Giants vs Jets: Who Will Come Out On Top In 2020?

NFL football team huddle

The New York Giants and the New York Jets have one of the oldest rivalries in the NFL. The rivalry began in the 1960’s as the two New York teams made media comments about being the best football team in New York. The Jets were part of the American Football League (AFL), and the Giants were part of the National Football League (NFL).

With the merger of the AFL and NFL, the two teams were placed in separate conferences: the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC). As a result, the Jets and the Giants don’t play each other every season. At the moment, they play each other once every four seasons, unless they meet at the Super Bowl.

The 2019-2020 NFL season falls on one of the rivalry’s four year matches, and the Jets vs Giants game was played on 10 November 2019. The New York Jets news headlines had the bragging rights this year, as the game ended with the Jets victorious, 34-27. This means the rivalry currently sits with the Giants leading the Jets with 8 victories to 6. The Jets have won the last two league matches, so the Giants will want to make sure they are ready in 2023.

The Giants vs Jets game was a highlight in what has been an otherwise disappointing season for both teams, and New York’s football fans. Both teams are out of the running to make the playoffs this season. This is perhaps not surprising, given the two teams’ form over this past decade.

The New York Jets last made the playoffs in 2010. The New York Giants on the other hand won Super Bowl XLVI in 2012, but were unable to maintain that form. The Giants last made the playoffs in 2016, and fell out in the wildcard round. Make no mistake, both the New York Giants and the New York Jets are in rebuilding phases.

As both teams start to look towards the 2020-2021 season, which team is on the right track? They both have young quarterbacks who are finding their feet in the league, and both need to figure out how they plan to build a playoff-quality roster.

The following four areas will ultimately decide who will come out on top in 2020:

  • Quarterback development
  • Roster quality
  • Coaching staff

Quarterback development

The New York Giants and the New York Jets both have young quarterbacks, in Daniel Jones and Sam Darnold respectively. Both have undoubted talent but also need to refine their games further. The story of the two New York quarterbacks also has a place in the Giants vs Jets rivalry.

In the 2018 NFL Draft, the Giants had the second pick and the Jets had the third. Many thought that the Giants would draft Darnold, but instead drafted Saquon Barkley. The Jets drafted Darnold with their pick.

In the build up to the Giants vs Jets game in November, many New York Jets news headlines were about how Darnold should show the Giants what they missed out on by not drafting him. To a degree he did just that by emerging victorious with the Jets.

Sam Darnold in a green New York Jets kit
Looking at the two quarterbacks, it’s perhaps too early to decide which team has the better player. Comparing both of their rookie seasons shows how close the two are. In 2018-2019, Darnold played 13 games, with 239 passes completed, had 2865 yards gained by passing, and 17 passing touchdowns. Jones in comparison has played 11 games, with 228 passes completed, 2374 yards gained by passing and 18 passing touchdowns.

Looking at both players’ 2019-2020 stats, they are even more similar. Darnold has a 61.7% pass completion, while Jones has 61.6%. Darnold has a quarterback rating of 84.3% and Jones has 84%. Both have scored two touchdowns, and Jones has thrown one more touchdown pass so far this season. With both players being the same age (22), time will tell who has the better quarterback.

One factor that could be in Jones’ favor is that he is only in his rookie season, and could still be learning the pace and intensity of the NFL. Darnold, on the other hand, has already had a season in the NFL and should start to show that he is refining and evolving his game.

Roster quality

Teams that are in the process of rebuilding can build the necessary roster depth through a combination of trades and good draft picks. Looking at the rosters of both teams, it is clear that this process has already begun. Both teams have rosters with an average age of just over 26 years old, both with young quarterbacks.

For the Giants, Barkley and Sterling Shepard are excellent talents, but Odell Beckham Jr. and Landan Collins have departed. At tight ends, they have quality players in Evan Engram and Rhett Ellison.

Perhaps most importantly, they have freed up salary cap and could be in a good position to go out and get what the team needs at the end of the season. They’ll also have an opportunity in the 2020 NFL Draft to bring in more talent. Chase Young is a viable option for the Giants. Young plays Edge, and could be the perfect young offensive tackle to add to their roster. The New York Giants news sites will no doubt be showcasing some of Young’s college highlights in the build-up to the draft.

Chase Young in a patterned suit and glasses
For the Jets, the rebuild project perhaps has further to go. Currently their best players are arguably Le’Veon Bell, Jamal Adams and Robby Anderson. Outside of these three players and Darnold, there are many players who show promising signs, like Jordan Jenkins, but are yet to truly deliver for the Jets.

With a decent sized salary cap available, there is no doubt that a few New York Jets rumours will be surrounding potential trades. The Jets will likely be looking for a wide receiver, an additional running back and more cover for the offensive line.

They’ll also be looking to the 2020 NFL Draft to bring more depth to the roster. They’ll also be looking to Chase Young, Jerry Jeudy at wide receiver (especially if Anderson isn’t re-signed) or Andrew Thomas at offensive tackle.

Comparing the two rebuilds, it seems like the Giants have a stronger roster at the moment, although the Jets have won more games this season, including the rivalry game against the Giants. It will be a big offseason for both sets of recruitment and scouting teams.

Coaching staff

It would not be a shock to see both the Giants and the Jets with new head coaches in 2020. The Jets have seemed unable to bring about a sustained run of form and the Giants have at times been abysmal.

Adam Gase is only in his first season with the Jets, and could get more time to sort the team out. The Jets have already paid two head coaches compensation packages recently, so could be reluctant to pay another.

Recent New York Jets rumours of a fallout with Darnold are certainly a worrying sign for Gase. While the Jets owner has given Gase his vote of approval, things may change if it becomes a choice between Gase and Darnold.

Giants head coach Pat Shurmer may not even make the end of the season if he can’t turn the team in the right direction. Shurmer seemed less than confident about his position when New York Giants news reporters asked him if he’d last the season. Shurmer is in his second season and doesn’t seem to be the right coach for the team at the moment.

Whether the Jets stick with Gase or if Shurmer can turn things around, will be decisive for the rebuilding phase at both teams. Darnold and Jones are not going to stay 22 forever, so the rebuild has a timeframe. Any rebuild requires quality leadership.

Who will come out on top in 2020?

At quarterback, both Darnold and Jones have the potential to guide their teams back to the playoffs, but will need to refine their games further. If the Giants replace Shurmer with a proven head coach, recruit well and draft a player like Chase Young, they could be returning to the playoffs sooner than the Jets.

If the Jets recruit well and draft a player like Jerry Jeudy, they could start to push on stronger than the Giants. If Gase is not the right head coach, delaying a decision could prove costly in terms of giving a new head coach time to continue the rebuild. If Gase proves himself at the end of the season, the Jets could prove the doubters and Giants fans wrong in 2020.

Unfurling flag at NY Jets first home game at new Meadowlands Stadium 2010

Betting on the future

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