Jan 8, 2023; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts linebacker Bobby Okereke (58) warms up Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, before a game against the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Scheer-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Giants agree to terms with LB Bobby Okereke

The New York Giants will sign former Indianapolis Colt Bobby Okereke, regarded as one of the top inside linebackers available in free agency, multiple media outlets reported Monday.

The Giants and Okereke agreed to terms for a four-year, $40 million contract, with $22 million guaranteed, according to the reports. Monday was the first day of the NFL’s free agent negotiating period.

Okereke, 26, played four seasons in Indianapolis and is coming off his best campaign, as he a career-high 151 tackles, including 99 solo. He made 17 of those tackles (his single-game best) with 13 solo in a 38-10 loss to the Giants in Week 17.

The Colts drafted him in the third round out of Stanford in 2019. After starting eight games in both his rookie and second seasons, the 6-foot-1, 235-pounder became a full-time starter in 2021, when he had 132 tackles (89 solo).

For his career, Okereke has 420 tackles (293 solo), 15 tackles for loss, four quarterback hits, two sacks, four forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries in 64 games (49 starts).

–Field Level Media

Oct 16, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) runs with the ball against New York Giants safety Julian Love (20) and defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux (5) during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Giants force late turnovers, topple Ravens 24-20

The New York Giants picked a perfect time to make their first interception of the year.

Julian Love’s interception set up Saquon Barkley’s go-ahead, 1-yard touchdown with 1:43 remaining to lift the Giants to a 24-20 win over the visiting Baltimore Ravens on Sunday at East Rutherford, N.J.

The Giants (5-1) rallied from a 10-point deficit in the final 12:54 after Lamar Jackson’s 12-yard touchdown pass to Mark Andrews gave the Ravens a 20-10 lead.

The Giants closed to within 20-17 on Daniel Jones’ 8-yard scoring strike to Daniel Bellinger with 6:01 left.

Jones went 19-for-27 passing for 173 yards with two touchdowns, while Barkley rushed for 83 yards and a score on 22 carries. Bellinger had five catches for 38 yards and the touchdown.

Jackson went 17-for-32 passing for 210 yards with a touchdown and an interception, in addition to rushing for 77 yards on seven carries. He also fumbled on the Ravens’ final possession, sealing the loss.

Kenyan Drake rushed for 119 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries for the Ravens (3-3), who squandered a double-digit lead for the third time this season after doing so against the Miami Dolphins in Week 2 and the Buffalo Bills in Week 4.

Leading 20-17 and facing a third-and-5 from the Ravens’ 40-yard line with a little over three minutes left, Jackson failed to catch the snap. But instead of falling on the ball, he scooped it up and lobbed a pass downfield. Love picked it off at the Ravens’ 40 and returned the ball to the 13-yard line with 2:50 remaining.

Three plays later, Barkley scored from the 1-yard line for a 24-20 lead with 1:43 remaining.

Jackson then fumbled while being sacked by Kayvon Thibodeaux on Baltimore’s second play from scrimmage, with Leonard Williams making the recovery at the Ravens’ 13-yard line.

The Giants picked up a first down and ran out the clock.

–Field Level Media

Oct 16, 2022; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA;  Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) avoids pressure from New York Jets nose tackle Quinnen Williams (95) during the second quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Jets take advantage of lackluster Packers for 27-10 win

The Green Bay Packers are happy to have the NFL’s New York teams in their rearview mirror.

One week after losing to the Giants 27-22 in London, the Packers fell to the Jets 27-10 at Lambeau Field on Sunday.

Rookie running back Breece Hall ran for 116 yards and a touchdown as the Jets (4-2) won their third straight game and beat Green Bay (3-3) for the first time since 2006.

With the score tied 3-3 at halftime, the Jets moved ahead with 8:11 remaining in the third quarter on a sweep to wide receiver Braxton Berrios for a 20-yard touchdown. The Jets had moved into Packers territory on two passes from Zach Wilson to wide receiver Corey Davis for 41 and 11 yards.

Less than three minutes later, Jets defensive lineman Micheal Clemons blocked Pat O’Donnell’s punt. It was recovered by safety Will Parks, who ran 20 yards for a touchdown and a 17-3 lead.

The Packers cut the lead to 17-10 on a 25-yard pass from Aaron Rodgers to wide receiver Allen Lazard with 2:35 remaining in the quarter.

Hall broke off a 34-yard touchdown on the first play of the final quarter for a 24-10 New York lead.

After stopping the Packers on fourth down at their 37-yard line with 9:12 remaining, the Jets clinched the game with a 13-play drive — all running plays — to bleed 6:38 off the clock. Greg Zuerlein kicked a 23-yard field goal for the final points with 2:34 on the clock.

