By Jeff Moeller
The Giants probably will make the playoffs, and the Jets probably won’t.
In this holiday season, let us appreciate what we have from both teams. It wasn’t supposed to be the type of season with plenty of presents under the tree.
Before the season, neither team wasn’t supposed to be in the playoff discussion. It was just a matter of improving from last year.
When you look at the Jets’ seven wins and the Giants’ eight victories, both teams should be playing with house money. But, once you get into the playoff hunt, it gets serious. Once that happens, it also gets critical.
So, the Jets recent four-game freefall has led to the discussion of the validity of quarterback Zach Wilson and head coach Robert Saleh for starters.
For the Giants, their victory over Washington and consequent comeback and last-second loss to Minnesota has redirected their route toward the postseason after their own four-game slide.
However, let’s hit the pause button for a moment. Regardless of both team’s outcomes, they both can look at their seasons as moral victories. Ok, I know moral victories don’t work in pro sports, but let’s look at where these teams are from last year.
The Jets were 3-14 and the Giants were 4-13. Did anyone actually think that both teams could win seven games and be in the playoff hunt? If you did, you are in the running for some big money.
It was an offseason for both teams of high profile draft picks and free agents. The Giants retooled with Brian Daboll and Joe Schoen, while the Jets hit the jackpot in the draft. There was plenty of optimism tempered with anxiety.
Suddenly, the expectations took a meteoric path. The Giants shocked the football world with a 7-2 start, winning a majority of them in the second half. The Jets followed the same path, raising their mark to 6-3 with a stunning upset of the Bills at MetLife.
Both teams hit the halfway mark, and those football experts began to believe it was an overnight transformation.
Since then, they have combined for a 2-8-1 record. Football teams, like water, will reach its level.
We have seen plenty of progress with both teams, but neither has truly reached the contender level yet. There is plenty of work to be done.
The Jets have to figure out who will be their quarterback, but they have a running game, receiving game, defense, and a kicker. They have some issues on the offensive line.
The Giants have their running back, have revamped their offensive line, have a respectable defense, but they have to still solidify their quarterback situation.
The Jets will travel to Seattle and Miami over the final two weeks, and they will have to win out to have a lottery ticket chance for the playoffs, while the Giants can control their own postseason destiny with a home finale against the Colts and a trip to Philly.
Whatever happens, take a look at the bigger picture. The Jets and the Giants have proven that they are ready to take the next step.
Enjoy the final two weeks and the holidays.