Jets and Giants Season Preview
By NICK ALBICOCCO
The Jets kicked off this year with a 31-10 blowout over the Browns while the Giants suffered a heartbreaking 27-26 loss to the Cowboys. How will the two teams fare during the rest of the season? Will the Jets’ star-studded defense lead them back to the playoffs for the first time since the 2010 season? Will Odell Beckham Jr. break the internet again and lead the Giants back to the playoffs for the first time since winning Super Bowl 46?
After a pathetic regular season in which the team went 4-12, the Jets made plenty of changes. Over the offseason, the Jets fully revamped their secondary and coaching staffs while also adding other key free agents on offense. The Jets fired head coach Rex Ryan and replaced him with Todd Bowles. Prior to free agency, the team traded for Chicago Bears’ star wide receiver Brandon Marshall. Then the team went on a spending spree when they signed cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie. The Jets then traded a late round pick for Texans’ quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to backup Geno Smith. In the NFL draft, the team picked DE Leonard Williams, WR Devin Smith and Quarterback Bryce Petty. Finally during training camp, linebacker IK Enemkpali was immediately released from the team for punching starting quarterback Geno Smith in the face, breaking his jaw. As a result, Ryan Fitzpatrick became the starting quarterback entering week one. With an improved roster and returning players Damon Harrison, Muhammad Wilkerson, Eric Decker and Chris Ivory, the Jets will double their win total from last season, but 8-8 won’t be good enough to make the playoffs this season.
Since winning the Super Bowl in 2012, the Giants have yet to return to the playoffs. Last year, many expected the Giants to win the NFC East, but they finished in a disappointing 3rd place. During the offseason, the Giants didn’t spend all that much, but they did sign Shane Vereen along with some other 2nd string players. In the draft, the team took tackle Ereck Flowers and safety Landon Collins. During July 4th weekend, fans’ hopes for a dominant defensive line blew up in their faces. Star defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul blew off his right index finger and broke his thumb in a fireworks accident. With Pierre-Paul not officially under contract nor under the Giants control, he has yet to resume playing football for the Giants. Even though Pierre-Paul may be gone, the Giants still have Prince Amukamara and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on defense. But the real strength the Giants have is their offense. With star quarterback Eli Manning and the dynamic duo of Odell Beckham Jr. and Victor Cruz at wide receiver, the Giants are set for a successful season earning themselves a record of 9-7 and a spot in the playoffs. Unfortunately, they won’t advance past Wild Card Weekend.
Photo by Giants.com and Jets.com