Both New York teams are 6-2. All records, however, are not equal. The Giants' 6-2 mark is much more impressive than the Jets' 6-2 mark for one simple reason. Over the past few weeks the Giants have played better football than their New Meadowlands Stadium counterparts.
The Giants have won five straight games to move into first place in the NFC East, and have seemingly been more impressive each week while doing it. The Jets have won four of five, but their last truly impressive victory was in Week 4, a 38-14 thrashing of the Buffalo Bills. Since then, close victories over Minnesota and Denver, a shutout loss to Green Bay, and an overtime victory against a lesser Detroit team.
The Giants, the past several weeks, have been a team playing very well. The Jets? Surviving, which is impressive for sure, but not really looking good while doing it.
Offensively, the Giants have been virtually unstoppable the past two weeks, putting up 41 points in back-to-back road victories over the Dallas Cowboys and Seattle Seahawks. Throw in a 34-10 victory over the Houston Texans, and the Giants have scored at least 34 points in three of their last four games.
The Giants are second in the league in yards per game, averaging 401, fourth in the league with an average of 27 points per game, third in rushing yards per game (151.9) and seventh in passing yards per game (249.1).
Courtesy of the NFL PR Dept., here are some other impressive offensive numbers for the Giants so far.
Quarterback Eli Manning is on pace for 4,150 passing yards, which would be the most in franchise history (Kerry Collins, 4,073 in 2002). He has 17 touchdown passes and looks to challenge the club record of 36 set by Pro Football Hall of Famer Y.A. Tittle in 1963. Manning can become the first Giants quarterback with at least 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns...Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks ties for the NFL lead with nine receiving touchdowns and is on track to pass Homer Jones (13 in 1967) for the most in a single season in team history. Nicks has 51 catches and 653 yards and aims to set club records in both receptions (Steve Smith, 107 in 2009) and receiving yards (Amani Toomer, 1,343 in 2002)... RB Ahmad Bradshaw is on pace to rush for 1,530 yards and 10 touchdowns. He would join Joe Morris (1986) and Tiki Barber (2004) as the only Giants to rush for at least 1,500 yards and 10 touchdowns in a season.
The Jets have scuffled in recent weeks on offense, getting shut out by Green Bay two weeks ago and finally finding enough offense to overcome a 10-point deficit last week in the final three minutes. The Jets average 22.8 points per game, and are 12th in the league at 350.2 yards per game. They are built around the run game, yet there average of 148 yards per game is below that of the Giants.
Then, of course, you have to realize that Manning is simply a far more polished quarterback than the Jets' Mark Sanchez at this point. The Giants get 47 more yards per game out of their passing attack than the Jets, and have 17 touchdowns to 11. This is not to say that Sanchez will not grow into a fine NFL quarterback. He will. He simply is not on Eli's level at this point in time.
Defensively, the edge on paper would undoubtedly have gone to the Jets when the season began. Thru eight games, though, it is not working out that way.
The Giants give up just 250.6 yards per game, best in the league. The Jets are good, sixth at 307.1 yards per game, but the Giants have been better. The Giants are fifth in the league with 24 sacks, while the Jets have only 17. The Jets do surrender fewer points per game, 16.2 to 20.0 for the Giants. That might be skewed by the Giants' poor kick coverage teams, though.
Overall, I can't find a single area where the Jets have been superior to the Giants -- except maybe in drawing attention to themselves.
None of this means the Giants will win the Super Bowl or the Jets won't. Both teams have a good chance to get there. What it means is that through the season's first eight games the Giants have been better. I think that is indisputable.