SNY NFL Insider

Ralph Vacchiano

Ralph Vacchiano, award-winning sports reporter and columnist, joined SNY in 2016 as its NFL Insider. Vacchiano will cover the Giants and Jets beats for SNY.tv and be a regular contributor to "Daily News Live" and "GEICO SportsNite." Vacchiano comes to SNY following 15 years as the New York Giants beat writer and columnist for the New York Daily News.

 

Born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island, Vacchiano graduated from Syracuse University in 1991 and began his professional career covering the Buffalo Bills for the Niagara Gazette in Niagara Falls, N.Y., and later covered the Giants and Jets for the North Jersey Herald & News in Passaic, N.J.. During his 19 years at the Daily News, he also covered the New York Islanders and the New Jersey Devils (1997-2001), and in 2008 he wrote his first book, Eli Manning: The Making of a Quarterback (Skyhorse Publishing).

 

Vacchiano lives with his wife, Kara, and his daughter, Alexandra, in West Caldwell, N.J.

Possible Mosley return? 00:01:04
Jets Head Coach Adam Gase on whether linebacker C.J. Mosley is ready to return to action after a groin injury

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The worst thing that happened to the Jets early in the season was losing franchise quarterback Sam Darnold.

Losing C.J. Mosley, though, was a pretty close second.

The impact of playing without Mosley for the last four-plus games maybe isn't as obvious as the impact of three games without Darnold, especially since the defense has managed to survive -- and sometimes even thrive -- in his absence. But the Jets don't underestimate how much their defensive captain means to them, and how huge it would be if he would somehow be able to get back in time for their Monday night game against the New England Patriots.

Tags: Blake Cashman, CJ Mosley, Neville Hewitt, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Sam Darnold and Adam Gase
Sam Darnold and Adam Gase

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets suddenly have a little life with the return of Sam Darnold and a big win over the Cowboys. They are feeling confident, the way they did way back in Week 1.

But it is all too little, too late?

Not necessarily, at least not if they can pull off an improbable win against the New England Patriots at the Meadowlands next Monday night in a game that is shaping up as the Jets' last stand for the 2019 season. Their odds are already long at 1-4, but their playoff path will look impossible if they fall to 1-5.

Tags: Daniel Jones, Sam Darnold, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Darnold happy to get 1st win 00:01:27
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold was happy to be back and help the team get their first win of the season

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Sam Darnold is back. And so is the Jets' offense.

In case anyone needed proof that the problem the last three weeks had been poor quarterback play, the 22-year-old Darnold showed how much a difference even a competent quarterback can make. And he was more than competent. He was outstanding. Playing for the first time since Week 1, he completed 23 of 32 passes for 338 yards with two touchdowns and an interception

It was enough to let the Jets hang on for their first win of the season -- 24-22 over the Dallas Cowboys.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Chris Herndon, Jamison Crowder, Kelvin Beachum, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Ty Montgomery , Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets may have a glimmer of hope now that Sam Darnold is back in the lineup, but they are still facing a stark and unfortunate reality. Since 1990, when the NFL playoffs expanded, only one team has started 0-4 and gone on to make the playoffs. And it hasn't happened since the San Diego Chargers did it in 1992.

That's why between now and the trading deadline on Oct. 29, many around the league believe the Jets' motto should be, and will be: "Sell!"

A lot can happen in the three games between now and that deadline, of course, but multiple league sources told SNY that they expect new Jets GM Joe Douglas to be extremely active in the next few weeks. One source used the word "firesale" to describe what he expects would happen thanks to the combination of a new GM, a team with an 0-4 record, and several expensive but talented players who may not fit in to his long-term plan.
 

Tags: Kelechi Osemele, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Daniel Jones on New England loss 00:00:53
New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones reflects on his poor performance against the New England Patriots, knows he has to play better.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The fourth start of Eli Manning's career back in 2004 was an unmitigated disaster. He was lost that day against the Baltimore Ravens. He looked rattled, completing only four of his 18 passes. He threw two interceptions and was eventually benched.

On the train ride back to New Jersey that night, Manning had a long, heart-to-heart talk with offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, and the next day he met with Tom Coughlin to do the same. They figured out a way for him to get comfortable in the offense. They discussed the plays that worked best and the ones he liked to run.

