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Kolakowski: New York football fans should not get their hopes up

| Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Residents of New York City are not particularly known for their patience. The city never sleeps, and many people are active at all hours of the night. The energy of the city can be seen in everyday actions, but it is especially noticeable during professional sporting events.

The 7 Line Army supports the New York Mets with religious fervor. The Bleacher Creatures in the Bronx love their Yankees and verbally attack opposing teams. Despite their devotion to the team, or perhaps even because of it, these fans are quick to turn on underperforming athletes. Loud boos have sent Matt Harvey and other struggling pitchers to the dugout in Citi Field. The Yankees were jeered out of their own stadium during the wild card loss to the Astros in 2015.

New York sports fans do not tolerate under-performance. I doubt that they are happy with the state of their professional football teams.

After Week 3, the New York Giants are 0-3, residing in the cellar of the NFC East. Meanwhile, the New York Jets, the other team that calls MetLife Stadium home, are 1-2 and sits alone in last place of the AFC East.

Thus far, the Giants have looked incompetent, dropping divisional matchups to the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles. The Jets have struggled as well, dropping their first game to the Bills and getting blown out by the Raiders, but they dominated a struggling Dolphins team in Week 3.

Despite their recent victory, the Jets are not built for sustained success, and the team is viewed as one of the worst in the National Football League. The Jets were expected to struggle this season.  The team brought in 38-year-old journeyman quarterback Josh McCown because young signal-callers Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty barely belong on an NFL roster. General Manager Mike Maccagnan has spent time cleaning house, jettisoning veterans Sheldon Richardson and Brandon Marshall among others. There is no way to sugarcoat it: the Jets’ roster lacks talent and depth, putting head coach Todd Bowles in a no-win situation.

The Giants however, were supposed to be winners. They have a Manning at quarterback. The wideouts include big names such as Odell Beckham Jr. and former Jet Brandon Marshall. The roster is filled with talent, yet the production on the field has struggled. Coming off a playoff appearance, the Giants were supposed to compete with the Cowboys for the NFC East title. Instead, the team finds itself in a deep hole early in the season.

Fortunately for the Giants, it is still early in the season. Unfortunately for the Giants, nearly every game for the rest of the season is a must-win. The team will have to turn things around in a hurry if they want to sniff the playoffs.

Meanwhile, the Jets should get back to their losing ways if they want to see improvement in future seasons. Yes, I am advocating for Gang Green to tank, and tank hard. There are good pieces on this team, such as rookie safety Jamal Adams and veteran defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson, but they must add a franchise quarterback if they want any sustained success in the future.

My advice to fans in New York? Shield your eyes from MetLife Stadium. The home teams are sure to suffer plenty of losses this year.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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