I am back with yet another installment of my 300 part series, The Pursuit of Invincibility. After a long hiatus, I am here to bring part 8, Hudson Hawks. Why Hudson Hawks? Did you ever see that movie? It was fucking awful and that just about sums up this season for us. With 5.8 stars on IMDB, that's right in alignment with our projected wins this season. If you hate yourself and have 100 minutes to kill, I would say go look for it in the bargain bin somewhere but if you are actually paying for it, you are getting swindled. Enough of this nonsense, let’s take a look at how this season has transpired and a quick glimpse at what’s ahead.
Week 1 -
Week 1 everyone had us slated to lose. Wraiths were consensus top team in the NSFC. With preseason being a bit hasty and irrelevant, testing for this week was difficult. We were able to keep pace with them for the first 25 minutes or so before the game slowly slipped away. If I can look to any single play that decided the game, it would be the penalty late in the 3rd quarter that backed the Hawks up in the red-zone. They stalled out on the 4 yard line and settled for a field goal. Those missed 4 points, were the difference.
Week 2 -
This game was an expected win. I don’t think it was expected to be this close. We had Alexandre LeClair facing his former team who was morally decimated this past offseason. We were able to score fast and often at first as we were leading 21-0 in under 21 minutes. After that, we basically took our foot of the gas. While we scored another 17 points and coasted to a double-digit win, it was not a convincing game as we slowly slip further down the power rankings.
Week 3 -
This was an interesting game. Up to this point, the NSFC was still considered a 3-team race. While only being week 3, this game already had playoff implications. Sim testing for this game was rather extensive and after dialing in a few ratios within our strategy, we were essentially looking at a 50/50 matchup. Once again, we jumped out to an early lead which grew to as much as 14 in the 3rd quarter. In what is not true Hawks’ fashion, we let up late in the game and Philly fought back to tie it up forcing overtime. SIM testing were about as true as could be. We were in toss up game at this point. Despite getting the ball first, the Hawks’ offense which had been rather impressive all game, fizzled out on the 43 yard line. If it was really up to the GM and not this shitty SIM, we would have sent Turk Turkleton out to do Turk Turkleton things as a 60-yard attempt is within his range. Instead we punt and the Liberty drive down and take the W. All in all, a fun game to watch but not the outcome we needed. Hawks 1-2
Week 4 -
We were hosting the sabercats at home. Although they were 2-1 at this point, we were feeling optimistic. SIM tsting went well again and we were facing yet another coin-flip type game. We played from behind for 3 quarters before finally taking the lead by a single point. We had another long field goal opportunity late in the game but once again the SIM decided to punt for us. The sabercats took that punt all the way back down the field for a touchdown and the eventual win. Being a home game, this was a need to win but if you’re keeping score, we’re 0-2 in must-win games and 1-3 on the season.
Week 5 -
Despite being at home, we have never played well against the otters. SIM testing leading into this game had us with 40%-48% chance to win. Quite optimistic if you ask me. I figure since we went 0-2 in the other toss up games, maybe this one will fall our way. NOPE. The otters took a quick lead. We were able to stay within 2 points until late in the 3rd quarter when we once again did Hawks’ things and let them score a bunch. While a win here would have been nice, I don’t think it was expected. Hawks fall to 1-4.
Week 6 -
We are on a 3-game slide now and we need to fix this ASAP. Enter Colorado to help us regain some confidence. Our offense showed up and handled their business. While this was our first game without a 100-yard receiver performance, we had Blocksdale find 7 different receivers and throw 4 TDs. Our defense made stops when needed which hopefully gives them a confidence boost. While a win is a win, I can’t sit here and pretend that this game gets us out of the relative power rankings basement. We are sitting at 2-4.
Sitting at 2-4, while we aren’t eliminated from the playoffs completely yet, but we will need some divine intervention from the SIM gods. In addition to winning some big and difficult games, some other teams to step up and help us. In an absolute perfect world, we could still finish with an 8-8 record and push for a tie breaker. This trek begins tonight when Baltimore heads back to the desert to face off against the Arizona Outlaws. As long as Outlaw Killer, Turk Turkleton, makes the flight, I am hesitantly optimistic about this game. I originally intended to project the remainder of the season but I am tired and it doesn't matter.
One thing is for certain, defensive playmakers will be a premium focus for the Hawks in the offseason and next draft. While the addition of LeClair has been an electric addition to the offense, the loss of pro-bowl defensive tackle Ricardo Sandoval was a huge void that still remains unfilled. Focus on improving the defensive side of the ball will be paramount for the Baltimore front office to get them back to perennial playoff contenders.GRADED