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New York Has Become The NFL’s Punching Bag As Giants And Jets’ Struggles Continue

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at September 20, 2021

New York is home to the NFL’s worst team over the past five years. Which one you might ask. Well, both.

The New York Giants and the New York Jets have been abysmal in recent years, and have each started the 2021 season with an 0-2 record. Moreover, they are tied at the bottom with the worst record in the NFL since 2017: 18 wins and 48 losses. That gives the Jets and Giants a win percentage of 0.273 over the past four years, with a record that places them 30 games below .500.

The past five seasons – from 2017 to 2021 – the Jets have spent just two weeks with a record over .500. The Giants meanwhile have spent zero weeks over .500 since 2017, according to NFL data analyst Warren Sharp.

These are two of the NFL’s most important and most valuable franchises, and two of the worst in terms of on-field results. The Giants are the third-most valuable franchise in the NFL in 2021 (valued at $4.85 billion) and the Jets are the eighth ($4.05 billion), as reported by Forbes earlier this year.

Given their franchise value and the fact that they play in the world’s largest media market, the Jets’ and Giants’ failures have been high profile. New York City casts a long shadow over the teams that play across the Hudson River in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

January football has largely been hard to reach for New York’s football teams. Since MetLife Stadium opened in 2010, the Giants only have two playoff appearances and the Jets just one. The bright spot of the past decade in New York is that one of those postseasons (2011), resulted in the Giants hanging their fourth Super Bowl banner.

The early performances by the Jets and Giants in the 2021 season have reaffirmed some common themes. That includes the franchise’s failure to support young quarterbacks in the case of the Jets, inability to follow through on a long-term vision in the case of the Giants and both teams’ overall inadequacy in building and coaching complete rosters.

In Week 2 against the Washington Football Team on Thursday night, the Giants lined up offside on Washington’s game-winning field goal attempt that sailed wide right. That penalty gave Washington another shot and this time they didn’t miss, making the field goal that set the Giants to their fifth consecutive 0-2 start.

For the Jets on Sunday, rookie quarterback Zach Wilson threw four interceptions in a blowout loss to New England. It is still so early in the second-overall pick’s rookie season, but those picks certainly poured some cold water on the idea of an accelerated Jets rebuild.

The Giants agreed to the fifth-most total value on contracts this offseason, adding up to $269 million according to Spotrac. That spending spree was highlighted by the signing of free agent receiver Kenny Golladay to a huge four-year, $72 million deal. In the loss to Washington, Golladay was in an apparent heated argument with quarterback Daniel Jones on the sideline.

Another receiver, first-round pick Kadarius Toney, has already voiced frustration with his early role in the Giants offense. It is Jones’ third NFL season and it is put up or shut up time. The Giants banked a lot on him building strong connections with those high-value wide receivers, and the early returns have been concerning.

The Jets’ commitment to quarterback Sam Darnold and coach Adam Gase went up in flames last season, resulting in another franchise restart. The Jets selected Zach Wilson as the player they would build around going forward, pairing him with new head coach Robert Saleh.

They gave Wilson weapons as well by signing receiver Corey Davis to a free-agent contract that includes $27 million guaranteed and by drafting receiver Elijah Moore in the second round. The focus for Jets general manager Joe Douglas has been building the offensive line, to poor results thus far. Wilson has been sacked 10 times through two games this season, the most in the NFL. If the Jets can’t turn around the performance of that offensive line, it could be a long season for Zach Wilson and that pressure could hurt his long-term development as a passer.

The Jets’ future looks a little brighter than the Giants, but that is only because they are just starting their rebuild and any small victory is seen as a success that will pay off down the road. The Giants’ timeline dictates that their rebuild should be over. They have seen flashes from Daniel Jones, but it has been an uneven and turnover-riddled experience that could result in them seeking a new quarterback next spring.

The stakes to continue to be high for New York’s two NFL teams, and the results continue to be disastrous.


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