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Both New York Football Teams Are Off to Unprecedented Starts

The New York Jets and Giants are off to their best starts to a season in nearly a decade—so much so that their overwhelming success has put their NVOT fans in a frenzy.

The Jets, under second-year head coach Robert Saleh, have put together a 6-3 record despite inconsistent quarterback play. In a matchup in Denver against the Broncos, the Jets lost two key offensive players: potential Offensive Rookie of the Year Breece Hall and Alijah Vera-Tucker. Again, everyone counted out the Jets as they continue to prove everyone wrong, pulling off one of their biggest wins over the past decade, beating the previously 6-1 Buffalo Bills. They snapped a four-game losing streak against their divisional rival who is widely considered the favorite to win the Super Bowl. The Jets went into the game as an 11-point underdog with a chip on their shoulder and went on to prove that they aren’t done yet. Now, the Jets are hoping to power through the remainder of their schedule and break the longest current postseason drought in the NFL. 

Many Jets fans still believe that their team can keep up their spectacular play, including senior Marcello DeLillo. DeLillo thinks the Jets can still make “the playoffs but get eliminated in the divisional round.” This would be quite the overachievement for a team that was projected 6 wins by most media outlets. DeLillo says that Robert Saleh’s “all gas no brakes mentality” has helped revitalize the Jets locker room and morale that has been lacking. 

Sophomore Madison Kosmark has also “been surprised by the Jets record this season, considering this season they are 6-3 and last [season] they were 4-13.” This Jets team already has more wins than last year’s team in just over half the amount of games. 

The Giants, meanwhile, are off to a slightly better season with a 6-2 record due to running back Saquon Barkley’s return to glory and the Giant’s immense success in the 4th quarter. They have four wins in games where they’ve trailed in the fourth quarter and five wins in games where they’ve trailed in the second half.

It would be hard to talk about the Giants without mentioning new Head Coach Brian Daboll, the current favorite for Coach of the Year. Daboll has clearly turned the team’s culture around which has led to the Giants’ ability to pull off wins late in games. Sophomore Gehrig Seidenfrau likes “the way Daboll has coached this year. He cares for all of his players equally and that’s why he’s been successful [as a coach].” Daboll has also been able to figure out how to effectively use QB Daniel Jones, who’s playing some of his best football in the final year of his contract. Jones has cleaned up his game and eliminated a lot of turnover-worthy plays. He only has 2 interceptions on the season which is tied for the second-best out of all NFL QBs.

Most New York football fans agree that the success of both teams was not expected and on paper, neither roster has the talent or QB to keep up with the NFL’s elite. Seidenfrau also thinks “it’s amazing how [the Giants] are playing so well and how Saquon is performing.” Barkley, the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year and Pro Bowler in the 2018 season, was thought to be one of the best backs in the NFL. Barkley had a great 2019 campaign, but tore his ACL in week 3 of the 2020 season and hasn’t been the same player since. That is, until now, where his play has elevated his team to the second most wins in the NFL through week 8. Barkley is 2nd in the league in rushing yards with 779 and has 5 rushing touchdowns, good for 6th best in the NFL.

Sophomore Kiran Gurunathan believes that “after some abysmal years for both franchises, it looks like they are finally heading in the right direction.” It looks like fans from both New York  football teams finally have bright futures ahead of them.