This offseason, the Jets did a lot of work towards their quest back to glory. They fired head coach Todd Bowles and replaced him with Adam Gase. Another notable coaching hire came in Gregg Williams who has had a successful career at defensive coordinator. Before free agency even started, they traded for past pro bowl guard Kelechi Osemele. Once free agency did start, they signed wide receiver Jamaison Crowder and another pro bowler in linebacker C.J. Mosley. But the big move came days later when they signed all-pro running back Le'Veon Bell. Bell will provide a major boost in the running game and the passing game next season. In the draft, they selected defensive tackle Quinnen Williams out of Alabama. He has the potential to become a standout at his position. With all these moves, it looked like their offseason was complete. Then they pulled off one more surprising move the next month.
General manager Mike Maccagnan was fired which created a major shock around the league, given all of the offseason moves the he made. Most people assumed that it was from a power struggle between him and Gase in which Gase won. Adding to the confusion of Jets fans, there were rumors of Gase possibly trading Bell since he didn't want him for $52 million. Fortunately, the Bell rumors quickly died down and rather than keep Gase as interim G.M., they secured Joe Douglas. Douglas entered the N.F.L. as a scout for the Baltimore Ravens who won 2 Super Bowls while he was there. Two years later, he worked as an executive for the Philadelphia Eagles, where he played a major role in building their Super Bowl winning team. He originally said no to the Jets initial offer, but they doubled the offer and Douglas accepted. Most other Jets teams of the past might've let this situation get worse over time, but this team immediately fixed the situation. A sign of growth.
One of the most important tasks for the Jets is to develop Sam Darnold. History is on Darnold's side as quarterbacks like Peyton Manning, Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, and Mitchell Trubisky made big improvements in their sophomore seasons while leading their team to the playoffs. Jets fans also have reasons to be excited about Darnold's future based on his play towards the end of last season in which he led the NFL in total QBR over the final 4 games. There have been nothing, but great reports about Darnold's progression. If he could live up to these reports for the regular season, he could be the answer New York has been looking for at quarterback since Joe Namath.
As for the entire team, it's very possible that they can win their division. Last year, the Chicago Bears and Houston Texans went from worst to first in their divisions. Two years earlier the Philadelphia Eagles not only went from worst to first in their division, but also won the Super Bowl. In all, but one year (2014) of this decade, at leas1 one team has made the playoffs after finishing last the previous year.
]Throughout the years, Jets fans are now used to watching the New England Patriots win playoff games. But now, they have a reason for hope this year. The team has made lots of changes from players, to coaches, to executives. Now there are lots of positive vibes surrounding the organization. These last 8 years have been really tough for Jets fans, but all of that could end this season.
This year in baseball has seen many young players take massive steps towards becoming special players. Each of them have done so in their own way throughout the season.. So without further ado, here are the baseball’s 4 superstars that are under 25 years old.
1. Juan Soto
For nearly a decade, the Washington Nationals have had plenty players with lots of hype surrounding them. Players like Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, and Bryce Harper are having successful careers. Although Juan Soto has not yet played a full season, it seems like he may be even better. He put up extraordinary stats last year by hitting .292/.406/.517 along with 22 home runs, and 70 RBIs. This year he's hitting .285/.399/.522. He will likely top his home run total and he already topped his RBI total. He has shown the ability to prevail in key situations. His impact on the team can't be ignored as the Nationals who looked like they were in for a long season by the time May ended, are now frontrunners for an N.L. Wild Card spot. What makes his success even more amazing, is that he's only 20 years old. So while some may say its too early in his career to call him a superstar, he will probably change your mind pretty soon.
2. Ronald Acuña Jr.
There are not many players who get to enjoy great individual success as well as team success. But right now, Acuña Jr. seems to be one of those players. With his ability to do whatever he wants at home plate or on the bases, Acuña Jr. is one of baseball's most entertaining players. Last year, he batted .293/.366/.552. He also hit 26 home runs which included 5 consecutive gams where he hit a spectacular 6 home runs. More importantly, he helped the Atlanta Braves reach the playoffs for the first time in 4 years with 90 wins. After the season, he was awarded the N.L. Rookie of the Year. Four months later, he got paid big time with a 8 year contract worth $100 million. It was the largest contract for a player who hasn't played one year of major league baseball. So far this year he is living up to his contract in every way possible. The Braves are looking like they're going to repeat as division champs, his powerful hitting earned him a spot in the Home Run Derby, he started in the all star game, and there's a strong chance that he'll have at 40-40. (home runs and steals.) A generational player? A likely possibility if he keeps up his great play.
