by Michael Bottiglieri, Contributor
The fall season is here, which should only mean happiness in the eyes of football fans around the world. However, we are currently three weeks into the NFL season and all that is felt amongst Jets and Giants fans is pain.
Both teams currently stand at 0-3 with young quarterbacks who can’t seem to receive any help from their offensive line. This is a real problem because the Jets have just drafted quarterback Zach Wilson from BYU with the second-overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. Any football fan knows that a quarterback will go as far as his offensive line lets him go, which means that a vulnerable offensive line will only hurt the progression of such a young talent like Wilson.
As for the Giants, they just can’t seem to ever get the offensive line right, which has been a problem for a few years now. Daniel Jones has proven to be average at best, but regardless of that, being in such a poor division like the NFC East should allow any team to be able to compete. However, the offensive line can’t provide any holes for superstar running back Saquon Barkley to run through. It seems like every play in which the ball is handed to Barkley he gets tackled in the backfield with absolutely no blocking from the front five.
A common phrase used in football is that “the game is won in the trenches.” The trenches is a word that refers to the offensive line and defensive line, and whoever wins the battle up front has a huge advantage in the game because it allows for a team to run the ball more, and of course gives the quarterback more time in the pocket to make decisions and throw.
Knowing this fact, it is pretty obvious why the Jets and Giants are doing so poorly this season. As I just mentioned, winning the battle up front, or in the “trenches” allows for teams to run the ball more. Running the ball is a very essential part of the offense because it dictates the tone of the game and also makes the clock run. The Jets currently have the fourth worst rushing attack in the NFL along with the least amount of points. To dig even deeper into statistics, Zach Wilson has been sacked 15 times in three games, which is the most in the league. The next highest is 10 amongst all quarterbacks that have played thus far this season. So before you blame Wilson for these losses, maybe show some sympathy for the guy.
Looking at the Giants, it’s easy for the casual fan to look at Daniel Jones and immediately blame him for the Giants’ slow start. However, while he might not be the franchise quarterback that fans are looking for, I think that any young quarterback in this system wouldn’t succeed. In 2020, Jones was sacked 50 times, which was the second highest in the NFL. In the same season, with Saquon Barkley out for the entire season last year, the Giants’ starting running back Wayne Gallman averaged 2.2 yards before contact, which was the eighth worst in the NFL amongst starting running backs.
Both of these football teams are picking up where they left off last season with poor play and angry fan bases. The Jets haven’t seen the playoffs in eleven years, and the Giants can’t seem to compete in the worst division that the NFL has ever seen. Sadly, two young and talented quarterbacks stand as the face for franchises who don’t give them any help. As a Jets fan, I must admit that this will be yet another embarrassing season for Gang Green. As for Giants fans, they know how painful it is to watch their team play every Sunday as well.
It is not a good time to be a football fan in New York.