Tags: Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

 (Paul Rutherford)
(Paul Rutherford)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - No one ever thought it was going to be easy for Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones.

OK, that's not true. A lot of people thought he was the elixir that was going to cure everything that ails the Giants. But the reality always was that once he was given Eli Manning's old job, the 2019 season became all about his growth and learning on the job. 

So consider his encounter with Tom Brady on Thursday night another difficult learning experience for the 22-year-old. He threw three interceptions and struggled most of the night, going 15 of 31 for 161 yards in a 35-14 loss to the defending Super Bowl champs.

Tags: Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Lorenzo Carter, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Wayne Gallman, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Sam Darnold (DALE ZANINE)
Sam Darnold (DALE ZANINE)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Sam Darnold was cleared for contact on Tuesday morning, which means he'll be ready to start on Sunday afternoon against the Dallas Cowboys.

That's obviously a really big deal for the 22-year-old Darnold.

It's also a pretty big deal for a lot of other people on the Jets.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Sep 22, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard (87) during the second quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Sep 22, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard (87) during the second quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Sterling Shepard is out for the Giants' game in New England on Thursday night, and it seems like he'll probably miss the game against the Arizona Cardinals 10 days later, too. A source said that he is likely to be out a while, given his recent history of concussions.

That means the Giants will have to replace him for at least the next few weeks.

Now, Giants coach Pat Shurmur wouldn't rule out going with the four healthy receivers on the roster -- Golden Tate, Cody Latimer, rookie Darius Slayton and special teamer Cody Core -- at least for the near future. Eventually, though, they may need more depth, especially if Shepard's absence extends into November.

Tags: Cody Latimer, Darius Slayton, Evan Engram, Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Giants sputter in loss 00:02:12
SNY's Ralph Vacchiano and Eamon McAnaney on the Giants sub-par performance in their 28-10 loss to Minnesota

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - This was a big test for rookie quarterback Daniel Jones, and he didn't exactly pass it. Against the first elite defense he's faced in his young career, this game proved he wasn't quite ready.

But it also proved something else important.

The Giants aren't quite ready yet, either.

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Golden Tate, Kevin Zeitler, Nate Solder, Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Giants fall to 2-3 00:01:22
Pat Shurmur and Daniel Jones discuss the Giants inability to take advantage of opportunities throughout their loss to the Vikings

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - After a wonderful first two games as the starting quarterback of the Giants, Daniel Jones got a taste of what Eli Manning had to endure over most of the previous six years:

Life as a quarterback on a bad team.

There was pretty much nothing Jones could do with a depleted rushing attack behind him, a struggling offensive line in front of him, and a porous defense on the other side - all things that should feel very, very familiar to his current backup. He was 21 of 38 for 182 yards, which isn't exactly good, but also was about what was expected considering he was making his third NFL start and was facing the NFL's sixth-ranked defense (and maybe the league's best secondary).

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Corey Ballentine, Daniel Jones, Darius Slayton, Eli Manning, Eli Penny, Jabril Peppers, Lorenzo Carter, Oshane Ximines, Ryan Connelly, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Wayne Gallman, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Gase talks Darnold and Eagles 00:02:30
Jeane Coakley talks to Adam Gase about how Sam Darnold was when he found out he wasn't going to play and the team moving forward

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Adam Gase didn't have much of a choice this week once the doctors gave him a glimmer of hope that Sam Darnold might be ready to play on Sunday. At 0-3, he desperately needed his franchise quarterback back. He had to do everything he could to get him ready to play, just in case.

But that gamble failed on Thursday night when the doctors decided that Darnold and his famously enlarged spleen would need at least another week to recover from mono. Darnold had gotten most of the first-team reps all week in practice, but now former third-stringer Luke Falk is going to be the one who has to salvage the season for the Jets.

Really, though, it's up to Gase, hired in part for his offensive brilliance, to figure out a way to make that work.

