With each NFL season, things change: rules, uniforms, salary caps, players and the teams they play for. So far in 2013, it would appear that the meaning of parity is “opposite.” There are many New York Football Giants fans that are still in 0-6 disbelief, especially with the huge preface of Super Bowl XLVIII “at home” being the team focus and proclaimed reminder going into the season. Let’s call that a fail (that should never have been) so far.
As it stands, instead of the usual culprits coming out as contenders and power ranking spot owners, it’s the Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks and even the Cincinnati Bengals who shine in the first quarter. The likes of long-standing franchises that have owned the last decade like the Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants are doggie-paddling in the middle of the Atlantic somewhere and close to no one is throwing them life preservers. Shoot, Navy Seals and The Coast Guard are passing them by. Is it really considered hopeless at this point? Ya' know, enough for folks to clamor for purposeful “tanking” of the season?
While the NFL Draft and salary caps do create some league equality, the rest is really a gamble. Catch a few conspiracy theorists on a rant and they will even give you tales on how the league is all “fixed” and has been. Let’s digress on that.
Injuries are a major aspect of this thing called parity that no one can forecast. Some claim they can play soothsayer by labeling players a bust early on, but much of that is also left to chance and the player himself. Ask defensive back Terrell Thomas how he feels about that “injury-prone/bust” label right now. It is not all physical, it’s more mental, but again, we’ll digress.
Each organization goes into a season with a 53-man roster that was completed primarily out of tryouts, healthiest players and players that fit in with schemes/what the team needed. After that, it’s coaching and execution. Right now, every analyst and couch coach is making their predictions and break-downs of why the New York Giants are 0-6. It’s near impossible to actually know if you aren’t an actual part of what is in the meeting rooms, practices, game preparation, and on the field. One player that realizes that just because something has happened for the past several years doesn’t guarantee it to happen always: quarterback Eli Manning. He admits to something being “off.”
“We’ve been very good in the fourth quarter over the years, and we’ve been able to respond. We have played these types of games, where you get down a little bit, but you fight back”, Manning told media after Thursday’s loss. “You get to the fourth quarter, you make those drives, and you win the game. Again, I thought guys did their jobs. We got down there and made plays, had some third-down conversions and did some good things. We saw the coverage, and everybody did the right thing. Obviously, you throw a ball six inches too high, and that’s the difference between possibly winning the game and a loss.”
Out-spoken safety Antrel Rolle thinks it’s a bit more on the mental side.
“I don’t know. Hopefully, we’ll take this time off and everyone looks themselves in the mirror; coaches, players, everyone, look themselves in the mirror and see how we can help better this team”, Rolle said. “Right now, we’re headed in the wrong direction. We’re headed in the wrong direction. We’re 0-6 and we’ve got to fix it. We’ve got to fix it. We’re better than this. We know we’re better than this. We just have to go out there and believe that we’re better and go out there and play with confidence. That confidence is everything. That confidence controls all, especially when we’re playing this game.”
They’re both correct as the 53-man isn’t playing as a team physically or mentally.
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