An always entertaining debate for us New York football bloggers is arguing over whether the New York Jets or New York Giants are the better football team when both teams are playing well. Fortunately, both have gotten through the first half of their schedule with identical 6-2 records. At first glance, it might seem to be an easy assumption that the Giants are the better team right now, considering they are coming off back-to-back blowout victories while the Jets lost 9-0 at home two weeks ago and then escaped with an overtime victory last Sunday against the now 2-6 Detroit Lions.
However, it would be incorrect to write off this debate that easily.
Yes, the Giants have been impressive during their five-game winning streak. Eli Manning and their crew of receivers are rolling up points and the pass rush looks like it did back in 2007. Yet, within the first half of 2010 I find the Jets five-game winning streak and their overall body of work more impressive.
Matt Moore, Shaun Hill, Charlie Whitehurst, a full half of Todd Collins, and full half plus of Jon Kitna ... that is the list of quarterbacks the Giants have beaten in five of their six games. Now give them credit for knocking out Jay Cutler behind that swiss cheese offensive line and Tony Romo on a team who quit on the season somewhere around week 4, but the G-Men haven't exactly been taking on murders row behind center so far.
Have the Giants beaten a team yet in 2010 who is a realistic playoff contender? You are joking yourself if you count Chicago, Houston, or Seattle as quality teams, and I bet you Rex Ryan's blonde wig none of those teams will be playing past January 2nd. The Giants have faced two 5-3 AFC teams who are legitimate contenders and were smacked around both times, 38-14 by the Colts and 29-10 by the Titans, in their own building.
You see the Giants have been able to get away with their 18 turnovers through 8 games, including 4 lost fumbles by Ahmad Bradshaw and 11 interceptions by Eli Manning because they have been playing inferior competition. Let's see what they can do against the Eagles (my current pick to win the NFC East) in two upcoming match-ups, the Packers on the road and the Vikings on the road.
The Jets haven't played their best football in their past three games but have still found a way to win two of them. Their early season victory over the Patriots is easily more impressive than any win the Giants have accumulated and I would even argue their wins over the Dolphins and Vikings are as well.
I have confidence (as misguided as you Giants fans are going to argue that it is) that if the Jets and Giants were playing this Sunday in the New Meadowlands, it would be Gang Green walking out victorious. You have three big time receiving targets? So do we. Beyond that, Hakeem Nicks would enter the missing persons program against us now that Revis Island has resurfaced, just ask Calvin Johnson about that. Your quarterback has some gaudy stats, but he turns the ball over twice as much as ours. You have a big-time pass rush, we have a big-time offensive line.