Monthly Archives: November 2013

The Ugly Truth

Let’s say you don’t think the Knicks are completely lost. Let’s say you think this year’s team is capable of making a big run and jumping back into the thick of things. The math required for that to happen is daunting.

For the Knicks to finish at .500, they will have to go 38-29 the rest of the way. That’s a .567 percentage, certainly not impossible.

Last year, you needed 49 wins to secure home court in the first round of the Eastern Conference. The Knicks will need to go 46-21- a .687 clip to achieve that. It’s worth mentioning at this point that last year’s club played .659 ball over the entire season.

Equaling last year’s mark of 54-28 would require the Knicks to play .761 ball (51-16) the rest of the year. I think we can cross that off the list of possibilities.

I don’t think the Knicks are this bad a team. I think they are capable of getting back to .500, maybe even a bit above that, but they won’t get to 49 wins and that probably means they won’t have home court at any point in the playoffs. Does that convince you it is time to start over?

Sadly, I don’t think the Knicks’ ownership realizes that the best thing to do would be to trade the assets they have and try to rebuild once again. They won’t surrender the season, even though the simple math makes it obvious they should. That’s the worst part of all of this. As bad as things are today, there is little to no hope they will get better in the future.

Season Over

I think I have been consistent in my dismissals of people who expected the Giants to make the playoffs. Let’s face it, other than a deeply flawed NFC East, they really didn’t have anything going for them that suggested they should make the playoffs. 

I hope we can move beyond that fantasy now. Sure, I guess when the division leaders are 6-5 and you are 4-7, there is a chance, but can we just admit that this football team is deeply flawed and not a playoff contender? 

Let’s start with the coaching, because I think it has escaped scrutiny too often at this point. I won’t nitpick the previous games, but I have some major problems with the play calling in this one. 

Start in the 2nd quarter when the Giants faced 3rd-and-goal from the Dallas’ 10. How do you call a draw there? But that wasn’t as awful as 3rd-and-19 from their own 35 with 1:41 left in the second quarter. How do you throw a short pass there when you want the other team to burn a timeout if you can’t get the first down? And, what in the world was Brown doing on that play and the last one running out of bounds? 

And then on the opening drive of the third quarter, 3rd-and-6 from the Dallas 35. I’m ok with throwing the ball on third down, if you are either going to kick a field goal or punt on fourth. But considering how well you are running the ball, I find it inexcusable to then go for it on fourth-and-6 in that situation. If you were going to go for it on fourth down, you should have run on third down!

Unfortunately, bad play calling is just a part of a team that is mediocre at best. The pass rush is terrible and that puts the entire defense in a hole. That’s not something they survive when they play anything but a lousy offensive team as we saw yesterday. 

Meh

Once again I find myself underwhelmed by a Giants’ performance. Perhaps I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth, but I can’t help thinking that the Giants are 3-6 only because they have played three lousy teams in a row.

Now the NFL Gods have given the Giants a tremendous gift this week. The Packers without their QB. Green Bay is still very dangerous, so the Giants will have to do better this week. But let’s dream for a minute, let’s say they do get by the Packers. I could make the case that they get back to .500 with wins over Dallas and Washington the following two weeks. But that’s where things fall apart.

Start with a road game in San Diego. That is not an easy game by any stretch, but the next two, Seattle and @Detroit are almost guaranteed losses. So, at best the Giants are 7-8 heading into the final week and a home win against Washington is entirely possible, but this all seems like an exercise in futility. The Giants made several dumb mistakes yesterday, they only survived them because the Raiders are bad. 6-10 seems more realistic than 8-8 to me at this point.

What Did CBS Get?

Word is that NBC has “flexed” the Packers-Giants game out of Sunday Night for week 11. Can’t say I blame them, at best the Giants would be 3-6 going into that game. What struck me as odd was the fact that Chiefs-Broncos will be the new Sunday Night game.

Under the flex scheduling rules, CBS and Fox can protect five games each from Weeks 11-16 of the season with no more than one game protected by a network in a week. So in Week 11, CBS had the following games it could have chosen to protect:

Broncos-Chiefs

Jets-Bills

Raiders-Texans

Ravens-Bears

Browns-Bengals

Chargers-Dolphins

 

I think it is fair to say that Chiefs-Broncos is clearly the best game of that bunch and it is not even close. Peyton Manning and a potential matchup between teams that are a combined 17-1 is impossible to beat. It’s no wonder why NBC picked it.

So maybe it wasn’t protected because CBS wanted for some reason to protect games in Weeks 12-16 and left Week 11 open? Well consider the fact that Week 12’s SNF matchup is Patriots-Broncos in what scenario would NBC ever flex that game out of that spot? Even if the Patriots and Broncos lose all their games heading into that matchup, it is still a 6-4 team led by Tom Brady facing a 7-3 team led by Peyton Manning. In other words, nothing will change that game from being on Sunday Night.

CBS had to know that and I can’t believe they would have bothered protecting any of their games in Week 12 because of that. So why wasn’t the Broncos-Chiefs game protected? It doesn’t make any sense and I have to think CBS cut some sort of deal with NBC. It’s really the only plausible explanation.