After a scoreless first quarter, the second quarter began with a Packers 47-yard field-goal attempt by Mason Crosby that was blocked by defensive lineman Quinnen Williams.

The Jets took a 3-0 lead with 5:46 to play in the half on a 32-yard field goal by Zuerlein. Later in the quarter, Zuerlein missed a 53-yard field goal with 31 seconds remaining.

Rodgers quickly went to work from the Packers’ 43-yard line and completed five consecutive passes for 46 yards that set up Crosby for a 29-yard field goal as time expired in the half.

Rodgers completed 26 of 41 passes for 246 yards and one touchdown. He was sacked four times, twice by Williams. Wilson was 10-of-18 passing for 110 yards for New York.

–Field Level Media

Oct 2, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) looks on from the sideline during the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Giants’ QB health looms large against Packers in London

Travel logistics aside, the main question for the New York Giants is the health of their quarterbacks as they head into Sunday’s matchup against the Green Bay Packers in London.

Starting quarterback Daniel Jones suffered an ankle sprain in the Giants 20-12 win over the Chicago Bears, and backup Tyrod Taylor left after sustaining a concussion. Jones returned, but was extremely limited, and running back Saquon Barkley operated late out of the wildcat.

Jones practiced on Wednesday, while Taylor remained in concussion protocol.

“I’m not surprised, he’s a pretty tough individual,” Giants coach Brian Daboll said of Jones. “I think he’s made a lot of progress since after the game and he’s been in the treatment room pretty consistently throughout these last couple days, so we’ll put him out there, give him some reps and see where he’s at.”

The only other quarterback on the roster is Davis Webb, currently on the practice squad, who has never thrown a pass in a regular season game.

Both teams are 3-1. The Giants are tied with Dallas, one game behind undefeated Philadelphia in the NFC East. Green Bay is coming off a 27-24 overtime victory over New England at home. The Packers have won three straight since a season-opening loss at Minnesota, which shares the NFC North lead with Green Bay.

Green Bay is making its first trip to London, while the Giants played there in 2007 and 2016.

“The preparation is going to be absolutely critical, especially the mental preparation, because you’re going to be out of rhythm in terms of your schedule, the practice schedule,” said Packers coach Matt LaFleur. “And, you try to keep it as normal as possible like a typical week. But, let’s face it, it’s anything but.”

Barclay rushed for 146 yards against the Bears as the Giants pounded out 262 yards on the ground. Jones had two rushing touchdowns before he was hurt.

The Giants defense held the Bears to four field goals and 304 yards total offense. New York also recovered three Chicago fumbles. The Giants are 10th in team defense, eighth against the pass, but 28th in run defense.

In addition to Taylor, cornerback Cor’Dale Flott (calf); wide receivers Kenny Golladay (knee) and Richie James (ankle); safety Julian Love (concussion); defensive lineman Henry Mondeaux (ankle); and linebacker Azeez Ojulari (calf) did not practice Wednesday.

In addition to Jones, cornerbacks Nick McCloud (hamstring) and Fabian Moreau (foot); offensive tackle Evan Neal (neck); wide receivers Wan’Dale Robinson (knee) and Kadarius Toney (hamstring); and defensive tackle Leonard Williams (knee) had limited participation.

The Packers held New England to 167 yards on the ground but gave up an 11-play drive in the first quarter that resulted in a field goal, and third-quarter touchdown drives of 65 and 66 yards.

The Packers outgained New England, 443-271, getting 199 yards on the ground, including 110 from Aaron Jones and 73 from AJ Dillon. Aaron Rodgers passed for 251 yards and two touchdowns, but also threw a pick-six.

Preparing for the 38-year-old Rodgers, who has six TDs and three interceptions this season, always is a challenge, Daboll said.

“He’s fun to watch when you’re not getting ready to play him,” Daboll said of the four-time MVP. “I’ll be watching their offense, and naturally you’re watching 12 (Rodgers) and things he does, and how he moves people, and accuracy, and off-schedule plays, and checks and things he does. He’s as good as it gets. And he’s a hard quarterback to defend.”

The Packers are 21st in total offense and seventh in rushing, but 16th in passing as Rodgers still tries to adjust to the offseason loss of Davante Adams. Green Bay is seventh in team defense and third against the pass, but 22nd against the run, allowing 126.8 yards per game.

