Expert Picks: This New York Team Is The Better Bet To Make The NFL Playoffs
Determining which tenant of MetLife Stadium has the best shot to end up in the postseason
- Per DraftKings, the New York Jets have +400 odds while the New York Giants have +275 odds to make the playoffs.
- In other words, both are not expected to make the postseason, but have slightly different implied probabilities built into their odds. (The Jets have a 20% implied probability while the Giants have a 26.7% implied probability.)
- Let's set the stage for both teams and let the experts weigh in on which team is the best bet!
- Hello Joe Judge, Jason Garrett and Patrick Graham. Goodbye Pat Shurmur, Mike Shula and James Bettcher. After going 4-12 last season, Giants ownership decided to turn over their entire coaching staff and the team seemingly have potential to improve in 2020.
- Perhaps running a new offense will benefit second-year quarterback Daniel Jones, who has a solid pass-catching group to throw to in wideouts Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton and Golden Tate as well as tight end Evan Engram. Further, the team used the 4th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft on left tackle Andrew Thomas, who instantly upgraded their offensive line. He should help running back Saquon Barkley find more consistent running lanes.
- While he was clearly limited by a nagging ankle injury in 2019, Barkley still showed off his elite skills as a runner (1,003 yards on 4.6 yards per carry) and receiver (438 yards on 8.4 yards per catch) out of the backfield. While his 1,441 yards from scrimmage didn't compare to the 2,028 he put up as a rookie, he played in three fewer regular-season games. He should be fully healthy and ready to produce at an All-Pro level immediately when this season kicks off.
- The Giants will run a 3-4 base defense. Featuring Leonard Williams, Dalvin Tomlinson and Dexter Lawrence on the line, they'll rely on linebackers Markus Golden, David Mayo, Blake Martinez and Lorenzo Carter as well as DeAndre Baker, Jabrill Peppers, James Bradberry and rookie Xavier McKinney in the secondary.
- As in any situation in which an entire coaching staff is replaced, the Giants are starting fresh and will look to improve on both sides of the ball, as they ranked 23rd in Football Outsiders' all-encompassing and normalized Offense DVOA and 27th in Defense DVOA last season.
- Taking 2020 team win totals into account, the Giants have the second-toughest schedule in the entire NFL, as their opponents are projected to have a .531 win percentage. However, the Giants' opponents went a combined 123-132-1 (.482) last year, which is something to think about.
- A major source of pain for the Jets last season was the play of the offensive line. GM Joe Douglas addressed that by drafting tackle Mekhi Becton with the 11th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and brought in tackle George Fant, center Connor McGovern and guard Greg Van Roten to essentially shake up the roster. Further, guard Alex Lewis was re-signed in the hopes of protecting Sam Darnold and opening up running lanes for Le’Veon Bell.
- Per Football Outsiders, the Jets’ 2019 offensive line ranked 30th in pass protection, 31st in adjusted line yards, 31st in running back yards, 27th in stuffed percentage, 30th in second level yards and 32nd in open field yards.
- Bell, who was the most prized free agent signing in a long time, managed a career-worst 3.2 yards per carry and amassed just 789 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns in 15 games played. He was also bottled up in the passing game, where he caught 66 of 78 passes for 461 yards and just one score.
- Most concerning was the fact that Bell saw eight-plus defenders in the box just 17.14% of the time and was the second-least efficient rusher out of the 48 backs in the league that saw 86-plus carries. In other words, the ineptitude of New York’s offensive line limited any shot of efficient production in the passing or running game. It will be fascinating to see what changes head coach Adam Gase and offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains come up with.
- With newcomer Breshad Perriman, Jamison Crowder, Quincy Enunwa, Josh Doctson and Vyncint Smith all currently in the mix at wide receiver, the Jets don’t exactly have an All-Pro caliber wideout, even after they drafted Denzel Mims in the 2nd Round of the 2020 Draft. But, Mims, Crowder, Perriman and Enunwa in particular should be able to carve out instant roles.
- Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams had his unit clicking at the end of last season. With Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye serving as one of the best safety tandems in the NFL, the Jets will also rely on linebackers C.J. Mosley and Avery Williams, both of which were injured last year. A mix of Jordan Jenkins, Quinnen Williams, Steve McLendon, Henry Anderson, Jabari Zuniga, Nathan Shepherd, Folorunso Fatukasi, John Franklin-Myers, Tarell Basham and Frankie Levu will make up the rest of the front seven and will most likely all be utilized in Williams' sub-heavy and blitz-heavy scheme.
