Why we don’t talk about the schedule

A few days ago we found out the schedule for the Giants’ 2011 season.  One loyal follower of this blog emailed, asking why the Giants seem to get screwed with so many tough games, especially at the end of the year.  For that answer, we go back to why we don’t really care about the schedule.

It is what it is.  People like to triangulate on the advantages of playing Seattle at home vs on the road (look what difference that amounted to when Hasselbeck was hurt!), how the west coast trips line up, who we play as 2nd place finishers, how many games at the end of the season get bunched together, when is the bye etc..

But this goes back to Jack Nicklaus.  We have mentioned here on this blog before that Nicklaus crossed off fellow players who complained about the course from the list of people who were in serious contention for the title.  

The only two games that change based on your previous year’s performance are the 2nd place teams of the NFC South and NFC North.  Those two teams are the Saints and the Packers.  Oh, you say that is a break for the rest of the NFC East, that even the Eagles get to play the Falcons and the Bears, preferable to the Saints and the Super Bowl Champs?  Tough t*****s. It goes back to Nicklaus.  Shut up and play.

There are no excuses.  Your competition either makes you (get) better or you get exposed and do not have an answer.  For the Giants, last season it was clearly the latter.  The Giants were exposed by the better QBs all season and did NOTHING to answer this.  Pete discussed this well before the season even began!  He called Fewell’s INTs “Fools Gold,” warning that his schemes would be seemingly successful against the weaker teams and then fail vs the best.  And that is PRECISELY what happened. So what is in store for the Giants when they face the real McCoy in teams like the Saints and the Packers?  More off-coverage?  Or more pressure everywhere?  More Cover 2?  More misplaced resources?  Or more LBers who can handle the pressure assignments and coverages which are critical to beating good QBs? 

Guys like Brees and Rodgers are a breed apart.  They have the ability to not only see the field and understand defenses, they also have the physical ability to take advantage of what the other team is giving.  So you have to be schematically sound everywhere.  If your LBers cannot cover, they’ll expose that.  If, like vs the Colts and Peyton Manning, your defensive coordinator goes light to put more bodies in pass coverage, they’ll bring out the TEs and run block you.  So as we head into the draft, think about two things the Giants need to do: (1) use much more aggressive schemes vs the best QBs and (2) draft LBers HIGH so that the talent at that level of the defense is capable of answering these top QBs.  If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best.  We’ll get tested once again in 2011, so let’s see if we have some answers.       

CASTING CALL: Reminder that you too can get on record and join the Draft Project for 2011.  All it takes is your list of Top 100 Prospects (Top 200 if you are up to it) and the 1-7 grade for each player.  It is a lot of work, but it gives you an opportunity to be graded along side of our experts so that you can see how you measure up.  Get on record.  Get verified.  Get in the Draft Project. 

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