Jets and Giants off to improbable starts to season

Giants+DB+Xavier+McKinney+after+defensive+stop+as+time+expired

Matt Mariani

Giants DB Xavier McKinney after defensive stop as time expired

Matt Mariani, Sports Editor

The two New York football teams, the Giants and the Jets have been relatively bad in the last decade. The Giants have only made the playoffs once, in 2016 since winning the SuperBowl in 2011. The Jets haven’t made the playoffs since 2010, where they lost to the Steelers in the AFC Championship game. 

Both teams started in the off-season making huge improvements and filling their rosters weak spots in free agency and the draft. In the draft, the Giants got Edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux and OL Evan Neal with the 5th and 7th overall picks. They also selected receiver Wan’Dale Robinson with the 43rd pick to improve their receiving core. The Giants also picked up offensive linemen Mark Glowinski and running back Matt Breida to help pro bowl running back Saquan Barkely. The Jets also drafted very well with help from 3 first round picks. They drafted stud cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner with the 4th pick. At 10, they got receiver Garret Wilson from Ohio State. They then got defensive end Jermaine Johnsonn II at pick 26. In the second round they got Breece Hall who is arguably the best running back in the draft. 

The Giants started the regular season off against the Tennessee Titans. The Giants started off slowly down 13-0 at half time, but it was Saquan Barkley and Sterling Shepard who helped lead them back to evidently win. Barkley, who had fought with injuries in previous seasons, was back for the season, but fans were unsure of if he would return to his pro bowl status. In this game he had 164 rushing yards as well as a touchdown. In a week 3 win against the Cowboys, Barkley had 81 yards and another touchdown. Week 4 against the Bears he didn’t score, but had 146 yards rushing. In London, Barkley scored once again helping the Giants defeat the Packers. In week 6, it was Barkely once again helping the Giants, beating Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. Barkley finished with 83 yards rushing and a touchdown, as well as a game sealing first down run late in the fourth quarter. Proving his injuries were behind him. Barkley has been a huge help so far for the Giants, in an offense that had struggled last season. 

The Jets started the season without young quarterback, Zach Wilson. In week 1, ex Raven Joe Flacco stepped in for the Jets in an ugly loss against his former team, 24-9. Following this, Joe Flacco and the Jets shocked the Cleveland Browns 31-30, coming back from down 2 scores with little time remaining. Flacco threw for 307 yards and 4 touchdowns in this game and rookie receiver Garrett Wilson caught 8 passes for 102 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Jets would go on to lose against the Bengals 27-12, but in week 4 they welcomed Zach Wilson back. Against the Steelers, Wilson would throw for 252 yards and a touchdown to help the Jets to victory. Rookie Breece Hall scored a crucial touchdown late in the game to help the Jets complete another 2 score comeback in the fourth quarter. In the next 2 weeks, the Jets took down two playoff hopeful teams in the Miami Dolphins and Green Bay Packers. The Dolphins were without their quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and the Jets took full advantage, winning 40-17. They then upset the Packers and Aaron Rodgers, 27-10. 

Both teams went on to win again in week 7. The Giants defeated the Jaguars 23-17, im- proving to 6-1. The Jets defeated the Broncos 16-9, improving to 5-2.