Read More
Comments

Sep 15, 2019; Green Bay, WI, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) catches a pass against Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander (23) for a touchdown in the third quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 15, 2019; Green Bay, WI, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) catches a pass against Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander (23) for a touchdown in the third quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Stefon Diggs is a 25-year-old receiver, coming off a 100-catch season and signed through 2023. Now, it seems, he wants out of Minnesota.

So there's got to be some way for the receiver-needy Jets to get him in a trade, right?

Well, probably not, because according to multiple NFL sources and reports, the Vikings just aren't ready to make Diggs available. Clearly they know he's frustrated - apparently with his role in their offense -- and they appear willing to endure it, given his age, talent, and relatively affordable deal.

Tags: Leonard Williams, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Sep 15, 2019; Green Bay, WI, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) catches a pass against Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander (23) for a touchdown in the third quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 15, 2019; Green Bay, WI, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) catches a pass against Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander (23) for a touchdown in the third quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Stefon Diggs is a 25-year-old receiver, coming off a 100-catch season and signed through 2023. Now, it seems, he wants out of Minnesota.

So there's got to be some way for the receiver-needy Jets to get him in a trade, right?

Well, probably not, because according to multiple NFL sources and reports, the Vikings just aren't ready to make Diggs available. Clearly they know he's frustrated - apparently with his role in their offense -- and they appear willing to endure it, given his age, talent, and relatively affordable deal.

Tags: Leonard Williams, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Sep 22, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) walks on the field prior to the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New York Giants at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports (Douglas DeFelice)
Sep 22, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) walks on the field prior to the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New York Giants at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports (Douglas DeFelice)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The miracle comeback by Saquon Barkley now seems like a matter of when -- not if. But the "when" is not likely to be this Sunday.

It's much more likely to be next Thursday in New England instead.

While no one would officially close the door on Barkley playing this Sunday at home against the Minnesota Vikings -- especially since Giants head coach Pat Shurmur won't slam the door shut -- a source familiar with the team's plans said their real target is the Oct. 10 game in New England.

Tags: Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Aug 16, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) during warm up before NFL game against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aug 16, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) during warm up before NFL game against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The Giants game against the Minnesota Vikings is now just three days away, and Pat Shurmur is still refusing to rule Saquon Barkley out.

Just how likely the miracle comeback actually is for the Giants star running back remains unclear, but Barkley continued to take steps in that unlikely direction on Thursday morning. As he did on Wednesday, Barkley warmed up with his teammates, jogging and stretching, and then went to the side to work with trainers when the Giants began individual drills.

Was Barkley going to join practice at some point on Thursday?

Read More
Comments

Sep 22, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) walks on the field prior to the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New York Giants at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports (Douglas DeFelice)
Sep 22, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) walks on the field prior to the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New York Giants at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports (Douglas DeFelice)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Saquon Barkley was sitting on a stool in the locker room in Tampa, unable to stand. He had a boot on his right foot, crutches nearby, and a defiant tone in his voice.

"Whatever (the injury is), I promise you I'm coming back 10 times better," Barkley said back on Sept. 22. "I'm going to try and return as quickly as possible, whenever it is, to heal so I can get back to help my team compete. That's what I'm going to try to do."

The 22-year-old Barkley sounded hopeful for a quick return, but he also sounded a little naïve. He had a high ankle sprain. Multiple sources inside the Giants organization initially said he'd be out at least a month. By the next day, they were worried it might be two.

Tags: Evan Engram, Golden Tate, Sam Darnold, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Aug 15, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws on the sideline against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)
Aug 15, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws on the sideline against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets' season of promise is perched on an abyss, and at this point it wouldn't take much for them be pushed in. That's why they need their starting quarterback back as soon as possible. If they have any hopes of salvaging anything out of 2019, then when they play in Philadelphia on Sunday, Sam Darnold needs to be on the field.

And yet he shouldn't be. They need to resist every urge they have to welcome him back so soon.

It's just not worth it, even if it means the virtual end to what they hoped would be a playoff season. No matter how important this game and this season may appear to be right now, the health and the future of their 22-year-old franchise quarterback just isn't worth jeopardizing for that. The Jets weren't making a Super Bowl run this season anyway. Darnold's long-term future is still what matters most.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Daniel Jones/Pat Shurmur
Daniel Jones/Pat Shurmur

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The Giants have made themselves relevant again with a modest two-game winning streak that has left them one game out of first place, and in the thick of the Wild Card chase one quarter of the way through the season. They have an exciting young quarterback, lots of confidence, and a little bit of momentum.

