NFL Locals Surprising Fans for Very Different Reasons

By Robert Musantry,
Sports Business Writer

With the NFL season well underway, fans of both the Giants and the Jets will feel surprised at where the teams stand. Coming into the season, the Giants looked primed to be led by quarterback Eli Manning, as well as star wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. In fact, panelists from NFL.com picked the Giants to win the division this year, over strong competition from the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles.

However, their season has not gone according to plan. The team failed to win until Week 6, and lost their top two wide receivers in Beckham and Brandon Marshall to injury along the way. Manning has struggled behind the team’s weak offensive line as well, with his 89.7 QB rating him placing him 23rd in the league. These factors have slowed the offense, and the defense has been unable to pick them up. The Giant’s defense has given up the sixth most yard per game in the league, at 371.8. Their 1-5 record places them at the bottom of the NFC East.

However, there is a bright side, as their lone win came in the last week. They were able to put 23 points on the scoreboard against the Denver Broncos’ defense, widely regarded as one of the top units in the league. They were led by their running game, with Orleans Darkwa rushing for 117 yards, after only rushing for 122 yards in the first five games combined.

Now, the Jets on the other hand, have been surprisingly competitive. ESPN.com predicted that the Jets would finish with just 3 wins on the season, and the team has already gotten to that mark. The losses of wide receiver Eric Decker and linebacker David Harris to the Titans and the Patriots, respectively, were cited as major issues coming into the season. These losses, as well as the fact that the team was coming off a five win season last year, made it look like the Jets were in for a rough year. However, the team has gone 3-3 over the first six games, and the team played very competitively in a loss to the New England Patriots, the current division leaders. That game came down to the wire, with the Jets having a late touchdown overturned because of a fumble. The mild success of this team has been created by quarterback Josh McCown, playing in his first season with the Jets. McCown has never been considered a top quarterback in the league, bouncing around from team to team, but is currently ranked 12th in the NFL in passing yards, ahead of stars such as Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons and Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks.

Looking ahead for the teams, the Giants will look to salvage something from this season in their final ten games, whereas the Jets will hope to find continued success to finish out the season.

 

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, October 24th print edition.

Contact Robert at
robert.musantry@student.shu.edu

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