During the course of the Streets’ inaugural season, there have been many occasions where I’ve referenced my time with the New York Dragons of the Arena Football League. Those references have also found their way into our MSG Network telecasts since I do the games with former Dragons wide receiver/defensive back Will Holder. In fact, one of the things we’ve talked about was the 2003 Dragons when they opened the season with a six game losing streak but somehow won eight of their last ten and won the AFL’s Eastern Division Title.
The Streets (3-8) are currently on a seven game losing streak, but they are tied with the Columbus Lions for the final NAL playoff spot. Holder and the 2003 Dragons could certainly serve as inspiration for the Streets that a rough stretch doesn’t preclude a football team from punching a ticket to the post-season party.
“It’s different circumstances than my Dragons team,” said Holder. “But the mentality of the team has to be the same. Ultimately, as bad as our records are and were, we knew we had two important assets and that is times and opportunity.”
Even at 3-8, the Streets have a chance to make the playoffs just like he 2003 Dragons had when they were 5-8 with three games to go. A win on Saturday night would put the Streets in the drivers seat. Here’s a look at the remaining schedules for both the Streets and the Lions…
NY Streets (3-8)
July 13th at Columbus (3-8)
July 21st vs Carolina (8-3)
July 27th at Massachusetts (7-4)
July 13th vs New York (3-8)
July 19th at Orlando (2-9)
July 27th vs Carolina (8-3)
The Streets were 3-1 after the first four games of the season, but this is a very different team than the one that began the campaign. There have been wholesale changes on defense as well as at quarterback since rookie David Legree replaced veteran E.J. Nemeth. Legree has shown flashes of brilliance but has not yet tasted victory. His growth is a big reason why the Streets still have a chance.
“Essentially when the quarterback change took place, a new season began for the Streets,” said Holder who knows a thing or two about quarterbacks having hauled in passes from the legendary Aaron Garcia during his time with the Dragons.
“It’s a new season with uncertainty at the most critical position on the field. Every game is like a playoff game right now with game game more important than the next one.”
And that is this Saturday against the Lions in Columbus (7pm YouTube). With a victory, the Streets would get the upper hand in the playoff race. A loss would spell trouble because the Streets would essentially drop two games behind the Lions because Columbus would have swept the season series.
If the 2019 Streets are to mirror the 2003 Dragons with a Cinderella run to the playoffs, it has to start with a road win on Saturday that would mean two things. It would stop the bleeding and it would ensure that the final two games of the season would also be playoff type games.
A victory on Saturday would certainly mean a great backdrop for the regular season finale on Sunday July 21st against the defending NAL Champion Carolina Cobras. Kickoff that night will be at 7pm. Individual tickets are available at ticketmaster.com or at the County Center box office. For season and group sales information, please call 1-833-697-8733 and choose extension one.