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The Giants signs of hope that could prevent disastrous season

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The Giants signs of hope that could prevent disastrous season

The last time the Giants opened their season with a Monday night home game was 25 years ago. Then, as now, the Giants lost.

The Giants hope the similarity of starting 0-1 is where the comparison ends.

Back in 1995, Dan Reeves predicted the arrival of the Cowboys at Giants Stadium would prove the gap had narrowed between the two franchises. After a 35-0 thrashing, all Reeves’ team proved was the gap was gaping. The Cowboys went on to win their third Super Bowl in a four-year span. The Giants finished 5-11.

This Monday night home opener was closely contested – for a half. The Giants did enough right that envisioning better days ahead is not merely wishful thinking. They did enough wrong to reinforce the factual claim that they are not in the same stratosphere as any of the NFL elite. The 26-16 loss to the Steelers – the Giants led 10-3 in the second quarter and trailed 26-10 late in the fourth quarter – was a predictable and almost routine enactment of what was supposed to transpire.

Tucked into the same old, same old is the debut of a new coaching regime. The mystery — “What will a Joe Judge team look like?’’ — was fairly quickly followed by “We’ve seen this before” when the Giants failed to punch the ball into the end zone from the 3-yard line, when a porous offensive line left Saquon Barkley grounded and when the defense could not answer the bell to register a key stop.

Those desperate for signs this operation, in time, will be of higher quality under Judge should have spotted this:

– A far more cohesive defense, players buying into the system, knowing and actually executing their assignments, and not a spate of busted coverages.

– A more assured Daniel Jones, finding creative ways to keep drives alive (and one really bad way to end a drive).

– The first round selection of Andrew Thomas is a solid one. He was the Giants’ highest-rated offensive lineman in this game, according to Pro Football Focus, and was not dominated by T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree, which is a considerable achievement.

– Darius Slayton picked up where he left off out of an eye-opening rookie season and now must be considered a No. 1 target.

There were plenty of apparent talent deficiencies to remind all Giants-watchers that this remains a flawed roster in many ways. It takes more than what the Giants are able to muster to upset a team with the class of the Steelers. The gap remains.

More coming out of the season-opening loss:

– Evan Engram? Really. Joe Judge went out of his way this summer to wax poetic about the athletic tight end, perhaps realizing heaping confidence on him is what is needed. And then Engram opens up his fourth year with a stinker. He dropped the first pass thrown his way. He missed a block, ran a crummy route near the goal line and had an offensive pass interference penalty – all in the first half. He played 64 of the 68 snaps on offense – the Giants need him on the field. He caught only two of the seven passes thrown his way, for a paltry nine yards. He did not look ready for the season to begin. It is almost as if he tries too hard and tightens up. He is earnest, probably to a fault. We are all going to see if he is a player Judge wants in the program in 2021.

– Jones has at least one touchdown pass in every one of his first 13 NFL starts. That is the fourth-longest streak among quarterbacks who started their careers since the 1970 merger. Jones trails Kurt Warner (23 consecutive starts with a touchdown to start his career), Baker Mayfield (17) and Brad Johnson (15). That is some strange company.

– That ridiculously long (19 plays) and time-consuming (8:50) drive in the third quarter that ended with a Jones interception and no points? Yeah, that was something else. It was the longest drive, in terms of plays, for the Giants in more than six years.

– It is difficult to copycat something without the identical personnel but the Steelers gave a nice scouting report to future Giants opponents as they did a number on Barkley. They put eight defenders in the box and dared the Giants to run against that mass of humanity. Barkley ran the ball 15 times. He lost yards on eight of the carries, which is remarkably bad. It is almost physically impossible for such an athlete to gain only six yards on 15 rushing attempts. Three of his five offensive linemen are new this year and the unit’s first crack at it was pitiful. Nick Gates struggled in his debut at center. Cam Fleming struggled at right guard. There was no secret to how the Steelers viewed this Giants offense and how hell-bent they were to stop Barkley, at all costs.