3. Gleyber Torres
The 2018 New York Yankees started the season with expectations of possibly winning a World Series. But those expectations were nowhere to be seen as they stumbled out the gate and were devastated by injuries. There had to be something that could spark the team. They found it in Gleyber Torres. When he was called up from the minor league last season, the 21 year old Torres helped the Yankees go on a big win streak that saw him make amazing plays at the plate and in the field. Throughout that span, it seemed like there was nothing that he couldn't do. If you needed a big play, he was going to step up. This resulted in his first all star game and a 100 win season. This season, as one of the only consistently healthy players, Torres helped the Yankees take off on a winning streak that put them atop the division only a month after it started. When they needed their starters to come back, Torres continued to come up big time with the Yankees. He was selected to his second all star game, set an M.L.B. record for the youngest player to have 7 multi home run games. He also tied the record for the most home runs vs an opponent (13 against the Baltimore Orioles! It looks like the Yankees will win the division and Torres is a major reason why. It's only been 2 years, but Torres is already establishing himself as one of baseball's most reliable stars.
4. Cody Bellinger
There aren’t many players in baseball that are already good and still have to improve major areas of their game. Their drive is what separates the best from others. Twenty-four year old Cody Bellinger of the Los Angeles Dodgers is one of them. He was really impressive as a rookie, hitting 39 home runs, won N.L. Rookie of the Year, and played a big part in leading the Dodgers to the World Series. Despite losing to the Houston Astros, Bellinger established himself as a major part of a Dodgers team that looked like a possible World Series Champion. In 2018, Bellinger’s stats dipped and the Dodgers were trounced by the Boston Red Sox in the World Series. In the offseason, the Dodgers tried to keep star player Manny Machado by trading another star in Yasial Paige to the Cincinnati Reds to free cap space, but Machado left anyway. Burdened with a bigger role coming into 2019, Bellinger has been answering the challenge so far. With an offseason to work on his improving his swing, Bellinger is now doing whatever he wants at the plate. He is hitting .317/.416/.661 and has accounted for 42 home runs and 89 RBIs. He is probably going to win M.V.P. and is essential to the major success that the Dodgers are enjoying this season.
Every year of baseball, fans look for the young players that are not only having one great season, but will be baseball’s top players for about the next decade or so. The focus of baseball’s current stars may be guys like Aaron Judge, Mike Trout, and Jose Altuvie amongst others, but these players will be the focus of baseball’s future.
We have seen a lot of build up towards this N.F.L. season. This year's offseason saw lots of teams make moves that have us saying they've either progressed, regressed, or no impact will happen. So as football season gets closer as each day goes, here are my playoff predictions.
6. New England Patriots 24
3. New York Jets 27
3. New York Jets 28
2. Indianapolis Colts 31
2. Indianapolis Colts 21
1. Kansas City Chiefs 24
5. Los Angeles Chargers 24
1. Kansas City Chiefs 27
5. Los Angeles Chargers 30
4. Cleveland Browns 20
1. Kansas City Chiefs 24
1. New Orleans Saints 34
6. Minnesota Vikings 17
3. Chicago Bears 27
3. Philadelphia Eagles 20
2. Chicago Bears 27
2. Los Angeles Rams 23
1. New Orleans Saints 27
4. Philadelphia Eagles 10
1. New Orleans Saints 24
5. Atlanta Falcons 31
4. Philadelphia Eagles 34
When I became a football fan in 2010, I never would've imagined all of the great players that I would see change the game on TV or in person. Players going from Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Darrelle Revis at the beginning, to J.J. Watt, Aaron Rodgers, Richard Sherman, and Eric Berry midway, to the new generation which is Patrick Mahomes, Jalen Ramsey, Travis Kelce, and DeAndre Hopkins, have impacted the game in a way that hasn't been seen before. So without further ado, lets get to it.
Quarterback - Tom Brady Aaron Rodgers Drew Brees
Running Back - Adrian Peterson Frank Gore Marshawn Lynch.
Full Back - John Kuhn Mike Tolbert Kyle Juszcyk
Wide Receiver - Julio Jones Antonio Brown Mike Evans
Wide Receiver - Larry Fitzgerald Calvin Johnson DeAndre Hopkins
Tight End - Rob Gronkowski Travis Kelce Jimmy Graham
Tackle - Joe Thomas Andrew Whitworth David Bakhtiari
Guard - Marshal Yanda David DeCastro Kyle Long
Center - Nick Mangold Maurkice Pouncey Alex Mack
Guard - Zach Martin Mike Iupati Kelechi Osemele
Tackle - Joe Staley Tyron Smith Mitchell Schwartz
End - J.J. Watt Calais Campbell Everson Griffin
Tackle - Aaron Donald Fletcher Cox Jurrell Casey
Tackle - Geno Atkins Kyle Williams Ndamukong Suh
End - Cameron Wake Cameron Jordan Julius Peppers
Outside Linebacker - Von Miller DeMarcus Ware Ryan Kerrigan
Linebacker - Luke Kuechly Patrick Willis Bobby Wagner
Outside Linebacker - Khalil Mack Clay Matthews Justin Houston
Cornerback - Darrelle Revis Aqib Talib Chris Harris Jr.
Free Safety - Earl Thomas Eric Weddle Devin McCourty
Strong Safety - Kam Chancellor Eric Berry Malcolm Jenkins
Cornerback - Patrick Peterson Richard Sherman Casey Hayward
Punter - Johnny Hekker Sam Koch Dustin Colquitt
Kicker - Justin Tucker Mason Crosby Greg Zuerlein