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Do the Jets or Giants have the better future?

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I though this was kind of interesting and seeing as they are playing tomorrow I figured what the heck?

NFL experts sound off: Do Jets or Giants have better future?

November 9, 2019 | 1:33pm | Updated

 

The Giants and Jets are looking in a mirror.

If one team peeks at the other, it sees a reflection: an elite running back surrounded by … a 22-year-old turnover-prone quarterback with the weight of a franchise on his shoulders, not enough blocking or pass rush, and a second-stop head coach wearing thin on the patience of fans.

The Giants lead the NFL with 31 losses since 2017. The Jets could suffer a fourth straight season of 10 or more losses for the first time in team history. In short, both teams have sunk to perennial losers.

So maybe it’s a cracked mirror. Or a funhouse mirror.

The Jets hosted the Giants at MetLife Stadium on Christmas Eve 2011 in a virtual playoff game. The Giants’ win was a springboard to a Super Bowl title and the Jets’ loss ended a three-year window as a contender.

Eight years later, the Jets (1-7) host the Giants (2-7) on Sunday afternoon in the only game on the NFL Week 10 schedule featuring teams with fewer than five combined wins. The Giants are headed toward an eighth straight season with no playoff wins and the Jets toward a ninth straight without a playoff appearance.

““When both teams in a market like New York are struggling, it seems like the world is coming to an end.” — Brian Billick

“When both teams in a market like New York are struggling,” Super Bowl-winning coach Brian Billick said, “it seems like the world is coming to an end.”

So, which team will emerge from darkness first? Are the Giants or Jets better positioned for the long term?

The Post asked seven NFL analysts — mainly former players, coaches and executives — to weigh in on measuring sticks like quarterback, coach, roster talent, draft capital and salary-cap situation:

Quarterback

The Giants passed on Sam Darnold to draft running back Saquon Barkley. Essentially, they passed on Darnold to make Daniel Jones their franchise quarterback.

“I would take Jones over Darnold,” said Gil Brandt, a host for Sirius XM NFL Radio after a Hall of Fame scouting career for the Cowboys. “I see more upside.”

Jones has committed 16 turnovers in eight games. Darnold has 10 in five games. Same 2:1 ratio.

Except it’s Darnold’s second NFL season, even if he is eight days younger than the crosstown rookie.

“Darnold should know a little bit better, and I think the quality of turnovers from Jones are better,” NBC Sports’ Chris Simms said. “Some of Sam’s, I go, ‘How could you do that?’ Daniel’s are more like, ‘OK, he got fooled here.’ He’s learning that fine line of being aggressive.”

The combination of Darnold’s strong finish as a rookie, the arrival of Peyton Manning-approved coach Adam Gase and a history of quarterbacks improving from Year 1 to Year 2 set a high bar. Darnold instead is “regressing” and fulfilling pre-draft concerns about his ball security, multiple analysts said.

Enlarge Image Daniel JonesCorey Sipkin

The Patriots blitzed a confused Darnold into four interceptions and “seeing ghosts.” He inexplicably flung a no-look jump ball in the red zone against the Dolphins.

Jones has answered knocks about his arm strength and accuracy with sideline and tight-window throws for touchdowns against the Buccaneers,

Lions, Vikings and Patriots. But, as his confidence rises, so does his willingness to repeat a risky throw expecting — but not always getting — the same positive result.

Billick co-wrote a book on Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh, who believed the verdict on a young quarterback is known by around his 25th career start. This will be No. 19 for Darnold and No. 8 for Jones.

“For Darnold, the clock is ticking a little more imminently than for Jones,” NFL Network’s Billick said. “The hard part is he’s on a not-very-good team. How do you separate the quarterback from what’s going on around him?”

Edge: Giants

Coach

Pat Shurmur’s .293 career winning percentage — 17-41 record with the Browns, Giants and Eagles (one game) — is tied for seventh-worst among 183 coaches all-time with at least 50 games of experience. Adam Gase, who was fired by the Dolphins, is ranked No. 54 on the list (.429).

