ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Heading into the second half of the 2019 NFL season, here are some of the biggest story lines.
Trade Deadline Disappointment
The trade deadline in any major sport can produce some of the most exciting headlines of the entire season — that was not the case this year in the NFL.
One of the only moves made — The Rams sent CB Aqib Talib, who is currently on injured reserve, to the winless Miami Dolphins.
Though some other big names were thrown around including the Jamal Adams, Leveon Bell, and Trent Williams — the biggest move made ended up being between the Giants and the Jets.
Leonard Williams, a fifth-year defensive lineman out of USC, was shipped from one New York team to another. His now former team, the Jets, received a third round 2020 draft pick, and a conditional fifth rounder in 2021 that could turn into a 4th round pick if the Giants sign Williams at the end of this season.
The Giants got a veteran big man who, despite a slow start this year, has plenty of potential. The team is hoping he’ll provide a spark for a young line that includes the 17th overall pick in last year’s draft, Dexter Lawrence.
The Giants were rumored to be shopping additional players, most notably CB Janoris Jenkins. Jenkins, who turned 31 on the day of the deadline, has one year left on his contract in New York. He currently leads the team in interceptions with 4.
Two Unbeaten Teams Remain
As the race for the worst record in the league, which brings with it the first overall draft pick, heats up — two teams remain undefeated on the season.
The San Francisco 49ers and the New England Patriots actually have quite a bit in common.
Great defense — Good coaching — and of course, the quarterbacks.
Former Tom Brady backup Jimmy Garappolo now joins his former mentor in leading unbeaten squads. ‘Jimmy G’ was sent the the Niners by New England back in 2017 in exchange for a second round pick, which the Patriots ended up giving to Detroit, who drafted RB Kerryon Johnson out of Auburn.
Garappolo’s first season in the Bay Area was cut short by a knee injury, while Brady led his team to yet another Super Bowl title, his 6th.
While the two teams aren’t scheduled to meet in the regular season, should their success continue, they could be on a collision course for Super Bowl 54 in Miami.
Quarterback Change in Cincinnati
It’s the year of the backup Quarterback. Several big name’s have gone down already this season, including Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton, Drew Brees (who has since returned), Matt Ryan, Nick Foles, and Patrick Mahomes. Their injuries, paving the way for the next man up, whoever it may be.
In Cincinnati, things are a little different.
The 0-8 Bengals, desperate for any kind of success, announced this week that 8-year starter Andy Dalton would sit the bench. So, in steps the next man up.
Ryan Finley was drafted 104th overall out of N.C. State by the Bengals in April’s draft. He played well in the preseason, completing 73% of his passes for 734 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception.
Dalton, who learned of his demotion on his 32nd birthday, hasn’t played all that poorly during his time in the NFL. He has a 68-58-2 career record, going winless in 4 career playoff appearances.
As the cliche goes, only time will tell whether this is the right move for the franchise, but at 0-8, it’s hard to think things could get any worse.