Football in New York is going through its best moment in forever. The New York Giants look like a team that could actually win on a consistent basis, and the New York Jets seem like they’re finally in the right direction after decades of struggles and embarrassment.
I mean, when was the last time the Jets had a better record than the New England Patriots after seven weeks? And no, it has nothing to do with Tom Brady leaving Foxboro or the Pats not being the most dominant force in the AFC East anymore.
But as impressive as their start of the season has been, some still have a hard time trusting the Jets and the Giants, and understandably so. That’s why here, we’ll try and do our best to determine whether their hot starts are a fluke or not.
The Jets Are… Misleading
Robert Saleh’s team sits at a 5-2 record after seven weeks. They struck gold in the NFL Draft and were expected to be a much better team this season, but not even the most optimistic fan saw this coming.
Thus far, the Jets’ only losses came at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals, two AFC powerhouses. Moreover, they came with Joe Flacco under center, as Zach Wilson was nursing a knee injury.
The Jets have beaten the Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Miami Dolphins, Green Bay Packers, and Denver Broncos. That seems impressive on paper, but the Browns blew a 13-point lead in two minutes, the Steelers have been terrible offensively, the Dolphins didn’t have Tua Tagovailoa, the Packers are 3-4, and the Broncos didn’t have Russell Wilson.
They sit right in the middle of the pack with just 22.7 points scored per game, although they have a top-10 scoring defense at 19.6 points allowed per game. They also rank third in interceptions (8) but sit in the bottom third in yards per game (347.4) time of possession and have the second-worst third-down efficiency percentage (32.7%).
All things considered, this 5-2 record seems kind of fishy. Breece Hall looked outstanding but suffered a season-ending injury, Zach Wilson has 1 TD, and 2 picks in 4 starts with a QBr of 7.36, and their offense has been pedestrian at best. Sauce Gardner has been legit and elite, but our verdict for the Jets is: Fluke.
The Giants Are Legit
Who would’ve thought the NFC East would have two of the best teams in the league at this point in the season? The Giants are 6-1 and have competed week in and week out, only losing a divisional game to Cooper Rush and the Dallas Cowboys. Still, it was a one-possession game.
Brian Daboll has certainly turned things around for the G-Men. Their defense looks outstanding, Daniel Jones is having the best year in his career (the bar wasn’t set too high, though), and they’ve competed for the full 60 minutes every single game.
Thus far, the Giants have come from behind multiple times, beating the Tennessee Titans, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Ravens, and Jacksonville Jaguars. It seems like you can never truly count them out of any game, although it’s not like they’ve had a strong schedule, either.
Still, the Giants lead the league in rushing yards per game at a whopping 173.4. They also have the sixth-best scoring defense at 18.6 points allowed per game, and are fourth in total time of possession with 3:41:39. They control the pace of the game and will run the football down your throat on every single drive.
While neither of the teams they’ve beaten has fared well this season, the context also matters, and they’ve fought their way back into those games and have played elite defense to shut them down late in those contests.
It’s still hard to trust Daniel Jones with the game on the line, and their receiving corps has left a lot do be desired. However, special things can happen when you have an elite offensive line and one of the best RBs in the league in Saquon Barkley, not to mention a physical, stout defensive unit. They still need to beat a contender, but for now, our verdict for the G-Men is: Legit.