The New York Jets have been one of the most talked about teams this offseason, and for good reason. After posting top-five numbers in nearly every significant defensive team statistic in 2023 but struggling drastically on offense, they did what most franchises dream of doing but rarely do. They went out and landed an MVP quarterback via trade. The Jets, who have had just one passer in history to throw more than 30 touchdowns in a season (Ryan Fitzpatrick in 2015), secured four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers in what has been considered a theft. For a 2023 first, second, and sixth-round pick and a conditional second-round selection in 2024, the Jets went from dark horse squad to super team overnight.
Meanwhile, the New York Giants spent their capital internally, signing franchise quarterback Daniel Jones to a four-year, 160,000 million dollar contract with 92 million guaranteed. The Giants even got their star running back Saquon Barkley to sign the franchise tag, keeping last season’s backfield intact for another run at the playoffs in the NFC. Last season, the first year under head coach Brian Daboll, was a massive success, making the playoffs for the first time since 2016. The Giants expect to continue building towards a flourishing future with Daniel Jones as the franchise cornerstone.
The Jets and Giants headline a wild 2023 offseason.
New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas didn’t just stop with Rodgers but shored up any visible cracks within the already stacked roster. He went out and inked wide receivers Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb, former teammates of Rogers in Green Bay, while also signing two-time Super Bowl champ Mecole Hardman. Signing backup offensive linemen was clearly on Douglas’ agenda, with the Jets drafting center Joe Tippmann with the 43rd overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft and signing Billy Turner and Wes Schweitzer to backup Duane Brown and Laken Tomlinson. Internally, the Jets already house a Rookie of the Year on both sides of the ball, with Garrett Wilson at wide receiver and Sauce Gardner at cornerback.
Meanwhile, The New York Giants also spent money to compete for the NFC East in 2023. They signed Daniel Jones to a megadeal and immediately upgraded his weapons. The Giants traded for star tight end Darren Waller from the Raiders, drafted speedster Jalin Hyatt in the third round, terminated the contract of Kenny Golladay, and re-upped the deals of pass catchers Darius Slayton and Isaiah Hodgins.
Defensively, New York splurged. They renegotiated the contract of star defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence, picked up linebacker Bobby Okereke to shore up the interior, drafted corner Deonte Banks in the first round, signed A’Shawn Robinson and Rakeem Nunez to bolster the defensive line, and re-signed Jihad Ward. The Giants will look to improve from the middle-of-the-pack rankings they had in most team stats in 2022.
Can the Jets and the Giants make the Playoffs in 2023?
The New York Jets finished last season 7-10 and in the basement of the AFC East. However, despite the underwhelming results, the Jets deployed one of the best defensive units in football. They held opposing passers to just 3,220 yards and 15 touchdowns against 12 picks in 17 games.
Their primary issues stemmed from a passing attack that ranked 31st in passing touchdowns and 26th in net yards per attempt. Not to mention that the run game struggled without a healthy Breece Hall. Aaron Rodgers and the newcomers should do nothing short of revamping and rejuvenating the passing attack. At the same time, a healthy Breece Hall and the newly acquired Dalvin Cook will shore up the rushing attack.
Sharp Football Analytics has the Jets with the 25th hardest schedule in 2023. The Jets will play the NFC East and the AFC West outside their division. However, their 17th game will be against the Falcons at home in early December. The two New York squads will square off on the last Sunday in October. The Jets will be fresh off a Bye Week, while the Giants will play the Commanders at home the week prior.
The New York Giants made the playoffs last season at 9-7-1 despite finishing third in the NFC East and placing 15th in points per game and 17th in points per game allowed. The added additions and continued development of quarterback Daniel Jones should help elevate the Giants’ ceiling in 2023. Jones threw a career-high 3,205 passing yards on a 67% completion percentage, leading the league with a league-low 1.1 interception ratio. The 15 passing touchdowns don’t jump off the table, but the 3:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio paired with the ability to run makes Jones a capable NFL signal caller.
Per Sharp Football Analytics, the Giants have the 12th hardest schedule in 2023. New York will face off against the NFC West, which houses rebuilding teams like Arizona and Los Angeles, but will also need to battle against a deep AFC East. They will also face their divisional opponents twice each.
Will the Jets or Giants have the better record?
I will rock with the Jets as the better of the two New York squads. An MVP quarterback, already proven defense and a more manageable schedule makes it an easy choice. The Giants won just two more games than the Jets last season despite the ladder having a massive question mark at quarterback all season. Not to say the Giants won’t return to the playoffs, but the road sure seems easier for the J-E-T Jets Jets Jets.