New York Giants: 5 Reasons Why the Giants Are the Better Team in New York
What makes this rivalry funny is that the teams rarely face each other outside of the preseason since they play in separate conferences. For two teams that would have to make it to the Super Bowl just to play against each other, the level of friction between their fanbases is bizarre.
Since the organizations share the biggest stage in all of football, there is a certain pressure on both of them to be the "big brother team."
In the last two seasons, the Giants have taken a sharp fall and missed the playoffs twice, while the beleaguered Jets have had back-to-back AFC Championship appearances since the start of the Rex Ryan/Mark Sanchez era.
The big question is, who is the better team now? While both are very good and have playoff aspirations, it is the injury-devastated Giants who hold the current edge.
5. Coaching Atmosphere/Media Relations
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Though many Jets fans are enamored with Rex Ryan's loud mouth and trash talk, although it is not always conducive to his team's success.
Ryan's impassioned guarantees and outlandish statements are a tool he uses to fire up his players and make the New York Jets entertaining. He is undoubtedly successful in that regard.
However, it also paints a gigantic bulls-eye on the Jets, both for opposing teams and for the media. The sports media is rough enough in New York City without any extra attention being brought on by the coach.
No matter what anyone tells you, constant media bombardment is a distraction for NFL players during a week of practice and preparation.
Constantly boasting of a team's superior level of talent is also a surefire way to get them to become complacent, and the Jets showed that during their three-game losing streak where they almost seemed like they were waiting for the victories to be handed to them.
Lastly, allowing players to sound off their opinions at will is a good way to get trouble brewing in a locker room. Just look at the drama with Santonio Holmes and Brandon Moore. Never will you see Tom Coughlin allowing his players to run their mouths like frustrated high school athletes.
Rex Ryan's circus atmosphere works well sometimes, but just as often it can lead to his team's downfall.
4. Offense (Brian Schottenheimer)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
The New York Giants and New York Jets are not known for their offensive prowess. Both teams enjoy their identities as hard-nosed defensive teams with a smash-mouth running game.
That does not diminish the importance of either team's overall offense, where the Giants enjoy an advantage.
Kevin Gilbride is an awful offensive coordinator: any Giants fan gets the blues at the mere mention of his name. Yet, despite Kevin "Killdrive's" lack of ability, he is still only the second-worst offensive coordinator in New York City.
The Giants sit at 11th in the league with 373 YPG of total offense, while the Jets are 29th with 300 YPG.
Brian Schottenheimer is the epitome of a frustrating offensive coach. Thousands upon thousands of Jet fans scream in agony every time he calls for a five-yard curl route on 3rd-and-16. They scratch their heads in confusion when he runs 32-year-old LaDanian Tomlinson up the middle and bruiser Shonn Greene to the outside.
Nobody understands why he puts Mark Sanchez into situations where he has to either throw 3.6 YPA or get picked off.
Schottenheimer has had a decent tenure for the Jets, but at this point he is stunting Mark Sanchez's growth.
You KNOW you're bad when Kevin Gilbride is the better offensive coordinator.
3. The New York Giants' Pass Rush
Nick Laham/Getty Images
The New York Jets pass rush was one of the most fearsome in the NFL over the last few seasons. However, the New York Giants are possibly THE most feared pass rush in the league for that span, and remain so now while the Jets have fallen off.
The Giants lead the league with 26 sacks through seven games, while the Jets have 18, good for 12th.
The Jets owe much of their success with sacking the quarterback to their excellent man-coverage. Their pass-rushers could use some work though.
On the other hand, the Giants have a roster brimming with pure pass rushers like Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi Umenyiora. Quarterbacks have the Giants' defensive blitzes in their heads before the opening kickoff every week.
The Jets have other strengths on defense, but they cannot get into the opposing quarterback's head the way the Giants can.
2. Better Team Cohesion and Leadership
Team captains do not call out their teammates on national television. It just isn't done that way.
Aside from the fact that Santonio Holmes would never even be CONSIDERED for captaincy on the New York Giants, if a Giants player ever pulled a stunt like he did, he would have faced consequences far more severe than Holmes did.
In the Giants' locker room there appears to be a much greater sense of unity and family, which seems to be a problem on the Jets. They remedied it partially by trading Derrick Mason and silencing Holmes, but the Giants still hold the edge in this category.
Where is the tangible proof that the Giants' locker room is unified? Can you find the last time a Giants player called out his teammates or coaches? If you can, it definitely wasn't in 2011. More than one Jet is guilty of the same so far this year.
Leadership is as important as any statistic in football. That is why Justin Tuck was on the field encouraging his defense after every series despite only playing in two games so far. That is why the Jets were losing games while their locker room was splintered.
Time will tell who has the better leadership by the end of 2011. Right now, it's the Giants.
1. Eli Manning over Mark Sanchez
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Eli is certainly inconsistent. When he is off, he is downright terrible. When he is on his game however, few quarterbacks in the NFL can match him.
Mark Sanchez has shown some flashes of greatness from time to time, but so far he remains an average quarterback at best. He has the potential to be excellent, but has yet to reach it. When the offense is sputtering in a game, Sanchez has not shown the ability to carry the team on his back to a win.
Eli on the other hand, has done so time and again. Just yesterday against the Miami Dolphins, Eli lifted the Giants to the W with a brilliant comeback drive in spite of the running game's pathetic effort.
With comparable talent at the offensive skill positions and bad offensive coordinators, the gap between the Jets and Giants is considerable at nearly 75 YPG, largely due to Eli's efforts since the Giants' running game manages only 85 YPG.
Mark Sanchez may still one day stand toe-to-toe with Eli Manning, but that time is not going to be in 2011.