By Jason Keidel
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As the Jets and their fans finish their group hug, let's lean back and analyze their realities.
Darrelle Revis waxes romantic about his heart belonging to the Big Apple. It's amazing how the heart always directs an athlete to the place that offers the most money. For decades we've heard some stud declare that God, country or family funnels his servile soul toward the treasure chest. Revis chose cash over cache, which is his right. It just meant more to count his millions than collect another ring with New England.
But no matter how or why Revis signed with the Jets, it's a sound move. And now Antonio Cromartie is back, making it a dual homecoming.
Someone has to explain, however, how this is better than what you had five years ago. Are the Jets any closer to the throne today than they were, say, three years ago? How is this not a Rex Ryan redux?
Usually a team turns its direction when it fires a head coach; flips its corporate coda from offense to defense, or the reverse. The Jets had a defensive geek for six years, fired him and then hired another.
With Cromartie, both he and Revis are trying to finish a job they couldn't complete when they were younger, faster and better.
And even if the defensive stalwarts summon some retroactive mojo, it doesn't solve the Jets' biggest problem -- Geno Smith. Or whoever the frontrunner is for the quarterback spot.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Jets' latest acquisition, has a career record of 33-55-1, barely throwing more touchdowns (123) than interceptions (101). If he couldn't keep the starting gig for the QB-starved Texans, it's hard to imagine this experiment yielding more than his resume represents. Smith, the incumbent, is 11-18 with 25 touchdowns and 34 interceptions.
Meanwhile, down the hall at MetLife, the Giants are predictably productive while remaining muted.
Sign Shane Vereen, extend Tom Coughlin, keep your two-time Super Bowl-winning coach and QB. Develop Odell Beckham into superstardom while Victor Cruz comes back from injury. Shore up the offensive line. Sign some linebackers. Franchise tag your best pass rusher. And as long as Eli Manning is healthy, the Giants will have a better future than the Jets, who forever have less victories than variables under center.
Everyone is yakking up the Jets, but they aren't better than the Giants. How does a team fresh off a 4-12 season -- and with no rings since 1969 -- upstage the team with five Super Bowl appearances since 1986? When Joe Namath is still your best and most successful player, when you must live off the fumes of the AFL, then there's a disease in place.
No doubt the Giants dropped off the last two years, but no more than the Jets. And you never hear the Giants make massive, gaseous assertions about their team. That's a Gang Green thing.
So while the Jets are jubilant, the Giants are just handling their business; one transaction at a time, without predictions, promulgations or fanfare. Gang Green may be the team of the day, but you can bet on Big Blue being the team of the year.
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