The New York Jets and New York Giants Look to Bounce Back After a Rough Start to the Year

The New York Jets and New York Giants Look to Bounce Back After a Rough Start to the Year

Austin Eigen, Contributing Writer

Both the Jets and Giants are off to a rough start to the season.  The Jets came out of the first six weeks of the season with a record of 1-4, while the Giants finished the first six weeks of the season at 1-5.  To the surprise of many fans, the Jets are currently placed third in their division.  During their Week 6 bye, they did not have the opportunity to lose and therefore are now ranked higher than the 1-5 Miami Dolphins.  Meanwhile the Giants are sitting at the very bottom of the NFC East, one game behind the Philadelphia Eagles.

Going into the season, Jets fans had little to no hope of reaching the playoffs.  Their biggest wish for the season was to see their rookie quarterback, Zach Wilson, develop and improve to be a better quarterback than their former signal-caller, Sam Darnold.  The Jets selected the gunslinger from Brigham Young University at second overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft after trading away Darnold, a former third overall pick, to the Carolina Panthers.  

Zach Wilson began with a decent start in the Jets’ first game of the season, which happened to be against Darnold and the Panthers.  He threw for two touchdowns and only one interception, but ultimately came up short in their first game of the season.  

His next couple of games were not much better.  In his first career game at MetLife Stadium, Zach Wilson seemed to be “seeing ghosts,” as the Patriots defense recorded four interceptions on the day.  Despite having another horrendous game, Zach Wilson returned to MetLife two weeks later to put on a great show for the fans.  He threw for 297 yards and two touchdowns against the heavily favored Tennessee Titans.  

The biggest play of the game and of his career so far was his 53-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Corey Davis, in which he scrambled out of the pocket and motioned for Davis to go down field.  Ultimately, they connected for the touchdown, causing the entire stadium, including Wilson’s family, to go wild.

Although Wilson is starting to look like an improvement over Sam Darnold, there are still many areas in which the Jets need to improve in order to produce more than one win in five games.  One area the Jets need to improve on is their receiving corps.  

“The Jets drafted Denzel Mims in the second round last year and he hasn’t been able to produce at the level that they had imagined.  He has also had a lack of playing time which has contributed to him not being able to produce at the level that he should be.  The Jets used a high draft pick and the fans thought that they were getting a great young receiver but we haven’t really gotten a chance to see him play at a higher level,” said senior Jamie Goldman.  

Mims needs to come out of hiding and show what he is capable of, some of which we saw last season.

The Jets have also seen weakness in their coaching staff.   Offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur has barely been an improvement over the play-calling of Adam Gase.  The Jets have still been predictable to defenses, as they start off many drives using the same tactics.  

“​​I think that Matt LaFleur is a terrible offensive coordinator and he is the main reason as to why the Jets have a bottom tier offense that is 1-4.  He is way too predictable and starts every drive the same way.  If the Jets ever want to be good, he must be fired,” said junior Kabir Chatrath.

The Giants have not proven to be much better than the Jets, and a main reason is because of their injuries.  During their game against the Cowboys, three of their top players had to head to the sidelines early, two because of injuries, and one because of ejection.  Daniel Jones wobbled to the ground after a hard blow to the head, which proved to be much less harmful than expected.  Saquon Barkley is a very injury prone player, having missed several weeks in the last season, so it is no big surprise that he did get hurt.

The Giants also lost their rookie, wide receiver Kadarius Toney, to an ankle injury in their game against the Rams, but not before he could make multiple bold statements on the field against the Cowboys.  Toney had a lights-out performance, racking up a whopping 189 yards for the Big Blue.  However, he had to leave the game early because he could not control his temper.  Toney threw a punch at Cowboys safety Damontae Kazee leading to an ejection and a fine of over 12,000 dollars.

The Giants have also had many offensive struggles, mostly due to their Offensive Coordinator, Jason Garrett.  Garrett is responsible for a Giants offense that was ranked 31st in yards and points last season, and a very similar offense this season.  Garrett’s gameplan is very outdated, as his coaching methods resemble those from his former Dallas offense.  

“Jason Garrett has played a large role in the Giants underperforming this year.  He has not let the players play to their strengths, for example, not letting Danny throw deep and not letting Saquon run in space,” said junior Alex Almahmoud.  

Daniel Jones represents a more modern quarterback as he is very open to keeping the ball and running, which is very different from older offensive schemes.

While no New York football fan expected the Jets or Giants to be Super Bowl contenders, both teams have been much worse than expected.  The future for both teams is looking bleak.