The New York Giants (5-1) last qualified for the NFL postseason in 2016. The New York Jets (4-2) did the same in 2010. Both teams from northern New Jersey have not advanced to the postseason in the same year since 2006; however, this time around there is considerable hope that January football looms on the horizon for both long-suffering franchises.
How true is the 2022 NFL revolution in East Rutherford? ESPN asked its experts on the court and beyond to weigh in on the odds of the Giants and Jets continuing their winning streak long after the leaves have turned color in the Northeast.
Why could they stay the course
It’s clear the Giants have something up their sleeves. They play hard and have not self-destructed like they have in the past. Coach Brian Daboll, in his first year as an NFL head coach, preaches being smart, tough and dependable. And that is what they are doing. This team gives off a different feel with Daboll in charge.
“The boys who have been here [por largo tiempo] are tired of losing,” says the center Jon Feliciano. “They took up the philosophy.”
They laid out the blueprints and the Giants faithfully follow them every week: move the ball forward. Make enough plays within the passing game. Play solid defense. Stops in the red zone. Win the match in the second half, when they have outscored the rival 87-49.
It could be said that it is an unsustainable philosophy in the long term. And maybe it is. However, the Giants are already 5-1 and have a favorable pre-Thanksgiving schedule on the horizon with Jacksonville, Seattle, Houston and Detroit. The roster is also healthier. The defensive lineman leonard-williams and rookie wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson returned to activity this week and both played key roles in the win over Baltimore. linebacker Azeez Ojulari (calf) should be back this week, while receivers Kadarius Toney (hamstring) and Kenny Golladay (knee) are not far from returning. This team has more wins in its near future. –Jordan Raanan
Deee-defense! The Jets are no longer a tragedy defensively. They’ve only allowed 47 points during their current three-game winning streak, and they just keep getting better. That was what defensive-minded coach Robert Saleh always envisioned.
The New York team was awful in 2021 (ranking 32nd in several key statistical categories); however, the addition of cornerbacks Willow Gardner Y DJ Reedthe return of the defensive end Carl Lawson following his injury and elite defensive tackle play Quinn Williams they’ve catapulted them to 18th in yards allowed (with fourth place in their most recent three meetings). The coverage provided by Gardner and Reed on the perimeter helps pressure the passer and gives coaches more flexibility when calling plays.
There are only two meetings against a top-tier quarterback on the horizon (vs. Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills). So yes, the defense should continue to step up its game. This steely defense pairs perfectly with the Jets’ run-oriented offense, led by rookie sensation Breece Halla dual threat that can run between and around opposing defenders.
Finally, the Jets have an identity on offense: overwhelming, with a good complement of run runs that add a bit of spice. Simply put, they are the East version of the San Francisco 49ers. They could be more explosive if they find ways to get the receivers more involved. Elijah Moore Y Garrett Wilson. — Rich Cimini
The Giants rank 23rd in total offense (317.3 yards per game). Their defense ranks 15th in yards allowed, with 339.3 yards per game. At some point this will hurt them if they are outplayed every week.
The Giants’ current formula for success has very little room for error. They are 5-0 this season in games decided by one score or less. The law of averages tells us that this will even out as the sample size increases. Perhaps that missed Titans field goal at the final whistle will split the results later this season. The Ravens’ illegal lineup late in the fourth quarter that kept the Giants alive won’t happen again. Naturally, some team will bring its best game to MetLife Stadium.
Also, it’s hard to win in today’s NFL if you can’t throw the ball consistently and effectively. the field marshal Daniel Jones and the Giants have the 31st-ranked passing offense in the NFL, averaging just 154.3 yards per game. That’s a combination of his lack of weapons and an offensive line that isn’t particularly good at protecting passes. There’s not much to suggest that the situation will change drastically as the season progresses. — Ra’an
The Bills defense prevails with a factor that made the difference in its favor, while in Green Bay, the Jets overwhelmed the Packers.
The Jets don’t get much productivity out of the quarterback. Zach Wilson (in his second year in the NFL), which lowers the roof of the team. Sure, they can win eight or nine games with their running game and strong defense (with more wins than anyone could imagine in August); however, they won’t make much of a splash in January with Wilson struggling to complete 10 passes and 110 yards, his stats during Sunday’s upset win over the Green Bay Packers.