But is it all just too good to be true?

The next 10 days will tell that story, as the Giants enter a difficult and critical stretch of their season. On Sunday, they face the Minnesota Vikings (2-2), owners of the sixth-best defense in the NFL. Four days later, they travel to New England (4-0) to face a Patriots defense that ranks No. 1. Those are two legitimate playoff contenders with defenses that quarterback Daniel Jones will find hard to decipher.

Tags: Cody Latimer, Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Golden Tate, Odell Beckham Jr., Russell Shepard, Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There has been a dark cloud that has hovered over the Meadowlands for far too long. Too many years where the atmosphere felt stale, where it felt like a stretch to find any actual hope.

It doesn't feel that way around the Giants anymore.

"The energy is just different," said center Jon Halapio.

Tags: Daniel Jones, Jon Halapio, Saquon Barkley, Wayne Gallman, Will Hernandez, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Giants improve to 2-2 00:01:29
Pat Shurmur, Wayne Gallman, Will Hernandez and Daniel Jones on the Giants win over Washington

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Daniel Jones reminded everyone on Sunday that he's human.

He also reminded everyone that he's resilient, too.

The Giants' 22-year-old rookie quarterback struggled a bit in his home debut and threw the first two interceptions of his NFL career. But he bounced back each time, never looked rattled, and made more than enough plays to help the Giants beat the Redskins 24-3 to improve to 2-2.

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Cody Latimer, Daniel Jones, Janoris Jenkins, Ryan Connelly, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Wayne Gallman, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

1st half improvements are key 00:02:15
Jabrill Peppers and Alec Ogletree agree that if the Giants can start games the way they finish, they'll have no problems

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Giants defense was being abused on Sunday afternoon, and it wasn't the first time. Their resistance wasn't just futile, it was non-existent. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were moving the football like Giants defenders weren't even there.

Then, out of nowhere, everything changed. Suddenly, they had a pass rush. They created a turnover. They got big, third-down stops. Up until the final drive, and before they were bailed out by a missed field goal, they looked like an actual defense for the first time this season.

And that, just as much as anything rookie quarterback Daniel Jones did, is why the Giants ended up winning that game.

Tags: DeAndre Baker, Jabril Peppers, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Aug 23, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions running back C.J. Anderson (26) runs the ball as Buffalo Bills defensive back Captain Munnerlyn (26) atemps to tackle during the second quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Aug 23, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions running back C.J. Anderson (26) runs the ball as Buffalo Bills defensive back Captain Munnerlyn (26) atemps to tackle during the second quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Giants' fears were confirmed on Monday morning when they learned that Saquon Barkley will be out 6-8 weeks with a high ankle sprain. That is an enormous blow to their offense. Barkley is a weapon that simply can't be replaced.

But the Giants will have to try, because the only running back they have on their roster at the moment is Wayne Gallman, a fourth-round pick in the 2017 draft who is a solid pro, but nowhere near Barkley's class. Gallman will need help - more help than the Giants could get by running fullback Eli Penny more or promoting undrafted rookie John Hilliman off the practice squad.

Tags: Eli Penny, Orleans Darkwa, Saquon Barkley, Wayne Gallman, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Pat Shurmur/Daniel Jones
Pat Shurmur/Daniel Jones

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Pat Shurmur has believed that Daniel Jones was the right quarterback for him and his offense since long before the Giants took him with the sixth overall pick in the draft. He's loved everything about him: His arm, his mobility, his unshakeable demeanor.

Now all Shurmur has to do is convince the Giants that he's the right coach for Jones.

So far, so good, of course, after the 22-year-old rookie's impressive debut in the Giants' come-from-behind, 32-31 win in Tampa on Sunday. Jones did everything anyone could have expected, throwing for 336 yards, making plays on the run, and running for two touchdowns too. And Shurmur seemed unleashed, running what might have been the most creative offensive scheme he's used in his 19 games in New York.

