Posted on: September 16, 2022, 04:32h.
Last updated on: September 16, 2022, 06:12h.
Like the tango and the fox trot, the fortunes of the New York metropolitan area’s two football teams couldn’t have been more different a week ago. The question for this Sunday is whether their two momentum variations continue into Week 2.
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) runs off field after the Giants defeated the Tennessee Titans 21-20 in the Sunday, Sept. 11, game in Nashville. (Image: NJ.com)
The Giants spent last Sunday evening dancing in the visiting locker room in Tennessee. Jets quarterback Joe Flacco spent last Sunday afternoon trying to dance his way out of the reach of pass rushers, often unsuccessfully.
New Giants coach Brian Daboll is the toast of the town after boldly going for a 2-point conversion trailing by one point against the Titans with 1:06 left. The team then survived a missed field goal on the game’s final play that every single Giants die-hard was convinced would be good. Just goes to show that the past is in the past.
Flacco, meanwhile, was sacked three times, hurried countless other times, and was not exactly inclined to buy dinner for his offensive line following the Jets’ 24-9 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Coach Robert Saleh has already ruled out turning to third-string QB Mike White while the team waits for Zach Wilson to be physically able to play.
So it is up to the offensive schemers on the Jets coaching staff to find ways to buy time for Flacco when he is on the field, which won’t be all that long if running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt of the Cleveland Browns control the time-of-possession game. They can do that by replicating what they did in their opener, rushing for a combined 187 yards in a 26-24 road victory over Carolina.
What Have We Seen In Gambling Markets This Week?
The Jets have moved from + 6 to + 6 1/2 over the week, and roughly 60 percent of the handle is coming in on Cleveland, according to BetMGM. Nearly two-thirds of the handle is coming in on the over of 42 1/2, which is curious because the Jets managed only nine points in their opener at home and now will be playing on the road.
The Giants are favored by 2 after the line opened at 2 1/2, and 60% of the handle is coming in on Carolina, despite the questionable status of star running back Christian McCaffrey. The Giants limited Tennessee’s Derrick Henry to just 82 yards on 21 carries, while Saquon Barkley rushed for 164 yards on 18 carries and added 30 receiving yards on six receptions.
Barkley’s score on the game-deciding 2-point conversion helped earn him Offensive Player of the Week honors, and his rushing yardage over/under has been set at just 77 1/2 — perhaps because he bettered that number only once in 13 games last season.
But as mentioned above, the past is the past, and Barkley was drafted second overall in 2018 for a reason. Yes, injuries have limited him. But he is 100% now and will undoubtedly be the focus of Carolina’s defense, which surrendered 217 rushing yards last week against Cleveland. The Panthers had the No. 2 defense in the NFL last season, but again … the past is the past.
Still, the “Same Old Jets” moniker is a part of the past that remains a part of the present for Gang Green, and it will continue to be uttered until something changes in a major way. Beginning this season with an aging backup quarterback who was under siege and had several of his passes dropped was not exactly inspiring. We should expect the Jets to use first-round draft pick Garrett Wilson, the rookie from Ohio State who went No. 10 in the draft but was on the field for only half of the Jets’ offensive plays, catching four passes for 52 yards.
The statistical fact that is most upsetting to Jets fans was that Flacco completed 37 of 59 pass attempts while Lamar Jackson completed only 19 for the Ravens, yet the Jets managed only one touchdown (with a missed extra point) and one field goal. Jets head coach Robert Saleh had some cross words for the fans who booed the home team off the field. That does not endear him to the folks shelling out huge money for personal seat licenses, season tickets and $15 beers.
He is on the spot this week, so expect him to pull a few tricks plays out of his playbook to keep the Browns guessing.
None Of These Teams Have A History Of Covering
Cleveland was only 8-9 last season but went 6-3 at home. The Browns covered the spread in just three of nine home games. (The Jets were 2-5-0 ATS last season on the road).
The Giants were 0-1 ATS as a home favorite last season, while the Panthers were 2-4-0 ATS as a road ‘dog. But take all of those numbers with a grain of salt because last year has nothing to do with this year. Just ask the defending Super Boal champion Rams, who were undone by New York’s other team, the Buffalo Bills, 31-10 in the season opener last Thursday.
Buffalo gets the Tennessee Titans on Monday night and is favored by 10.
The Giants and Jets play at 1 p.m. EDT on Sunday, and the weather conditions will be optimal. New Yorkers have plenty to cheer for with the Yankees and Mets both in serious contention for a World Series title, and the start of the NBA training camps is less than two weeks away.
So the Jets and Giants are not only playing for respect, they are playing for relevance. How that translates to what happens Sunday remains to be seen.