- While the Jets bolstered their cornerback position in the draft by selecting Ashtyn Davis in the 3rd Round and Bryce Hall in the 5th Round, a group made up of Pierre Desir, Blessaun Austin, Brian Poole, Arthur Maulet, Quincy Wilson and others leaves a lot to be desired and is the clear weak-spot (on paper).
- Taking projected win totals into account, the Jets have the third-toughest schedule in the entire NFL, as their opponents are expected to have a .527 win percentage. Unlike the Giants, the Jets have the second-toughest schedule in the NFL in terms of last season's win-loss records (.533).
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Tyler Calvaruso, Jets Wire
Expert Pick: Jets
"I would say that the Jets are better positioned to make a playoff run than the Giants in 2020 for a couple of reasons. The Jets’ roster is currently deeper than the Giants’ roster, which is saying a lot considering the numerous holes the Jets have spent the offseason trying to fill. With an All-Pro safety like Jamal Adams anchoring the defense, linebacker C.J. Mosley returning after an injury-riddled first season with the Jets and Quinnen Williams primed to take the next step in year two, the Jets’ defense is what puts it head and shoulders above the Giants right now. Yes, the Giants have Saquon Barkley back and at full strength, as well as a budding Daniel Jones under center, but the Jets have themselves some talent on the offensive side of the ball in Sam Darnold and Le’Veon Bell as well.
It’s tough to see either team making the postseason in 2020 with the current state of their rosters and the schedules they must play this upcoming season. With that being said, if New York is going to have a team in the postseason once January rolls around, my money would be on the Jets."
Sloan Piva, Yahoo! Sports
Expert Pick: Giants
"If quarterback Daniel Jones takes a step forward in his sophomore campaign, the New York Giants will be a good bet to make the playoffs at +275. The Giants prioritized improving their offensive line at the NFL Draft, selecting stud Georgia tackle Andrew Thomas fourth overall, as well as UConn tackle Matt Peart in Round 3 and Oregon guard Shane Lemieux in Round 5. With more time and comfort in the pocket, Jones should excel given his intelligence and the abundance of skill players at his disposal. Mega-talented running back Saquon Barkley should fare better with a less-crowded backfield, perhaps returning to the dominant ways of his rookie season, and wideouts Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard as well as tight end Evan Engram should thrive. The only question will be if the Giants defense improved enough this offseason. Adding free agent linebacker Blake Martinez--a tackling machine--will help. But time will tell if their secondary improves enough to get New York over the hump."
Juan Pablo Avarena, RotoWire
Expert Pick: Jets
"The Jets might have posted the worst yards-per-game average during the 2019 season (273.0 total yards per contest), but they still finished with a 7-9 record. The loss of Robby Anderson depletes them offensively, but Le'Veon Bell should bounce back from a disappointing 2019 season and Sam Darnold showed promise too. The second-year quarterback posted career-high marks across the board while also limiting his turnovers and improving his pass-completion percentage by more than four full points (completed 61.9 of his throws in 2019 against 57.7 percent in 2018). The Giants had some positives as well, but their 4-12 in 2019 showed exactly what they are - a bottom-feeder team that needed miracle plays from Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley to win games. Barkley is one of the elite running backs in the league, but the roster has several question marks across the board.
The defensive stats also seem to favor the Jets ahead of the Giants if we look at last season's standings. The Giants defense allowed the eighth-most total yards per game last season (377.3). Meanwhile, the Jets posted the seventh-best mark in that department (323.1). The Jets have a considerably tougher schedule than the Giants with a combined .533 winning percentage (from last season) as opposed to the Giants' .482. However, they also boast more quality across the board and seems as if they can hang around with most teams in the league. That's not something that can be said regarding the Giants.
Last season seldom says anything about the upcoming one, though. The New England Patriots don't have Tom Brady and the Miami Dolphins remain in rebuilding mode, meaning the AFC East is wide open - although the Buffalo Bills seem to have a leg up in the title race. The Jets shouldn't be far behind, though. As for the Giants, they will have to battle with two contenders such as the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys. That alone should be enough reason for concern for the Giants."
