SNY NFL Insider

Ralph Vacchiano

Ralph Vacchiano, award-winning sports reporter and columnist, joined SNY in 2016 as its NFL Insider. Vacchiano will cover the Giants and Jets beats for SNY.tv and be a regular contributor to "Daily News Live" and "GEICO SportsNite." Vacchiano comes to SNY following 15 years as the New York Giants beat writer and columnist for the New York Daily News.

 

Born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island, Vacchiano graduated from Syracuse University in 1991 and began his professional career covering the Buffalo Bills for the Niagara Gazette in Niagara Falls, N.Y., and later covered the Giants and Jets for the North Jersey Herald & News in Passaic, N.J.. During his 19 years at the Daily News, he also covered the New York Islanders and the New Jersey Devils (1997-2001), and in 2008 he wrote his first book, Eli Manning: The Making of a Quarterback (Skyhorse Publishing).

 

Vacchiano lives with his wife, Kara, and his daughter, Alexandra, in West Caldwell, N.J.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Nine games into his rookie season, Sam Darnold looked absolutely lost. All the promise he previously showed was gone in a downward spiral. His head was spinning and his play was getting worse.

That's when fate stepped in and left the Jets' newest franchise quarterback with a sprained foot that would keep him sidelined for a month - an injury that turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Tags: Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Eli Manning (Jerome Miron)
Eli Manning (Jerome Miron)

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Fast forward to the end of the 2019 season and make a big assumption: That Eli Manning plays well for at least a few games in December, and the Giants win a game or two, too.

That's what it would take to give the soon-to-be-39-year-old a shot at an NFL quarterbacking job next season. But if that happens, where would he even find an open job?

There are only a few possibilities with so many franchises set with young quarterbacks for their future, and none of them seem very likely. Manning could go anywhere as a clipboard-holding backup, of course, but that's not something someone who spent 15 years as a starter is likely to do. If he continues his career, he's going to want to play -- or at the very least he'll want a chance to play.

Tags: Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Giants QB Eli Manning (Treated Image by SNY)
Giants QB Eli Manning (Treated Image by SNY)

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Eli Manning has never once even hinted about his plans for 2020, and those close to him have sworn they either don't know his plans, or that the Giants quarterback really hasn't made up his mind. Everyone, though, seemed to think his NFL career was likely over.

Until now.

Now, of course, the Giants' long-time franchise quarterback is back for one last hurrah, thanks to the "moderate" high ankle sprain to rookie quarterback Daniel Jones that will likely force Manning to start again for the Giants in Philadelphia on Monday night.

Tags: Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Matt Rhule (Kirby Lee)
Matt Rhule (Kirby Lee)

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Pat Shurmur's fate has not been sealed, but every loss brings him closer to unemployment. Not long ago it was unthinkable that the Giants would go into 2020 with their fourth head coach in six seasons. But eight losses (and counting) later, they might.

But who would that be? That's a tough question, if John Mara and Steve Tisch decide to go that route. There's no obvious successor on Shurmur's staff, and really none from the recent staffs of Ben McAdoo or Tom Coughlin either. The field of available candidates is generally the same as it was two years ago when they decided to hire Shurmur - and that field wasn't considered great.

Given the need for "an adult in the room," as GM Dave Gettleman once called Shurmur, it seems unlikely they'd take a chance on a hot, young, unproven assistant. Head coaching experience mattered in the end last time, and it likely will be a preference again, since this franchise has no time for on-the-job training. NFL experience always matters to the Giants. And they'll need someone who has shown to have a thick skin to handle the New York heat -- something they really haven't had since Coughlin was pushed out.

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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Pat Shurmur has been through this before, so he's "well aware" of what is happening. He can trumpet all the "behind the scenes" progress he wants, remind everyone he's coaching an "historically young team,' and be impressed with how hard they practice. But all that matters is this:

Eight straight losses. A record of 2-10 this year, and 7-21 in his two years as the Giants' head coach. That's bad. It's really bad. And unless you look through Shurmur's glasses it's hard to see how it's going to get any better.