Packers safety Adrian Amos (concussion) did not practice. Cornerback Jaire Alexander (groin; offensive linemen David Bakhtiari (knee), Elgton Jenkins (knee) and Josh Myers (foot); safety Tariq Carpenter (abdomen); wide receiver Allen Lazard (ankle); and defensive end Devonte Wyatt (quadricep) had limited participation.

–Field Level Media

Oct 2, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Gunner Olszewski (89) is stopped by New York Jets linebacker Kwon Alexander (9) for no gain during the first quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Jets gut out late win against Steelers

Breece Hall rushed for a 2-yard, go-ahead touchdown with 16 seconds remaining as the visiting New York Jets edged the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-20 on Sunday afternoon.

New York (2-2) called 11 plays to drive 65 yards in just 3 minutes, 18 seconds to punch in the game-winning score. Hall finished with 66 yards on 17 carries, while quarterback Zach Wilson completed 18 of 36 passes for 252 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions in his season debut.

The Steelers (1-3) had scored 20 straight points to take a 20-10 lead with 13:36 left in the fourth quarter before Wilson connected with Corey Davis for a 5-yard scoring strike.

Rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett spearheaded Pittsburgh’s comeback after replacing Mitchell Trubisky following halftime. Pickett threw for 120 yards on 10-for-13 passing and rushed for his first two career touchdowns. However, he also threw three interceptions.

Najee Harris rushed 18 times for 74 yards, and George Pickens had six catches for 102 yards for the Steelers.

Pickett’s first career pass attempt was intercepted by Jordan Whitehead.

New York couldn’t take advantage, though, as Wilson also got picked off. Minkah Fitzpatrick came down with the interception and returned it to the Jets 4, and three plays later, Pickett’s sneak gave the Steelers a 13-10 lead.

Wilson threw an interception while in field-goal range with 20 seconds left in the first half. Trubisky threw a deep ball to the end zone to try and score before the break and it was intercepted, but a roughing the passer penalty negated the pick and allowed Chris Boswell to kick a 59-yard field goal to pull the Steelers within 10-6.

Lamarcus Joyner intercepted Trubisky with 7:35 left to play in the first quarter, setting the Jets up at the Pittsburgh 36. New York turned the takeaway into a 36-yard field goal from Greg Zuerlein to take a 3-0 edge.

The Jets added on to their lead on a double reverse play early in the second quarter.

On an end around, Wilson handed the ball off to Garrett Wilson, who then flipped it to fellow wide receiver Braxton Berrios. Berrios then threw a 2-yard TD pass to a wide-open Zach Wilson.

–Field Level Media

Oct 2, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) runs with the ball for a first down against the New York Giants during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley run Giants past Bears

Daniel Jones rushed for two touchdowns and Saquon Barkley ran for 146 yards to help the New York Giants post a 20-12 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday afternoon at East Rutherford, N.J.

Dexter Lawrence had two of New York’s five sacks as the defense repeatedly stymied Chicago scoring drives. Barkley also had 16 receiving yards on two catches for The Giants (3-1).

Michael Badgley kicked four field goals for all the points for the Bears (2-2). He was signed Saturday to fill in for Cairo Santos (personal reasons).

Justin Fields completed 11 of 22 passes for 174 yards for the Bears.

Jones injured his left ankle late in the third quarter but was forced to return in the fourth after backup Tyrod Taylor also got hurt. Taylor was being evaluated for a concussion.

Jones rushed for 68 yards and completed 8 of 13 passes for 71 yards.

Chicago’s bid to put together a late drive was halted when Velus Jones Jr. muffed a punt. New York’s Gary Brightwell recovered at the Bears’ 37-yard line with 2:01 left.

Though Graham Gano eventually clanked a 37-yard field goal off the left upright, there was just 17 seconds left when Chicago got the ball as the Giants closed out the victory.

Jones was injured while being sacked by Chicago’s Jaquan Brisker with just over three minutes left in the third quarter. He stayed in for the rest of the drive before being worked on by trainers and getting the ankle heavily taped.

Taylor replaced Jones but he got hurt on a play in which he scrambled for 8 yards. A collision with Chicago’s Kyler Gordon caused Taylor to exit. Meanwhile, Jones limped back on the field.

Badgley’s fourth field goal, a 35-yard, pulled Chicago within 14-12 with 11:02 left in the third quarter.

Gano kicked field goals of 44 and 43 yards to increase the Giants’ advantage to eight with 5:31 remaining.

Jones rushed for two touchdowns as the Giants led 14-9 at halftime.

Badgley kicked a 29-yard field goal with 8:27 left in the opening quarter. Just more than three minutes later, Jones scored on a 21-yard keeper down the left sideline to put New York ahead.

