Monthly Archives: September 2013

How Bad Could This Get?

It’s amazing, but absolutely true that the Giants could be one game out of first place after next weekend. If they can beat a 1-3 Philadelphia team while Denver beats Dallas, the Giants at 1-4 are right in a race for a playoff spot.

But getting that one win looks pretty hard to get right now. The Giants have huge problems on the offensive line, defensive line and special teams. There is really not a lot you can do in the middle of a football season to address those issues, but getting healthy would help.

The scary thing is, if they can’t beat Philadelphia at home next week, 0-6 becomes a very likely result as beating Chicago on the road is a long shot. I think they would beat Minnesota the following week at home, but if they were 0-6, I could see things spiral out of control very quickly.

It’s hard to understand what happened yesterday. The Giants were in the game and then fell apart in the second half. That missed field goal before halftime was huge, but was that really the catalyst? I don’t know if anyone has the answer, but they have six days to figure it out.

This Is Dumb

The NBA is expected to announce tomorrow that the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend will be split between MSG and the Barclays Center.  The actual game will be played at MSG, but the other events will be played in Brooklyn.

This is just too stupid for words. Why split the event? I would guess money, but you create a logistical nightmare. Start with the out of towners who have to figure out how to shuttle between the two events. Then think about the different seating capacities of the two arenas. (about a 4,000 seat difference) What are you going to do about the usual package tickets sold for the weekend?

Why not give Brooklyn the All-Star Game on its own and put another one in New York somewhere down the line? Instead, you are just making people mad.

Woof!

Today was a bad sports day. It started really well, with a great ceremony for Mariano Rivera, but it went all downhill from there.

The Giants didn’t show up today. I can’t remember the last time they looked that bad. Worse, I’m not sure how they fix it. They can’t run the ball and now the offensive line can’t protect Eli Manning. It’s their first 0-3 start since 1995.

The Yankees lost a squeaker that effectively ends their playoff hopes. Four games out with six to play is an almost impossible deficit to overcome.

As Bill Murray said in Stripes, “And now depression sets in”.

Trouble

Let’s forget the final score of today’s Giants game. There were a couple of freak events that made it more lopsided than it really was. But even if you do that, there are two enormous problems facing the Giants this season.

First, they do not have a running game. Last week the Giants rushed for 50 yards. They only tried to run 14 times, but if you throw out the longest runs for each of their three rushers you would see they ran for 12 yards in 11 attempts. Today they managed a grand total of 23 yards on the ground on 19 attempts.

Now there are three reasons why a team can’t run the ball. 1- They are facing a great rushing defense. 2- They have a terrible offensive line. 3- They have lousy running backs. I think the Giants faced a bit of #1 this week and maybe last, but #2 strikes me as a very logical explanation. The Giants running backs aren’t finding any holes to run into. They are getting hit in the backfield and that is a problem without an easy answer.

Second, the pass rush is missing in action. The Giants have two sacks in two games. Mathias Kiwanuka has three tackles. Today they didn’t record a sack and they pressured Peyton Manning a grand total of twice. Their secondary is weak and without a pass rush, QB’s will do what Peyton did today- throw for 300 yards.

This doesn’t begin to cover Eli’s stupid decisions today, the breakdowns on special teams and the curious coaching calls, but I believe those are secondary issues to the two I raised. If the Giants can’t fix those, it will be a very long year.

Week 1

I know the NFL season started Thursday and that most of the Week 1 games will have been played by the time I post this, but MY season doesn’t start until 8:20PM tonight. That’s when the Giants play what I think is really a must-win game against Dallas. How can I say must-win in Week 1? Because I don’t really think the Giants have a chance to win in Week 2 and an 0-2 start is a pretty deep hole in the NFl.

But let’s leave that behind and focus instead on what the Giants season will come down to. I think it is fair to say that they have above-average talent in the playmaking department. Manning, Cruz, Nicks, Wilson, and Myers make for a very good QB, WR, RB and TE set. The offensive line is going to have to do a better job, at least based on the preseason, but this season is going to come down to the defense.

That’s where I am deeply worried. Losing Stevie Brown in the preseason was a HUGE blow. The Giants secondary was suspect to begin with and that is a blow they might not recover from. And I don’t think anyone is even close to impressed with the linebackers.

So that leaves things to the front four and that is where I think the Giants have some hope. Kiwanuka is back on the line and I think the rotation of JPP, Tuck, Kiwi and Moore is going to produce huge results. Inside Joseph and Jenkins lead a strong crew as well. Those guys have to get to the QB, or the defense is in big, big trouble.

Add it all up and I suspect we will see a lot of big scoring games ad I also think the Giants will come out ahead on nine of them. And when you look at the NFC East, I think that’s enough to win the division. Call me crazy, but I am going with it.