Monday, October 12, 2009

Mirror Images Collide Monday Night

After losing some steam in recent years, the Miami Dolphins-New York Jets rivalry has returned to prominence over the past two seasons.

Monday night, the two teams meet before a national audience, in a game that will be televised by ESPN.

The Jets will no doubt be playing the revenge card in this one.

It was Miami that ended their dreams of a playoff berth in 2008, and ended the Brett Favre Era in one fell swoop in a 24-17 win at the Meadowlands.

Much has changed in that time.

(Continue to Dolphins Watch)

Broncos Won? Must Be a Dream

The last thing I really remember is that a bunch of us were gathered around the big screen in the Grill Room last night to watch the overrated Broncos of Kyle Orton take their licks against the vaunted Patriots of Tom Terrific.

Then, I guess, things got kind of blurry...

OK, I confess, we were pretty generous with the juice last night, but after the last shot was fired, I could have sworn I watched out of the corner of my open eye, as the Broncos kicked their way to an overtime win.

But that can't be right, can it?

(Continue to The Grill Room)

Solid D + Late TD = Ugly W

You hardly know what to make of a win that looked much like a loss, but if you’re somebody who cheers for the Cleveland Browns, you’ll settle for a 6-3 victory regardless of how ugly it looked.

Think about it: The Browns had been rolling nightmarishly toward a futility that would match what the Detroit Lions did a season ago. Sixteen losses, although hardly guaranteed, did seem reachable, and coach Eric Mangini and the Browns did nothing Sunday to suggest they could win a game.

They dropped passes, slogged around in the wind and, essentially, played as if it were an exhibition game. One thing that helped the Browns was a Buffalo Bills team that couldn’t get out of its way. The Bills stumbled and false-started from the opening whistle to the game’s end.

(Continue to Justice Is Served)

Cardinals Defense to the Rescue

For a moment it looked like it was all going down the drain.

The Arizona Cardinals' season that is.

For a moment it looked as though the Cardinals stood a chance of falling to 1-3 on the season and placing themselves in a position to where they would have to fight the middle of the pack just to get into the pack of potential playoff contenders.

But it didn't happen and you can thank the Cardinals' defense for that.

(Continue to Arizona Sportspage)

Dominating 'D' Makes 'Bama Tops in SEC

The 2009 Southeastern Conference football season has reached the midpoint, so let’s assess the first half and take a brief look ahead to the second half.

Best team: Alabama (6-0, 3-0 SEC). Is there any doubt after the Crimson Tide’s dominating defensive performance against Ole Miss? The Rebels had only 19 yards and one first down on 22 plays in the first half as Alabama posted a 22-3 win.

Runner-up: Florida (5-0, 3-0). The Gators’ 13-3 victory at LSU Saturday night was impressive, but that’s been their only real test so far.

(Continue to Rue's Rant)

Just Wondering ...

A Sunday on which the Jets don't play allows my mind to wander. This is either a good thing for you because my mind touches on lots of topics and maybe one or two will catch your interest, or a bad thing for you because you have to read them all. Here we go:

*I didn't really think the Angels would sweep and when they trailed late I actually thought, "Here we go again with the Angels unable to close out the Sox." I hope they win it all.

*The bad thing about an Angels sweep is Don Orsillo is probably done calling games. I hope the nation got a taste of what New England has been able to hear for almost a decade now - just how good of a play-by-play man he is. He has also improved as the years have gone on to get to where he is now - he had a rough first year (replacing a local favorite in Sean McDonough), and I remember his second game in the bigs was a no-hitter (I can't remember if it was Nomo or Lowe...I think Nomo in Baltimore) and he was so nervous it affected his call of the game. I also need to make clear that my liking of Orsillo is heavily influenced by how nice he was to me when we met a couple of times in 2003, when I was working in TV news, and he was showing up for our morning show to be an analyst. He could have been a jerk like 90% of the TV people I know...and I wouldn't really have blamed him because things did not go his way that post-season...but he was awesome. I have a soft spot for him ever since.

(Continue to 200 Miles From the Citi)

U.S. Headed to the World Cup

When Julio Leon scored two minutes into the second half, it looked like it would be another tough World Cup Qualifying road match for the United States.

Instead, the US responded big time, as Conor Casey picked a great time to score his first two goals of his national team career and a goal off a set piece lifted the US to a 3-2 win over a feisty Honduras squad at Estadio Francisco Morazan at San Pedro Sula on Saturday night.

The win sends the US to its sixth straight World Cup and preserves its lead over Mexico in the CONCACAF Hexagonal standings. Honduras slips to fourth in the standings after Costa Rica's 4-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago, so if the standings hold up, Honduras would be forced into a two-match playoff against the fifth place squad in CONMEBOL, which right now is Uruguay.

(Continue to Soccer 24-7)

Tennis News from the Orient

Novak Djokovic has won the ATP 500 in Beijing and is now certain to surpass Andy Murray, becoming the third best player in the ATP ranking. It was a “schizophrenic” final against Marin Cilic, with the Croat displaying flat groundstrokes with his feet well inside the backline.

But after an hour of rain delay the Djoker dashed and clinched the first set 6-2. The second set saw an alternation of breaks: 6 in all the match. Cilic near the net is quite disastrous and wasted an easy forehand to give Novak 3-3. Djoker lost serve twice in a row, but Cilic never succeeded in saving his and forcing the match to the third before losing the tiebreak.

Djokovic is now between the principal candidates for the victory at the Shanghai Masters 1000, where the Serb could clinch his fourth and most prestigious title of a not-so-memorable season. Anyway, Cilic failed to live up with the expectations, grew after he overpowered Nadal in the semifinals.

(Continue to ATP Tennis 360)
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