So he knows the fans judge him harshly. And in a few weeks his bosses may judge him harshly, too.

Tags: Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Dec 1, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) throws a pass against Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander (23) during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Dec 1, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) throws a pass against Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander (23) during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - John Mara is going to have to do something after this season is over, assuming it keeps heading in its current direction. But if he doesn't want to fire Pat Shurmur - and so far all indications are that's not a move he wants to make - an easy scapegoat is emerging.

So defensive coordinator James Bettcher shouldn't feel too comfortable right now.

His defense is atrocious and it wasn't all that better last year, and it was bad again on Sunday in the Giants' 31-13 loss to the Packers. The coach with the supposedly aggressive scheme can't seem to find a pass rush, and his secondary has become a mess of blown coverages. The defense is far from the sole reason why the Giants are 2-10 and riding a miserable streak of eight straight losses.

Tags: Aldrick Rosas, Antoine Bethea, Daniel Jones, Darius Slayton, Eli Manning, Jabril Peppers, Sam Beal, Saquon Barkley, Zak DeOssie, Ralph Vacchiano
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Sam Darnold got a lot of laughs two weeks ago when he said "If we get on a roll here and we win out, we've got a chance at the playoffs." The Jets had just beaten the Giants for their second win of the season. So it was ridiculous, unlikely, and somewhat comical that he really seemed to believed it.

A lot fewer people were laughing on Sunday, though, after the Jets demolished the Oakland Raiders 34-3, and Darnold said the playoffs are "in the back of my head."

It is still a longshot, of course. It's probably still ridiculous and unlikely. But the Jets are 4-7 now and on the fast track to 6-7 with the winless Bengals (0-11) and the awful Dolphins (2-9) up next on their schedule. The standings show they are just two games back in the race for the AFC's second wild-card spot, albeit with six teams in line ahead of them.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Nov 24, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur smiles after the touchdown in the first half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports (Quinn Harris)
Nov 24, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur smiles after the touchdown in the first half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports (Quinn Harris)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

It's hard to defend the job Pat Shurmur has done with the Giants, whether he's on an actual hot seat or not. Seven straight losses are ugly. So is his overall record of 7-20. In this case, the numbers really do speak for themselves.

But only John Mara knows for sure whether Shurmur's job is in jeopardy, and the only noise we've heard from him this season was the silent stare two weeks ago on his way out of the Giants' humiliating loss to the Jets. The owner's inclination is always to lean towards patience and stability. He surely loathes the idea of a firing a third coach in a span of five years.

But the more the losses mount, the more Mara's anger surely builds, and the less safe Shurmur appears to be.

Tags: Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Saquon Barkley put a ridiculous spin move on Bears cornerback Prince Amukamara in the second quarter, and then nearly spun out of another tackle on the same play. It was a violent move that sure seemed to prove he wasn't still bothered by his ankle injury.

So if that's not it: What in the world is wrong with Saquon Barkley?

That question has to be asked after he had another low-impact performance in the Giants' ugly, 19-14 loss in Chicago. He gained just 59 yards on 17 carries - 22 of which came on one fourth quarter run. Coupled with his disaster against the Jets (13 carries, one yard) he now has just 60 rushing yards on 30 carries in the last two games.

Tags: Aldrick Rosas, Alec Ogletree, Daniel Jones, Julian Love, Leonard Williams, Nate Solder, Prince Amukamara, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Zak DeOssie, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 26, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Chase Young (2) lines up during the third quarter against the Wisconsin Badgers at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports (Joseph Maiorana)
Oct 26, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Chase Young (2) lines up during the third quarter against the Wisconsin Badgers at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports (Joseph Maiorana)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

It has become a sad annual rite of spring for the football teams in New York, and the only benefit of another dismal season. All that losing the Giants and Jets seem to do every fall pays off in April with a high pick in the NFL draft.

And that's what appears to be happening again. Barring an unexpected run of victories over the next six weeks, the Giants (2-8) and the Jets (3-7) will have Top 10 picks in the NFL draft in April. It will be the third straight year they're both in the Top 10. Remarkably, at least one of them has picked that high for six straight years.

