The Giants and Jets are a combined 3-14, one year after going a combined 9-23, one year after going a combined 8-24. That's a 20-61 record over the last 2 ½ seasons, for a "winning" percentage of .246.
So no, the Giants and Jets don't match up particularly well with the rest of the professional football world right now. But how do they match up with each other?
In advance of their big showdown on Sunday at the Meadowlands, let's take a look:
Daniel Jones vs. Sam Darnold is going to play out in New York over a decade, if these two teams are right about their franchise quarterbacks. Both are young first-rounders, loaded with talent and potential. Both have shown flashes of greatness and have plenty of things they need to fix. Which one has the brighter future is hard to tell, especially with Darnold one year ahead of Jones. They both have 10 turnovers in the last four games since Darnold returned from mono. Which one is playing better right now? Darnold's passer rating in those games is 66.0. Jones' passer rating is 80.8. Edge: Giants
This should be a much closer call, since they're two of the NFL's best running backs. But it's not. Saquon Barkley is just better right now than Le'Veon Bell, who is in the midst of one of his worst statistical seasons. It's not fair, since a lot of Bell's problems have to do with his terrible offensive line and the way he's being used. Barkley, despite missing time with a sprained ankle, is still an explosive player. Bell still hasn't had a big play. Edge: Giants
Injuries have decimated the Giants' receivers, while terrible quarterback play has diminished the Jets' corps. The Giants would have the edge in talent, but without Sterling Shepard (concussion) it's a little more even.
Golden Tate is good, probably the best healthy one of the bunch. So is Jamison Crowder when he's used right. Robby Anderson is a the best deep threat on the two teams, but rookie Darius Slayton can be explosive too. Neither group gets open a lot or has shown any game-breaking ability. Edge: Even
The best tight end on either team is Evan Engram, who is a matchup nightmare but is also injury prone and will miss this game with a foot injury. Chris Herndon has yet to play a down this season for the Jets thanks to a suspension and an injury, so his potential is unclear. His replacement, Ryan Griffin, has been good when used properly. Engram and Rhett Ellison are the better, but Engram isn't playing on Sunday. Edge: Even
A good team would have a hard time finding a legitimate starting five out of the 10 starting offensive linemen in New York right now. The Jets' group has been decimated by injuries, which is probably why it seems so much worse. The Giants' rebuilt line hasn't been good, but at least they had been healthy (until center Jon Halapio missed practice on Wednesday with a hamstring injury). Neither unit inspires any confidence, though. Edge: Giants
The trade of Leonard Williams from the Jets to the Giants should have been enough to tip the scales. But the Jets actually still have the best front three -- as anyone who saw the Cowboys push around the Giants' line on Monday night can see. Quinnen Williams is probably the best defensive lineman in New York right now and defensive end Henry Anderson is probably the best DL pass rusher. The Giants' group of Williams, Dalvin Tomlinson, Dexter Lawrence and B.J. Hill might get there, but not yet. Edge: Jets
The injuries to Avery Williamson and C.J. Mosley destroyed this group for the Jets, who are now piecing a lineup together with practice squad players who are struggling to keep up. The Giants' linebackers won't remind anyone of their glorious past, but Alec Ogletree is decent in the middle and Markus Golden and Lorenzo Carter are more potent edge rushers than anything on the other side of town. Edge: Giants
This is a twin disaster. Janoris Jenkins is the best of the bunch, and it's probably not even close -- which is saying something. Unfortunately he's joined by rookie DeAndre Baker, who admits he doesn't know the playbook yet, and Sam Beal, who will likely take his first NFL snap on Sunday. For the Jets, Trumaine Johnson might be the worst free-agent signing in team history -- which again is saying something. Brian Poole has been fine as the nickel corner. Really, though, both teams need to blow this position up. Edge: Even
Forgetting for a moment that he threw a fit over nearly being traded at the deadline, Jamal Adams is one of the best players on either team, and his emotional side is fantastic when used in a good way. He and Marcus Maye have the potential to be one of the best safety duos in the game, as long as Maye stays healthy (and Adams stays in town).
Meanwhile, Jabrill Peppers has been fairly low-impact for the Giants. Veterans Antoine Bethea and Michael Thomas are solid contributors, but that's about it. Edge: Jets
Both special teams units have had their big mistakes, and both have nearly had their breakout moments. The Jets seem to have the more solid unit overall recently, especially now that Sam Ficken has added some stability to their kicking mess. The Giants were playing much better in the early part of the season. Aldrick Rosas has been a little shakier than expected for the Giants. Both have explosive potential at returner, too -- Cody Latimer and Corey Ballentine for the Giants and Vyncinct Smith for the Jets. Edge: Even
Pat Shurmur's career record is 17-41 (including 7-18 with the Giants). Adam Gase's is 24-32. Neither are doing a particularly good job and neither inspire confidence. The one difference is that Shurmur has the younger team and the rookie quarterback and there seems to be growth from his players at times, as if they're building -- albeit very slowly -- for a better future. Nothing Gase has done this season has been any good, though given injuries and other circumstances it's not entirely his fault. Gase does have the better defensive coordinator (Gregg Williams), which helps. Shurmur has the slight edge now, but whichever coach loses this game could be in some serious trouble over the final eight weeks of the season. Their seat will become very, very hot. Edge: Giants
Dave Gettleman's plan has been erratic, to say the least, bouncing between compiling draft picks and giving them away for questionable players. He's had plenty of free agent moves that haven't worked out, particularly along the offensive line. He did draft Barkley, though, and still found a franchise quarterback who looks like he'll work out. As for Joe Douglas, he hasn't done a lot since he hasn't been on the job long. For now, it's impossible to judge him and compare the New York GMs. Everyone is just assuming that for both, the best is yet to come. Or at least they're hoping it is. Edge: Even
This is like asking a nine-year-old whether he prefers broccoli or spinach. The kid won't be happy about either one, so it's just a matter of which one he can stomach better. Say this for the Giants: They do appear to be less of a mess, and they certainly have been more competitive than their intra-stadium rivals. They also appear to have more talent on the roster. And … well, two wins are better than one, I guess. Edge: Giants