Yup, we really have it going on here in New York State. Foot after foot of snow, a balmy 20 degrees and horrific taxes. Hey, at least we have football, right?
Are you kidding me?
As we head into the NFL’s divisional round of the playoffs, we here in New York have nothing. Three NFL teams and not one made the playoffs.
Let’s examine each of the underachievers:
The defending Super Bowl champions showed us why it’s dangerous to rely on being able to turn on the switch when you need to. This year, they couldn’t find the damn thing, much less turn it on.
In a league that has become quarterback-centric, the G-men saw their “elite” quarterback surprisingly let them down.
Eli had five-year lows in completion percentage, yards, yards/attempt and touchdowns. The worst part was that he just didn’t come through in some fourth quarters like he had in the past.
Ultimately this disappointing season came down to an effort that “Cybil” would have been proud of. So what are the Giants? Super Bowl worthy or not?
We’ll find out next year but I’m betting on a bounce back season from the G-men.
In a word…Oye.
When we first were introduced to coach Rex Ryan four years ago, he talked about winning Super Bowls. When he and his very first draft choice, USC quarterback Mark Sanchez, got to the AFC Championship game in each of their first two years, things looked pretty good.
Today not so much.
Sanchez has regressed terribly, to the point he was replaced as the starter for the Jets’ game against San Diego in Week 16. He had the lowest completion percentage, yards, and quarterback rating since his rookie year and the lowest yards/attempt of his career.
Was Sanchez bothered by the acquisition of Tim Tebow in the off-season? I don’t know if Mark was bothered by it, but Jets’ fans sure should have been. I’ve not heard one person with knowledge of the NFL say that they think Tebow can play quarterback in the NFL. This is not “hating,” it’s objective analysis.
He’s an outstanding young man and a good football player, just a lousy quarterback. Decision making and accuracy are the two most important traits for a successful NFL quarterback and he doesn’t have either.
The move to acquire Tebow is indicative of the sad state of the Jets. That they gave up two draft picks to get a guy no one else seemed to want tells you how bad the front office was.
Thankfully the Jets kept their plans for Tebow under wraps in the preseason, lest the league see how they weren’t going to use him during the regular season.
Now, as the Jets attempt to right the ship, they are the only team in the NFL that has their coach in place before their new General Manager. Oh, and they need to replace both coordinators too.
Owner Woody Johnson has put all of his bets on Rex Ryan. Way to go Woody. How’s that worked out?
Until Woody cares more about the results on the field than media coverage, nothing will change for the Jets.
The owners of the longest playoff drought in the NFL have certainly shaken things up so far this off-season. In the process, they’ve gotten younger.
No, not on the field.
The first move was 94-year-old owner Ralph Wilson turning over complete responsibility for the football operations to 48-year-old President Russ Brandon. While Brandon kept 73-year-old GM Buddy Nix, he did fire 60-year-old coach Chan Gailey and replaced him with 48-year-old Syracuse coach Doug Marrone.
That move was a surprise only to the uninformed. Marrone spent seven years as an NFL assistant, including three as offensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints. He’s a highly-regarded offensive mind who demands players work hard on the field, act appropriately off of it and holds them accountable.
Marrone inherited a program that had been 26-57 in the 10 previous seasons. His demands initially led to 28 players either being dismissed or voluntarily leaving Syracuse.
The Orange went 25-25 in his four years, including two Pinstripe Bowl wins.
The Bills have a ways to go to get back to the playoffs. Marrone is bringing his offensive coordinator, Nathaniel Hackett, with him from Syracuse. It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world for him also to grab his quarterback, three-year starter Ryan Nassib.
Nassib fits the profile of NFL quarterbacks who seemingly came out of nowhere to succeed in the league. Guys who didn’t have a college roster filled with NFL players to work with. Brady, Rodgers, Ryan, Ben, Eli. Eight Super Bowl rings there. Just saying.
So, while it was a rough 2012 in the NFL for New York, things might not be that bleak in Buffalo and for the Giants. Meatloaf’s words come to mind:
“Two out of three ain’t bad”
Follow me on Twitter @sprtsramblngman
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