“We had a commitment and we weren’t going to be bashful about that commitment,’’ coach Mike Tomlin said. “We thought that guy was a catalyst for whatever that they were going to do offensively. We put our secondary in harm’s way some in an effort to do so. We needed to stack the line of scrimmage. We needed to bring people … and we did. We did what thought was necessary to minimize his impact on the game.’’

– Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham showed right away what he wants on the field. Only one of his defensive linemen, Leonard Williams, played more than half of the 64 defensive snaps. In passing situations, Graham at times had one defensive lineman on the field and he was in a two-point stance. As far as starters, make of it what you will. Devante Downs started at one of the inside linebacker spots and played only 14 snaps. Blake Martinez, the other starting middle linebacker, played all 64 snaps.

– Logan Ryan had a quiet Giants debut, with four combined tackles in only 38 snaps. Expect his workload to increase as he acclimates to the system. Don’t forget, he barely had a week to practice with his new team.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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How Jamal Murray ended up the in ‘Schitt’s Creek’ Rosebud motel

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How Jamal Murray ended up the in 'Schitt’s Creek' Rosebud motel

The Canadian television sitcom “Schitt’s Creek” swept the Emmy Awards last Sunday, becoming the first show ever to win all four acting awards and Outstanding Comedy Series in the same year.

Meanwhile, a former resident of the famed Rosebud Motel around which the popular series revolves was playing Sunday in the Western Conference Finals.

Denver Nuggets breakout bubble star and native Canadian Jamal Murray lived in the famed motel in Hockley Valley, Ontario for two years, according to the Toronto Star.

Schitt’s Creek stars Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, his son Dan Levy and Annie Murphy snared Emmys for the portrayal of the down-on-their-luck Rose family in Season Six of the Pop TV series, which rose to popularity in the U.S. via Netflix.

Jesse Tipping, who serves as the president of the Athlete Institute Basketball Academy and Orangeville Prep, bought the motel in 2011 to house recruits for his basketball program in 2011.

Murray and Kyle Alexander, who is on a two-way contract with the Miami Heat and appeared in one game for them in the bubble in August, both lived in the motel while a part of Tipping’s academy.

Jamal Murray
Jamal MurrayAP

Murray later attended Kentucky for one year before being drafted No. 7 overall by the Nuggets in 2016. Alexander, a 6-11 forward, went undrafted after playing four seasons at Tennessee.

Murray has averaged 26.9 points and 6.6 assists in the playoffs in the Orlando bubble to lead the Nuggets to the Western Conference Finals, where they trailed the Los Angeles Lakers, 3-1, entering Saturday’s Game 5.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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What channel is UFC 253 on tonight? PPV schedule, start time for Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa

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What channel is UFC 253 on tonight? PPV schedule, start time for Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa

The UFC 253 main card on Saturday night is headlined by a title matchup of unbeaten middleweight fighters in Israel Adesanya (19-0) and Paulo Costa (13-0).

Such a high-profile clash between UFC competitors with still-unblemished records is uncommon and should provide the winner a superstar reputation. It will accompany another title battle — Dominick Reyes vs. Jan Błachowicz for the light heavyweight crown is the other — on the main card.

MORE: Israel Adesanya defends his middleweight belt against Paulo Costa on Fight Island, only on ESPN+ 

Non-title main card matchups include Kai Kara-France vs. Brandon Royval (flyweight), Ketlen Vieira vs. Sijara Eubanks (women’s bantamweight) and Ketlen Vieira vs. Sijara Eubanks (featherweight).

There are six prelim bouts scheduled to take place before the pay-per-view portion of the night begins.

Here are the full details for watching Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa and the rest of UFC 253:

What channel is UFC 253 on tonight?

Viewing options for UFC 253 can be split into two parts: the prelims and main card. Cable subscribers can watch prelim fights on ESPN2 or on the WatchESPN app at no added charge. The main card, meanwhile, is a pay-per-view event exclusive to ESPN+. In order to watch those fights, one must pay for a subscription to the ESPN+ streaming service.

  • UFC 253 prelims TV channel: ESPN2, ESPN Deportes
  • UFC 253 main card channel: ESPN+

What time does Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa start?

Coverage for UFC 253 begins on TV at 7 p.m. ET, when early prelim action gets underway. There are six prelim fights scheduled, and they will be stretched out for about three hours.