“I think both organizations have coaches who are in over their head,” ESPN’s Damien Woody said. “Where both these teams made mistakes is [saying] we need the next quarterback whisperer instead of who’s the best head coach to be the CEO of a franchise.”

Shurmur and Gase both fielded questions about job security this week. Jets fans already are chanting for Gase’s firing. Giants fans fled in disgust last week, leaving Cowboys fans to echo through MetLife Stadium.

“The track record follows them,” Sirius XM NFL Radio host Brady Quinn said. “Once adversity hits, if the organizations aren’t strong and they are going to listen to Joe Blow Fan in the stands who thinks he knows more, it’s going to be a bad thing for both these quarterbacks to deal with change.”

Darnold already is in his second offensive system in two years. Jones had few known believers outside of Shurmur as worthy of the No. 6 pick in the draft.

The unwritten NFL rule used to be three years to evaluate a coach. Then it sped up to two. The Cardinals fired Steve Wilks after one.

“I think it’s better off getting the right guy in the building then holding on to a guy for the sake of not changing up a system,” Woody said. “You will set back the whole team sticking with a guy you know is in over his head. A lot of people let their pride get in the way, don’t want to make the mistake and prolong the inevitable.”

Though the Rams’ coaching change to Sean McVay propelled Jared Goff after his rookie season, it usually is a setback for young quarterbacks.
“Forget about firing the coaches,” Quinn said. “Are either of these rosters really built to compete?”

Edge: Even

Roster Talent

Imagine a team with Barkley, Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard — all age 25 or younger — on offense, and Jamal Adams, Quinnen Williams and C.J. Mosley on defense. Maybe the Giants offense and Jets defense could combine to form a playoff team, with other cornerstones like Dexter Lawrence (Giants) sprinkled in.

Opinions are unanimous here: Even a mediocre Giants offensive line has more in place, with long-term pieces Kevin Zeitler and Will Hernandez, than the Jets.

“The Giants have less far to go, less holes, a few things that are encouraging for the future,” Simms said. “Where I would start that conversation is up front.”

Giants rookies have played by far the most snaps of any team in the NFL, and 11 picks from general manager Dave Gettleman’s first two drafts have started this season.

But the average age of the two 53-man rosters basically is the same: Giants 26.1, Jets 26.3.

SEE ALSO

 

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“Let’s say both are legitimate [quarterbacks], you have to support them. That’s job No. 1,” Billick said. “Then you can look to the defensive side of the ball. With that being the equation, you have to look at the offense of the Giants. You probably give them the edge.”

Part of the problem with the Jets is the disjointed timing. Former general manager Mike Maccagnan tried to win before rebuilding — same initial mistake Gettleman made — and didn’t get to finish his climb.

Gase was hired before Maccagnan was fired and replaced by Joe Douglas, and now back-to-back tear-downs feel inevitable.
“Maccagnan left Gase and Douglas with some serious holes to fill,” Simms said.

Edge: Giants

Salary Cap

The Giants will enter the offseason with $66.4 million in cap space, according to overthecap.com. The relief largely is a product of Eli Manning coming off the books, and more room could be created rather easily.

“Only spend on players at the end of their first contract,” NFL Network’s Charley Casserly said. “If you spend on anybody else, don’t spend a lot of money on it. You are going to overpay [for young free agents], but you speed up the process that way.”

The Jets had the most (or close to it) cap space in each of the past two offseasons — and another $62.1 million coming this offseason — and spent it on Avery Williamson, Mosley, Le’Veon Bell, Ryan Kalil and others.

“The Giants should have more flexibility to either bring some player salaries down, like for a Nate Solder, or just move on outright with minimal damage like with a Janoris Jenkins,” OverTheCap founder Jason Fitzgerald said. “Having seven picks in the first two rounds of the draft since 2017 compared to the Jets having just four creates a pretty big advantage.”

The Jets are a warning for teams relying on free agency, because their big tickets are injured or underachieving.

