Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The second half

If we harbor any hopes for the Giants of at least getting back into the race and having a meaningful second half of the season, this past Sunday was overall not a good day for the team. All three NFC East rivals won though two of them, Redskins and Cowboys looked a little shaky doing so. They both could easily have easily lost to weak teams . Cowboys needed a last minute TD to pull out a win against the awful Vikings. Redskins needed OT to beat the Chargers. If both teams had as they easily could have, it would have improved the Giants position greatly. This made those wins a particularly bitter pill to swallow. Eagles won big, but that was as much a  really badly played by the Raiders as it was a dominating win for the Eagles. Game was handed to Eagles by the Raiders. Raiders are not as bad as they looked last week and they will surely play a much better game this Sunday when they come to Met Life Stadium. Realistically, the Giants don't have much of a chance and have a lot of things working against them. They are 2 1/2 games behind the Cowboys and the Cowboys have the tie breaker on their side. Even if the Cowboys fall apart and the Giants are able to get them in haling distance, there are two other teams, Eagles and Redskins ahead of the Giants. This means that the Giants need three teams to collapse, not just the first place 'Boys. Giants split with the Eagles and do have one game left against the Cowboys, but they are going to need help from the rest of the league to get going and definitely do not have their fate in their own hands.

There was one positive omen to come out of this past Sunday. I never root for injuries, especially for a top player, but they are a part of the game and if they happen to your opponents and weaken them when you're about to play them, it can be considered a lucky break that you have to take advantage of. There's an old adage in football - "it's not who you play, it's when you play them". This covers teams that go through their up and down cycles during the season, but also the ebb and flow of injuries. I am referring of course, to the unfortunate left shoulder injury to Aaron Rodgers. Giants have a few difficult games left on their schedule blended in with some winnable games. The toughest games left were Green Bay, @ Detroit and Seattle. The other games are not easy (no game should be considered easy for a 2-6 team), but relatively speaking these were the most difficult. Of those three games, one, the Packers game, just became much more winnable because the best QB in football will probably be out when the Giants play them on November 17th. Interesting news is that Matt Flynn just got cut by the Bills, so I wouldn't be surprised if the Packers pick him up. He was the understudy to Rodgers for several years and knows the offense and the players. He had that one huge game while Rodgers rested towards the end of the 2011 season, which propelled the Seahawks into trading for him, but his career never took off. Maybe the Packers will think that he can recapture the magic and play well for a few games until Rodgers gets back. They need a QB; Flynn is available; Packers have some history with him - he'll go back to Green Bay.

But all that hope and the break of the Rodgers injury, the Giants season still comes down to one thing. It's true that the Giants beat two teams in a row. It's true that the Giants have looked better especially on defense. It's true that the Giants made some personnel improvements on defense and the defensive improvements may be more than smoke and mirrors. But there's one thing we can't get around. The Giants interior OL is not good and the cavalry is not on the way with some fresh reinforcements. Giants will have to make do with what they have and they are not going to magically start getting better. On top of that, Nicks has been having an average season. Andre Brown is coming back this Sunday and will slowly work back into the rotation and David Wilson is out a few more weeks at least; perhaps for the rest of the season. So..... a weak OL, the two skill position players that were going to carry the offense - Wilson and Nicks are out and/or not as productive as we hoped. This kind of means that despite all the stuff going on around them, Giants may just not be good enough this year for a run.