Who Runs New York?


With all of New York’s football teams staying hot, who will prevail? (Courtesy of Twitter)

The 2022 NFL season has seen all three New York football teams out to hot starts. The pre-season Super Bowl favorite Buffalo Bills sit at 6-1, the New York Jets are right behind them at 5-3 and the New York Giants sit tied with the second-best record in the entire league at 6-2. One predictable and two unpredictably impressive first eight weeks have left New Yorkers around the state debating who’s the true football team of New York.

The Bills 2021 season ended heartbreakingly after a 42-36 overtime loss to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in the Divisional Round. After revamping its defense with the addition of future Hall of Famer Von Miller and Josh Allen looking like the MVP front-runner, the Bills have positioned themselves to overcome their historical playoff failures. 

The season started with the Bills beating the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams 31-10 and the AFC’s 2021 top seed, the Tennessee Titans, 41-7. Over all, Buffalo put up an impressive 72 points total while its defense only allowed 17. The 2-0 start was followed by a disappointing 21-19 loss to the Miami Dolphins, putting them in second place in the division early on in the season and creating headlines that it may be the Dolphins’ division this year. 

They squashed these conversations quickly after racking off four wins in a row, including a 24-20 statement win in Kansas City. The season is starting just as expected for Buffalo, however, their eyes are, of course, set on much higher aspirations this season. Anything short of a Super Bowl run would be considered a failure with the super team that they assembled. 

The Jets came into the season without their young quarterback Zach Wilson and had to turn to veteran Joe Flacco to lead them through the first three games of the season. Through these first three games, the Jets went 1-2. It looked like it would be yet another difficult season. Their only win came with an incredible comeback after the Deshaun Watson-less Cleveland Browns blew a 14-point lead in the last two minutes of the game. 

The slow start saw the Jets facing an uphill battle if they wanted to compete with the Bills and Dolphins in the division. Wilson’s return in week four quickly erased this battle as they won the next four games, which included a 27-10 victory at Lambeau Field over reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. The win streak was followed up with a disappointing 22-17 loss to the Patriots, putting the Jets at 5-3 before a key matchup with the Bills next week. 

The Giants came into the season in the same boat as the Jets, having very little expectations for the coming season. With a new regime of general manager Joe Shoen and head coach Brian Daboll, they entered the season just looking to see what they had in this team personnel-wise, especially fourth-year quarterback Daniel Jones. What they did not expect to find was a 6-2 team heading into week nine. 

The season started with a 21-20 victory over the Titans after Daboll elected to go for two points rather than sending it into overtime, showing Giants fans the kind of season to expect. The win was followed by six one-score games, the only loss resulting in a 23-16 defeat to the rival Dallas Cowboys. The Giants overcame underdog status over the Packers in London, the Baltimore Ravens at home and the young Jacksonville Jaguars in Florida. Defeating the lowly Carolina Panthers and Chicago Bears propelled them to their best start in over 10 years. After falling to the Seattle Seahawks 27-13 this past weekend, they head into their bye week at 6-2.

With all three of New York’s teams getting off to winning starts, it begs the question: Who runs New York? Giants fans will say it’s their team with its successful history and four Super Bowl wins, including the “wide right” victory over Buffalo in 1991. Bills fans will say it’s theirs, as they are the most talented team of recent years, Super Bowl favorites and “the only team really from New York.” Jets fans may say that they are off to the most unpredictable start of the three teams, even with four of their five wins coming against backup quarterbacks. 

The question remains to be answered with lots of football left to be played. One thing is known, however: the sport of football thrives when all three of these teams are succeeding.