Jets, Giants meet looking to turn around awful starts

The rare regular-season meetings between the New York Jets and New York Giants usually serve as an opportunity for one fan base to determine bragging rights over the other.

But on Sunday, when the Jets "host" the Giants in a battle of skidding MetLife Stadium tenants, the New York metropolitan area will be reminded just how bleak its football landscape has become.

The Jets and Giants are each coming off their most recent discouraging defeats. On Sunday, the visiting Jets suffered a 26-18 loss to the previously winless Miami Dolphins. A night later, the host Giants squandered a nine-point second-quarter lead and fell to the Dallas Cowboys, 37-18.

The Jets (1-7) and Giants (2-7) haven't played each other while being this low at the same time since Sept. 22, 1996, when the Giants edged the Jets, 13-6. The Giants finished 6-10 in Dan Reeves' final season as head coach, while the Jets went 1-15 under Rich Kotite, who was also dismissed following the season.

While Giants head coach Pat Shurmur hasn't exactly endeared himself to the Big Blue faithful, he isn't under as much fire as first-year Jets head coach Adam Gase, who is beginning to "inspire" comparisons to Kotite, who went 4-28 in his two years with the Jets.

"We're 1-7," Gase told reporters this week. "Everybody feels like crap."

The Giants aren't feeling much better. After Monday's loss, safety Mike Thomas told reporters the Giants need a win Sunday, "in the worst way. For everybody in this organization. Faculty, players, coaches, front office. For everybody. We need it, and we're going to find a way to get it."

Both teams will be hoping to see signs of progress from their embattled young quarterbacks. Daniel Jones, a first-round pick in April who took over for two-time Super Bowl winner Eli Manning in Week 3, has a pair of four-touchdown games on his resume (he threw four touchdowns against the Detroit Lions on Oct. 27 and tossed two touchdowns and rushed for two more in his debut start against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sept. 22).

But Jones has accounted for just one touchdown in each of his other five starts and has grown increasingly turnover-prone. He has thrown eight interceptions and lost eight fumbles this season.

Second-year Jets quarterback Sam Darnold came back from a month-long absence due to mononucleosis to engineer an upset win over the Cowboys on Oct. 12, but he has thrown just three touchdowns and eight interceptions while absorbing 12 sacks over three games since. During that span, the Jets have been outscored 88-33 by the Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars and New England Patriots.

On Sunday, Darnold threw a costly red zone interception and let a snap near his own goal line sail by him for a safety.

Darnold's task may be made more difficult Sunday if running back Le'Veon Bell (knee, ankle) isn't cleared for action. Bell underwent an MRI Monday and is expected to try to practice Thursday, with reports saying he'll play Sunday. Linebacker C.J. Mosley (groin) will miss his seventh game of the season.

Jones will also be without at least two weapons. Wide receiver Sterling Shepard is out indefinitely due to a concussion, while tight end Evan Engram will miss this week's game with a foot injury.

The Jets and Giants last opposed each other on Dec. 6, 2015, when the Jets earned a 23-20 overtime victory.

--Field Level Media