Monthly Archives: October 2013

Still Not Buying It

The Giants beat a lousy team today. Sure, it happened on the road, but consider two things. 1- The Eagles played most of the game with their third-string, rookie QB at the helm. 2- The Giants came fairly close to throwing it all away at the end.

Now the Giants did some things right. They didn’t have a turnover on offense.  The pass rush actually looked pretty good. But, they also did some things really wrong.

Start with the fact that they couldn’t score a touchdown. Time and again, they drove into Philly territory, only to see the drive fizzle. They got points, but the fact is the Eagles were only two scores away from tying or winning the game.

And they came close when the Giants decided to bring their special team gremlins out in the fourth quarter. Zak DeOssie, a guy who is only on the team to make snaps, made a terrible one over the head of Steve Weatherford. Weatherford then compounded the problem by completely failing to do the smart thing. He has to either dive, or kick that ball back through the end zone. Instead he either froze, or tried to grab the ball and the result was an Eagles TD. The Giant offense did enough to run almost the rest of the clock out, but against a better team that mistake could have been critical.

With the Giants bye week and the fact that they are only two games out of first, the papers will be full of stories about their chances to win the division. I’m not ready to go there. Let me see them beat the Raiders and Packers and get to 4-6. That would setup an interesting game on November 24th between them and Dallas. But until then, spare me the hype.

Ugly Triumphs Over Awful

I thought I would feel pretty good when the Giants finally won a game this season. But this morning I am feeling pretty empty. I would be willing to bet that against any other team, the Giants lose last night’s game by 10 points at least. But the Vikings were just so terrible that the Giants couldn’t do anything but win.

Jon Gruden, who I enjoy on the MNF telecasts, nailed it when he called for Minnesota to bench Freeman at halftime.  He finished the game 20-of-53, missing receivers all over the field. The Giants played it smart, not letting AP beat them and daring Freeman to throw.

It worked, but the Giants almost didn’t let it. Their special teams are a total disgrace and the offense, apart from the opening drive, looked mediocre.  Eli may not have any interceptions on the stat sheet, but that is more due to bad hands on the part of the Vikings’ defenders than smart throws by Eli. I understand that the Giants were operating with their fourth-string rushing attack, but 64 yards on 32 attempts is really awful.

But here’s the funny thing, they just might get to 2-6 this week because Philadelphia is a mess too. The Eagles may have to start Matt Barkley Sunday. Barkley threw three INT’s in a quarter of action last Sunday.

And if they get that win, beating the Raiders two weeks later to go to 3-6 isn’t a stretch. But unless they figure out a way to improve in a lot of places, 3 wins might be it for 2013.

A Selfish Athlete?

Did you see that Carmelo Anthony wants to experience free agency this upcoming offseason? Did that surprise anyone? Of course he wants to experience free agency and I have no problem with that. My problem is that he didn’t want to “experience” free agency back in 2011.

If he had experienced free agency after the 2011 season, the Knicks wouldn’t have sent half their team to Denver to get him. Of course, by forcing that trade, Anthony got to sign a much bigger contract with the Knicks than he would have as a free agent. It was good for Anthony, but not as good for the Knicks. They got the best player in the trade, but imagine if they had been able to keep some of the players and draft picks they sent to Denver?

Now the interesting thing with Anthony and free agency this time is that the situation is reversed. If he wants the maximum money, he has to sign with the Knicks. (They can offer him about $33-million more over the life of a contact than any other team.) But, the Knicks will almost certainly not be the best place for him to win a championship.

And that’s where the Lakers come into focus. They will have cap space and most important, they are in a completely different conference than LeBron. If you are a NBA player who wants a championship you want to join Miami. If that is not possible your backup plan should be to play for a team in the West and hope that some team in the East can keep the Heat out of the Finals. (LeBron could become a free agent after this year and change all of this) That, plus the fact that L.A. is a very attractive place to play, makes me think Carmelo will be taking his talents to Hollywood after this season concludes.

But the Knicks should be smart about this. If they aren’t as good as last year (a reasonable bet) they should trade Carmelo before the trading deadline. In the NBA you don’t get any compensation if you lose a player so it makes sense to trade them before you lose them. The Knicks will know by the end of December if they have any shot at a title. If they don’t, Carmelo has to go.

Yuck

My teams seem to be entering the dark ages at the same time. Last night the Giants lost again to go 0-6. It’s their worst start since 1976 and since I don’t remember that, the worse I have ever seen.

Last night the Rangers got pasted again, 6-0 in Anaheim. This off the heels of a 9-2 loss to San Jose. They are 1-3, but have been outscored 20-6 so far this year.

My two favorite college football teams are going to both get humiliated on national TV in the next week and the Knicks are going to be lucky to get to the second round of the playoffs again. (Though they should make the playoffs).

It’s shaping up to be a rough winter.

While We Were Sleeping

It probably escaped your notice, but the hockey season started last week. For Rangers’ fans, the NHL seems just a rumor right now. Because of the MSG renovations, the Rangers don’t have a home game until October 28th and they have opened on the west coast, with three weekday games starting at 10:05pm or later.

So, I imagine more Rangers’ fans saw little to none of Thursday’s opener or Monday’s win and hopefully you missed last night’s debacle. The Rangers didn’t just lose last night, they got destroyed 9-2. That score doesn’t really capture how utterly dominated they were. You can see the gory details here, but two stats jump out. They were out-shot 47-20 and a 19-year old rookie scored four goals in 11 minutes of ice time.

More concerning, Rick Nash got hit in the head with an elbow and missed the rest of the game with a headache. Nash will now go through the concussion protocols and the Rangers will have to hope he isn’t out for an extended period of time.

As for what happened last night, maybe it was fatigue from the night before, but the Rangers have to figure out something for Thursday’s game in Anaheim. Then again, considering its another 10pm start, maybe no one will notice.

It’s Gotten This Bad

The Giants are so bad this season that a Manhattan strip club will no longer show their games. Apparently, the poor play impacts the enthusiasm customers have for other things going on. (Catch my drift?)

There’s a good joke in here somewhere.

Now What?

Last week I wondered how bad this Giants’ season could get. I think we might be getting close to an answer- really bad.

Today the Giants lost to a team with a no-show defense that had its quarterback on the bench with an injury in the second half. They disintegrated all over the place, but their coach blew it two times today. Let’s go back and take a look.

First issue. Giants are winning 7-0 in the first quarter and Philadelphia has a 3rd-and-9 from their own 48. The Eagles run for 5 yards, but get called for holding. The Giants could accept the penalty and make it 3rd-and-19 or refuse the penalty and make it 4th-and-4. How do you not make it 4th-and-4?  Even if you think they are going to go for it you have to make them do it.  Coughlin didn’t and the Eagles converted the 3rd down.

But then there was the 3rd-and-10 play in the 3rd quarter. The Giants were trailing 16-7 early in the 3rd quarter and Philadelphia didn’t convert. It was a questionable completion, but instead of challenging, Coughlin called time out to find out if he should challenge. He got the ok, but then lost the challenge. Think about this for a minute. When you challenge, you are risking a time out if you lose. How in the world can you call a time out, accepting the worst thing that could happen to you and then double down on it? That’s an inexcusable mistake and would have been even if Coughlin had won the challenge.

And now they head to Chicago Thursday night and you have to think 0-6 is a real possibility. So my question is, how bad can this get?