Tags: Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Sep 22, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) is assisted off the field after suffering an apparent injury during the second quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 22, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) is assisted off the field after suffering an apparent injury during the second quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

TAMPA - Daniel Jones lit a spark under the Giants on Sunday night, and brought a sense of hope and optimism the organization hasn't felt in years.

But the sight of Saquon Barkley on crutches, with a walking boot on his right ankle, was enough to wipe all of those good vibes away.

Barkley, the Giants' best player and one of the most prolific running backs in the NFL, suffered what a source confirmed is a high ankle sprain in the second quarter of the Giants' 32-31. That's not a one-week injury. In fact, the recovery time for that is often more than a month. He'll know more after he undergoes an MRI on Monday.

Tags: Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, Wayne Gallman, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Daniel Jones dazzle in debut 00:01:20
Daniel Jones led the Giants to a one point win without Barkley for most of the game. Ralph Vacchanio argues it was the best debut possible

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There was a moment in the second quarter when the mild-mannered, squeaky-clean rookie quarterback shocked his teammates with his mouth. He came roaring into the huddle, screaming at everyone, yelling, "Let's go f----ing score."

They loved it. And on that particular drive, they did.

But when the ultimate moment arrived, with the Giants down six and 75 yards and a little more than three minutes to go to victory, Daniel Jones took a different approach when he approached the huddle. He came out confident and calm, saying, "Let's go win this game, boys."

Tags: Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Russell Shepard, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Sep 22, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) throws the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Sep 22, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) throws the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

TAMPA -- It was a dazzling debut for Daniel Jones.

Just in case anyone still doubted the Giants knew what they were doing when they made the 22-year-old quarterback the sixth overall pick in the draft, he put on a clinic in his first NFL start on Sunday afternoon. He not only completed 23 of 36 passes for 336 yards and two touchdowns, but he engineered an Eli Manning-like, game-winning drive in the final 3 ½ minutes.

It ended on a 4th and 5 from the Bucs 7 when he dropped back, watched as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' defense parted like a red sea around him, and he took off up the middle, untouched, for a touchdown that gave the Giants a 32-31 lead with 1:16 remaining.

Tags: Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Janoris Jenkins, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Pat Shurmur's hot seat 00:01:14
After switching to Daniel Jones, Ralph Vacchinao argues the Giants will take a hard look at Pat Shurmur and his offense.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - When Eli Manning raised his last Super Bowl trophy on Feb. 5, 2012, he was at the top of his game. He had carried the Giants that season. He insisted he was "elite" and backed it up.

He had also just turned 31, right in a quarterback's prime, poised for some of the best years of his career.

Then the Giants went out and wasted it all.

Tags: Damon Harrison, Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Ereck Flowers, Golden Tate, Janoris Jenkins, Jonathan Stewart, Landon Collins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Patrick Omaneh, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Jalen Ramsey/Trumaine Johnson
Jalen Ramsey/Trumaine Johnson

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Trumaine Johnson has become a weight around the neck of the Jets defense, and his benching on Monday night likely was the beginning of his end. The 29-year-old cornerback likely won't be in the long-term plans, as the Jets continue rebuilding their defense.

But don't expect him to be replaced by Jalen Ramsey, who has asked the Jacksonville Jaguars to trade him. Johnson's albatross of a contract makes it very difficult for the Jets to do that.

That's the part that makes the latest mess with Johnson so bad -- the fact that he's only in Year 2 of a five-year, $72.5 million contract. He's already been paid more than $26 million, and he's costing the Jets $12 million against the salary cap this season. And the way his deal is structured, they might have to endure his presence on the roster for another two years, at least.

Tags: Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Eli Manning
Eli Manning

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Eli Manning will go down as the greatest quarterback in Giants history, an icon of the franchise, and a symbol of their most recent championship era. It is a lock, obviously, that he will one day be placed in the Giants Ring of Honor.

But it is far from a lock that he will end up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

He may have a Hall of Fame-caliber resume: two championship rings and gaudy career statistics that rank him in the NFL's Top 10 of all-time. But he is not viewed universally as a sure-fire Hall of Famer. Among the 48 voters who will eventually decide his fate, there is considerable doubt that could even derail his candidacy completely.

