Giants’ and Jets’ Debacles Can Conjure Memories of Their 1970’s Slide








If you’re old enough to remember, the Giants’ and Jets’ seasons already can draw some parallels to their state in the mid-1970s.


From the 1973 to the 1976 seasons, both teams were mired in mediocrity, some situations being a kind approach. You easily could have referred to those as brutal.


The Giants under Alex Webster, Bill Arnsparger, and John McVay posted an overall mark of 12-43-1, while the Jets under Weeb Ewbank, Charley Winner, Ken Shipp, Lou Holtz, and Mike Holovak (one game). Ewbank was in the twilight of his career, and the Holtz experiment was a flop.

Think back to the Miracle of the Meadowlands with legendary quarterback Joe Pisarcik.

 Just when you think these Giants and Jets turned the corner, they hit another big pothole.


With both of their performances Sunday, their wins the previous week lost any sense of credibility.


Dallas’ 500-plus-yard demolition as the Game of the Week, and Atlanta’s first-half assault in London quickly reversed their paths. It looks like both of them may be in a 1-4 freefall.


The smoke has cleared after five games and the message appears clear..both teams are looking at long seasons ahead. 


But, yet again, this isn’t anything new. Expectations over the past few seasons haven’t been met. In fact, both teams have identical 19-50 records over the past four seasons. That’s a combined 38-100 record in the New York market.


The Jets may still get a pass with their rookie head coach and quarterback, but Zach Wilson has been too easy to solve. Either offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur needs to find a new plan, or the Jets should have drafted Mac Jones (Or should the Cam Newton rumors start?).


Wilson was hit five times, sacked twice, and hurried numerous times. He wasn’t in sync and looked as bad as previous weeks. He did find his mark in the second half, mainly after the game was decided, and Wilson readily admitted it.


This one could be pinned on the Jets’ defense that was the reason behind 20 first-half points and zero sacks after a six-sack attack against the Titans. They also were hit for three sacks in the red zone, which has been the strongest asset all season. Quinnen Williams continues to have a Por Bowl season  


If there is an alibi for them after five games, some of it can be attributed to having the most rookies on the roster and their 11 players on the injured list. The Wilson preseason hype raised unrealistic expectations before reality hit home.


The Giants also have been riddled with injuries, now notably with Saqon Barkley and Daniel Jones, who were banged up in Dallas. Backup quarterback Mike Glennon did an admirable job taking over for Jones and kept the offense respectable.


Kadarius Toney emerged as a potential gamechanger despite his swing that got him ejected. But you have to wonder if he would have had the same day if Sterling Shepard, Kenny Golladay, and Darius Slayton were in the lineup.


Their real issue again was defense. They did have success against a lower octane New Orleans offense they contained, but they were steamrolled by a high octane Cowboys’ offense on the ground and through the air.


The Giants’ tackling was poor, and Leonard Williams and James Bradberry have been shadows of last year’s performances. Their linebacking and secondary have been subpar. The loss of tackling machine Blake Martinez to a season-ending knee injury has been a major blow.


Blue Blue’s defense has sunk to 29th in the league with a mere eight sacks. It has been a sobering thought. Veteran journeyman Austin Johnson has three of them, and Williams has 1.5.


To complicate matters, there is the injury factor that has mounted. The schedule with the high-flying and battering Rams coming to MetLIfe Sunday looks like a minefield.


The Jets get a breather with a bye week, and Salen and LaFleur have to figure out the offense. Speaking of Jones, the Jets get a trip to New England to see him and Bill Belichick after the bye week.


Both teams suddenly are faced with staying in the abyss of mediocrity or worse for this and next season or maybe more. Over the next 12 weeks, they will have to figure out what is the next step, and who will survive through the aftermath, players, coaches, and general managers (Looks like the Dave Gettleman watch is back on).


Nearly 50 years later, history can repeat itself for both teams. And like the ‘70s, it won’t be pretty.



About the Author

Jeff Moeller

Jeff Moeller has been covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football and basketball as well as high school sports on a national and local scene for the past 39 years. He has been a Jets and Giants beat reporter for the past 13 years.

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