The good news is that if that happens they could both find the help they so desperately need, particularly with their pass rush, their offensive line, or perhaps a play-making receiver. It'll help, too, that neither of them are in the market for quarterbacks, which could also make a high pick a valuable commodity in trade.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 26, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Chase Young (2) lines up during the third quarter against the Wisconsin Badgers at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports (Joseph Maiorana)
Oct 26, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Chase Young (2) lines up during the third quarter against the Wisconsin Badgers at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports (Joseph Maiorana)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

It has become a sad annual rite of spring for the football teams in New York, and the only benefit of another dismal season. All that losing the Giants and Jets seem to do every fall pays off in April with a high pick in the NFL draft.

And that's what appears to be happening again. Barring an unexpected run of victories over the next six weeks, the Giants (2-8) and the Jets (3-7) will have Top 10 picks in the NFL draft in April. It will be the third straight year they're both in the Top 10. Remarkably, at least one of them has picked that high for six straight years.

The good news is that if that happens they could both find the help they so desperately need, particularly with their pass rush, their offensive line, or perhaps a play-making receiver. It'll help, too, that neither of them are in the market for quarterbacks, which could also make a high pick a valuable commodity in trade.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Ralph Vacchiano
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Dave Gettleman
Dave Gettleman

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Jamal Adams got a lot of laughs a few weeks ago when he compared himself to Tom Brady and Aaron Donald, and a few more when he refused to back down from those words. His point, though, was serious - that he's really important to the Jets, and he should be treated that way.

The last two weeks he made that clear on the field.

In fact, it'll be hard to find a better two-game stretch in Adams' three-year NFL career. He had three sacks on Sunday in the Jets' 34-17 win over the Redskins, and for a second straight week was making plays all over the field. He's now had five sacks in the last two weeks, six in the last three, and that season-total of six is a Jetsrecord for a defensive back.

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Jets GM Joe Douglas
Jets GM Joe Douglas

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Jamal Adams got a lot of laughs a few weeks ago when he compared himself to Tom Brady and Aaron Donald, and a few more when he refused to back down from those words. His point, though, was serious - that he's really important to the Jets, and he should be treated that way.

The last two weeks he made that clear on the field.

In fact, it'll be hard to find a better two-game stretch in Adams' three-year NFL career. He had three sacks on Sunday in the Jets' 34-17 win over the Redskins, and for a second straight week was making plays all over the field. He's now had five sacks in the last two weeks, six in the last three, and that season-total of six is a Jetsrecord for a defensive back.

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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Jamal Adams got a lot of laughs a few weeks ago when he compared himself to Tom Brady and Aaron Donald, and a few more when he refused to back down from those words. His point, though, was serious - that he's really important to the Jets, and he should be treated that way.

The last two weeks he made that clear on the field.

In fact, it'll be hard to find a better two-game stretch in Adams' three-year NFL career. He had three sacks on Sunday in the Jets' 34-17 win over the Redskins, and for a second straight week was making plays all over the field. He's now had five sacks in the last two weeks, six in the last three, and that season-total of six is a Jetsrecord for a defensive back.

Tags: Jamal Adams, Ralph Vacchiano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The game against the Giants wasn't a fluke. Sam Darnold really is back on track.

The Jets' franchise quarterback had one of his finest games of the season on Sunday, shredding the awful Washington Redskins in a 34-17 win. He completed 19-of-30 passes for 293 yards with four touchdowns and an interception.

Granted, it was against the Redskins and they are a truly bad team. But the 22-year-old Darnold showed a lot of the things that made people think he was destined for greatness before he began to regress earlier this season. He made a lot of throws outside the pocket, which has always been his specialty. He showed patience and leadership in the pocket, and some fantastic throws.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Jamal Adams, Jamison Crowder, Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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The saddest thing about the current state of the Jets is that this was supposed to be the year they arrived. After nine years of waiting for a playoff game, after enduring three years of rebuilding under ex-GM Mike Maccagnan, it was all supposed to come together in 2019.