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Dave Gettleman/Eli Manning
Dave Gettleman/Eli Manning

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Giants believed they had a chance to be a playoff contender this season, and they made a huge bet that Eli Manning could be the one to lead them there. GM Dave Gettleman believed he could do it with a better offensive line in front of him. Pat Shurmur said multiple times he thought Manning had "years" left in his stellar career.

They were so sure that they brought Manning back despite an $11.5 million salary, a $5 million roster bonus, and the fact that he would cost them $23.2 million under the NFL's salary cap.

What a colossal waste of money that turned out to be.

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Eli Manning
Eli Manning

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There has been quarterback carnage all around the NFL early this season and plenty of teams that probably could use a veteran like Eli Manning if he were available.

But Manning has a full no-trade clause in his contract, and according to multiple sources he has no immediate plans to waive it.

At least not yet.

Tags: Eli Manning, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Eli Manning
Eli Manning

When the Giants made their last big, permanent quarterback switch 15 years ago, Kurt Warner didn't see it coming. He wasn't happy. He thought he had more time. He was sure he was still the Giants best quarterback.

But as soon as they told him he was being benched for a young Eli Manning nine games into the 2004 season, Warner made it clear to the Giants they should never put him back in.

He knew then what Pat Shurmur needs to know now: Once a move this big is made, there's no turning back. No matter what happens over the next 14 games, no matter how much Jones may struggle, no matter how many losses pile up, Daniel Jones is the Giants quarterback and it has to stay that way.

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Dec 23, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Brock Osweiler (8) before a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Dec 23, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Brock Osweiler (8) before a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Trevor Siemian will have an MRI on his ankle Tuesday morning, but the injury sure didn't look good. Sam Darnold is already out with mono, possibly until late October. That leaves Luke Falk, who made his NFL debut on Monday night, as the only quarterback on the roster.

So yes, the Jets need help at quarterback and they need it quickly.

Unfortunately, quarterbacks aren't exactly easy to find.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Sep 16, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Trevor Siemian (19) walks off the field after an injury during the second quarter against the Cleveland Browns at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 16, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Trevor Siemian (19) walks off the field after an injury during the second quarter against the Cleveland Browns at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

OK, now what?

It was bad enough when the Jets learned quarterback Sam Darnold was out indefinitely with mono, but now they've lost backup quarterback Trevor Siemian, too. He suffered what looked like a nasty ankle injury in the first half of the Jets' 23-3 loss to the Cleveland Browns on Monday night. That forced the Jets to turn to Luke Falk, who had been promoted from the practice squad earlier in the day.

Tags: Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Trevor Siemian, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

 (Jerome Miron)
(Jerome Miron)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

If the Giants are looking for the perfect spot to make the switch and give 22-year-old Daniel Jones his first NFL start, this isn't it.

But there are ideal windows coming soon.

Now, the Giants may decide that the situation doesn't matter or they may feel like they don't have a choice. They may decide to name Jones their starting quarterback for this Sunday's game in Tampa Bay, even if the situation isn't ideal. The reality is that teams can't always choose a perfect spot for a rookie quarterback to make his debut.

Tags: Cody Latimer, Eli Manning, Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Eli Manning
Eli Manning

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Eli Manning Era is over, whether the Giants are ready to make it official or not.

It came to an end on Monday morning when Pat Shurmur reversed course and flung open the door he had been trying so hard to keep closed. Just 20 hours after he said it wasn't time to have the conversation, he decided "it's fair" to now talk about benching the 38-year-old Manning in favor of 22-year-old rookie quarterback Daniel Jones.

At that moment, Manning was done. Only the final arrangements need to be ironed out.

Tags: Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Is Odell right about Williams? 00:00:39
New York Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and Odell Beckham Jr. had some words this past week, we'll see what happens tonight.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Odell Beckham Jr. made waves last week when he went public with accusations that Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams once told players to purposely injury him.

And that wasn't the first time Beckham thought Williams ordered his players to take the star receiver out.

