What needs to be done for successful Football in New York?

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Johnny Mambrino, Editor

The simple answer is a whole lot. The Jets and the Giants have each been 2 of the worst teams in football for a while now. Both teams have had a few good seasons here and there, like in 2016 when the Giants went 11-5 behind Eli Manning and a top 5 statistical defense in the league. That magical season was ended by Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in the Wild Card game by a blowout of 38-13. We can’t forget about the 2015 Jets who were led by Ryan Fitzpatrick to a 10-6 record but still somehow missed the playoffs. That is the epitome of being a New York Football fan. These teams give you hope but then that hope is inevitably squashed. 

Daniel Jones gave a lot of Giants fans hope last year after he burst onto the scene against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 3 after replacing the Giants great Eli Manning. Jones threw for over 300 yards, 2 passing touchdowns, and ran for 2 more touchdowns with the second rushing touchdown being the game-winner. On top of his ability to run the ball, the reason he got the nickname ‘Danny Dimes’ is because of his ability to fit the football into spots where only his receiver can get them and when throwing the ball downfield it’s almost like he is dropping the ball into a bucket, the bucket being the hands of the receiver. He is somewhat of what we would call a dual-threat quarterback, but his most glaring weakness as a signal-caller is his lack of awareness in the pocket. While the Giants offensive line is one of the worst units in the league, Jones has been very prone to fumbling in the pocket while not even knowing when defenders are coming to sack him. He also tries to make plays happen that aren’t there for him which ends up leading to more and more turnovers. 

The reason for the Jets playing as badly as they have isn’t necessarily because of Sam Darnold’s pocket presence, but more so the talent that is put around him and subpar coaching. Through 8 games this year Sam Darold has dealt with arguably the worst offensive line in the league and easily and without a doubt the worst supporting cast of offensive weapons I’ve ever seen. The Le’Veon Bell experiment didn’t go very well considering in the 17 games he played for the Jets he never rushed for more than 100 yards. On top of that, they are paying him nearly 6 million for the rest of the season to play on the Chiefs. Jamison Crowder is their number one receiver and while he is a very good receiver, he is not the guy you want your 23-year-old quarterback to be relying on as his number 1 target. Crowder has been hurt for a good portion of this season so it’s been even worse for Darnold as it seemed as his number one option for a few weeks was Braxton Berrios who in 16 games with the Jets last year, caught 6 passes for 115 yards. 

Despite the lack of talent on the offensive side of the ball, it doesn’t help much when their head coach is Adam Gase. He has been the worst coach in football by far this year, with his lack of legitimate game planning and his inability to take control of the locker room. He’s an unconvincing overhyped offensive coordinator who had the privilege of coaching one of the best quarterbacks of all time with the high Denver Broncos offenses in 2013 and 2014. It happens all the time with young coordinators who have a few good seasons behind really good talent and head coaching who get head coaching jobs but are simply not cut out to be head coaches. The same thing happened with the Giants when they hired Pat Shurmur in 2018 after he made Case Keenum look like a stud quarterback. He is an example of an elevated offensive mind, but he wasn’t the type of guy that was going to command a locker room and he wasn’t going to convince anyone of much. Makes sense considering in his 2 seasons with the giants they went a combined 9-23. 

The Jets have one of the worst point differentials of any team ever through 9 weeks and it’s not the defense’s fault because the Jets are actually around the middle of the league in defensive statistics. It’s the Jet’s inability to put together long sustained drives that keep their own defense on the field more which makes their defense tired, which in turn leads to them giving up more points and their offensive struggles can be pointed towards the play-caller, Adam Gase. The Jets will most likely have a top 3 pick and the Giants will most likely have a top 5 pick so both teams have big opportunities to cash in on some of the best college prospects. 

While the Jets do have Sam Darnold, they have the opportunity to select one of the best quarterback prospects ever in Trevor Lawrence. He can do it all, he is a fast and physical runner, and he can throw the ball over the field with accuracy and impressive arm strength. Darnold can be a franchise QB but it won’t happen with the Jets and I feel like they’re better off just blowing it up and getting rid of everybody including Adam Gase all their coordinators and trading Darnold should be on that list. On top of getting Trevor Lawrence, they will also have a late first-round pick from the Seahawks in the Jamal Adams trade, and their own second-round pick which should be a very early one. They can target skill positions like running back and get Lawrence’s teammate from Clemson, Travis Etienne, and they could also grab a receiver in the early second round like potentially the speedster from Purdue, Rondale Moore, or Terrance Marshall from LSU. Their first priority in this draft should be to get Lawrence and surround him with talent on the offensive side of the ball, and they could even get him some protection and go lineman with their late first and early second-round picks. While their defense isn’t elite, it’s crucial that they upgrade their offense because their lack of offensive talent has been the driving force of this winless Jets team through nine weeks. 

The situation for the Giants is a bit more complicated. Like the Jets, the G-MEN have a capable signal caller in Daniel Jones who a lot of people thought from his rookie year that he would be the franchise guy. His performance through the first half of this season has a lot of people saying otherwise. The Giants are 2-7 but the defense has been among the best in the league in turnovers and points allowed but it’s the inconsistency on offense that has led to only 2 wins. Daniel Jones has tossed 8 touchdown passes, whilst throwing 9 interceptions and has fumbled the ball 7 times while losing the ball 4 times. He lost 11 fumbles last year and like I mentioned earlier it’s a combination of his lack of awareness in the pocket and very poor offensive line play. As much as I have seen Daniel Jones disappoint these past few weeks I think it’s extremely important to get him more protection because he’s shown flashes of being a legitimate NFL quarterback and it started all the way back in week 3 of last year. Against the Bucs in Jones NFL debut he looked like a seasoned vet, keeping calm in the pocket and making throws you wouldn’t think a rookie quarterback would be making in his first game. If the Giants can protect Daniel Jones he will fumble less and by having more time in the pocket he’ll indirectly be more aware of his surroundings. He’s got the talent around him he just needs the protection. Penei Sewell out of Oregon is undoubtedly the best offensive line prospect in this draft class and with the disappointment of last year’s first-round pick o-lineman, Andrew Thomas, Sewell could slide right in at left tackle. The G-MEN have been pleasantly surprised by third-round pick Matt Peart who played in Thomas’ place in week 8 because of disciplinary reasons, that may or may not have also stemmed from his awful play at left tackle. There’s reason to be excited about the o-line and if they add Sewell it could be a top unit again in a few years just like their two super bowl runs. The only way to go is up for these squads, but there’s certainly a long way to go.