Do you remember the last time that both of New York City’s pro football teams were thriving at the same time? And no, we’re not counting the Bills here. It’s ok if you can’t, and don’t bother looking into any NFL news archive, just know that you are not alone.
While it was expected from before the season started for the Bills to be the only NY-ridden team to beat in the league, how about those Giants and Jets huh?
Now, after six weeks of the 2022 NFL season, with the Giants riding on a 5-1 record and the Jets holding their own at 4-2, is it too soon to start playing Sinatra’s “New York, New York”?
The teams have 9 wins between them in 2022. In the entire 2021 season, they combined for 8 wins.
As we get set for a new week of pro football action, let’s take a moment to break down what has made each team’s season this good so far, and what the future might hold for them.
Let’s check the latest NFL picks, stats, injury reports, and NFL predictions. We’ve plenty of NFL expert picks for you to consider.
“Breece The Beast” and “Sauce,’ The Jets’ New Heroes
For years the Jets have been the butt of the joke when talking about pro football. As a Jets fan myself, I’ve had to endure years and years of listening to an endless myriad of options of “better things to do” than being a fan of the green and white. But right now, with New York finally looking like they’ve turned the page on years of anguish and bottom-dwelling, all we Jets fans can say is, what’s up?
Led by the high-spirited, no-BS head coach Robert Saleh and a core of young, explosive talents on both sides of the ball, the Jets are playing as a team possessed. Possessed with what? With a will to win and shut down any critics and haters around that have made it a constant to hang the Jets to dry every week.
With rookies Breece “The Beast” Hall at running back and Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner at cornerback scorching the competition, the Jets have managed to do something nobody thought possible, string three wins in a row and make everyone in the league start paying attention.
Take Hall for example. The former Iowa State star rusher has put on two stellar performances in consecutive weeks against the Dolphins and Packers. With 97 rushing and 100 receiving yards with a touchdown against Miami, and 116 rushing yards with another TD in NY’s win over Green Bay, Hall has become one of the most important players in a Jets offense that’s starting to pick up steam.
Also, when you look at Gardner playing, it’s impossible not to reminisce on another legendary Jets corner, a man so good he was an island all in himself, Darrelle Revis. His numbers thus far in the season have positioned him as an early favorite to take the DROY award, and he looks like he’ll only continue to get better and better as time progresses.
This Jets defense has gone through what could only be explained as a rebirth. Against the Packers on Sunday, players like Quinnen Williams, C.J. Mosley, and the company put on one of the most dominant performances in recent years for the green and white. In a sport where offenses win games and defenses win championships, this might be the defensive line no team is going to want to face.
Saquon Barkley, the Giant New York Had Been Long Expecting
For the Giants, a redemption year has been long due. After scoring different sorts of success with Eli Manning as QB, it seemed for some time that the Giants were heading toward football’s “irrelevance land.” Now though, with a healthy and hungry Saquon Barkley running, a defense that’s all about grinding, and a head coach who injects gallons upon gallons of spirit and fight every day, New York’s G-Men are becoming one of the biggest threats in the NFC.
With a 5-1 record to back their claims and a schoolyard attitude to the way they are playing week in and week out, it’s becoming harder and harder to not want to start rooting for the Giants to keep beating every opponent they face.
Even when having to deal with injury problems within their QB room, the Giants have still managed to go out every game and ball out. So, who do they have to thank for this? Barkley of course. After two initial stellar seasons in the pros, Barkley would fall victim to injury problems that seemed like they would be the nail in the coffin for what looked to be a promising career.
This season though, with 616 rushing yards and 4 TDs, an offensive line that’s putting in work to give room so he can break through defenses, and a hunger that’s more than evident to want to show the league he’s back, there’s no stopping the Barkley and Big Blue Express.
How Much Longer Will the Hype Continue For?
If it was merely up to me, a Jets fan since ’98, I would say up until the Super Bowl and beyond. But realistically speaking, and allowing restraint and rationality to take the lead here, it’s best to enjoy the moment than to think ahead into the future.
Both the Jets and Giants have had to endure endless periods of bullying and being sold short by everyone. Now that they are turning heads, taking names, and collecting receipts, let the hype roll.
Are both of these teams playoff-worthy squads? With the way, they’re playing, yes, especially the Jets. If you consider that the level of competition in the AFC is less demanding than in the NFC, it’s not farfetched to see the green and white sneaking into the postseason.
But don’t sleep on the Giants though, because if they continue playing the way they are, once they make it to the playoffs, they will surely be the team nobody is going to want to face.