The Giants and Jets have plenty in common heading into their matchup this Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium — and none of it is good.
In a word, it’s all bad — bad records, bad coaching, bad quarterback performances, bad offense, bad defense. The two teams are a combined 3-14 on the season; the Giants have two of those wins.
Barring some sports miracle that suddenly vaults one of them into playoff contention, the Giants and Jets are playing for bragging rights. As we pointed out on Tuesday, both teams cannot lose this one — though a tie is not out of the question.
Injuries are mounting for both teams. The Giants’ best receiver, Evan Engram, is questionable for Sunday with a sprained left foot.
Center Jon Halapio did not work out Wednesday because of a hamstring injury. If he cannot play Sunday, Spencer Pulley will replace him. Pulley started nine games at center last season.
Wide receiver Sterling Shepard also missed the workout. He was in Pittsburgh to have his second concussion of the season re-evaluated. Shepard has missed the last four games, and five overall.
Meanwhile, the Jets’ Le’Veon Bell sat out practice Wednesday due to ankle and knee soreness, but is optimistic that he’ll suit up and play this week.
Center Ryan Kalil (knee), linebacker C.J. Mosley (groin) and safety Rontez Miles (neck/hip) also sat out Wednesday.
With both teams going backward, there’s also speculation as to how much longer both head coaches will remain at the helm.
Pat Shurmur’s Giants have lost five in a row; his record with Big Blue, through 1 1/2 seasons, is 7-18. To date, both of the Giants’ wins this season came against Washington and Tampa Bay, both of whom are also a combined 3-14 going into this week.
Adam Gase’s Jets are 1-7 on the year, and coming off an embarrassing loss to the previously winless Miami Dolphins. He’s only a half-season into his tenure as head coach, and Gase is already on the hot seat, largely due to the team’s futility and sophomore quarterback Sam Darnold’s regression.
The state of both teams has undoubtedly been disappointing for both fanbases.
Giants fans are feeling the frustration of the team’s growing pains of transition with the Eli Manning era at an end, and the glory of Super Bowls past seeming like a distant memory. Jets fans wonder if Gang Green — having had just one winning season since 2011 and tremendous front office upheaval — will ever get their act together and start winning again.
For now, Jets fans can only hope their team can repeat their 23-20 victory over the Giants during their last regular season matchup in 2015 — while Big Blue fans pray their team begins its turnaround by avenging that loss.
— With reporting from Associated Press