Archive for December 17th, 2012

WATERCOOLER CHAT: NFL HONORS VICTIMS, FALCONS SHUTOUT GIANTS, NINERS MAKE STATEMENT IN FOXBORO, RA DICKEY TRADE PROBABLE

FOOTBALL

In the NFL, Sunday’s games were full of statements. The largest statement of all however, was not by a single player or even during the duration of any game, but it was the NFL holding a moment of silence before each game in memory and respect for the victims of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. In addition to the moment of silence, the Patriots, Giants and Jets all are wearing a patch this week to honor the victims from the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

And on the gridiron, the Atlanta Falcons shutout the New York Giants 34 – 0.  Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan went 23 for 28 for 270 yards and three touchdowns. The Giants never looked like they wanted to win the game and knock Atlanta off the top of the NFC playoff picture. This was the first time that Eli Manning has been shutout during the regular season in his career, and he didn’t help the cause with two of the Giants three turnovers coming on interceptions. With the loss, the Giants lost control of their playoff destiny. Both the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys won their respective games on Sunday pushing New York out of the playoffs and Washington into the division lead.

Sunday night football also was a statement game for the San Francisco 49ers. After the New England Patriots obliterated the Houston Texans last week in New England, the Patriots welcomed the Niners, the only defense better than the Texans, into Foxboro. The 49ers came out hitting on all cylinders and by the middle of the third quarter went up 31 – 3. But, Tom Brady then became Tom Brady. He proceeded to tie the game by the middle of the fourth on four long touchdown drives. The 49ers answered with a touchdown of their own and the Patriots just didn’t have enough gas to get back in it. San Francisco won the game 41 – 34 and their new starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw four touchdowns. His team snapped New England’s 21 straight 2nd half of the season game winning streak and also became the first team to beat the Patriots at Foxboro in December for the first time in 21 games. Brady himself threw for 443 yards on 65 pass attempts and five of the completions went to wide receiver Wes Welker. Welker now has set a NFL record with his fifth season of 100 or more catches.

BASEBALL

In Major League Baseball, the National League Cy Young Award winner looks like he’s on the way out of New York. Mets starting pitcher R.A. Dickey has been the source of many rumors since the MLB Winter Meetings in Nashville a few weeks back. The Mets have dangled the reasonably priced 20 game winner in trade talks and finally seem to have found a suitor in the Toronto Blue Jays. The 38-year-old pitcher looks to be sent across the border with catcher Josh Thole for a package including hot catching prospect Travis D’Arnaud.  Dickey had a 2.73 ERA last year with 230 strikeouts. The deal will only go through if Dickey can agree to a 2-year extension by Tuesday. The Blue Jays see an opening in the American League East with the Yankees and Red Sox trying to regroup. The limited window of opportunity has made the Blue Jays big players in this year’s offseason. They have already acquired many players including shortstop Jose Reyes, pitcher Josh Johnson and outfielder Melky Cabrera.

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