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Two Guys from Long Island: Sports Thoughts

Two guys from Long Island: Sports Thoughts

‘Two guys from Long Island’ is a new feature on New York Sportscene and will feature the back and forth discussion logs of two Long Island dudes that love sports and love New York. Joe Behrman and Steven Gross are lifelong New Yorkers and die hard sports fans that will share their thoughts and opinions.

Topic: New Head Coach for the New York Jets

Steven Gross: This sounds like a great pick.  Francessa was raving about Bowles saying that he thinks he will be a terrific head coach.  The new GM Mike Maccagnan also sounds like a good decision too.  Both of these guys seem to know personnel very well.  I think the Jets may have gotten it right this time.  Now we’ll see what they do on the offensive side of the ball.  I’m taking a very positive attitude about both of these choices by the Jets.  Woody went about this correctly getting recommendations from football experts.  I think he may have finally done something right.

Joe Behrman: I agree that Bowles is a good choice as head coach for the Jets.  However I am curious as to why they didn’t look into interviewing John Fox.  He was the best coach out there who didn’t have a job at the time.  It is possible that Bowles might have been snatched up in Atlanta so a quick move had to be made giving Woody no time to actually interview John.  I hate the fact that the Jets may have had to quickly make this decision without looking at other prospects such as Quinn or Fox.  I am aware of Fox’s bad playoff record.  Hey, I kill Girardi on his lousy playoff record recently with the Yankees.

Bowles though is going to have to be a genius to work with the untalented Jet defense.  Although the offense is putrid, this Jet defense could also be putrid without real improvement in the secondary.

Topic: NFL Championship Sunday Predictions

Steven Gross: Here are my prediction for the NFC and AFC Championship games:

Seattle 27, Green Bay 17 – Bottom line to me is that Seattle is practically unbeatable with that defense at home.  This might be a closer game if Rogers was healthy but he looked quite hurt last week even though his 2nd half performance was superb.  Look for Seattle to take control midway through the 3rd quarter.   Seattle gets off to slow offensive starts usually but Lynch will wear down the Packer defense and will be gaining big chunks of yards by the 4th quarter.  I really don’t like the Packers defense and I think Wilson will be running all over the place and making good passes.  I don’t think Green Bay can run on Seattle and it will be tough for Green Bay receivers to get open because they will have to get open a lot sooner because of Rogers inability with that injury to scramble.  I’m hoping that he will be healthier than last week but I don’t think he will be.

New England 41, Indianapolis 20 – Will the Colts continue to play great defense stopping the run and Brady’s passing game.   Will I be shocked like last week?  I don’t see it.  The Colts defense has been inconsistent all year and I expect NE tight end Gramkowski to have a monster game.  New England will be able to throw the ball against the Colts.  Luck will put up some points because he is great but Luck’s luck is going to run out.  I don’t trust that Colts offensive line.  I think NE will be able to put more pressure on him than the Bengals or the Broncos.

This should set up a very competitive Superbowl between Seattle and New England.

Joe Behrman: I agree with Steve Gross’s predictions.  The Colts are the type of team the Patriots beats up upon especially at home.  The Colts have a weak defense which will be exploited by Brady.  If the focus goes to Gronkowski, then the wide receivers Edelman or Amendola will make receptions for big yards.  Luck will find that his receivers will drop passes as New England blankets them especially Revis.  Revis had a bad game last week against the Ravens.  Expect him to bounce back.  Luck will try to extend plays and probably throw an interception or two which I believe will be capitalized by Brady and Co.

Indianapolis has to have two great defensive games in a row and I don’t see that happening.

The lack of mobility on Aaron Rogers will severely hamper his ability to extend plays and throw against what I believe is now the best defense in the league.  But he will make a valiant effort and the score will remain close until Seattle takes over the 4th quarter with big running plays from Lynch and Wilson.

Topic: The Battle of New York earlier this week: NY Rangers vs. NY Islanders

Steven Gross: Sometimes games don’t live up to their hype and this was one of them in a one sided affair that the Islanders won 3-0.  The first period was a defensive struggle where both teams did not have many opportunities.  The Rangers did hit 3 posts and how Brassard missed a rebound with an empty net to shoot out I’ll never know.

In the second period the Islanders took total control.  The Rangers couldn’t get the puck out of their own zone.   Most of the play was in the Rangers end and the Rangers couldn’t even complete a pass out of their zone.  Klein kept just clearing the puck out of their zone without even attempting to complete passes and rushing up ice.  Terrible effort by the Rangers.  Lee for the Islanders got a rebound in front of the net and put it home with Girardi failing to clear him away.  The Islanders then scored fairly soon after and at the end of the second with the Rangers on a power play the Islanders put the game away with a shorthanded goal on a 2-1 odd man rush.  A puck that Lundqvist should have stopped.

Lundqvist was pulled and Talbot started in goal for the Rangers at the beginning of the third.  The rest of the game was meaningless.   Fighting after the game ended will lead to more fireworks and I suspect a much more prepared Rangers team when they play next week at the Coliseum.  The Rangers looked stuck in quick sand for most of the game.  They were outskated and I think the Islanders simply wanted this game more.  The Rangers looked flat as teams often are coming home after a successful road trip.  No excuse but they were awful.

Couple of things that definitely disturb me about an Islander Ranger matchup in the playoffs.  The Islander size certainly seemed to bother the Rangers who couldn’t pass out of their own zone for most of the game.  In addition the Islanders big presence  in front of the net screening Lundqvist was definitely a factor.  Also the Rangers are the 2nd worst team in the league winning faceoffs.  They stink at it and were particularly bad in this game.  When you don’t win faceoffs you allow the other team to control the puck.  This happened constantly in this game.

The next game at the Coliseum will show me a lot.  If the Rangers lose another one sided game to the Islanders, I might come to the conclusion that the Rangers simply don’t match up well with them.  The Islanders were faster tonight which is a Ranger strength and seemed more ready to play an emotional game than the Rangers who seemed stuck in quick sand for most of the night.  Islanders played a great game but the Rangers didn’t even show up.

 

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