Everything is relative, of course. But the 2022 NFL season has to go down as the best for New York football for quite a while. The Jets didn’t make it to the postseason in the end – but it was a possibility for longer than usual. While the Giants made it all the way to the Divisional playoff.
Before the season started there was not that much expected from the two Empire State teams. Most sites with good online sportsbook reviews gave neither team much of a chance of making the postseason – a winning record was not even that popular. But both the Giants and Jets impressed this year. How did they do it? And does it mean we can get excited about 2023?
New Head Coaches
OK, so technically the Jets didn’t have a new head coach this season. But Robert Saleh showed how much he has begun to get his ideas across to his players in a short amount of time. To take the Jets to seven wins for only the second time in seven years in his second year on the job shows development.
But the Giants did even better. A complete front office rehaul resulted in Brian Daboll taking over – and he has had an immediate effect. A lot has been said of his personality and how the players respond to his methods. Whatever is happening, it is working, and we should probably get used to an improvement next year too.
As it was the Giants that came out on top in New York this year, we should really take a moment to concentrate on them. Although the entire roster seemed to up its game from last year, it was the developing partnership between Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley that has pushed the team forward.
Neither are new players, obviously. But this was the first season where they really got a chance to play together. Jones, in particular, has started to develop into a very good NFL quarterback – and the combination of the two worked well this year. If they can keep that going, next year could be even better.
As was mentioned over and over again this year – especially in the first seven or eight weeks of the season – no one expected any team from New York to do well at all. The Giants had gone downhill in 2021 and looked like having a tough divisional season ahead of them.
The Jets were expected to do even worse. They still have the longest postseason drought of any team in the league – by quite a way – but at one point this team was 6-3 and had just beaten the Buffalo Bills. It went downhill quite quickly after that but both New York teams benefitted from opponents not taking them seriously enough.
New Players Developing
We have already talked about Jones and Barkley forming a partnership as if they were two rookies bursting onto the scene. But the Jets have unearthed a defensive gem in the shape of Sauce Gardner. His athleticism and intuition stood out as the Jets started the year so well.
Gardner couldn’t quite keep the team alive in the second half of the season but his performances were noted. He was one of just two rookie players selected for the Pro Bowl and he can only get better now. If the Jets can recruit more like him, then that playoff drought may be about to end.
Hopes for 2023
The only way has to be up for both the Giants and Jets now. That means a winning season and postseason action for the Jets and further playoff appearances for the Giants. Both those goals are eminently achievable.
The Jets are on an upward trajectory and should be the second best team in their division next year. While the Giants find themselves in a tough division – but could even finish first if the Eagles implode again. Either way, we could well have both teams in the playoffs next year – the first time that has happened since 2006.