Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Yes, It Can Happen!

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Yes, It Can Happen!

Article excerpt

Welcome to 2017! Another sports year is upon us, and with it comes an opportunity for all of us to dream big about what our favorite players and teams might do over the next 365 days.

Of course, not all dreams will come true, and we'll have to deal with the realities of what lies ahead.

So we asked our beat writers to look into the crystal sports ball for 2017. Here is what they see:

Giants

What Could Happen: The Giants hit the road for their first playoff game of the Ben McAdoo era, throwing a scare into a divisional champion to be determined before falling in the wild- card round.

What Will Happen: The defense responds with a mammoth effort in the wild-card round, picking up a playoff win exactly one year after McAdoo was hired as Tom Coughlin's successor. The Cowboys end up dashing their dream, though, winning a thriller and sending the Giants home after a significant step forward for the franchise.

Wouldn't It Be Crazy If... Eli Manning becomes "Playoff Eli Manning" again, Odell Beckham Jr. somehow raises his game even more. The Giants roll through Lambeau Field - again - before pulling off an upset of the top-seeded Cowboys - again - on the road to Houston, where they meet Tom Brady and Bill Belichick's Patriots - again - and do the improbable, putting the team's fifth Vince Lombardi Trophy in the case.

- Art Stapleton

Jets

What Could Happen: If the Jets get blown out in their season finale, owner Woody Johnson just might be compelled to fire coach Todd Bowles. Under a new coach, the Jets would rebuild in 2017, struggling again after trading away the veterans and developing young players.

What Will Happen: Bowles keeps his job, but several coordinators and coaches are fired - bad seasons have bad consequences. Under pressure to win, the Jets will keep their veteran core together and land a quarterback -- perhaps Colin Kaepernick, Jay Cutler or Tony Romo - and contend for a playoff spot.

Wouldn't It Be Crazy If... Darrelle Revis returns to the Jets in 2017, for less money, and plays well as a safety. Revis will represent himself in contract negotiations and has said he wants to finish his career with the Jets. After a disastrous 2016, he will be motivated and have a full off-season of training -- Revis was limited last summer because of wrist surgery.

- Andy Vasquez

Mets

What Could Happen: The rotation stays healthy after most of the starters dealt with injuries in 2016, and the Mets ride their starting pitching to the NL East crown before again besting the Cubs in the NLCS to reach a second World Series in three years.

What Will Happen: The Mets continue to swap division titles with the Nationals and take the division this year, but they exit in the NLDS after encountering a Dodgers staff fitted with lefties that neutralize some of the Mets' power bats. …

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