In a way, the Giants offer a warning of their own. Former general manager Jerry Reese’s spending spree in 2016 brought the Giants one playoff game. Now, after Gettleman re-signed then traded Odell Beckham Jr., they are handcuffed by the third-most dead cap space ($39.7 million) in 2019.

Both teams have reasons to wonder how free agents will see them.

Are players listening to a disgruntled Beckham and Landon Collins poisoning the well by joining the many ex-Panthers who felt disrespected by Gettleman? Did the Jets set a bad precedent by fining and trying to force Kelechi Osemele to play when he said he needed surgery?

Former NFL agent Joel Corry of CBS Sports said he would have steered clients away from the Jets.

“The pitfalls probably come more from having to undo the damage of the last year,” Fitzgerald said. “The Jets really overpaid to land some key guys in free agency last season, and that can have a big impact on future negotiations. The Jets have so many holes that they are likely better off looking at quantity of decent free agents than doing the big contracts like they did last year.”

Edge: Giants

Draft Capital

The Jets traded Leonard Williams to the Giants for a third-round pick in the 2020 draft and a conditional fifth-round pick in 2021. It could bump to a fourth-rounder depending on if and when Williams re-signs with the Giants.

The Giants hope to recoup the third-rounder when the NFL awards compensatory picks after the season, though it would be about 25-30 spots further down the order. They also have an additional 2020 seventh-rounder.

“You can’t just win through the draft,” Casserly said. “You can’t get enough players that way when you are starting from a low level. You need to accelerate the process somehow.”

The Jets entered the season with two just of the top players picked in 2019 — a result of the trade up for Darnold in 2018 and cutting third-round rookie Jachai Polite. Before compensatory picks, the Jets hold the extra picks from the Giants, are short a seventh-rounder in 2020 and could have an extra seventh but no sixth in 2021.

Enlarge Image Joe DouglasCharles Wenzelberg/New York Post

“I like when people build through the draft,” Brandt said, “and have a quarterback that’s young and has a low salary cap number.”

It is possible Douglas will have five top-100 picks in 2020 and assemble the Jets’ deepest class since 2017. Is that enough capital to fill all the holes?

“I think what they are going to have to do is trade another piece to recoup some assets to build this team the right way,” Woody said. “They might have to give up a Jamal Adams to recoup some picks to reinvest into the offensive line. If they don’t get Darnold protected, they’ll be back at square one trying to find a new quarterback.”

Edge: Jets

Verdict

So, which team is better positioned?

Quinn: “My initial reaction is the Giants. There’s just more around Daniel Jones to build on moving forward.”

Billick: “I think Daniel Jones, in a very brief period of time, has shown a little more potential in terms of what he might become.”

Simms: “I like where the Giants are better as a roster and organization at this point. I don’t think you are crazy to say, ‘I gave the Jets the edge going into the season.’ ”

Woody: “Which coach do you believe in more? I would have to lean Adam Gase because at least he has been to the playoffs. The Giants might be a little ahead [right now] because the Giants’ offensive line might be a little ahead.”

Brandt: “The Giants have a better squad. They have better young players. I like the quarterback better, I like the running back better and, head-to-head, I like Gettleman better.”

 
 
 

Not that the Giants are on the cusp just yet.

SEE ALSO

 

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“I think they need another two years,” Casserly said. “I did a study on teams that turned it around and went to the playoffs. They basically added 10-11 starters over a three-year period to get there. You are not going to add 22 starters. Do they have enough guys there that are going to be starting in three years?”

Brandt used to believe teams needed a three-year build from the time of drafting a quarterback. He changed his mind after seeing how much more ready quarterbacks enter the NFL today.

The rookie wage scale creates an urgency to win immediately within a quarterback’s first four years, when cap space can be redirected elsewhere. It’s the mission for the Jets and Giants to not waste the window before Jones and Darnold command $100 million-plus contracts.

Or, worse, show they are not deserving of big money.

“There are two types of teams in this league,” Billick said. “Teams that have a quarterback and teams that don’t. If you are asking me which organization has a chance to be good, tell me which quarterback is going to be good the quickest.”