The Beckham-Williams feud has its roots in 2014, when Beckham was a rookie with the Giants and Williams was fresh off his BountyGate suspension as the defensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams. In a late December game, Rams defenders appeared to target Beckham multiple times with late or questionably legal hits.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Giants quarterbacks Daniel Jones and Eli Manning
Giants quarterbacks Daniel Jones and Eli Manning

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Time is running out on the Eli Manning Era, whether Pat Shurmur wants to talk about it or not. Pretty soon there will be nothing to play for in this lost season. The Giants, very clearly, are a mess.

Ironically, that might be the truth that sets Manning free to extend his Giants career a little longer. Because why in the world would the Giants want to throw a rookie quarterback into the middle of this?

Seriously, at this point, that's the best argument for keeping Daniel Jones, the Giants' future franchise quarterback, on the sidelines as this already miserable season unravels. For all who hope that he would be a better option than a 38-year-old Manning, the reality is that he's still a 22-year-old kid who is learning on the job. That's not always the easiest thing to do in the best of circumstances.

Tags: Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Giants
Giants

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Giants defense is a disaster and nothing -- not Saquon Barkley, not a quarterback change, not a miracle -- is going to help them salvage the season if the defense continues to play like this.

For the second straight week, the defense was barely a speed bump on the road to another loss, especially in the first half as the Giants fell into a deep hole. The Buffalo Bills racked up 260 yards in the first half alone and scored on three of their first four possessions, all while second-year quarterback Josh Allen was made to look like Johnny Unitas. It all unraveled in a 28-14 loss to the Bills that could have been -- and probably should have been -- worse.

And it's nothing new either. The pass rush is simply nonexistent. Linebacker Markus Golden, imported from Arizona in the hopes that he could revive his career after an ACL injury, had a sack on the second drive. That was good. That was also one of the few times the Giants' pass rush got anywhere near Allen all game. He had all day long to throw, and when he did leave the pocket, no one could catch him.

Tags: Eli Manning, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Aug 15, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws on the sideline against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)
Aug 15, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws on the sideline against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets decided not to put Sam Darnold on injured reserve because that would've required him to miss the next eight weeks and, according to Jets coach Adam Gase, the quarterback's expected absence is "not going to be that long."

But it could be close.

Though many initially assumed that, after the 22-year-old Darnold was diagnosed with mono, he would return in Week 5 -- right after the Jets bye week -- the Jets just aren't sure he'll be able to be back that quickly. The truth is the Jets don't know yet when to expect him back, multiple sources said.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Gregg Williams
Gregg Williams

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Gregg Williams took the bait, because of course he did. That's exactly what he wanted to do. He didn't have to. He's a grown man, 61 years old, a coach with 30 years of NFL experience. He could have just let those nasty things that Odell Beckham Jr. said about him go.

But that's not Williams' style. He's a brash, harsh, tough guy who at the very least wants to project the image that he'll never back down from a fight. So when he was asked on Friday about Beckham's accusation that Williams ordered his players to intentionally injure the attention-seeking receiver two years ago, Williams began by saying this:

"Odell who?"

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Aug 29, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Trevor Siemian (19) throws a pass against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aug 29, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Trevor Siemian (19) throws a pass against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - One of Adam Gase's top priorities in the offseason was finding an experienced quarterback to back up Sam Darnold, and the guy he wanted from the beginning was Trevor Siemian.

This is why.

"He's exactly what smart teams want in a backup quarterback," one AFC scout told SNY on Thursday night. "Experience. He's done it before and done it well. There's no learning curve. Just plug him in and go to work."

Tags: Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Jets QB Sam Darnold and RB Le'Veon Bell
Jets QB Sam Darnold and RB Le'Veon Bell

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - When the doctors came to Jets head coach Adam Gase on Wednesday night to talk about Sam Darnold, he said he had a feeling that his quarterback had mono. Somehow he just knew in his "gut" that the news was going to be bad.

Unfortunately for Gase, he was right.

And it's likely going to get much, much worse.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Adam Gase sounds off 00:02:07
Jets coach Adam Gase talks about losing Quincy Enunwa, adding kicker Sam Ficken, and fixing the team's mistakes fast enough to have success.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - On his first chance to play Monday Morning Quarterback with his team, Adam Gase didn't hold anything back. His anger was evident. His words were harsh. And his finger was pointed directly at his players.

