Big Ben: Optimism on Hold, How the Season Could Go Poorly for the Giants and Jets

Courtesy of the NFL and CLUTCHPOINTS

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – It was only a few months ago that fans of the Yankees and Mets were filled with optimism for the upcoming season. That didn’t work out so well. Last week I predicted the Giants and Jets would both go over their Vegas Under/Over win totals. Then I saw an article on how both teams were among the most common under wagers in the NFL. Apparently, the betting community does not agree with my sanguine outlook. Am I Giants homer? Am I getting caught up on Rodgers hype train? The answers to both questions is clearly “yes.” But it’s possible, maybe both the Giants and the Jets will go down the terlet this season, like the local baseball squads. Let’s go to the dark side and try to come up with some reasons it could all go to shite for our local heroes (not counting injuries, which can derail any team).

Courtesy ESPN

Giants

Again, the 7.5 o/u number for the Giants seems wildly low for playoff team on the rise. But the tough schedule combined with a lot of tight wins last year has many predicting regression. I think the Giants’ roster is much improved. But if they do regress, here are a few of the possible reasons.

  1. Danny Jones doesn’t progress. The reason the Giants are favored to win two fewer games that the Jets is largely due to the disadvantage they have at QB. Jones got the contract, several new weapons, and has looked great in preseason. But if he can’t take his game to the next level when it counts, it will all be for naught.
  2. Rookie CBs don’t hold up. The Giants lack depth at CB, which is forcing them to use their best CB, Adoree Jackson, in the slot in sub packages, with two rookie CBs on the outside. This is a dangerous formula for a team looking to compete now. Neither of their projected slot CBs, Flott or Holmes, looked useful in preseason so they’ll surely be looking for depth on the waiver wire. If the rookies don’t hold up or there is an injury this could be a troublesome spot. This is especially true for the Giants, who employ a D-coordinator who can’t help bringing the house and leaving his corners on an island.
  3. The interior of the O-line. The Giants still don’t seem to have chosen their starting guards and are still using a three man rotation in the two spots. They also have a rookie at center. They should be set a tackle for the next five years, but the middle could be mediocre. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Giants struggle against teams with strong interior defensive lines.

Jets

Courtesy NY Giants

I guess some of the pessimism from gamblers is from thinking the Jets have been overhyped with the addition of Rodgers, who is 40 years old after all. They also play in a tough division and conference, with a pretty tough schedule. But with Rodgers, young talent aplenty, and a strong defense, it’s harder to see how this could break bad for them.

  1. O-Line Falls Apart Again – injuries aside, this seems like the only unit on offense that could fail. They seemed to have straighten things out some for their last preseason game, getting several starters back. But that was against backups and this is still a unit with plenty of questions.
  2. Coaching Saleh’s speech at the beginning of Hard Knocks about the different types of competitors was good. He’s growing on me a bit. Still, he’s young and unproven as a head coach and has made plenty pf curious decisions. And his O-Coordinator Hackett was responsible for a total maggot sandwich last year in Denver. These guys could definitely screw this up.
  3.  Defensive Regression –  The Jets gave up the fourth fewest yards in the league last year and added first round pick Will McDonald IV to improve the pass rush. The youngster looks like a difference maker. But if I was going to nit pick, the Jets had the fourth fewest takeaways in the league last year.  They’re going to need to increase that number and give the offense some short fields if they want to rise to contender.
Courtesy NY Jets

I am not predicting any of these things to go wrong. But I didn’t expect this type of season from the Mets or Yankees either. If Daniel Jones progresses and if the Jets O-Line holds up, I expect both of these teams to be good. They play for realsies on October 29th in week 8. The Jets will be coming off a bye while the Giants will still be a few weeks from theirs. It could be an important game.

I’m dunzo. Come back tomorrow for Angry Ward. 

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About Ben Whitney 395 Articles
Ben Whitney comes from journalistic stock. Aside from his brothers, rumor has that his great-great grandfather was the youngest brother of Eli Whitney and covered the earliest "rounders" games. Big Ben is also another New York Rugby Club player/pal of Different Matt, Short Matt and Junoir Blaber. He likes film noir discussions, has twin girls and took up ice hockey after retiring from rugby.