Badgley booted a 22-yarder with 1:30 left in the opening period, but Jones was at it again when scored on an 8-yard keeper to give the Giants a 14-6 lead with 5:17 remaining in the first half. Badgley made a 40-yard field goal with 1:44 left to leave Chicago trailing by five at the break.

–Field Level Media

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) looks to throw against the Chicago Bears in the first half at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022, in East Rutherford.

Nfl Ny Giants Vs Chicago Bears

Quarterback Daniel Jones briefly leaves Giants game with Bears

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones departed Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears late in the third quarter due to a left ankle injury.

The Giants said Jones was questionable to return, but when backup Tyrod Taylor took a hit of his own, Jones returned to the game.

Taylor is being evaluated for a possible concussion.

Jones was injured while being sacked by Chicago’s Jaquan Brisker with just over three minutes left in the quarter. He stayed in for the rest of the drive before being worked on by trainers and getting the ankle heavily taped.

When the Giants got the ball back with 38 seconds left in the quarter, Taylor was in at quarterback in place of Jones.

Jones rushed for 68 yards and two touchdowns prior to the injury. He completed 8 of 13 passes for 71 yards.

–Field Level Media

Sep 18, 2022; East Rutherford, NJ, USA;  New York Giants cornerback Adoree' Jackson (22) celebrates a turnouver by the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

Giants bucking recent trends, take aim at Cowboys

The New York Giants will aim for their first 3-0 start since 2009 when they face the Dallas Cowboys in an NFC East battle on Monday night at East Rutherford, N.J.

New coach Brian Daboll guided New York to consecutive wins to start a season for the first time since 2016. The Giants didn’t crumble in the close games, winning by a total of four points.

“Yeah, the guys that we have on our team aren’t afraid of failure,” third-year safety Xavier McKinney told reporters. “We’ve been at the bottom. So we experienced all that. We’re not worried about messing up. … We’re going to have a breakthrough at some point.”

It’s too soon to discuss breakthroughs, but the contest with the Cowboys (1-1) will be another litmus test even with Dallas star quarterback Dak Prescott out with his fractured right thumb.

That’s because the Giants have dropped nine of their last 10 meetings with Dallas, including both matchups last season.

New York needs to change that trend and also figure out how to keep Cowboys star linebacker Micah Parsons under control.

Parsons is tied for the NFL lead with four sacks after having two in each of Dallas’ games this season. The second-year pro has recorded 17 in just 18 career games.

“He’s a problem,” Daboll said. “He’s a dynamic football player. And he can play multiple spots. He does. You’ll see him at linebacker; you’ll see him at defensive end. He has rare pass-rush ability. We’re going to have to have a good plan for him.

“He’s fun to watch when you’re not getting ready to play him. I’ll give him that compliment. He just does things that are pretty impressive on the football field.”

Parsons and his teammates combined for six sacks while beating the Cincinnati Bengals 20-17 last week.

The Cowboys kept pressure on Bengals star Joe Burrow all game long during the impressive win.

“One lion can’t do it by himself,” Parsons said. “It’s just like when 10 hyenas go after one lion, the lion is liable to lose. The fact that I’ve got 10 other guys that I feel that I can rely on, that’s what makes this boat go ’round.”

However, Parsons missed Thursday’s practice with an illness. Owner Jerry Jones said Parsons returned negative results for COVID-19 and the flu.

Meanwhile, the Dallas offense ranks 31st in the NFL at 11.5 points per game.

Cooper Rush started in place of Prescott against the Bengals and completed 19 of 31 passes for 235 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. Most importantly, he guided the Cowboys to Brett Maher’s decisive 50-yard field goal as time expired.

“That’s Cooper Rush — we see that every day,” Dallas coach Mike McCarthy said. “He’s the same, he is so steady (in his) personality type. He never blinks.”

Rush is 2-0 in his career as a starter. He passed for 325 yards, two touchdowns and one interception while leading Dallas to a win over the Minnesota Vikings last season when Prescott was sidelined.

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones has passed for 364 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Star running back Saquon Barkley has a league-leading 236 rushing yards.

New York rookie edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux (knee) could make his debut. The fifth overall pick in the 2022 draft was limited in Thursday’s practice.

Giants defensive end Azeez Ojulari (calf) also is hopeful of making his season debut. He was limited Thursday, as was receiver Kadarius Toney (hamstring).

Defensive tackle Leonard Williams (knee) and cornerback Aaron Robinson (appendix) didn’t practice. Also missing practice were defensive backs Justin Layne (concussion) and Nick McCloud (hamstring) and receiver Wan’Dale Robinson (knee).

