General Manager Notes: Home sweet home
We're on stayin' alive mode.
In pretty much all aspects of the game, this has been an awkward, or the very least a very unusual season om many levels. As a little spark far away in the darkness that seems to be daunting on us all, things are slowly rolling again in the league. We hosted the Texas Sharks in a far from impressive showing offensively, although these days 344 total yards is considered pretty good, while we saw the defense give up just 178 total yards. Ball control was heavy, having possession almost 2/3rd of the game, despite losing the turnover battle 2-0.
Yeah, it may seem obvious based on that, we beat the Sharks 20-14. Half of their points were the result of a kickoff return touchdown after we had just gone up 17-7. A fumble in the fourth quarter set them up for what could have been a game wining drive from inside our territory, but as they gambled on fourth down and figured two field goals wouldn't be possible, we got somewhat lucky.
Interestingly enough, our three division rivals all tripped over their respective opponents, potentially shifting things back into a four-horse race.
1. Gothenburg 6-7
2. Paris 6-7
3. Bordeaux 6-7
4. Maassluis 5-8
Realistically, we still don't belong in that race. Next up is a road game in Gothenburg. Losing there will shot the doors to the playoffs for us. The division title race is still as I explain the last time I wrote. The final wild card is mathematically possible from the second place spot in the division, but it will require the Fort Wayne Fury to lose their remaining 3 games, the Atlanta Vipers to lose their next 2 games (and beating the Fury in week 17) and then still needing many other 6-7 and 5-8 teams (5 of them outside our division inside the conference) to not end up above 8-8, we might fend off some of them at 8-8 on tie-breakers, but those are longshot scenarios.
Solecismic Software's playoffs predictions actually has us at 2.5% chance to sneak in as division champions. In comparison, all four 10-3 and up teams in the NAC already secured their respective divisions. Both 10-3 teams in the AOC have secured a wild card at minimum, but still need to fend off the second place team in their respective divisions. Most likely the Giants finish the season as 9-7 or 8-8 division champions and enter the post-season with the worst record of all 12 teams.
So, in short, playing at home did wonders and kept our dreams alive. Keep on dreaming, or wake up and move on? It's not our mentality to give up just yet, but I'm sensing any further efforts will be fruitless. We'll see where the flow will make us go.
It's not over until it's over, go Merchantmen!
* 2005 Golden Scribe winner for best FOF Dynasty about IHOF's Maassluis Merchantmen
* Former GM of GEFL's Houston Oilers and WOOF's Curacao Cocktail