Dave Kovaleski, Motley Fool
Expert Pick: Giants
"If you want to pick a team to make the playoffs from New York this season, go with the New York Football Giants (+275). The Giants are not as bad as their record has shown the last few seasons. They have a lot of offensive weapons and a quarterback in Daniel Jones that looks like the real deal. Most importantly, they took steps in the draft to shore up their glaring weaknesses on the offensive line and defense as they drafted nothing but O-line and defensive players. Finally, they are in a division ripe for the taking, as Dallas has a lot of questions, the Eagles are down, and the Redskins are still the Redskins."
Ian Lazaran, 100bettor.blogspot.com
Expert Pick: Jets
"The New York Jets are a much better bet to make the playoffs at +400 than the New York Giants are at +275. The AFC is a much easier conference to compete in than the NFC. Last season, only seven teams finished with a record of .500 or better in the AFC compared to nine teams that finished with a record of .500 or better in the NFC. If Sam Darnold can avoid contracting mono this season, the Jets will arguably have the best quarterback in the AFC East following the departure of Tom Brady from the New England Patriots. The Jets were 7-6 with Darnold as their starter last season. By contrast, the Giants have a rookie head coach with a starting quarterback in Daniel Jones that is coming off an incredibly inconsistent rookie season."
Bryan Zarpentine, BetFirm.com
Expert Pick: Jets
"In my opinion, the Jets at +400 are a better bet to make the playoffs than the Giants at +275, and it's not even close. This is all about where each team stacks up inside their division. It's not that farfetched to think the Jets could have the best quarterback in the AFC East in 2020. Sam Darnold has shown enough promise to think he can outshine Josh Allen, Jarrett Stidham, and the three quarterbacks on Miami's roster. Meanwhile, even if Daniel Jones shows meaningful progress, he'll still only be the third-best quarterback in the NFC East. It's not like the Giants are ready to win games with their defense whereas the Jets at least have a fighting chance in a wide-open AFC East."
Expert Pick: Jets
"Looking at their odds, I think it's clear that the Jets (+400) are a much better bet than the Giants (+275) to make the playoffs. In 2019, it seemed like the Jets had a nightmarish season, but if you look closer, they only finished 7-9. With an improved Darnold, a vastly improved defense, and an offensive line that was completely revamped, this team can make some noise in Year 2 under Adam Gase. Sprinkle in the fact that Tom Brady has left town, the Dolphins are rebuilding, and Josh Allen still hasn't proven he's an accurate passer, the Jets have a sneaky chance to steal the AFC East...this season."
Gabriel Santiago, Bleav Podcast Network
Expert Pick: Jets
"Although, admittedly, NYG & NYJ stand tantamount from a relative talent perspective, I firmly believe NYJ (+400) making the playoffs to be the more advantageous wager. NYG (+275) is on the rise after exemplifying favorable potential around Barkley & Jones, but in the NFC East, the Giants are still overmatched by both PHI & DAL. Yes, there is an extra wildcard spot in both conferences this upcoming season, but the NFC North, West, and South will likely account for all wild cards (combo of SF, SEA, LAR, GB, MIN, TB, and NO).For NYJ, their current competitive climate is much lower being that Brady has finally fled the AFC East. BUF may be the early front runner to win the division, but NYJ and NE will be close by. Fortunately for NYJ, the AFC is slightly less competitive top to bottom in comparison to the NFC. Although division winners in the AFC may be clear-cut, the wildcard spots will be a toss up, leaving NYJ (+400) with a better opportunity than NYG (+275) to make the post season (and yielding a better payout, too)."
Dan Karpuc, BetQL
Expert Pick: Giants
"To me, this choice is all about which team’s question marks you feel most comfortable betting on. Do you trust the Jets’ offensive line coming off of a league-worst season? Do you think the turnover of the entire Giants’ coaching staff will be a positive change? I’m going with the latter. Not only should Daniel Jones make strides after getting a substantial amount of playing time in his rookie season, but he will be protected by a fortified offensive line, surrounded by a number of proven pass-catchers, and get to hand the ball off to Saquon Barkley (who I expect to be the top-producing running back in the NFL this year). Plus, you know that Bill Belichick is going to somehow beat the Jets twice with Brian Hoyer under center, right?"
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