Fans of all three of New York State’s NFL teams have been miserable all year, as the New York Jets, the New York Giants and the Buffalo Bills all find themselves below .500. Both the Giants and Bills find themselves at the bottom of their divisions, at 1-7 and 2-7, respectively, while the Jets aren’t far behind at 3-6. With the halfway point in the season passed, these teams may have already thrown in the cards for next year. Let’s take a look at why New York football has been unsuccessful so far in 2018.
New York Giants
The worst of the bunch, the New York Football Giants, have already looked towards 2019, trading two star-defensemen before the trade deadline for draft picks. On Oct. 24, the Giants traded defensive tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison to the Detroit Lions for a 2019 fifth-round pick, while also trading cornerback Eli Apple the day before to the New Orleans Saints, for a 2019 fourth-round pick and a seventh-round pick in the 2020 draft.
At 1-7, the Giants have lost in four games by less than 10. They are not getting blown out by any means, but can’t seem to find any answers when it matters most.
The Giants’ star first-round pick, running back Saquon Barkley, has been having a career-year in his first year in the league, leading all NFL rookies with 58 catches in eight games. The Penn-State grad is on pace to break records for most catches by a rookie running back, most catches by a running back, most catches by an NFL rookie and most catches by a Giants rookie. But here’s the problem: he is the only effective offensive weapon the Giants have.
With Odell Beckham Jr. throwing temper-tantrums on the sideline, and Eli Manning unable to make even the simplest of throws, Barkley has simply put his head down to lead the Giants offense. With two offensive weapons as good as Beckham Jr. and Barkley, the Giants need to do better.
I believe the problem comes from the man under center, and that is Mr. Manning himself. He is nowhere near the Super Bowl winning quarterback that he once was, and until the Giants’ front office can admit that, they will suffer losses week in and week out. It is frustrating for Giants fans to watch their quarterback look almost incompetent out on the field, causing Beckham Jr. to throw things in fits of anger.
I hope Barkley can continue to be a glimmer of light for the Giants in what seems like one of the darkest seasons in years past.
New York Jets
Coming in at 3-6, the Jets currently sport the best record in New York. Showing out in the first week of the season with a 48-17 win over the Detroit Lions, rookie quarterback Sam Darnold and the Jets have struggled in recent weeks, as Darnold leads the league in interceptions with 14.
Because of Darnold’s performance, the Jets have lost five out of six games by more than two scores. On top of that, the rookie may be out until the end of the month with a foot injury, forcing back-up Josh McCown to possibly step up against the Bills this week.
Despite some miscues, Darnold has been the Jets only glimmer of hope throughout the season, throwing 11 touchdowns so far to lead all rookie quarterbacks. The Jets may have the 14th-best ranked defense in the league, but falling three games under .500 has not shown how well they’ve played.
With few offensive weapons at Darnold’s disposal, it could be said that many of the interceptions he’s thrown were not his fault, and that the Jets’ lack of success does not fall on him. It’s obvious the Jets are looking towards the future, and hoping their rookie quarterback continues to grow.
Until Darnold can prove himself, the Jets will never be a team that can make a Super Bowl run. Let’s hope he can have some more quality performances this year, to give Jets fans the sense that they did, in fact, find their quarterback of the future.
Losing rookie quarterback Josh Allen in a 13-20 loss against the Houston Texans, the Bills have put up some terrible performances in recent weeks, losing to the Indianapolis Colts 37-5, and to the Chicago Bears, 41-9.
Trading away Tyrod Taylor in the off-season, and A.J. McCarron in the pre-season, the Bills quarterback situation has been an absolute circus, as backup quarterback Nathan Peterman has proved unable to play in an NFL game, throwing 12 interceptions in a 130 attempts in his NFL career.
This forced the Bills to go out and find someone, anybody, to fill in at the quarterback position. This somebody happened to be longtime NFL backup, Derek Anderson, who dropped his golf clubs to meet with the Bills, and start for them a week later.
However, Anderson himself suffered an injury in a 25-6 loss against the New England Patriots, as a concussion has kept him out of play. With no one worthy of stepping into a starting quarterback role, Bills fans can look forward to a season of misery until Allen comes back.
With the Bills defense ranked third in the league, their problems all fall on the offense, who rank second-to-last in the NFL. First-year offensive coordinator Brian Daboll has no answers, and no weapons to use. LeSean McCoy has seen little action, and with the best wide receiver being Kelvin Benjamin, who can the worst quarterbacks in the league throw to?
In my opinion, I believe the only option for the Bills is to go out and sign Colin Kaepernick. It would make a big splash around the league, and he honestly seems like the only viable option the Bills have left. No one else around the league would be able to step up in such a manner to hopefully bring success quickly, and based on the team’s other decisions regarding quarterbacks, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched.
Until then, look for the Bills to finish as one of the worst teams in football, with a disgusting mess at the most important position in the sport.
Look for our next New York NFL update in the coming weeks!