Not only didn't that happen, but now the Jets appear to be on the brink of a rebuilding project again.

Tags: ArDarius Stewart, Avery Williamson, Chris Herndon, Christian Hackenberg, CJ Mosley, Jachai Polite, Jamal Adams, Jamison Crowder, Jonotthon Harrison, Jordan Jenkins, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Marcus Maye, Quincy Enunwa, Quinnen Williams, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Giants haven't led the NFL in much recently, but they had a big lead in one category through the end of October. No team played rookies more often than they did. And they led in that category by about 500 total snaps.

That only counted rookies, like quarterback Daniel Jones, defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, linebacker Oshane Ximines and corners Corey Ballentine and DeAndre Baker. It didn't count all their second-year pros like guard Will Hernandez, running back Saquon Barkley, defensive end B.J. Hill, linebacker Lorenzo Carter, and cornerbacks Grant Haley and now Sam Beal.

The point is, the Giants are young. Very, very young. And that might be the biggest reason to be optimistic about their future, and to believe that GM Dave Gettleman could have them on the right path.

Tags: B.J. Hill, Corey Ballentine, Daniel Jones, DeAndre Baker, Evan Engram, Jabril Peppers, Jon Halapio, Julian Love, Kevin Zeitler, Leonard Williams, Mike Remmers, Nate Solder, Sam Beal, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Will Hernandez, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 29, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase during the second half against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aug 29, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase during the second half against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

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Christopher Johnson made official what was already pretty obvious, despite the knee-jerk screams to the contrary. He has no plans to fire Jets coach Adam Gase in the middle of his first season, nor will he fire him after the season either.

And despite the pain and the agony of yet another losing season, that is absolutely the right thing to do.

Consider this a moment of sanity: It simply would've been crazy to fire a coach for the second time in a calendar year. And it would've been insane to make Gase the scapegoat for the mess this season has become.

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It seems clear that something is not quite right with Saquon Barkley, who appears to be playing hurt. But on the day after his worst game in the NFL, Barkley was feeling "much better", according to Giants coach Pat Shurmur.

And the Giants have no plans at all to shut him down.

"Absolutely not," Shurmur said.

Tags: Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Nov 10, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur leaves the field after losing to the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Nov 10, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur leaves the field after losing to the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Pat Shurmur was still the Giants head coach on Monday morning, which is how it will likely stay for at least the remainder of the season. And his assistant coaches will apparently remain on the job with him, too.

On the morning after what might have been the most humiliating loss of his Giants tenure, Shurmur said: "Having slept on it, no, I'm not going to make any coaching changes." He had said the same thing in the moments after the Giants' 34-27 loss to the Jets on Sunday afternoon, but that didn't stop speculation that he could change his mind -- or that ownership could change it for him.

A team source confirmed, though, that there were no immediate plans for ownership to either fire Shurmur or to force any staff shakeup in the wake of the Giants' 2-9 record -- at least until the end of the season.

Tags: Dexter Lawrence, Julian Love, Sam Beal, Ralph Vacchiano
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - It did not take long into his post-game press conference for Pat Shurmur to get a question about his job security, and for the Giants coach to again insist that he's not concerned. The man who insisted this week that "I'm built for this" wasn't going to flinch, even after a hideous loss to the Jets.

"My concern is putting a team on the field that's going to win a football game," Shurmur said. "That's my concern."

Of course, what's really concerning is that he hasn't done that very much in his tenure with the Giants. And he couldn't have picked a worse time to have added on another loss.

Tags: Jabril Peppers, Ralph Vacchiano
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The season has already been embarrassing for the Giants. On Sunday they managed to make it worse.

And that's a huge problem for Giants head coach Pat Shurmur and his coaching staff after the Giants lost to the awful Jets, 34-27. Things were bad enough, but a loss to the crosstown rivals is a humiliating defeat that is sure to enrage owner John Mara. Even worse: They've now got two weeks to stew about it, thanks to an ill-timed bye.