The weeks ahead could continue to be difficult, with two of the next three games coming against teams with top-tier defenses: the Denver Broncos (third, 16.0 points per game) and Buffalo Bills (first, 13.5 points per game). Opponents will play excessive running, challenging Wilson to outrun them. Will you be able to do it? Since he returned from recovering from a left knee injury, he has been efficient in six of 12 quarters.
On the plus side, Wilson has nine straight periods without a turnover. It’s important to remember that he’s only made 16 career starts, so he’s still learning. The Jets take their development process appropriately (slowly and incrementally); however, many times that method does not lead to team success. It takes a prolific passer to win titles in today’s NFL and Wilson (still in pursuit of his first 300-yard passing day) isn’t quite there yet. Another cause for concern: For a team so reliant on rookies, the so-called “rookie wall” looms as a potential drawback. — Cimini
What do the advanced statistics say?
Give the Giants credit for their 5-1 record. Despite this, ESPN’s Football Power Index maintains some skepticism, placing the Giants as the 23rd best team in the NFL for the near future. Lane play is less than ideal on both ends of the floor: the Giants rank below average in earned pass blocking rate and earned passer pressure rate (although Dexter Lawrence deserves recognition as the big exception) and they own the bottom of the league in stopped run rate, which ranks on par with their 5.6 yards allowed per carry average, second-worst in the NFL. But there are positives: Daniel Jones ranks 14th in QBR (better than he has finished his seasons in the league) and the Giants have the third most accessible remaining schedule.
The FPI considers the Jets a near-perfect team on average (ranked 17th and two-tenths of a point behind the rival Patriots), which is somewhat of a show of respect considering where they started (ranked 30th in preseason rankings). If Zach Wilson qualified for the QBR he would be on a similar level, at 19th. However, what surrounds the quarterback is the real reason behind the optimism in the Jets. One notable case: the outside corners, where rookie Sauce Gardner is ninth in EPA allowed on targets (-11.2) and DJ Reed ranks in the top 10 in yards allowed per catch of coverage (0.5) as the closest defender, based on NFL Next Gen Stats data. –Seth Walder
What stands out from the sporting point of view?
Coaches matter. On both ends of the floor (with Brian Daboll on offense and Wink Martindale on defense), the Giants use tactical schemes, player deployment and a very physical style, all geared toward generating production. Offensively speaking, the Giants get results in the passing game with Daniel Jones using repetitive, well-defined throws to a depleted receiving corps while relying on the explosive feats of Saquon Barkley, who has an average of 23.3 touches per game. Now, let’s add the above to the aggressive defensive system imposed by Martindale, with a strong and powerful front capable of dictating game situations.
I see the Jets’ young playmakers in a very well-coached football team, including Sauce Gardner and Quinnen Williams on defense: two groundbreaking players in a defense that relies on crisp coverage and well-designed defensive fronts. And when we go to the offensive end, the leading role is played by rookie running back Breece Hall. He is a dual threat player who is capable of finishing big plays and delivering high volume within defensive coordinator Mike LaFleur’s system. –Matt Bowen
What practical move could these teams make at the trade deadline (Nov. 1) to bolster their playoff odds?
I don’t think the Giants have enough cap space to make a big deal at this deadline. And while their 5-1 start to the season is wonderful, I think any honest analysis of where this franchise is in the midst of rebuilding will tell us the Giants shouldn’t be trading draft picks. They still don’t know if they’ll be in the quarterback hunt next offseason, for heaven’s sake. I would suggest you look for Robert Anderson, but while I was typing this note he was traded to the Cardinals. The compelling need lies in the receiver position, so calling the Jets and asking about Denzel Mims? He’s earning about $1.1 million this year, would earn about $1.35 million next season and has no guaranteed amounts. He just turned 25. It might be worth the try.
They’ve been hit so hard at tackle that I think that’s the position they’d look to address, if there is one. (The Jets have a pretty strong roster overall.) At the very least, I’d call the Texans to ask what they think about Laremy Tunsil. They just restructured his contract this year and would take on a lot of dead money if they trade him; but if it doesn’t figure into their long-term plans, it’s not unreasonable to think that they could take it with the right offer. –Dan Graziano
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Can the Giants and Jets end their respective NFL postseason droughts?