Football is back. These three words are music to the ears of not only New York football fans but NFL fans everywhere. The Jets are coming off a season that proved to be a letdown after failing to make the playoffs with an 8-8 record. This season may prove to be different though, as Gang Green has added key players through free agency and the draft that will certainly play a role in their attempt at redemption.
The Giants are coming off their second Super Bowl win in five years, and expectations are high. For people who lived in the New York and New Jersey areas last year, it was hard not to get wrapped up in Big Blue’s enchanting postseason run. Fans everywhere expect the magic to continue — even after a loss the first week.
The New York Giants kicked off the NFL season against their division rivals, the Dallas Cowboys, this past Wednesday — the league’s first Wednesday game since 1948. The champs did not fare well in the opening game of their title defense, losing to Dallas 24-17. New York quarterback Eli Manning was clearly outplayed by his Dallas counterpart, Tony Romo. Romo scored three touchdowns and threw for more than 300 yards. The Giants’ defense did not make the essential stops, and Giants receiver Victor Cruz had three drops that contributed to the loss. Now the Giants face an uphill climb right out of the gate as they start 0-1 this season. Big Blue will try to avenge its opening week loss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next Sunday and must establish its running game early and often to take some of the pressure off of Manning.
It was especially intriguing to watch the Jets in their first game of the season against the Buffalo Bills. Gang Green indeed took care of business against a vastly inferior team, trouncing the Bills 48-28. Mark Sanchez silenced his myriad critics — for the moment — by throwing for 266 yards and three touchdowns.
Despite the win, Sanchez stated after the game, “We’ve got plenty of work to do.” And Sanchez is absolutely right. The Jets face an extremely difficult test next week in their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and many around the league may be waiting to see how the offense and defense will respond to loftier competition.
Tim Tebow also made his debut by running the wildcat offense for the Jets under new coordinator Tony Sparano. Tebow racked up five carries, totaling a measly 11 yards, but he adds a new wrinkle to the Jets’ attack that should confuse opposing defenses at the outset. Though it is too early to judge the Jets based on this win, it is certainly a step forward for a team that had a disappointing 2011 campaign and a rough preseason. New York football fans will certainly experience an entertaining season, as well as bragging rights and playoff positions.
A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Sept. 12 print edition. Chris Marcotrigiano is a contributing writer. Email him at email@example.com.
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