NY Sports Day
Jeff Moeller

Moeller: Jets, Giants Are Mirror Images of Each Other: Can Either Team Muster Enough to Win?

Dave Pokress

A win separates the two clubs, but their likeness is even closer.

The 1-7 Jets and 2-7 Giants will meet at Met Life Sunday afternoon for a 1 o’clock kickoff with little riding on the present and plenty on the future. (The Giants easily could have one win as well if not for a chip-shot field goal missed in Tampa.)

In fact, both teams are mirror images of each other. It has developed into total ineptitude for both teams.

The similarities between the two? Scary. And not in a good way.

Don’’ be afraid to wear the brown bags.

Both team have a below average offensive line. It was one of the major area of concerns of the Jets in the offseason.

They were ecstatic when they lured All-Pro center Ryan Khalil out of retirement. Khalil took a while to readjust, but he has been a bust. Guard Alex Lewis was a free-agent pickup from Baltimore, but he hasn’t been consistent. They kept the rest of the unit intact, and have surrendered 37 sacks.

The Giants believed they patched together holes on their line latte last season, and they expected their line to be more fluid. It hasn’t happened, and they have surrendered 28 sacks.

Some have suggested that Jets second-year quarterback Sam Darnold has regressed, but he simply could be in a slump. Darnold likely battled through the aftereffects from mono, and he showed signs of his old self last week despite a bad interception against Miami. Still, Darnold has nine interceptions and six touchdowns.

The learning curve has been wide for Giants’ rookie QB Daniel Jones, who has shown his strong arm and scrambling ability as two major assets. Yet, he has performed most of the time as a raw rookie with a bad aptitude to fumble (8) with 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Jones did have a four-touchdown game in a sad loss to Arizona.

Which brings us to the defenses. Or lack there of a defense on both sides.

The Jets still haven’t addressed their lack of a pass rush that has generated 13 sacks this year. They did get presumably good value for Leonard Williams, who could have a big game for the Giants Sunday.

Their cornerback issue is still a major problem, and safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye have been adequate at best.

Surprisingly, the Giants have found a way to record 22 sacks on an overall unit that has been very porous against the pass and allowing nearly 30 points per game. GM Dave Gettleman’s off-season signings and trades for the secondary haven’t worked out.

Jets’ running back Le’Veon Bell and Giants’ counterpart Saquon Barkley haven’t been able to show why they are considered among the elite in the league due to the lack of support up front and their own injuries.

You can find others, but I leave it at those. Or think about the Jets averaging a league-low 12 points a game, and the Giants posting 19.6 per contest.

Don’t forget both coaches, whose futures could be described with plenty of banners, both in the stadium and by planes flying overhead.

A lopsided loss to the Giants reportedly could hasten the exit of Jets’ coach Adam Gase, but Giants’ coach Pat Shurmur supposedly will get another year regardless of the final outcome due to Jones’ growing process.

Whatever the final score Sunday, there has been plenty of digression for both teams that seemingly could swap uniforms for the same results.

HOW THE JETS WILL WIN: The Jets will come out with the same intensity they did in their lone win over Dallas (24-22), and the offensive line will rise to the occasion to protect Darnold and open holes for Bell.

The defense will be aggressive and rattle Jones for a pair of fumbles and an interception…..JETS 24-14

HOW THE GIANTS WILL WIN: The Giants’ O-Line will find itself and help Barkley to a three-touchdown, 175-yard afternoon. Their defense also rises to the occasion for the first time since their win over Washington and confuses Darnold into a two-interception afternoon..GIANTS 31-13.


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