By: Connor Hapward
The majority of James Caldwell students identify as fans of their local football teams: the New York Giants or the New York Jets. Unfortunately, neither team has lived up to their expectations for this year. Through the first nine weeks of the season, the teams have a combined three wins. The Giants are 2-7 while the Jets are 1-7, having just lost to the previously winless Miami Dolphins. With such abysmal performances, the students are up in arms about their team’s sufferings.
Let’s start with the Giants. Back in April, with the number six overall pick in the draft, they selected Duke Blue Devils quarterback Daniel Jones, who was projected to be taken outside of the first round just a month before. Many fans were discouraged by the pick because they felt Jones would have still been available at pick number 17, and “Danny Dimes” as he is now referred to, was not a big name in the 2018 college football season. However, the Giants decided to start the season with veteran and former two-time Super Bowl MVP, Eli Manning. After two quick losses to the Cowboys and Bills, Eli was benched in place for Jones. “Danny Dimes” started off his career hot, posting back-to-back wins in weeks three and four against the Buccaneers and Redskins. Losing star running back Saquon Barkley with a high-ankle sprain against Tampa Bay was detrimental to an
already-inferior Giants offense. In week five, reality set back in for the G-Men as they only posted 10 points against the Vikings’ resilient defense. The Giants have been winless since then, even with Barkley back in the lineup. The question now is: Can the Giants win again in 2019?
As for the Jets, there was a lot of hype around them this offseason with the signings of stars like Le’Veon Bell and CJ Mosley. Quarterback Sam Darnold was heading into his sophomore season with promise. A blown 16-0 lead against the Bills week one would put all of this excitement on hold. Losing Darnold to Mononucleosis for four weeks after the Bills game was the most disappointing thing to ever happen. In his week six return, Darnold and Jets shocked the world by upsetting a quality Cowboys team. The Jets were finally looking upward, but an embarrassment on Monday night against the Patriots shut that faith right down. Sam Darnold was quoted saying that he was “seeing ghosts” and had an abysmal four turnovers. The Jets hit rock bottom when they handed the Miami Dolphins their first win in week nine. The stage was finally set for the battle of Metlife, an epic showdown of underperforming young quarterbacks that had a combined 3 wins in 2019.
The game was dominated by the Jets in the first quarter as a Darnold scramble to the endzone and as Jamison Crowder’s touchdown reception gave them the 14-0 lead. Then, the Jets defense was exposed when Darius Slayton slanted his way through the
secondary and caught a wide-open 39-yard pass. Jamal Adams scored on a play for the ages when he strip sacked Daniel Jones, took the ball out of his hands and sprinted to the opposing end zone for the touchdown. Soon after, Golden Tate took a screen pass to the house, but an Aldrick Rosas missed extra point maintained the Jets 2-point lead. The Jets held their lead despite another Tate score and won by a final score of 34-27. The story of the game was the ineffectiveness of the Giants’ run game- specifically having one rush yard on the day. Jamal Adams and Sam Darnold played outstanding and locked up the Jets win.
Despite the loss, Daniel Jones statistically played a solid game. His 308 passing yards and four touchdowns were not enough to support a horrendous defensive effort. Jones’s performance was enough to have Giants fans keep the faith for the future as JCHS senior, Matt DiBlasio, told me, “Every team needs a franchise QB, and me and a whole lot of other Giants fans believe we have ours.”
That same confidence was shown by long-time Jets fan and other JCHS senior, Aidan Torok. He stated, “The Jets showed a lot on Sunday by grinding out the W. I think the ghosts are done haunting Metlife and Sam Darnold is back in his bag.” While both teams are struggling, there is still hope for the future. Though playoffs are doubtful and Sunday was a poor showing, there is a lot to look forward to with Darnold and Jones at the reins.