We will have to wait until November to get a better sense of this, but it would seem that the best football team in Metropolitan New York is almost certainly Army. But that’s only because Columbia isn’t playing this year.
We bring this up because it seems increasingly clear that neither the Giants nor Jets will contribute to this debate in any meaningful way. In fact, while it would be tough to do, they could provide the worst combined season in the 60-year history of these two franchises’ coexistence. Putting it another way, if you apply the eye test to these two teams, you’re at greatly increased risk for macular degeneration.
For the third consecutive week, both the Giants and Jets lost, and played worse than they did the week before, which was worse than the week before that. They are actually tunneling through the maligned Field Turf of Meadowlands Stadium toward the earth’s molten core, and there is even money at this point that they can get there before their mutual bye week, which occurs the week before the unfortunately named Thanksgiving. In fact, they could pull off the first-ever intracity tank war without even trying to tank, which is a particularly novel way of making the city the center of the NFL universe next spring.
Until then, wear masks. Lots and lots of masks.
The Giants, who kind of held their own for a while against Pittsburgh and then lost Saquon Barkley and Sterling Shepard in their Week 2 to Trubiskius The First, got boatraced Sunday by the San Francisco 26ers (downgraded from 49ers due to injury-based roster deterioration), 36-9. The score was not indicative of the imbalance in play; without their starting quarterback, best running back, best wide receiver, and best tight end, the San Franciscii controlled the ball for nearly 40 minutes and only got one player, backup tight end Jordan Reed, hurt. In all ways, this was a memorable beating only if you forget the desperately bad Giants of the 1970s.
And then the Jets opened with a pick-six by Sam Darnold (his first of two) on the game’s sixth play en route to an almost identical loss, 36-7, to the Indianapolis Colts. Adam Gase became the first coach anyone knows of to have lost 30 games by double digits and win 30 total games. This is a monument matched only by the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and whatever the hell it is that the Pittsburgh Pirates were doing this season.
To give you the rest of the play-by-play would be a war crime, so we’ll just give you this James Maddison goal as reward for trudging this far:
You’re welcome. Now, back to Flip This Abattoir.
This is not the first time these two teams have been lockstep hellbound. They both went 3-11 in 1976, and the only reason they didn’t end up with the first two picks in the next season is because this was the year the league expanded to Tampa Bay (0-14) and Seattle (2-12). The Giants were the far more dignified failure, rallying from an 0-9 start to fool the psychotics into thinking they were turning the corner, which they did, winning five, six, six and four in the next four years and still not changing their head coach until they found Bill Parcells in 1983.
The Jets were demonstrably worse, losing their first three games by an aggregate of 80, their last three by an aggregate of 76, and scored over 30 only in their win over Tampa. They managed to make the AFC title game in the strike year of 1982, were so impressed by their improvement that they fired head coach Walt Michaels, and didn’t become a consistently un-skeevy team until THEY hired Parcells in 1997.
The Giants and Jets are 31st and 32nd, (dis)respectively, in margin of defeat, and deservedly so, but it feels worse even than that. And it looks worse than that, so screw how it feels. The Giants are further along but only because they just fired their coach and have a new one in Joe Judge; the Adam Gase firing watch began with the second Buffalo touchdown in the first quarter of Week 1. They are a combined 28-71 since the start of 2018, and further deterioration is almost guaranteed. As we noted, Columbia will reward its football fans far better because the Ivy League canceled football this year.
This isn’t the first time New York seceded from the NFL. It does look like the worst time, though, and the only way to be sure they’re digging the ditch upon which a bar they can clear rests to keep watching. The Jets may win first, given that they have the equally winless Denvers next Sunday while the Giants travel to Los Angeles for the Rams, but nothing seems doable at this point. 1976 or no, hell has never seemed so fresh.