METLIFE SUPPORT: Season on brink for Jets, Giants

Last place in the NFC East.

Tied for last place in the AFC East.

The 2016 seasons of the 2-3 Giants and 1-4 Jets are on MetLife Support.

Eli Manning is in a slump, Ryan Fitzpatrick is the lowest rated passer in the NFL, the Giants can’t run the ball, Eric Decker is out for the year, the $200 million the Giants spent to revamp the defense can’t buy a sack, Todd Bowles needs an emergency class with his mentor Bill Parcells in game management.

It’s been a really terrific first five weeks.

Even though it was the Giants who were 6-10 last year and it was the Jets who were 10-6, based on all the money the Giants spent to improve their historically bad defense and the degree of difficulty of the first six weeks of the Jets’ schedule, it appeared the arrow was pointing up for the Giants and down for the Jets.

Right now, the arrow is going haywire.

After beating the Cowboys and Saints to open the season, the Giants have lost to Washington, Minnesota and Green Bay. The loss to Washington, 0-2 at the time, pumped life into Washington’s season and started the Giants on a downward spiral to the basement of the division.

“Disappointing. Surprising. All words that work,” Manning said. “I guess you just try and worry about going out there and playing at a higher level and finding ways to put things together.”

The Jets and Giants have not won a game since Week 2. They have matching three-game losing streaks that are not attractive. The only team that has won fewer games than the Jets are the Browns, who are on their way to 0-16.

Eli Manning is mired in a brutal slump.

Eli Manning is mired in a brutal slump.

(Matt Ludtke/AP)

The Ravens will greatly influence whether either the Jets or Giants can get straightened out with their back-to-back appearances at MetLifeless Stadium.

The Giants on Sunday get the Ravens, who are 3-2 coming off consecutive home losses to the Raiders and Washington, with the Jets in Arizona on Monday night with Bowles vs. Bruce Arians, who coached him at Temple and later hired him as the Cardinals defensive coordinator, Bowles’ last stop before coming to the Jets last year. Then it’s the Jets’ turn at home against the Ravens with the Giants overseas to play the Rams in London.

If the Jets can manage to pull off the upset in the desert to get to 2-4, the schedule gets forgiving with the next four against the Ravens, Browns, Dolphins and Rams, although they still have to play the Patriots twice.

“A win would be huge,” Fitzpatrick said. “Winning kind of cures all and when you think things aren’t going well, then one win can ignite a season. We never want to lose a game, but having the start that we had, we understand that there’s less room for error now than there was even three weeks ago.”

They’re already three games behind the Patriots in the AFC East. The division is lost. The Jets are playing for a wild-card spot.

The Giants are down two games in the loss column to the Cowboys and Eagles, who are playing with rookie quarterbacks. The Giants and Jets can’t afford to fall much further behind and can’t rely on re-enacting what the Chiefs did last year starting 1-5, then running the table the last 10 games and winning a wild-card game. That’s an aberration.

In 2013, the Giants had a six-game losing streak, a seven-game losing streak in 2014 and a pair of three-game losing streaks last year. Manning said he’s not concerned the fear of another really long streak will infiltrate the locker room.

“Every year is a new year,” he said. “There are a lot of guys who weren’t here last year or the year before. Guys aren’t thinking that.”

The Giants were expecting explosive play from defensive ends Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon, but they each only have one sack and Big Blue has just four. JPP and Vernon are making too much money to not get to the quarterback. They are switching back and forth between the left and right side but nothing is freeing them up to make game-changing plays. The Giants have come up with three turnovers with the only two INTs by Janoris Jenkins, part of the $200 million renovation project.

Ryan Fitzpatrick is the worst-rated quarterback in the NFL this season.

Ryan Fitzpatrick is the worst-rated quarterback in the NFL this season.

(Bill Kostroun/AP)

Is the pressure of living up to the five-year, $85 million contract he signed to be an elite pass rusher getting to Vernon?

“No,” he said. “I just got to play my game. It’s still the beginning of the season.”

JPP told the Daily News that he is still experiencing pain in his right hand damaged by the fireworks accident on July 4, 2015. He has no index finger and only half a thumb and half a middle finger and a hand that hurts.

He says it’s an achy pain and it comes and goes.

“It’s something I’ve got to deal with. It is what it is,” he said. “I’m out there playing well, so I don’t care. I’m not worried about the sacks. They come in bunches. Everybody knows that in this league. We’ve still got a lot of football to play. I’m excited to keep going.”

The Jets’ pass rush has disappeared after they sacked Andy Dalton seven times in the season-opening loss to the Bengals. They have five sacks in the last four games. The secondary is not good enough to compensate for little pressure up front and to cover up for Darrelle Revis regressing and being injured.

Now Fitz is without Decker, his most reliable receiver and a voice of reason in the locker room.

“It’s tough news,” Fitzpatrick said.

Fitzpatrick’s QB rating (64.7) is behind three rookie QBs in addition to Case Keenum and Blaine Gabbert — who lost his job to Colin Kaepernick this week — and every other quarterback in the league. The Jets are not going to win many games if Fitzpatrick doesn’t get his game together. Manning is 29-40 since winning his second Super Bowl.

It’s only mid-October, but this weekend it’s just about MetLife And Death for the Giants and Jets.

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Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News

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