The start of the NFL regular season is just two weeks away.
The Los Angeles Chargers will host the Buffalo Bills on Thursday, Sept. 8, in the league’s opening game. The Jets and Giants will begin Week 1 on Sunday, Sept. 11. The Jets will host dynamic quarterback Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens at MetLife Stadium and the Giants will travel to Tennessee to take on the Titans.
Combined, the Jets and the Giants won just eight out of 34 games last season. Both were 4-13 and finished last in their respective divisions, the Jets in the AFC East and the Giants in the NFC East. The last time either one of them made the playoffs was in the 2016 season, the Giants losing to the Green Bay Packers in a wildcard game.
The Jets haven’t made the playoffs since making it to the AFC Championship Game in 2010, falling to the Pittsburgh Steelers. They have only reached 10 or more wins one time over the past 11 seasons, going 10-6 in 2015.
Only once, with a 11-5 mark in 2016. In a nutshell, loyal fans of the two New York NFL franchise’s have had a miserably long stretch of futility. The playoff drought for both teams is likely to extend one more season.
While both teams have the potential to improve on their disappointing 2021 campaigns, their obvious weaknesses and areas of uncertainty, coupled with the competition simply being better, will be obstacles to finishing over .500, meaning posting a record of at least 9-8 to be a contender for a postseason bid.
The lowest playoff seed in the NFC last season was the Philadelphia Eagles at 9-8 and in the AFC the Steelers at 9-7-1. Injuries are already a factor. The Giants will be without rookie defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux for three to four weeks after he suffered a sprained MCL in his right knee in Sunday’s 25-22 preseason victory over the Cincinnati Bengals at MetLife Stadium. The Giants selected Thibodeaux fifth overall in April’s draft.
Unfortunately, promising rookie linebacker Darrian Beavers won’t be back, as he is out for the season with a torn ACL in his left knee, also encountered in Sunday’s game. Earlier this month, during the Giants Fan Fest scrimmage on August 6, Marcus McKethan tore an ACL in his right knee. The offensive lineman was expected to add depth to the improving unit but will now spend the season on the reserve/injured list rehabbing.
The Jets also experienced a major loss on the offensive line when 2020 first round pick (No. 11) Mekhi Becton fractured his right kneecap on Aug. 8 during practice, shelving him for this season. Last season, a knee injury in Week 1 led to Becton sitting out the remaining 16 games.
When he returns to the field, Becton will have played just 15 games in three seasons as a pro, having appeared in 14 games ––13 starts––as a rookie. The Jets signed veteran Duane Brown to fill the gap left by Becton’s absence.
The Jets’ franchise quarterback hopeful Zach Wilson, taken No. 2 overall in last year’s draft, will open his second season on the sideline recovering from a bone bruise and torn meniscus in his right knee. It is a non-contact injury that occurred in the first quarter of the Jets’ first preseason game on Aug. 12, a 24-21 win against the Eagles on the road.