with different areas of want.

Whereas the gamers who’re in line for the most important paydays have been talked about lots, listed here are three less-heralded free-agent pitchers who may be of curiosity to the Yankees and Mets, who’re each in want of bullpen assist.

Regardless of how his season ended, Robert Suarez’s 61 strikeouts in 47 ⅔ innings ought to generate quite a lot of curiosity within the 31-year-old reliever in free company.USA TODAY Sports activities

Robert Suarez: The best-handed reliever might have gained some extra consideration whereas pitching for the Padres within the playoffs — particularly when he was on the fallacious finish of Bryce Harper’s game-winning house run within the Phillies’ clinching Sport 5 of the NLCS. Nevertheless it was a bitter end to what was in any other case a breakout season for the 31-year-old rookie who beforehand pitched professionally in Japan. Suarez, who declined his $5 million participant possibility on Monday, ought to have loads of suitors. He posted a 2.27 ERA with 61 strikeouts throughout 47 ⅔ innings. His fastball averaged 97.9 mph, and opponents hit simply .139 with a .139 slugging proportion towards his sinker. Simply as importantly, Suarez restricted lefties to a .564 OPS, so he generally is a weapon towards hitters from each side of the plate.

Matthew Boyd: The previous Tigers starter signed with the Giants final March whereas recovering forearm flexor tendon surgical procedure, then was traded to the Mariners in August with out ever pitching for the Giants due to the damage. However the Mariners used him as a left-handed reliever, and the outcomes had been intriguing: a 1.35 ERA in 13 ⅓ innings with batters hitting simply .116 with a .386 OPS towards him. It’s a small pattern dimension, and it’s doable Boyd will look to signal with a staff that plans to make use of him as a starter once more. But when he’s open to being a full-time reliever, he could possibly be price a shot.

Michael Fulmer: The previous Mets prospect, who was traded to the Tigers within the 2015 Yoenis Cespedes deadline deal, already has made the transition to full-time reliever due to accidents. In components of two seasons as a reliever, he has posted a 2.98 ERA with the Tigers and Twins. This yr, he had one of many sport’s greatest sliders, holding opponents to a .342 slugging proportion on the pitch.

Again to highschool

Armando Bacot grabs a rebound for No. 1 North Carolina in its season opener on Monday.AP

Faculty hoops formally tipped off Monday, although maybe with much less fanfare than ordinary.

One of many doable causes? Of the projected prime three picks in subsequent yr’s NBA Draft, none of them are in school. Consensus No. 1 decide Victor Wembanyama is taking part in professionally in France whereas Scoot Henderson (G League Ignite) and Amen Thompson (Extra time Elite) went various routes to school.

Behind them, Arkansas freshman guard Nick Smith is broadly pegged as the highest draft prospect in school.

Critics would possibly see this as a priority for school basketball, taking away among the intrigue for individuals who get pleasure from watching to see subsequent yr’s NBA lottery picks. However maybe the dearth of surefire, next-level stars will make for a extra fulfilling school season, placing an emphasis on the perfect groups and storylines over attempting to find one-and-done gamers.

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