The Stack is here on this Wednesday ready for some football. Are you ready for the start of the NFL season? It kicks off tonight betweeen the Super Bowl champion New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys. More on that in a moment. Hopefully everyone enjoyed the the NFL preview yesterday. If you didn't see it, check it out. Now let's see what made "the stack" for today, Wednesday, September 5:
NFL season kicks off
Tonight, football is back! The Super Bowl champion New York Giants will celebrate by raising their banner before taking on the Dallas Cowboys. Kickoff is slated for 8:30 PM ET on NBC. The Giants went on an incredible run last year to win the Super Bowl. I don't think that will happen again this year. Losing several key players like Mario Manningham and Brandon Jacobs hurts, though their defense will be good. It is awfully tough to repeate though because you have that target on your back. Everyone wants what you have. Especially the Dallas Cowboys. Jerry Jones wants a Super Bowl so bad, as do his players. They have a chance this year to make a run. Very talented team with the defense being the key to a possible run. Rob Ryan in his second year as defensive coordinator is hoping to make more of an impact. Their success will determine if the Cowboys can win the division. Don't get me wrong, the Cowboys offense has to perform too. A lot of pressure is on Tony Romo. They do have a lot of injuries that they are dealing with, but we know the Cowboys have a good offense. It's the defense we're unsure of. The Cowboys defense may not have to go against Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks who is questionable with a foot injury. He says he'll play though. Pairing him up with Victor Cruz gives the Giants a good one-two punch at wide receiver. It's going to be fun tonight. The season officially kicks off and the Giants are virtual locks. Ever since the the NFL went with the Super Bowl champion opening up the season back in 2004, the home team has been undefeated. Just so much emotion in the stadium and the team is so pumped up. I like the Giants in this one.
Prediction: Giants 27 Cowboys 17
Other NFL news
The excitement surrounding the regular season opener may be over-shadowing some of the other key NFL news.
- The Miami Dolphins released quarterback David Garrard yesterday leaving them with Matt Moore to back up rookie Ryan Tannehill. Once considered the leading candidate to start at quarterback, at least in my opinion, knee surgery killed Garrard's chance at starting and I guess it in ended up costing him a spot on the team. Some team will take a chance on Garrard if a backup quarterback goes down, but it might not be for a while.
- Talented Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden has been suspended four games for failing a dug test. Reportedly he used Adderall, a banned substance. That would hurt the Browns defense, though Haden's suspension will not be the reason the Browns have a bad year.
- Bryant McKinnie restructured his contract with the Baltimore Ravens, after a brilliant move by the Ravens to put the pressure on McKinnie by making him feel like he wouldn't want to move and that this was a good deal for him. Shrewd!
- Apparently the Minnesota Vikings are having second thoughts on running back Adrian Peterson playing in the regular season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars. His status will be determined Sunday. Peterson has been waiting to get on the field and has been determined to play in the season opener. He is a physical speciman. It would be a shame if he doesn't play.
- Finally, Skittles may have plenty of time to munch on Skittles on the sidelines Sunday in Arizona. Marshawn Lynch reportedly has back spasms and is uncertain to play against the Cardinals. While this would be a big blow to the Seattle offense, you want a healthy Lynch for the duration of the season. If this is what they deem best, the Sehawks know. Then again, that's probably what the Vikings feel about Peterson so I stand corrected. Don't want to be a hypocrite. The Vikings should do what they see fit as well.
MLB races heating up
The hunt for October is on and with the added wild card spot, baseball in September promises to be as exciting as ever. In addition to the wild card races, there are a few division battles that could come right down to the wire. Currently, the AL East is a dead heat with the stunning Baltimore Orioles tied for first with the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays sitting just 1.5 games back. The Orioles trounced Toronto yesterday 12-0 while the Rays topped the Yankees 5-2. Plenty of people in the Bronx are panicing because the Yankees have been sliding as of late, but they still have a terrific chance to make the playoffs, even if it's a wild card spot. The AL East has three really good teams. A factor in how they finish though will be the fact that the Orioles and Rays play each other two more series before the year is done. Who will gain speration? And will that allow the Yankees to win the division?
The AL Central is hot right now with the Chicago White Sox holding a one game lead over the Detroit Tigers despite getting destroyed 18-9 by the Minnesota Twins last night. The Tigers are the more talented team, but they aren't living up to their potential. This race will last until the the final week.
And both division leaders in the AL and NL West are gaining seperation from the pack with the Texas Rangers (AL) holding a four game lead and the San Francisco Giants (NL) holding a 4.5 game lead over their closest competitors. There is still plenty of baseball to be played though and the divisions are now sewn up yet.
Coming up Thursday: Reaction to Wednesday night's NFL opener, college football lookahead and more.Coming up Friday: NFL Week 1 preview and predictions