Brandt used to believe teams needed a three-year build from the time of drafting a quarterback. He changed his mind after seeing how much more ready quarterbacks enter the NFL today.

The rookie wage scale creates an urgency to win immediately within a quarterback’s first four years, when cap space can be redirected elsewhere. It’s the mission for the Jets and Giants to not waste the window before Jones and Darnold command $100 million-plus contracts.

Or, worse, show they are not deserving of big money.

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Before the season, I would have said the Jets. Now, I have absolutely no idea. 

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Giants.....better institutional memory is about the only thing they have going for them that we don't, so Giants.  

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After the end of last season I would have said the Jets until they hired Gase and CJ let mccagnan have one last totally disastrous off season.

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Heart hopes Jets but no logical person can agree. Giants have been a better-run franchise for the entire history of both teams. If you’re talking hope yeah sure ok Jets. But if you’re betting real money, all-in on Giants.

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1 hour ago, Warfish said:

Giants.

Any team not named Jets. Dysfunctional poorly ran clown car from the top to the bottom. 

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The GIANTS have the better immediate future. They have way more talent. The Jets have NOBODY. I'm sorry to say the Jets are starting over again from square ONE.

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50 minutes ago, The Crusher said:

Any team not named Jets. Dysfunctional poorly ran clown car from the top to the bottom. 

This about sums up how I feel about this Team in one sentence. Bravo, sir, Bravo.

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3 hours ago, LIJetsFan said:

Giants.....better institutional memory is about the only thing they have going for them that we don't, so Giants.  

Jets ownership has NO clue. Giants ownership HAD a clue 4 times a SB...

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21 minutes ago, NYJ1 said:

The GIANTS have the better immediate future. They have way more talent. The Jets have NOBODY. I'm sorry to say the Jets are starting over again from square ONE.

It certainly looks that way doesn't it? From top to bottom of this roster there is no one who truly stands out except for 2 or 3 guys IMO. Macc and Idzik have done a lot of damage to this team. It can't be undone in one off-season. I don't think it will be done in 2 or 3. The whole roster must be made over. Its going to be a long painful process. When is anything not with this team? Sam must show something in these final games. Its going to be tough with this OL but we have to see something or its going go further off the rails. You don't think thats possible? Remember the 70's? I do. Time will tell but I still think Sam is the goods. Stability is important now. Oh and could they keep the kid upright for a game or two? Might help.

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There Giants have started 11 players that Gettleman drafted over the last 2 years.

How about Mac’s last 2 drafts?   Five-charitably.  Quinnen (not initially), Chuma (ditto), Cashman (ditto), Darnold, Herndon.  Foley contributes now. 

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At this point in time, who knows.  Both teams suck.  Next season we'll see which team emerges.  My gut tells me the Giants will be the better team going forward.

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2 hours ago, JetFaninMI said:

It certainly looks that way doesn't it? From top to bottom of this roster there is no one who truly stands out except for 2 or 3 guys IMO. Macc and Idzik have done a lot of damage to this team. It can't be undone in one off-season. I don't think it will be done in 2 or 3. The whole roster must be made over. Its going to be a long painful process. When is anything not with this team? Sam must show something in these final games. Its going to be tough with this OL but we have to see something or its going go further off the rails. You don't think thats possible? Remember the 70's? I do. Time will tell but I still think Sam is the goods. Stability is important now. Oh and could they keep the kid upright for a game or two? Might help.

I agree I would hold on to Mosley, Adams, Darnold and a certain few others to build the team around. But make no mistake Mac couldn't have even TRIED to screw this team worse than he already has. He was a natural at ruining teams.

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For those that keep score, and I do, it's 4-1. Sadly, the Fking giants will get #5 before we get #2. ^^&&%%%$$#####!!!!

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Reading Giants forums and their fans hate their coaching staff as much as we do. Roster feels the same. Jones and Darnold each have their pros and cons. Giants have been the better franchise which matters. 

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