To this point, Shurmur wasn't really on a hot seat and his coaching staff wasn't in much danger. The Giants underwent an uncharacteristic, in-season change just two years ago and don't really have an appetite to do that again. GM Dave Gettleman also genuinely seems to like Shurmur as a coach, and according to a team source, has preached patience and believes the team is headed in the right direction.

Tags: Daniel Jones, Jamal Adams, Le'Veon Bell, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The season has already been embarrassing for the Giants. On Sunday they managed to make it worse.

And that's a huge problem for Giants coach Pat Shurmur and his coaching staff after the Giants lost to the awful Jets, 34-27. Things were bad enough, but a loss to the crosstown rivals is a humiliating defeat that is sure to enrage owner John Mara. Even worse: They've now got two weeks to stew about it, thanks to an ill-timed bye.

To this point, Shurmur wasn't really on a hot seat and his coaching staff wasn't in much danger. The Giants underwent an uncharacteristic, in-season change just two years ago and don't really have an appetite to do that again. GM Dave Gettleman also genuinely seems to like Shurmur as a coach, and according to a team source has preached patience and believes the team is headed in the right direction.

Tags: Daniel Jones, Jamal Adams, Le'Veon Bell, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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There is a Quarterback Revolution going on in the NFL, with one generation taking the baton from the last. The days of Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers and Eli Manning are either over already, or will be soon.

And the new kids are already on the block.

Tags: Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There is a Quarterback Revolution going on in the NFL, with one generation taking the baton from the last. The days of Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers and Eli Manning are either over already, or will be soon.

And the new kids are already on the block.

Tags: Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur (left) shakes with New York Jets head coach Adam Gase after a game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur (left) shakes with New York Jets head coach Adam Gase after a game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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:

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Avery Williamson, B.J. Hill, Chris Herndon, Cody Latimer, Dalvin Tomlinson, Evan Engram, Jamal Adams, Janoris Jenkins, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Lorenzo Carter, Marcus Maye, Rhett Ellison, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Saquon Barkley, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur (left) shakes with New York Jets head coach Adam Gase after a game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur (left) shakes with New York Jets head coach Adam Gase after a game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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:

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Avery Williamson, B.J. Hill, Chris Herndon, Cody Latimer, Dalvin Tomlinson, Evan Engram, Jamal Adams, Janoris Jenkins, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Lorenzo Carter, Marcus Maye, Rhett Ellison, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Saquon Barkley, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Sep 22, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard (87) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Sep 22, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard (87) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

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Every NFL player knows the risks they take when they step on a football field. They know their body will eventually break down, and later in life they will be in pain. They rarely express any fear of their fate, or the future agony that comes with it.

Except when the body part in question is their brain.

"If you tell me I've got to get a hip replacement in 10 years, alright, fine, I'll deal with that in 10 years," Giants receiver Golden Tate said on Wednesday. "But if you tell me, 'Hey, there's a chance you might not be able to remember a lot of your career, or your childhood, or your children's childhood? That's scary, man. It gives me chills."

Tags: Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - If there was one consistent knock on Daniel Jones coming out of college, it was his penchant for turning the ball over -- including too many fumbles.

That has become his biggest problem so far in the NFL.

He added three more turnovers to his season total in a 37-18 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night. He now has eight interceptions and 10 fumbles (eight lost) in his eight games (and seven starts). Both of his first two turnovers led to Cowboys field goals on Monday night, not to mention huge momentum swings. The third was returned for a garbage time touchdown that padded the final score.

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Cody Latimer, Daniel Jones, Darius Slayton, Golden Tate, Lorenzo Carter, Mike Remmers, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Nov 3, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase walks onto the field prior to the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Nov 3, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase walks onto the field prior to the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

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The Jets' fanbase is furious, if not outright disgusted. The frustration is building inside the Jets organization, too. They are now 1-7 in what they thought would be their first playoff season in nearly a decade, and they just lost to a team that might very well be trying to lose.