The UFC 253 main card starts at 10 p.m., but the Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa headliner might not begin for a couple of more hours, perhaps as late as 12:15 a.m. ET.

  • Date: Saturday, Sept. 26
  • Early prelims: 7 p.m. ET
  • Prelims: 8 p.m. ET
  • Main card: 10 p.m. ET
  • Live stream: ESPN+

How much does UFC 253 cost on PPV?

While the prelims for UFC 253 are free to watch on TV or via WatchESPN for cable subscribers, the event requires a pay-per-view purchase AND ESPN+ subscription to watch. The PPV price for UFC 253 is $64.99 for current ESPN+ subscribers, while new subscribers can pay a bundle price of $84.98 for UFC 253 and an ESPN+ annual subscription.

UFC 253 fight card

Main card

  • Israel Adesanya (c) vs. Paulo Costa for Adesanya’s Middleweight title
  • Dominick Reyes vs. Jan Błachowicz for vacant Light Heavyweight title
  • Kai Kara-France vs. Brandon Royval; Flyweight 
  • Ketlen Vieira vs. Sijara Eubanks; Women’s Bantamweight 
  • Hakeem Dawodu vs. Zubaira Tukhugov; Featherweight 

Prelims

  • Brad Riddell vs. Alex Da Silva; Lightweight 
  • Diego Sanchez vs. Jake Matthews; Welterweight 
  • Shane Young vs. Ľudovít Klein; Featherweight 
  • William Knight vs. Aleksa Camur; Light Heavyweight 
  • Juan Espino vs. Jeff Hughes; Heavyweight 
  • Khadis Ibragimov vs. Danilo Marques; Light Heavyweight 

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Warriors Star Lauds Jimmy Butler For Bringing Out the Best in Teammates

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Warriors Star Lauds Jimmy Butler For Bringing Out the Best in Teammates

Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat have taken a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference. They are just one win away from making an appearance at the NBA Finals after six years! But at the start of the season, most people were skeptical of Butler’s decision to join Miami.

Honestly, at that point in time, leaving Philly looked like a poor decision. However, Jimmy Buckets proved his critics wrong and is leading the Heat to an amazing postseason run.

Moreover, there was a narrative going on that Butler was locker room cancer. In reality, Jimmy just wanted his teammates to work hard like him.

NBA stars Draymond Green and CJ McCollum came forward to support Butler after the Game 4 victory. “They said he was a bad teammate because he wanted to win. Smh… He found a group that want to win just a bad. He actually made that group want to win as bad as him. Found some Indians that just needed a chief. It’s fun to watch.”

“I love it! Everyone doesn’t respond the same when they’re challenged by a teammate! We have no problem challenging guys. The key is to back it up w/ work & allow people to challenge you too. Jimmy does both and he empowers his teammates & lets them flourish. Same thing D does.”

Like Green and McCollum pointed out, Jimmy is a guy who wants to challenge his teammates to bring out the best in them. Sometimes, it can rub people in a wrong way like what happened with KAT and Wiggins in Timberwolves.

At the end of the day, Butler’s team is on the edge of making the NBA Finals, while his previous teams are still struggling to make significant strides.

Jimmy Butler: The recipe for success?

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (bottom) battles for a loose ball against Miami Heat guard Duncan Robinson (left) and forward Jimmy Butler (22) during the second half of game three of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Looking back at Butler’s teams in the last few years, he has played for the Bulls, Timberwolves and 76ers. Since Butler left them, the Bulls are on the road to rebuilding. Meanwhile, the Timberwolves are a lottery team and have the #1 pick in the draft.

The only team that has had a little success is the 76ers, who made the Playoffs this year. But they were swept by the Celtics with little to no effort in the opening round.

Currently, Butler is averaging 20.8 points, coupled with 2.0 steals in the Playoffs. If he continues these productions, the Heat might win their first NBA title since 2014.

What do you think? Will Jimmy Butler carry the Heat to the Finals?

Aikansh Chaudhary


A vivid follower of Basketball, Cricket, and Football. Started writing as a passion now it is my bread and butter.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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