For the third consecutive season, neither the New York Giants nor the New York Jets will reach the NFL playoffs. The NFC’s Giants currently sit at 3-9 after an embarrassing 25-24 loss to the 1-10 Jacksonville Jaguars, while the Jets are 2-9 heading into a Monday Night Football clash with division rival Miami Dolphins.
For fans of New York football, there has been little to smile about over the past few seasons. Following their Super Bowl XLVI victory over the New England Patriots in February of 2012, the Giants have yet to glimpse the postseason, while the Jets have not seen January football since consecutive trips to the AFC Championship in 2009 and 2010. As both clubs crawl toward losing seasons, each is left to wonder what went wrong and attempt to pick up the pieces.
For the Jets, the problems lie with the head coach and the quarterback position. Despite brash proclamations of Super Bowl victories upon his hiring, Jets head coach Rex Ryan has done little to live up to his predictions since the Jets’ stunning upset of the Patriots in Foxborough during January of 2011. Despite his defensive prowess, Ryan has repeatedly shown ineptitude on coaching the offensive side of the ball. The Jets are last in passing offense despite a perennially strong ground game. To make matters worse, quarterbacks Geno Smith and Michael Vick have failed to stop the bleeding this season. For the Jets to once again succeed in wresting control of the AFC East from New England, owner Woody Johnson and general manager John Idzik must consider dismissing Ryan and starting a new quarterback, preferably one with a more accurate arm and better decision-making abilities.
As for the Jets’ MetLife Stadium co-tenants, the Giants, the problems are more widespread. The team’s attempt to shore up its woeful offense by bringing on new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo has proven to be ineffective thus far, as the once clutch Eli Manning continues to throw interceptions at an alarming rate behind a weak offensive line. Making matters worse are injuries to key receiver Victor Cruz and the loss of Hakeem Hicks to the Indianapolis Colts, robbing Manning of his most prized weapons. The Giants also sport the 29th-ranked defense in the league. For the Giants to reach the NFL’s zenith once again, they must get back to basics by strengthening their offensive line in order to give Manning more time in the pocket, while adding depth at wide receiver to recharge a still-tepid passing attack. Moreover, the Giants must seek out defensive playmakers to regain their position as one of the most feared defenses in the league.
New York professional football faces dark days for the foreseeable future —- the Jets are an organization in near constant turmoil, while the Giants have lost their way following their last postseason triumph three years ago. Serious work needs to be done in the offseason to fix some of the glaring issues for both teams.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Dec. 1 print edition. Email Charles Surette at [email protected]