The NFL sends out these factoids every week and I’ve been reading them with a bitter taste in my mouth these days. The Giants are nowhere to be found. So, I decided to add some amendments to the recent dispatch from the league to include the Giants…..
Factoid: Entering Week 17, 18 teams remain in contention for a trip to Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium. The 18 such teams ties for the fourth-most in Super Bowl contention with one week to play in NFL history (22 in 1982).
Fennelly: And the Giants are not one of them. In fact, this weekend, they are playing in one of the three games that do not have playoff implications. They are 6-9 and have given up 103 points less than they’ve scored. They have the worst Give/Take ratio in the NFC (-16) and are 31st in the league in rushing yardage. There have been three shutouts in the NFL this season and they have been on the wrong end of two of them.
Factoid: With one week remaining in the 2013 regular season, it has already been assured that at least three teams will advance to the playoffs after missing the postseason in 2012 – Carolina (11-4), Kansas City (11-4) and the eventual NFC East champion, Dallas (8-7) or Philadelphia (9-6). Since the 12-team playoff format was adopted in 1990, at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before…Six additional teams that missed the playoffs last season are still in contention for a trip to Super Bowl XLVIII – Arizona (10-5), Chicago (8-7), Miami (8-7), New Orleans (10-5), Pittsburgh (7-8) and San Diego (8-7).
Fennelly: Tom Coughlin stresses games “in the division” as the most important. The players apparently disagree. They are 2-3 in the division, which is their key to the playoffs every year. They lost two winnable games vs Dallas and handed Philadelphia a 36-22 win here in Week 5. Goodbye, season…
Factoid: In Week 17, San Diego’s Philip Rivers (29), Detroit’s Matthew Stafford (28), Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger (27), Philadelphia’s Nick Foles (25) and Seattle’s Russell Wilson (25) can all reach 30 touchdown passes….If at least two quarterbacks reach 30 touchdown passes on Sunday, 2013 will have the most quarterbacks with at least 30 TD passes of any season in NFL history. Denver’s Peyton Manning (51), New Orleans’ Drew Brees (35), Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton (31) and Dallas’ Tony Romo (31) have thrown 30+ TD passes this season.
Fennelly: Eli Manning has 17 TDs and 26 INTs. Blame whoever you want for those stats, but they are what they are: poor play calling, poor execution, poor decisions and bad luck . The epitaph of a loser. Eli has fallen out – way out – of the elite QB conversation. Much of the blame falls on Eli, a ten-year veteran who has played in the same system his whole career. He has not taken good care of the football. He has not played smart. Granted, he hasn’t had much help, but he’s supposed to be the guy that lifts the team up when the chips are down. He hasn’t been able to do that, and that is what has disappointed me the most this season.
Factoid: Hakeem Nicks has not scored a TD since Week 14 of the 2012 season and has only 3 TDs over the past two season. He’s been targeted 11 times this season in the red zone and has only one catch to show for it.
Fennelly: This is nuts. Some pundits day the Giants froze him out of the game plan to bring his numbers down. That’s idiotic. The facts are this guy stayed away from the voluntary offseason program to avoid injury and was not game-ready come the regular season. Throw in the fact he’s lost a step and didn’t get himself open most plays. Nicks was always known as a receiver that didn’t need to be open to make a play. We saw a much-less aggressive Nicks this season. The icing on the cake is the second Dallas game – the most important of the season – when Nicks sat out for whatever reason. This week is likely his last in Blue.