Injuries and New Players Set Tone for Jets and Giants 2015 Season

Photo courtesy of Ed Yourdon, Flickr Creative Commons

The NFL season kicked off for both New York football teams on Sunday, with the Jets beating the Browns 31-10, while the Giants lost to the Cowboys 27-26.

The Giants had a strong offseason, starting with their draft. Their first two picks, offensive tackle Ereck Flowers and safety Landon Collins, have the potential to benefit the team, as they both play positions in areas where the Giants could use some help.

The Giants added running back Shane Vereen who could provide quarterback Eli Manning with a passing threat out of the backfield and is an effective blocker. He also could be a major factor as a contributing third down back for the Giants.

Odell Beckham, Jr. will be entering his second season and is already considered a top wide receiver in the league. He will soon be accompanied by Victor Cruz, who should be returning to the turf soon after missing most of last year with a torn patella tendon in his knee. He is currently nursing a calf strain, and he has not practiced for several weeks because of the recent injury.

However, the defense is filled with question marks. Defensive lineman Jason Pierre-Paul’s Fourth of July fireworks incident, which caused his right index finger to be amputated, has not allowed him to practice at all. The defense also has holes at safety and linebacker, where lack of experience, as well as injuries, have ravished both units.

Still, Giants fans at Ramapo are optimistic. Freshman Chase Bienert still has high hopes for the 0-1 Giants.

“I feel like they have the potential to do great things,” said Bienert, “but with all of the injuries on both sides of the ball, we will have to wait and see.”

Meanwhile, the Jets have also had a busy off-season, firing both general manager John Idzik and head coach Rex Ryan, replacing them with Mike MacCagnan and Todd Bowles, respectively.

The Jets defense has the potential to be one of the best, with stars like cornerback Darrelle Revis and lineman Muhammad Wilkerson being among the NFL’s best at their respective positions. With Bowles being a defensive-oriented coach, that could allow younger players like first-round draft pick Leonard Williams and second-year safety Calvin Pryor to develop into the stars they were drafted to be.

Still, Jets fans at Ramapo are not very optimistic. Freshman Kyle Kolaja hinted that the Jets have not proven themselves.

“We still have a lot of work to do,” said Kolaja.

On offense, there is a solid core of linemen and running backs. The addition of wide receiver Brandon Marshall was intended  to give the team a number one target, but with Ryan Fitzpatrick currently starting at quarterback for the Jets, they once again lack a franchise quarterback. If he does not take the next step in his development, the Jets may once again miss out on the playoffs.