Football season can’t come any faster for me. As I sit at the kitchen table sipping a Starbucks coffee, the compelling urge to turn on the television to watch a football game is overwhelming.
So I scroll through my email and spot the invitation for our yearly Our Turf Football Fantasy Football league. The excitement is breathtaking and I start putting together a strategy as to how I will draft my players.
But our league has a smart tradition: we don’t draft until preseason is over. This way we know who is out due to injury and we have a chance to start the season with fresh healthy players.
The ladies at OTFB are very serious about our FF league and the players we choose fuel our competitive drive. We are always respectful and encouraging to one another but have no problem pitting a prime player in the right spot to win.
For years we have played a standard league, and it works for us. Several of us play for fun, while others play to win. But patience is key in fantasy football.
It was bound to happen. A backup quarterback with not enough playing time slotted to win two back-to-back games? That was wishful thinking. But there were many factors that resulted in a painful Chicago Bears loss to the New York Giants on the road.
First, let’s start with the positives.
– Running back Jordan Howard actually had more than 50 plus yards in this game. As a matter of fact, he rushed for 76 yards, one as long as 25 yards! Hey, this is huge because he hasn’t been a factor in the run game for a while.
– Cornerback Kyle Fuller caught his 6th interception which he read in anticipation to the throw by Eli Manning. He surpassed his rookie high in 2014 of four.
It looks like history may repeat itself for the New York Giants. They are facing a 0-3 start if they fall to the Houston Texans this weekend. Once again, the Giants offense continues to struggle and unfortunately, all eyes will be on Quarterback Eli Manning.
Former New York Jets defensive lineman Damien Woody gave his thoughts during an interview with ESPN:
“Eli is toast. He is toast, OK? Listen, everyone has talked about the offensive line. I mean, I live in the New York tri-state area. You hear it all the time. ‘The Giants offensive line is trash.’ Which they are. They’re bad. They’re bad. There’s no question about that.”
He continued, “But there’s been one constant with the Giants. They’ve had change at GM. They’ve had change at the head coaching position. They signed (wide receiver) Odell Beckham. They drafted a running back. But there’s been one constant, and that’s the quarterback, OK? Eli Manning.”
If learning from failure results in success, let’s hope New York Giants learned a lot this week. To say the offense struggled would be an understatement. On 25 first down plays against the Jaguars, the Giants were only able to average 3.28 yards, which is the fifth-worst average gain on first downs among all the teams.
It didn’t help that the Giants set themselves back on their very first opening drive. With a penalty earned, the Giants had a first and 17 to begin the drive which resulted in them turning it over on downs. Five of the Giants’ seven penalties of the day came on offense and three of those five came on first downs.
Although the New York Giants preseason opener resulted in a 20-10 loss against the Cleveland Browns, there were some positive takeaways to consider, even with the newness of the team.
Keep in mind the Giants had a major turnover of personnel, so there is obviously going to be some fine tuning that will need to happen throughout the season. Also keep that in mind New York fans shouldn’t have expected them to come out in their first preseason game looking like the Super Bowl champs of 2012.
One thing to consider in that preseason game is the fact that the best player, Odell Beckham Jr, didn’t play and most of the starters were only seen for a few downs. The biggest impact was running back Saquon Barkley and his explosive start. Managing to get 39 yards on his first touch is a feat that the New York Giants have not seen in a few years. It does look as though the void of a running back has been filled.
I don’t remember the last time I saw a Giants RB run more than 20 yards in one play. #Saquon
While everyone knows that the Cleveland Browns finished a dismal 0-16 last year, few fans remember that they went an undefeated 4-0 in the preseason.
Does the preseason matter? Not really. But there are still important lessons to be learned, schemes to master and starting position battles being fought.
Preseason Week 1, the Browns traveled to New Jersey to face the New York Giants and their rookie running back Saquon Barkley. The game began with a couple solid series’ and seven points from veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
After trading with Buffalo to acquire Taylor in the offseason, Browns Head Coach Hue Jackson told everyone he would be the Starting QB for this year. And then Baker Mayfield was drafted #1 in April and the speculation began.
Did the three-quarters Mayfield played meet fans expectations? Is there a QB Controversy AGAIN in Cleveland? You make the call.
It’s not the will to win that matters – everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.” Paul “Bear” Bryant
Most people would agree that a great start is necessary for any success. When it comes to football, you really need a great start. Then, you need to continue to be great all the way through until you finish with a successful season.
The New York Giants are looking to do just that. This Thursday they will be facing the Cleveland Browns. Both teams had a rocky start last season as the Browns finished 0-16 and the New York Giants weren’t much better with a 3-13 record. With the addition former Minnesota Vikings Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur as head coach, and a new defensive coordinator in James Bettcher; the Giants are looking to turn things around.