Given all those extremes, it's impossible to say for sure that Adam Gase won't be one-and-done as the Jets' head coach. When the losses pile up, fans revolt, and the wheels begin to come off, anything is possible.

Tags: Avery Williamson, Chris Herndon, CJ Mosley, Marcus Maye, Quincy Enunwa, Quinnen Williams, Sam Darnold, Trevor Siemian, Ralph Vacchiano
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There are a lot of reasons why this season has gone off the rails for the Jets, and a lot of excuses that Adam Gase could easily use to explain it.

But really, there's no excuse for this.

The Jets just lost a game, by a significant amount, to the worst team in the NFL -- or what was the worst team in the NFL -- and a team that many people around the league seriously believe are trying to lose so they can the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. The Jets' 26-18 loss in Miami has to rank right up there as one of the worst losses in franchise history.

Tags: Jamal Adams, Jamison Crowder, Jonotthon Harrison, Le'Veon Bell, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 6, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams (33) reacts after a stop against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Oct 6, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams (33) reacts after a stop against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

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Jamal Adams is furious and standing his ground. He's "hurt" that the Jets "shopped" him, and doesn't care that they said that's not what they did. He won't commit to a long-term future in New York. He'll only say he's happy to be with the Jets "right now."

Adams admitted that he needs to "cool down" and there's always the chance that he will. He will talk to Jets GM Joe Douglas at some point, and maybe that will be enough. But right now, one day after the NFL trading deadline and his near-deal to the Dallas Cowboys, it's hard to imagine this relationship getting much better.

It's also hard to imagine Adams being on the field with the Jets on Opening Day next year.

Tags: Jamal Adams, Le'Veon Bell, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 15, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams (33) celebrates after a sack against the Atlanta Falcons in the first quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)
Aug 15, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams (33) celebrates after a sack against the Atlanta Falcons in the first quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Le'Veon Bell and Jamal Adams were on the trading block on Tuesday, and both could have been dealt if the price was right. Was a deal unlikely? Yes. But it was certainly possible. And it might be possible again in the offseason, too.

But the best-case scenario for the Jets in the offseason is exactly what happened on Tuesday, when both Bell and Adams learned they'd still be wearing Jets green. Because those two, along with quarterback Sam Darnold, are the three players the Jets should build around.

They can't dump them for future draft picks and subject their weary fan base to another rebuilding project again.

Tags: Jamal Adams, Le'Veon Bell, Marcus Maye, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Joe Douglas had a pretty uneventful trading deadline day. After all, he didn't do anything. His big move - the Leonard Williams trade - came the day before.

That should've been the story, and it would've been the story, except for one important thing: Douglas made it clear that he was willing to listen to anyone about almost everyone. If the phone rang, he was going to answer it. If someone had an offer to make, he would listen, just in case it was an offer he couldn't refuse.

Tags: Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Robby Anderson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Joe Douglas had a pretty uneventful trading deadline day. After all, he didn't do anything. His big move - the Leonard Williams trade - came the day before.

That should've been the story, and it would've been the story, except for one important thing: Douglas made it clear that he was willing to listen to anyone about almost everyone. If the phone rang, he was going to answer it. If someone had an offer to make, he would listen, just in case it was an offer he couldn't refuse.

Tags: Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Robby Anderson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Dave Gettleman
Dave Gettleman

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets may have gotten a jump on the trading deadline by shipping Leonard Williams to the Giants on Monday. But it's clear now that was only the beginning.

The Jets were holding what sure looked like a firesale in the hours leading up to the trading deadline at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, with almost everyone on their roster up for grabs, according to multiple sources.

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Jamal Adams, Janoris Jenkins, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Marcus Maye, Nate Solder, Robby Anderson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jets GM Joe Douglas
Jets GM Joe Douglas

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets may have gotten a jump on the trading deadline by shipping Leonard Williams to the Giants on Monday. But it's clear now that was only the beginning.

The Jets were holding what sure looked like a firesale in the hours leading up to the trading deadline at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, with almost everyone on their roster up for grabs, according to multiple sources.

