Early Returns a Mixed Bag for Jets, Giants Both Sit at 1-1


Ron Jenkins

The Giants pass defense is a concern for the otherwise promising team. (Ron Jenkins/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT)


Coming in to the season, expectations were high for the reigning champion New York Giants, while concerns prevailed about the Jets offense, unable to muster more than a lone touchdown in the preseason. In week one, the New York Giants lost 24-17 to the Dallas Cowboys and panic began to set in. The returning champs redeemed themselves the following week with a hard-fought, come-from-behind victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Their neighbors, the New York Jets, returned last with an exciting win, 48-28, against the Buffalo Bills, leading fans to believe that the offensive concerns were overblown. The Jets faced off against the Pittsburgh Steelers in week two, but scored only ten points in a losing effort on the road. Welcome to New York, the most confusing city in football.

The Giants pass defense is a concern for the otherwise promising team. (Ron Jenkins/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT)

Week one was not satisfactory for Giants fans. The 2011-2012 season proved to be quite successful for the Giants. Eli Manning claimed his position among the “elite” quarterbacks of the NFL throwing 359 completions for 4,933 yards, 29 touchdowns and only 16 interceptions. Not only did they win their second Super Bowl in five years, but they beat the powerhouse New England Patriots each time. Naturally, after such success, fans have high expectations. These were not met, as the Giants became the first reigning champions to lose the season opener since the reigning NFL champions began hosting the season’s first game in 2004.

In week two, the Giants’ future looked dim as they headed into halftime trailing the Bucs 21-7. However, they showed their true colors as they came out in the second half and took control of the game, winning it 41-34. While the Giants’ performance against the Cowboys was less than perfect, fans can rest assured that the Big Blue offense is still capable of having a big season.

The Giants have one of the best leaders in the league in Eli Manning. Manning has already thrown for 723 yards and four touchdowns, connecting with receiver Hakeem Nicks for one. Receiver Victor Cruz has also been sharing the load with one touchdown. Both Cruz and Nicks have 237 yards this season. If the Giants’ offense keeps fighting the way they have in weeks one and two, they will be poised to defend their championship in the 2013 Super Bowl.

The New York Jets did not enter the 2012 season with such high expectations. Having reached the AFC East championship two years in a row in 2010 and 2011, last year’s 8-8 record was heartbreaking to Jets fans. The team found somewhat of a distraction from the poor season this summer amidst the hype about new backup quarterback Tim Tebow.

Many questions about the depth chart and the relationship between Tebow and starting quarterback Mark Sanchez were raised, as it seemed a perfect storm for quarterback controversy. In spite of having the league’s most famous backup breathing down his neck, Sanchez has shown a great deal of improvement and maturity so far this year, throwing for 404 yards and four touchdowns.

Perhaps having the threat of a talented, eager quarterback brought in was just the right motivation for Sanchez to prove his worth as the leader of the New York Jets.

Though the Jets lost in week two, fans need not be discouraged. The Jets faced some extenuating circumstances in week two, both on and off the field. Key players such as defensive back Darrelle Revis and tight end Dustin Keller were injured, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are a tough opponent to face on the road.

Given the ups and downs of both New York teams, it’s safe to say that there is little certainly through two weeks. The Giants have an elite and resilient quarterback, to be sure, and the Jets are capable of lighting it up, but what remains to be seen is what sort of consistency each team can muster. At this point, the two teams sit firmly beside other .500 teams, and they look to have a good a chance as any to enter the 2012-2013 playoffs.