Keidel: Jets And Giants Meet In Season Of Disappointment

'Call It The Stupor Bowl'

Jason Keidel
November 08, 2019 - 2:36 pm
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Call it the Stupor Bowl.

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The Jets and Giants play each other at MetLife Stadium Sunday in one of the least appealing matchups ever between our local NFL clubs. The Jets and Giants share a sport, a state, a stadium, and now an ignominious place in the league they represent. We've long said the NFL shield is Teflon, but if any two teams can erode the mighty emblem, it's the virulent way these bottom-feeders play football. 

They have a combined record of 3-14, including 2-7 at the Meadowlands, the place they both call home. Indeed, as we enter Week 10 of the NFL season, the Buffalo Bills have just as many wins at MetLife as the Jets and Giants combined. 

The Jets have been outscored by 115 points this season; the Giants have been outscored by 79 points. The Jets have scored just 96 points all year, by far the fewest in football. The Giants are a bit better, with 176 points, but still rank in the bottom half of the league. The Jets have lost three straight, including a loss to the lowly (and formerly winless) Dolphins. The Giants have lost five straight, right behind the Bengals (0-8) for the longest losing streak in the league. 

Which matchup do you prefer? The Giants take their 24th-ranked offense to the field against the Jets' 17th-ranked defense. Or watch the Jets take their offense - ranked 32nd out of 32 teams - against the Giants' 28th-ranked defense. The Jets have a minus-7 turnover margin, which ranks 27th in the NFL. The Giants have a minus-10 turnover ratio, 30th in the league. 

Gang Green featured a franchise quarterback, who got sick, came back, and still looks sick. Big Blue beamed over a franchise quarterback who won two quick games, then lost five straight games, and is tied with Jameis Winston for the most turnovers, with eight interceptions and eight fumbles lost. Sam Darnold has tossed nine picks in just five games, while Daniel Jones has fumbled ten total times to lead Big Blue's NFL-worst 12 fumbles lost. Darnold posts a paltry 70.5 passer rating; Jones sports an 82.8 passer rating. 

Oct 21, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) reacts on the sideline during the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sport

Perhaps the most gripping theme in this game is Saquon Barkley - not how hard he runs or yards he gains, but his father proudly bearing a Jets tattoo and entering this game with splintered loyalties. When two teams can't give you concrete, real-world prosperity, you look for sideshows. 

Two months ago, this game would have sparkled from the MetLife marquee. We would have drooled over the idea of two young, big-armed QBs squaring off for the hometown crown. We would have cherished the chance to see Saquon Barkley flaunt his moves against Gang Green, while Le’Veon Bell knifed through the Big Blue defense. Two months ago, the Jets were up 16-0 on the Bills, ready to fire out of the gate 1-0 and rumble toward playoff contention. They gagged that game away, and then the rest of the first half of the season, their lone win a scalp-scratcher against the Cowboys. 

The Giants had no stratospheric hopes. But after winning two electric games, the Giants had proved that Jones was worth the No. 6 pick in the NFL Draft and worth all the heckling that came with the pick. Jones proved a Duke QB can make the jump from the ACC to the NFL. The football world even handed him a handle, Danny Dimes, for his pinpoint spirals. So, of course, he hasn't won since. 

Still, the Jets and Giants are natural rivals, much the way the Yanks and Mets are. But never have our two baseball clubs been so collectively bad, at least not since they started playing each other over two decades ago. The Jets and Giants have made this a tough game to watch, tough to cover and toughest to attend. The winner is king of MetLife - the home of two lifeless teams, a few black cats and a football mausoleum in the swamp. 

Twitter: @JasonKeidel

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