New York Football Continues to Struggle

Billy Sakmann

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The New York Giants and New York Jets both came into this season with high expectations. But, through five weeks, both teams have struggled and are in last place in their respective divisions. Showing even more parallels, both teams are also on three game losing streaks.

Last year, the Giants sputtered to a 6-10 finish, prompting the firing of two-time Super Bowl-winning head coach Tom Coughlin. In the offseason, the team loaded up on defense, signing defensive tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrsion, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, and defensive end Olivier Vernon. The thought was that the Giants offense was already solid, and would only be bolstered by the return of Victor Cruz, so defense was the area that needed to be improved. Cruz came back to the field in a huge way, with game-sealing catches in the Giants first two wins to start the season 2-0.

Since then, the Giants have dropped three straight games. First, they were narrowly defeated by the divisional rival Washington Redskins 29-27 in Week Three, as Eli Manning threw a game-ending interception in the final minutes. The following week, they faced the then, and still, undefeated Minnesota Vikings. New York lost 24-10 at U.S. Bank Stadium, in a game where it never felt like they had a chance. Odell Beckham Jr. infamously had a career-worst game, with only three catches for 23 yards. Last week, on Sunday Night Football, the Giants skid continued as they lost 23-16 in Green Bay to drop to 2-3. Manning struggled, completing barely over half his passes, and the absence of running backs Rashad Jennings and Shane Vereen were apparent.

The Jets also offered a lot of promise coming into the season. Last season, they finished 10-6, and a Week 17 win over the Buffalo Bills away from making the playoffs. It took the whole summer to re-sign Ryan Fitzpatrick, but once he was signed the team looked ready to go.

In the opening week, the Jets lost a one point game to the Cincinnati Bengals with a final score of 23-22. The following week they beat the Buffalo Bills 37-31 in Buffalo, but the score shouldn’t have even been that close. The majority of Buffalo’s offense came on just a couple big plays, including a burning of Darelle Revis.

At 1-1, the Jets looked to build momentum after defeating the Bills. However, they were embarrassed by the Kansas City Chiefs, losing 24-3 in a game where Fitzpatrick threw six interceptions. Overall, the Jets had eight turnovers on the day. The next week, the Jets hosted the Seattle Seahawks, and trailed only 14-10 at halftime. But Russell Wilson and Jimmy Graham were too much to handle as the Seahawks prevailed 27-17. Last week was a similar story. The Jets trailed only 14-13 to the Pittsburgh Steelers at halftime, but were unable to score again en route to a 31-13 loss. Ben Roethlisberger threw for four touchdowns to drop the Jets to 1-3.

The season is far from over for either team, but both will have to rebound quickly.

The Jets next four games are against the Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, and Miami Dolphins. If the Jets can beat the Browns and Dolphins, and win one of the other two games, they could relevant again at 4-5.

The Giants next four games come against the Ravens, Los Angeles Rams, Philadelphia Eagles, and Cincinnati Bengals. These are all winnable games if the Giants that showed up in the first two weeks come to play again. The November 6 matchup with the 3-1 Eagles looms huge for the overall direction of the season.

New York baseball has officially ended, and the basketball and hockey teams have yet to start their regular seasons. The Giants and Jets are the only major teams playing for New York right now, and so far it’s fair to say they have not dropped the ball for their fans.

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New York Football Continues to Struggle