New York’s football teams are back at it again to kick off the 2023 season. Both teams have begun the season with a 1-1 record through the first two weeks, showing a potentially rocky road ahead of them if they hope to make the playoffs in January.
In their first game of the season, the New York Giants faced off against their division rivals, the Dallas Cowboys. Hopes were high prior to the game, as there was talk of an improved offense before the start of this season on the Giants’ end. During the game, however, such an offense could not be found.
The lack of offense was evident when Dallas sacked Daniel Jones a total of seven times, on top of forcing two interceptions. With a final score of 40-0, the Cowboys beat the Giants in a rout that marked the largest opening day loss in team history.
It was also the largest shutout loss between the two teams, and the first shutout the Giants have experienced since their 2018 match against the Tennessee Titans. It should be noted that both offensive lineman Joshua Ezeudu and nose tackle Dexter Lawrence II played well despite the circumstances and inevitable loss of this matchup.
Luckily enough, the Giants seemed to find their footing in their second game of the season against the Arizona Cardinals. The Giants struggled in the first half of this game, but then gained momentum after a 58-yard strike to rookie Jalin Hyatt on the first play of the second half. This boosted the team to begin a 21-point comeback — the largest comeback in the team’s history — leading them to a 31-28 victory. This recovery is all thanks to Jones, more than making up for his difficulties against the Cowboys the week prior.
In the second half of the game alone, Jones threw two touchdown passes, threw for over 250 yards and rushed for over 50 yards as well as for a touchdown. This is one of the best halves in recent NFL history. Standout performing players for the Giants this game were Jones as well as the entire offensive line, who performed well without standout tackle Andrew Thomas. Giants fans can only hope that the team retains this momentum during their third matchup of the season against the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night.
The New York Jets, on the other hand, began their season with a win, taking down their division rival Buffalo Bills by a score of 22-16 in overtime. However, while the win was a big one for the franchise, it was not the biggest story of this particular game.
Four-time league MVP Aaron Rodgers — who was making his Jets debut after the team acquired him from Green Bay in the offseason — was helped off the field and carted to the locker room after only a mere four offensive snaps. It was revealed that Rodgers had torn his achilles tendon and is most likely out for the season.
This is quite devastating news as before Rodgers’ injury, the Jets were talked about being prospective Super Bowl contenders this season after not having made playoffs since 2010. This injury signaled the return of former first-round pick Zach Wilson, whose past performance was the reason the team traded for Rodgers.
The reason the Jets pulled out the win was because of their stifling defense, including a career-high three interceptions from safety Jordan Whitehead. The game was sealed in overtime when rookie Xavier Gipson returned a punt 45 yards for a touchdown.
In week two, the Jets lost 30-10 against the aforementioned Cowboys. The team started off stronger than expected, but morale quickly faded as the Cowboys did not allow the team to sustain many drives, and Wilson ended up throwing 3 interceptions. Despite their inevitable loss, the Jets strong defense was still remarkable, as is evident by how the team held their own in the second half.
As both teams hold a steady start to the season, will Thursday’s upcoming game be a boom or a bust? Only time will tell.
Featured photo courtesy of @Giants, X