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Jamal Adams, Janoris Jenkins, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Marcus Maye, Nate Solder, Robby Anderson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 13, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; 
		New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) hauls in a 92 yard TD pass reception as Dallas Cowboys strong safety Jeff Heath (38) defends in the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Deutsch)
Oct 13, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) hauls in a 92 yard TD pass reception as Dallas Cowboys strong safety Jeff Heath (38) defends in the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Deutsch)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

When the Jets opened for business in recent weeks with an eye on the Tuesday trading deadline, one thing was immediately clear: There was more interest around the league in receiver Robby Anderson than defensive lineman Leonard Williams.

And many expect Anderson will be the next to go.

The speedy receiver has drawn interest from multiple teams, according to several NFL sources, and the Jets have made it clear they're willing to deal him for the right price. Exactly what that price is remains unclear, but most people believe that a third-round pick would do it. That's exactly what the Eagles gave up last year to get receiver Golden Tate from Detroit.

Tags: Golden Tate, Robby Anderson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Leonard Williams
Leonard Williams

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Giants are 2-6, don't have much salary cap space remaining, and clearly are still in the midst of a rebuilding phase. So how does it make any sense that they'd trade two valuable draft picks to the Jets for an eight-game rental of the disappointing Leonard Williams?

The answer: It only makes sense if he's not really a rental.

Tags: B.J. Hill, Dalvin Tomlinson, Leonard Williams, Ralph Vacchiano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets didn't just hire Adam Gase as their head coach. They gave him all sorts of power when they later fired GM Mike Maccagnan and hired Gase's friend and top choice Joe Douglas as the replacement. He is, in many ways, the leading voice in the organization and perhaps the most trusted and influential one.

And it's all because of this one thing: The Jets believed he was the right guy to shepherd Sam Darnold into the future.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Sam Darnold may not have been seeing ghosts this time, but he had plenty of reasons to be scared.

The Jets' offensive line was atrocious, again, in the Jets' 29-15 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Darnold was constantly on the run, was sacked eight times, and they weren't much better in the running game where Le'Veon Bell barely had any room to run.

The result was another offensive disaster. The Jets scored on a 93-yard drive on their opening possession - their first opening-drive touchdown in 31 tries. The rest of the game they only had 120 more yards for a pathetic total of 213.

It's a mess.

Tags: Blake Cashman, Chris Herndon, CJ Mosley, Kelechi Osemele, Kelvin Beachum, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Neville Hewitt, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Leonard Williams (Bill Streicher)
Leonard Williams (Bill Streicher)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Teams have been calling the Jets to see if defensive lineman Leonard Williams is available, and according to one league source, Jets GM Joe Douglas hasn't said "No."

Whether that means the Jets will trade the 24-year-old Williams remains to be seen, but for now the sense around the league is that Douglas is willing to listen to offers. So it's at least possible that before the trading deadline on Tuesday the Jets will finally deal the former sixth overall pick (2015).

"They seem a little more open to it than in the past," said one NFL source. "They always wanted to keep him before and give his talent a chance. But clearly they know time is running out."

Tags: Leonard Williams, Ralph Vacchiano
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Leonard Williams (Vincent Carchietta)
Leonard Williams (Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- People around the NFL are circling the Jets like vultures, believing their roster is ripe for the picking. They see talent there, even though it's collectively not working. And they see a GM in charge of a roster he didn't choose or build.

That's a formula that usually leads to a firesale, and that's what many around the NFL are expecting from the Jets between now and the NFL trading deadline on Tuesday afternoon. They have some very interesting pieces that may not have a long-term future in New York. The big prize is Leonard Williams, but someone could get a consolation prize like receiver Robby Anderson, too.

Who else could be traded? And will it really be a case of "Everything (almost) must go!"? Here's all the latest information on the Jets' trade possibilities, including sourced material, rumors and reports on the tradeable assets they have:

Tags: Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Robby Anderson, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Leonard Williams (Vincent Carchietta)
Leonard Williams (Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- People around the NFL are circling the Jets like vultures, believing their roster is ripe for the picking. They see talent there, even though it's collectively not working. And they see a GM in charge of a roster he didn't choose or build.