It was an unusual public display of day-after emotion, especially for anyone who lived the four years of Todd Bowles, a coach who rarely showed a public pulse. It was interpreted in some places as Gase rolling his Jets players under the proverbial bus and taking no blame for the Jets' opening-day disaster.

Read More
Comments

Aug 15, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase on the sideline against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)
Aug 15, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase on the sideline against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Jets head coach Adam Gase spent months building his offense around the receivers he had, insisting the group was better, more diverse than most people thought. Quincy Enunwa, as his tough, sure-handed possession receiver, was a big part of that equation.

So what is Gase going to do now?

The short answer in the NFL is always "next man up," but it's never that simple when a key player is lost during the season. And it could be particularly difficult for Gase to replace Enunwa, who is now lost for the season with another neck injury, because there's no one on the Jets roster who can really do what the 6-foot-2, 225-pounder could.

Tags: Chris Herndon, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Giants quarterbacks Daniel Jones and Eli Manning
Giants quarterbacks Daniel Jones and Eli Manning

It is not time for Daniel Jones to start. It is not time for the Giants to surrender the season and begin looking towards the future. It is not time to finally and officially declare Eli Manning "done."

But a few more performances by the Giants like the one in Dallas on Sunday, and the start of the Daniel Jones Era might be pretty close.

That really has nothing to do with Manning, the Giants' 38-year-old currently starting quarterback. As easy a target as he may be, he wasn't the reason the Giants were blown out, 35-17, in Dallas on Opening Day. But in the end -- his end -- there seems to be an increasing possibility that his own play won't matter.

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

 (Jerome Miron)
(Jerome Miron)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The game was far from over late in the third quarter when the Giants were deep in Cowboys territory. They were moving the ball, on the verge of scoring, facing a third-and-2 from the Cowboys' eight yard line.

It was the perfect time to place the ball in the hands of their best player, who just happens to be one of the most dynamic players in the league. So the Giants lined up, the ball was snapped, and Eli Manning turned and handed the ball to…

Eli Penny?

Tags: Eli Manning, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

It's possible that the Giants defense is actually worse than anyone thought.

That's hard to believe, considering how low expectations were, but it was like they were barely there in the Giants' 35-17 opening day loss in Dallas. They got no pass rush at all, and their secondary was a mess of poor coverage and broken plays. The result was a 405-yard, four-touchdown performance by Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott, who looked like he was running a 7-on-7 drill all day.

It was embarrassing, really. Also it was not surprising. It was clear the Giants weren't going to be able to generate much of a pass rush this season, and they drew a tough assignment anyway against the Cowboys' powerful offensive line. But the coverage was worse than advertised, particularly starting corner Antonio Hamilton, who was literally shoved around throughout the game. 

Tags: Eli Manning, Landon Collins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Jets react to tough 17-16 loss 00:01:23
Le'Veon Bell reacts to his first NFL game in over a year, plus Sam Darnold and C.J. Mosley react to giving up the least in the 4th quarter.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Sam Darnold got out of the Jets' game against the New Orleans Saints on Saturday night in one piece.

And that's pretty much the best thing that can be said about his game and the Jets' offense in their 28-13 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Saturday night.

Right from the start, Darnold and the Jets' offense looked as out of sync as they've been all preseason. There were fumbles, breakdowns, bad throws, drops, and more than enough bad blocking to go around. Yes, he still didn't have Le'Veon Bell in his arsenal, and he was also missing three-fifths of his starting offensive line.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Adam Gase ahead of game one 00:01:12
Jeane Coakley talked to Adam Gase before his first official game as head coach. He's excited for what the offense can do.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The arrival of Sam Darnold gave Jets fans something they had been lacking for years: Hope. And that hope for the future got stronger as the new franchise quarterback got better late in his rookie season.

Now, that hope has become excitement and expectation. Even Darnold admits things are different this season. Even he knows that what he did last season was just the start.

"I think I was in a different place," the 22-year-old said. "Just being a rookie going into my first game, I was just feeling a little bit different. I wasn't nearly as comfortable as I am now."

Tags: Chandler Catanzaro, Jamison Crowder, Jason Myers, Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments