Welcome back New York football fans! These past few weeks have been pretty bleak for the Buffalo Bills, New York Jets and New York Giants, as all three teams have officially fallen out of the playoff race. Let’s take a look at how the past few games have gone for these clubs and what they can do to finish the 2018 season strong.
New York Giants
Going 3-1 since week 10, the Giants have played their best football of the year in this stretch. Although they are still 4-8 and sit at the bottom of the NFC East, the Giants have proven that they can play a high quality brand of football that many people around the league felt they should have been playing all year.
These wins have certainly not been cake walks for the Giants, as each of their last four games has been decided by four points or less. But they’re getting the job done, and that’s what matters most.
The hardest pill for Giants fans to swallow is the fact that they didn’t get the job done against the division rival Philadelphia Eagles in week 12, getting out-scored 14-3 in the second half to lose 25-22. If they won that game, the playoff picture in that division may have been much, much different.
At 37-years-old, it’s tough to tell if Eli Manning will ever be able to lead a winning team again, and what the Giants will do for their future plans at the quarterback position. One thing is for certain: rookie running back Saquon Barkley, who currently leads rookies throughout the league with 954 yards, is the future of the Giants’ offense. It will be exciting to see him finish this season, and how he can impact the organization in years to follow. Don’t worry Giants fans, things will get better.
The Buffalo Bills come in as the second best team of the bunch, sitting at 4-8 and going 2-1 since we last met. They came up with two wins against the struggling Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars, winning 41-10 in week 10 and 24-21 in week 12, respectively, before losing 21-17 in week 13 to the Miami Dolphins. Quarterback Josh Allen has come back from his injury, and proven that he is a force to be reckoned with throughout this league.
After veteran back-up Matt Barkley put up 232 yards and two touchdowns against the Jets, Allen took back the reign against the Jags, rushing for the most yards by a Bills quarterback in a single game with 99 yards and one touchdown. He did only go 8/19 on completions, but threw no interceptions, 160 yards and a touchdown.
The next week, Allen broke his own record, rushing for 135 yards on nine carries against the Dolphins. He threw for two touchdowns and 231 yards with two picks. Honestly, he should have won that game too.
With the Bills driving down four in the final minute, multiple penalties brought the game down to one play for Buffalo at fourth and 11. The pocket collapsed on Allen, as he scrambled farther back down the field for what felt like an eternity. Heaving the ball from way past the 50, he found a wide open tight end Charles Clay in the endzone. A wobbly and slightly short pass, Clay dropped it and cost the Bills from pushing to 5-7.
The Bills have played strong football these past few weeks. It will be fun to see Allen progress more and hopefully in a rebuilding season, the team can bring their fans a few more wins as the year closes.
New York Jets
The Jets have played embarrassing football these past few weeks, getting man-handled by a backup quarterback that was signed two weeks prior in week 10, losing to the great Tom Brady in week 12 and dropping a game that should have been won against the Titans in week 13. They are currently last in the AFC East sporting a 3-9 record.
With rookie quarterback Sam Darnold out, backup Josh McCown struggled mightily in his three weeks of duty. He threw two interceptions over 135 yards with a 17/34 completion line against the Bills, went 26/45 against the Patriots with one touchdown and one interception and only threw for 128 yards with one pick in Tennessee. In those three weeks, the Jets only put up 45 points.
Darnold will be back in week 14 when New York travels to Buffalo, and will hopefully give the Jets the boost they desperately need. According to veteran safety Jamal Adams, the problems shouldn’t fall on head coach Todd Bowles, and there is much more within the organization that needs to be changed to develop a winning culture. Jets fans can only hope these changes are made, and that Darnold can bring them a successful football team in the weeks and years to come.
Look out for our final New York NFL report at the beginning of next semester!