These are dark days for New York soccer.
While both the Jets and Giants have had their share of bad times of the year, this is the first that both teams have started with a 0-5 record.
How bad are these teams? And is there hope for injured New York soccer fans in the coming weeks?
Has New York City started with 0-10?
No, this is a first.
The Giants have already made a 5-0 start five times, most recently in 2017 on the way to a 3-13 season. This debacle was particularly troubling as it followed after an 11-5 regular season and a playoff appearance in 2016.
This season is actually the third 0: 5 start in a decade for the Giants, who also started 0: 6 in 2013. They also failed to win the first five games in 1987 (two defeats by the real team, then three by a particularly poor group of strike-breaking players), 1979 and 1976.
Although the Jets didn’t start 5-0 that year, 1976 was likely the nadir for New York professional football … at least so far. Both local teams finished with 3-11 records. The Giants started the season 9-0, the worst start for a New York team … again so far. The Jets were perhaps as close to a winless season as a team while they were still winning. The only teams to beat them were the 0-14 Buccaneers and the 2-12 Bills (twice).
This season is only the third 0-5 start in the history of the jets. The last came in 1996, a season in which they lost the first eight games and then finished 1-15. Much berated coach Rich Kotite left the post-season season with a two-year record of 4-28. Her other 0-5 start came in 1980 after Jimmy Snyder, the odds maker better known as Jimmy the Greek, she had inexplicably chosen go to the super bowl.
And then came 2020, when the 5-0 starts of the two tenants of the MetLife stadium coincided for the first time in a grim syzygy.
What do the statistics say?
Choose a category. The Jets and Giants are probably at the very bottom.
Let’s start with the smallest building block of football success: the yard. In week 6 the Giants and Jets occupy the 28th and 29th place of the 32 N.F.L. Teams – and two of the three teams behind them each played one game less.
A bigger building block is the point. The New York teams don’t have many of them either. The Giants and Jets occupy the 31st and 32nd place in the points scored. On the defensive, the Jets occupy 30th place for the permissible points, while the Giants with 20th place are at least mediocre.
Ultimately, N.F.L. Teams win by efficiently passing the ball. The Giants and Jets occupy 28th and 31st place in net pass yards per attempt. And while the recipients of the teams and their fixtures have to bear some blame, the bulk of it will always fall on the quarterback. Of the 28 quarterbacks with at least four starts this seasonThe Giants ‘Daniel Jones ranks 26th in adjusted yards per pass while the Jets’ Sam Darnold ranks 27th. Only Carson Wentz of the Philadelphia Eagles is lower.
(Joe Flacco, who came on last week with an injured Darnold, was at least a little better.)
The game in progress doesn’t usually help a team that loses and the Jets have hoisted a white flag this week Publication of Le’Veon Bell after they couldn’t find a team ready to act for him.
What do the coaches and players say?
Adam doesn’t like gases on Mondays.
After Sunday’s losses, the Jets head coach had several tough conversations with the players about staff changes, injuries and devastating band reviews to see how the result could be changed the following weekend.
Injuries, including Darnold’s lengthy absence, have forced the team to adjust to availability and lately it has been a decision made almost on game day. The exception: This week, Gase published Le’Veon Bell on Tuesday evening and shocked some in the locker room.
“I had no idea it even happened, I had people calling me and telling me about it,” said broad recipient Breshad Perriman, who hopes to play in the Jets’ next game.
“It was surprising to all of us,” said Chris Herndon. “We all wish him the best wherever he ends up next.”
In contrast, Gase was calm with another roster change over which he was in control.
“We’re going to try to figure out what’s best for us in the future, who we want to use in the backfield and wide receivers and all that,” he said on Wednesday.
Giants coach Joe Judge said he is focusing on a little more one-on-one conversations with each of his players to strengthen the team. “We are very open, open and honest,” he said. “I’ll tell you the truth every day.”
Giants coaches said quarterback Daniel Jones has been especially tough on himself because of the team’s start, and those practices emphasize working on the passing, running, and kicking games. So most things.
“It’s just about getting your job done and working at a high level, playing in and out,” Jones said on Wednesday. “You don’t know which game will ultimately decide the game.”
Which team is worse?
The giants have some results that are at least believable. A 4 point loss for the 4-1 Bears in week 2. An 8 point loss for the 4-1 Rams in week 5.
You could give the jets a nod lose their season opener against the surprising bills but it’s been ugly since then, capped by a home loss to the otherwise winless Denver Broncos and a 20-point shellacking, back home, by the Arizona Cardinals.
The number crunchers who rate teams agree that the Giants are bad and the Jets are miserable. The Sagarin, SRS, Unpredictable and Massey Ranking systems use different methods to assess the overall ability of each team. They all rank the Giants in either 30th or 31st place in the league. They all last saw the jets dead.
What is the weekend like?
The giants could actually win. Your opponent, the Washington Football Team, may be as bad as the New York squad. Washington is 1-4 and his only win came against the fighting Philadelphia Eagles. Home field means the Giants are actually a 2 1/2 point favorite, although you might not want to bet a fortune on it.
The jets are unlikely to win. Though their opponent the Miami Dolphins is nobody’s idea of elite, they’re 2-3, coming from pounding the 49ers on the street and playing the Jets at home. That’s good enough to make her an 8 point favorite.
Is there hope on the horizon?
The Giants have one great built-in advantage. You play in the N.F.C. east. That said, they still have two shots at the abysmal soccer team and the almost equally bad Eagles. Throw in a game against the still-self-finding Cincinnati Bengals and the Giants definitely have a chance to pick up a few wins this season.
The jet schedule looks worrying. Their rivals in the division include the resurgent Bills, the ever-dangerous Patriots, and the decent enough dolphins, a much tougher line-up than the Giants. Throw in street games against the Chiefs, Chargers, and Seahawks, and the hypothetical casualties keep mounting. Even a game that looked promising at home against the Browns before the start of the season suddenly doesn’t look that easy anymore.
The Jets’ best chance of winning may be their home game against the Dolphins on November 29th and some other home games can be won. But they could find themselves big underdogs in most of their remaining street games: maybe two touchdowns for the Chargers, Seahawks, Patriots and Rams, and maybe even three touchdowns in a potentially ugly game on November 1st with the Chiefs.
Do you feel a little more optimistic? Of the 158 teams that started the 0-5 season with the 1922 Columbus Panhandles, five managed to hit a record of .500, most recently the Tennessee Titans in 2009. And a 0-5 A.F.L. Team, the 1962 Buffalo Bills, somehow finished 7-6-1.
But no 0-5 team made it to the playoffs. Yes, the playoffs were expanded to 14 teams this year. No, that doesn’t help.