This Giants-Jets season could make wrong kind of history

TAMPA — I hope I’m wrong. Honestly, I do.

I hope Daniel Jones does exactly what the Giants need him to do Sunday, providing an injection of hope in the here and now in addition to the far and away. I hope the karmic football gods seek retribution against the hubris-soaked Patriots and allow the Jets to be competitive in Foxborough, then allow a speedy and healthy return for Sam Darnold and C.J. Mosley so they can pile up wins after next week’s bye.

But put it this way: That’s not where the smart money is.

The smart money says that football season in New York is already dead, snuffed out long before the Yankees’ season ends, before even the Mets. The smart money — along with our eyes — tell us this is going to be some kind of rancid football season, and we are still barely past the middle of September.

We’ve had some of those, you know. They happen. And maybe it’s simply because there are so few games in a football season, but it feels worse when the Jets and Giants are both awful than in those years when, say, the Mets and Yankees underachieved together, or the Knicks and the Nets.

I hope I’m wrong. But right now — at 0-4 combined, with both teams staring at steep road tests in order to keep it from 0-6 — it sure seems like 2019 is going to join these five years as the worst of the worst, when New York’s football seasons started in a slog and only got worse from there:

1. 1980

Giants (4-12), Jets (4-12)

In a close race, we’ll call that year the nadir because at season’s end it meant 17 straight seasons without a playoff appearance for the Giants and 11 straight for the Jets. The Jets were actually thought of as dark-horse Super Bowl contenders but started the season 0-5, lost in Week 15 to the 0-14 Saints (at home) and won their four games by a total of 20 points. The Giants won Week 1, lost eight straight, and that was that. Of course, these seasons allowed the Giants to draft Lawrence Taylor and the Jets to take Freeman McNeill, so there were a couple of consolation prizes.

2. 2017

Giants (3-13), Jets (5-11)

As in 1980, the benefit of being bad yielded some fruit: Saquon Barkley and Darnold. But it was an excruciating year to sit through, even though the Jets did show some surprising early life (they were 3-2 after five weeks). The Giants were a 1-8 fiasco from the start, lost 51-17 at home to the Rams, benched Eli Manning in favor of Geno Smith and did one of the most un-Giant-like things of all, firing Ben McAdoo after 12 games and letting Steve Spagnuolo take over the final four.

Joe Namath and Weeb EwbankAP

3. 1973

Giants (2-11-1), Jets (4-10)

The Jets, in an annual rite, lost Joe Namath for most of the season in Weeb Ewbank’s final year as coach and never could get any traction. The Giants had actually gone 6-0 in the preseason and felt they were in line for some big things and started the regular season crushing the Oilers (1-13 that year), but then tied the woeful Eagles in the last NFL game ever played at Yankee Stadium and it only got worse from there, costing Alex Webster his job.

4. 1996

Giants (6-10), Jets (1-15)

The Jets were so historically inept in Rich Kotite’s swan song it almost obscured how terrible the Giants were in the season that finally finished off the Dan Reeves Era. For now, the Week 4 matchup between the 0-3 Jets and 0-3 Giants (won by Big Blue in a 13-6 eyesore) stands as the worst in-season game between the two New York teams. It is worth noting that in a doomsday scenario this year, Nov. 10 could bring us the Jets at 0-8 versus the Giants at 0-9. But that can’t happen, right? Right?

5. 1964

Giants (2-10-2), Jets (5-8-1)

The Giants’ precipitous decline was captured perfectly in the famous picture of Y.A. Tittle kneeling bloodied and beaten at Pitt Stadium in a Week 2 loss to the Steelers. The Jets opened sparkling new Shea Stadium with a 30-6 rout of the Broncos in front of 44,497 fans, to that point the largest crowd to ever watch an AFL game. It got ugly from there, but there was a quarterback playing that fall at Alabama who would help turn things around.

Vac’s Whacks

Watching Mickey Callaway manage in meaningful games should come with a Surgeon General’s warning.

Jimmy Smits
Jimmy SmitsAP

The Dellin Betances news is so terrible and sad. He is a player worth rooting for, that he comes back whole and as good as ever.

I think it’s possible The Cars are the most underrated band in rock-and-roll history. You don’t realize just how deep their catalog is until you go on a long drive and reach your destination without ever hearing a song you don’t know well. Godspeed, Ric Ocasek.

Jimmy Smits is back playing a lawyer on NBC? I’m in.

Whack back at Vac

Bill Dancosse: Like Willie Mays, Eli Manning is the kind of guy that has to be dragged off the field before he will quit. But with all due respect I have never seen that turn out well for anyone.

Vac: I do wonder if he has a final chapter to write if some other team wants to give him a crack. Preferably with an offensive line that won’t get him murdered.

Ralph Amendola: Now that the Giants have declared that they are not in the playoff hunt, will they give there fans a break by rebating money on their ticket purchases? Time to put the bags on the fans head again?

Vac: You’d like to keep the bags at bay at least until the cold weather arrives. Those babies can get awfully sweaty.

@brianmoran: Joe Maddon should be the Mets’ new manager in 2020. And if we can manage to get Theo Epstein to join him, I think our confidence level goes thru the roof.

@MikeVacc: The way the Cubs have played the last week, you might even get some Chicago fans to drive them both here.

Chris Bell: You have probably seen that Spain won the FIBA Championship … and, like the NBA champion Toronto Raptors, the Spanish team’s second-most valuable player was none other than Marc Gasol. You know, the Marc Gasol that David “The Developer” Fizdale had no use for in Memphis?

Vac: Something tells me this little nugget, among many others, won’t be overlooked in Year 2 of the Fizdale Era.

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