Dallas tight end Dalton Schultz (knee) was injured against the Bengals and sat out Thursday’s practice. Also sitting out were safety Jayron Kearse (knee) and guard Connor McGovern (ankle).

–Field Level Media

Dec 12, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians against the Buffalo Bills during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bruce Arians to coach Sunday; more Buccaneers might return, too

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have their head coach back when they play the Jets in New York on Sunday, as the Bucs announced Saturday that Bruce Arians had cleared COVID-19 protocol.

Arians, as well as wide receivers coach Kevin Garver, had spent most of the week in isolation before being cleared to return Saturday.

The Buccaneers (11-4) also might see the return of cornerbacks Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting, as both players were activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list and are listed as questionable for the game.

Fellow cornerback Richard Sherman is listed as doubtful with an Achilles tendon injury.

Four players were elevated from the practice squad: punter Sterling Hofrichter and outside linebacker Elijah Ponder (standard elevation), as well as running back Kenjon Barner and wide receiver Cyril Grayson (COVID-19 replacements).

For the Jets, cornerback Bryce Hall has been activated from the COVID list and will be eligible to return for a secondary that has struggled with youth this season.

The Jets (4-11) also elevated defensive end Ronnie Blair, tight end Dan Brown, wide receiver D.J. Montgomery and cornerback Lamar Jackson.

–Field Level Media

Dec 26, 2021; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets cornerback Javelin Guidry (40) breaks up a pass intended for Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Marvin Jones (11) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Jets’ young secondary faces tough test vs. Tom Brady, Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were a wild-card team last postseason, never enjoying home-field advantage until they won Super Bowl LV at their home digs. This year, they already know their path to a repeat will be a bit easier.

The Buccaneers locked up the NFC South with their most recent win, and with two weeks to go, all that’s left is for them to jockey for the conference’s No. 1 overall playoff seed. That begins Sunday when they visit the rebuilding New York Jets.

“Having been through the playoffs last year, playing three road games leading up to the Super Bowl, kind of gives all of us confidence that we’re going to get things figured out,” tight end Cameron Brate said.

Tampa Bay (11-4) put its division away Sunday with its handy 32-6 win at the Carolina Panthers, a nice rebound from its 9-0 loss to the New Orleans Saints the week before. Tom Brady threw for 232 yards and a touchdown, Antonio Brown hauled in 10 catches for 101 yards and second-year running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn had a breakout game with 70 yards and a score on seven carries.

Now Brady gets to face a struggling team he’s historically picked on during his New England Patriots days. Brady is 29-7 all-time against the Jets (4-11), marking the second-most wins he has earned against a single opponent.

How New York’s inexperienced secondary handles the future Hall of Famer will go a long way in determining Sunday’s outcome. The Jets’ pass defense ranks 28th in the NFL at 250 yards per game. Every cornerback who has started at least one game for the Jets this season — including 2021 draft picks Michael Carter II, Jason Pinnock and Brandin Echols — is 22 to 24 years old.

“I think I was in the womb when (Brady) was in college or something like that,” Pinnock said. “But this is Tom Brady. It’s a tremendous opportunity. I’m a young guy, (going) against a wise old GOAT. Looking forward to it.”

Coaching figures to be an X-factor, too. The Jets did not have Robert Saleh on the sidelines for Sunday’s 26-21 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars while the first-year coach battled COVID-19. But Saleh and six players, most notably starting defensive linemen John Franklin-Myers and Folorunso Fatukasi, returned Wednesday from stints in COVID protocol.

On the flip side, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced this week that coach Bruce Arians tested positive for COVID-19. They also placed starting cornerbacks Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting on the reserve/COVID list.

Harold Goodwin, Tampa Bay’s assistant head coach and run game coordinator, is running the team in Arians’ absence, including if Arians is unable to return in time for Sunday.

“We’ve always said ‘next man up,’ so when one man goes down, another guy’s got to rise to the occasion,” Goodwin said. “And for a player, as a competitor, you want to do well. And so far so good — knock on wood — we’ve had those guys step in and do a nice job.”

The Bucs’ absences extend past the coronavirus. Linebacker Shaq Barrett landed on the injury report with a knee injury suffered in Sunday’s game. Barrett, fellow linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder), safety Antoine Winfield Jr. (foot) and defensive back Richard Sherman (Achilles) did not practice Wednesday. Brown (ankle) was limited.

For the Jets, receiver Jamison Crowder (calf) did not participate in practice. Defensive lineman Sheldon Rankins (knee) also sat out, but Saleh said it was a scheduled day off to rest his knee.

–Field Level Media