Welcome to the bottom of the NFL barrel, a rundown mess of a place occupied by the Jets, Giants and Falcons. They have earned residence here strictly on merit as the worst three teams in the league.
After five games for each of them, the cumulative record was 0-15. There was nary a win in the bunch. By accident, you’d expect a win here or there. They, however, had none.
The Falcons had an excuse. They are still suffering a hangover by remarkably blowing a 25-3 lead over New England in the 2017 Super Bowl. The Jets and Giants have no excuse. They are a couple of train wrecks who have not been near a Super Bowl in quite some time.
The Falcons decided to fire coach Dan Quinn in an effort to turn things around. But almost before new coach Raheem Morris could blow his whistle, the team was forced to shut down operations because of a positive coronavirus test. The Jets and Giants, however, are healthy, just not very good.
To their credit, the Giants have come close to a couple of wins against Dallas, the Los Angeles Rams and Chicago. Each time, though, they managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. The Jets, however, have not come close through the season’s first five weeks.
The Giants have some history with four Super Bowl Trophies to call their own. The Jets are still selling the miracle of 1969 when they beat Baltimore in Super Bowl III. That was a long time ago.
The Jets’ solution to their woes has been strange.
They celebrated the signing of Pro Bowl free agent running back Le’Veon Bell with great fanfare, giving him a four-year, $52.5 million contract. Two years later, after paying off $28 million of that deal, they released him. His production was 1,363 yards and four touchdowns. “It just didn’t work out,’’ explained coach Adam Gase, who probably didn’t want Bell in the first place.
Before the season started, they traded safety Jamal Adams, their best player, to Seattle because he wanted a Bell-like contract and the Jets were not interested in giving it to him. He and his new team got off to a 5-0 start. He is not looking back.
Their 0-5 start sadly is familiar territory for the Giants. They started 0-5 in 2017 en route to a 3-13 season and 0-6 in 2013. The start of this season is distressingly similar to 1976 when New York football hit rock bottom. The Giants started that year 0-9 and finished 3-13, which was better than the Jets’ 2-14.
For the Jets, the 0-5 start is a distressing reminder. The last time this happened was 1996, when they went 1-15, part of the two-year coaching disaster of Rich Kotite.
At least Atlanta has some quality football to fall back on with No.3 ranked Georgia Bulldogs nearby. In New York, Columbia belongs to the Ivy League, which is not playing this fall because of the virus. That’s probably a good thing. They were 3-7 last year.
Photo: Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire