By Eddie Castro
As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, both the New York Jets and Giants appeared to be heading in different directions. Both teams were expected to be playoff-caliber teams coming into this year. However, if there’s anything the first eleven weeks of the football campaign have taught us is that every team begins the season at 0-0. Every team looks good on paper. You still have to go out and play the games.
As I make my annual grades for our NFL football teams, we start with the New York Jets. It has been a long year for Gang Green, and with an established core of wide receivers in display for quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, the team was expected to follow up on their 10-6 season from last year. With key injuries and inconsistency on both sides of the ball, this season has really been a disappointing one. With his successful campaign last year, Fitzpatrick was rewarded by the team with a one-year deal which paid him $12 million. The contract was not signed until a few weeks before the regular season began due to a contract holdout by Fitzpatrick. You don’t want to make excuses for anyone, but the training camp and practices he missed during the holdout is catching up to what has been a horrible year for him and the team, who are currently sitting in last place in the AFC East Division with a record of 3-7. Fitzpatrick leads the NFL with 13 interceptions. Top cornerback Darrelle Revis is arguably having one of his worst seasons as a pro as he doesn’t appear to be as invisible as he has looked in year’s past. Wide receiver Eric Decker had season-ending hip and shoulder surgeries. Their secondary has been burned many times giving up big plays. Indeed, it has been a rough year for Gang Green fans.
On the other side, the New York Giants have excelled this year under first-year Head Coach Ben McAdoo. Eli Manning has had a quiet yet productive season under McAdoo’s offensive system, which is in its third year with Manning having served as the team’s offensive coordinator the first two years. After early-season emotional shenanigans, wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. has seemed to have found his game and is being productive for the team alongside the returning Victor Cruz and rookie receiver Sterling Sheppard. The team spent well over $100 million dollars on their defense this year and after a few inconsistent games, it seems like their defense is coming around and has been worth every penny. Surprisingly, a player that did not account for that money being spent during the off-season is standing out as perhaps the Giants best player on defense. Rookie Landon Collins has raised many eyebrows with his tenacious play. He has 5 interceptions, including one in each of the team’s last four games. The G-men are currently in second place in the NFC East Division with a win-loss record of 7-3, just behind the 9-1 Dallas Cowboys.
Sports Notes: (High School Football) The city’s Final Four is set! Coming off an impressive 48-12 win over the then-Cinderella team of #11-seeded Midwood, undefeated Curtis High School will take on the #7-seeded Grand Street Campus, who defeated South Shore by a score of 27-6 to advance to the semis. #2 seed Erasmus Hall defeated #8 seed Kennedy by a score of 38-8. They will take on #5-seeded Lincoln who defeated #4-seeded Tottenville 32-14 to advance. Grand Street vs. Curtis on Nov. 26 @ 12PM. Erasmus Hall vs. Lincoln on Nov. 26 @ 12PM. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a full schedule of NFL games on Thanksgiving Day!
On behalf of myself and everybody here at Our Time Press, we would like to wish the Our Time Press Universe a Very Happy Thanksgiving!