That's a formula that usually leads to a firesale, and that's what many around the NFL are expecting from the Jets between now and the NFL trading deadline on Tuesday afternoon. They have some very interesting pieces that may not have a long-term future in New York. The big prize is Leonard Williams, but someone could get a consolation prize like receiver Robby Anderson, too.

Who else could be traded? And will it really be a case of "Everything (almost) must go!"? Here's all the latest information on the Jets' trade possibilities, including sourced material, rumors and reports on the tradeable assets they have:

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Janoris Jenkins, Nate Solder, Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Evan Engram (Jerome Miron)
Evan Engram (Jerome Miron)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The Giants had their firesale one year ago, so they don't have a lot left to trade right now. Still, with a season going nowhere and the trading deadline less than a week away, nothing with Giants GM Dave Gettleman can be ruled out.

They do still have some valuable assets (cornerback Janoris Jenkins), some possibly valuable pieces (left tackle Nate Solder) and some real wild cards (quarterback Eli Manning, tight end Evan Engram). With the Giants still a year, maybe two, away from finishing their rebuilding project, at the right price (almost) anything may go.

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Janoris Jenkins, Nate Solder, Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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With the Jets at 1-5, GM Joe Douglas could potentially deal some big names in advance of the trade deadline.

SNY's Ralph Vacchiano recently wrote about the few big pieces he has to sell …

DL Leonard Williams

The Jets keep praising the 25-year-old despite his lack of production. "He really has played well," defensive coordinator Gregg Williams said on Friday. "He's graded out high each and every week."

Tags: Kelechi Osemele, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

In the middle of the disaster, with the walls coming down around his team, Adam Gase admitted he was worried about his young, franchise quarterback. This was the 16th start of Sam Darnold's career and, by far, the worst.

And Gase was worried that the beating might leave Darnold shell-shocked, that this nightmare could linger into next week and beyond.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

After his second interception of the game, with the Jets already trailing, 24-0, Sam Darnold was catching his breath on the sidelines, lamenting the blitzes that kept breaking through the offensive line. It was clear he was either rattled or, at the least, confused by what he was seeing.

That's when the ESPN mic caught him saying "I'm seeing ghosts."

That's not a good sign for a quarterback, but it's clear that's what was happening. He was under so much pressure in the pocket, forced to deal with pass rushers coming from everywhere, he couldn't get an accurate read on the coverage. He was seeing things that weren't there, and not seeing things that were there.

Tags: Brandon Shell, Brian Winters, Kelechi Osemele, Kelvin Beachum, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jan 26, 2018; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Oakland Raiders guard Kelechi Osemele (70) during AFC practice for the 2018 Pro Bowl at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Jan 26, 2018; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Oakland Raiders guard Kelechi Osemele (70) during AFC practice for the 2018 Pro Bowl at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Kelechi Osemele is expecting to be disciplined again by the Jets when he doesn't play in their game against the New England Patriots on Monday night.

The Jets set that up on Saturday when they officially listed the 30-year-old guard as "doubtful" for the game. That was a "strategic" decision, according to a source, to leave their disciplinary options open, even though he hasn't played or practiced since the first Jets-Patriots game on Sept. 21.

Osemele was already fined once, according to a team source, when he refused to practice as ordered on Saturday, calling it "conduct detrimental to the team." The Jets can fine Osemele up to one week's pay, or about $579,000. The actual amount of the fine, though, was undisclosed.

Tags: Kelechi Osemele, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 20, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur coaches against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Oct 20, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur coaches against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Pat Shurmur hasn't distinguished himself as the Giants' head coach yet, losing far more games so far than he's won so far. And he's drawn plenty of criticism -- most of it deserved -- in his 23 games at the helm for more than a few head-scratching decisions.

He made another one on Sunday, late in the Giants' 27-21 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

But don't get too crazy. His brain freeze was not why the Giants' lost.

Tags: Daniel Jones, Evan Engram, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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