It is no secret that now is not the best time to be a New York football fan. With both the Giants and Jets in the midst of seasons that will most likely end without playoff berths, it is time to begin looking towards the future. However, each team has a much different path ahead of them.
For the Jets, their first order of business is easy, yet long overdue – fire Todd Bowles. If there are two things you cannot win with on a consistent level in the NFL, it is mediocre quarterback play and a mediocre head coach. While the Jets may have found their solution at quarterback with Sam Darnold, having a coach that has not found success and does not show signs of turning things around will halt any and all progress made.
The good news for Jets fans is that they do have the centerpiece to build around in a young quarterback. Though Darnold has still not proven himself, he offers a consistency and a possible future at the most important position on the field. Now it is up to the franchise to put a team around him that makes him succeed at his highest possible level. Rookie quarterbacks can have all the talent in the world and may be able to make their teammates better but failing to address the other skill players around Darnold will stunt his growth.
With the Jets ranking at the bottom of the league in yards per play, there is one name that sticks out which would automatically change their offense, that being Le’Veon Bell. The soon-to-be ex-Pittsburgh running back is going to be looking for a new home in the offseason, and nowhere will he be more valued than in the green and white. Adding a weapon of Bell’s magnitude would make life much easier for the Jets’ young quarterback and would open up the offense tremendously. If not Bell, there still needs to be a dynamic skill player added to the roster.
From there, it will go to the draft, where the Jets will be able to add more depth to their young talent.
While the Giants’ path back to success is no easier, they find themselves in a unique situation. Most teams find themselves in a rebuilding process trying to find young stars. The Giants, though, have proven veterans at key positions on the field like Odell Beckham, Jr. and Landon Collins, as well as young star in the backfield with rookie Saquon Barkley.
Where the Giants have lacked in are the precise places that make up a winning team. A solid line and consistent defensive backfield have been absent on the Giants for multiple seasons now. This failure to add to the necessary pieces causes the issues that the team is now facing.
Quarterback play has shown to be inconsistent as well. While Giants fans may not want it to be through, the bad pairing of an immobile quarterback behind a mediocre line is running its course. It is no secret a quarterback draft pick may be coming up in the spring, and the decision could be a driving force for where this team is headed.
With interesting paths in front of each of them, the Giants and Jets will continue to pave the path of their futures and hope to bring winning football back to the metropolitan area.
Keith Egan be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @keith_egan10.