Daniel Jones
Syndication: The Record

It’s tough to really “win” an offseason.

Sure you can sign good players to reasonable deals and draft talented prospects. But none of it matters unless victories actually come to fruition in the fall/winter months.

Giants general manager Joe Schoen and Jets general manager Joe Douglas have made moves to improve their clubs on paper. But that doesn’t mean they’ll win games, and there’s still a lack of confidence in either New York squad as it pertains to talent.

How outlets perceive the local teams. Among post-draft power-ranking pieces from The Athletic, NFL.com, and CBS Sports, the Giants’ average power ranking is 27 while the Jets’ is 26.

It makes sense — neither roster is near the top half of the league. But it’s reasonable to believe the Jets’ slate of players is better than that of the Giants.

The Jets have the quarterback with more upside, the better tight end room, the better wide receiver room, the better pass rush, and the better secondary. You could argue their linebacking corps is additionally more talented

However, there’s still a ton of unproven talent on either team. Both rosters possess rookies projected to start and it’s not confirmed every first-year player will pan out.

These teams’ 2021 results aren’t assisting with the lack of optimism either — both finished 4-13 last year.

How do the Giants’ opponents rank? In a year that’s already supposed to be dreadful, the Giants actually lucked out with a mediocre slate of opponents.

While the full schedule has yet to be revealed, we already know the 14 different teams the Giants will be facing.

  • Eagles (avg ranking from the above three power rankings: 14)
  • Cowboys (avg ranking: 12)
  • Commanders (avg ranking: 21)
  • Bears (avg ranking: 29)
  • Lions (avg ranking: 27)
  • Panthers (avg ranking: 27)
  • Texans (avg ranking: 32)
  • Colts (avg ranking: 13)
  • Ravens (avg ranking: 10)
  • Packers (avg ranking: 5)
  • Vikings (avg ranking: 21)
  • Jaguars (avg ranking: 29)
  • Titans (avg ranking: 16)
  • Seahawks (avg ranking: 24)

This puts the Giants’ average opponent power ranking at 20 and their average division opponent ranking at 16. They also only face two teams with top-10 average rankings and six teams with bottom-10 average rankings.

That’s not to say the Giants will win plenty of games, however. Their average ranking of 27 is still worse or equal to 79% of their opponents. The only opponents they’re ranked higher than, on average, are the Bears, Texans, and Jaguars. And it’s not entirely clear if any of those three games will be shoo-in victories due to the lack of talent and potential injuries (various Giants are very familiar with the medical tent).

How do the Jets’ opponents rank? The Jets are in a different spot than the Giants — they actually need to improve. In the second year of the Douglas-Robert Saleh-Zach Wilson era, this team must take the leap and become an AFC playoff contender.

Sadly, their schedule isn’t shaping up to be as simple as Big Blue’s.

  • Patriots (avg power ranking: 17)
  • Dolphins (avg ranking: 20)
  • Bills (avg ranking: 1)
  • Ravens (avg ranking: 10)
  • Bengals (avg ranking: 5)
  • Bears (avg ranking: 29)
  • Lions (avg ranking: 27)
  • Jaguars (avg ranking: 29)
  • Browns (avg ranking: 14)
  • Steelers (avg ranking: 21)
  • Packers (avg ranking: 5)
  • Vikings (avg ranking: 21)
  • Broncos (avg ranking: 8)
  • Seahawks (avg ranking: 24)

The Jets have an average opponent power ranking of 17. Five opponents have top-10 rankings and four opponents have bottom-10 rankings. The main issue, however, is the Jets’ average division opponent ranking is 13.

If the Jets make the playoffs, it’ll be as a Wild Card team due to the presence of the Bills and Bill Belichick. But due to the overall strength of the conference, they still may need to win at least 10 games.

Is that even feasible though? With the Bills (twice), Patriots (twice), Bengals, Browns, Packers, Broncos, and Ravens set to face Gang Green, it’s unknown if the Jets’ schedule will even allow them to take that necessary leap.

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.