Why the Giants and Jets 2 raised as many questions as they answered in Week 2

Why the Giants and Jets 2 raised as many questions as they answered in Week 2

The Giants might be OK. The Jets are not.

That seems to be what Sunday proved, although the Giants were 20 minutes away from making New York sports fans begin pining for the beginning of the Knicks and Rangers seasons.

That was before Daniel Jones orchestrated a stunning second half comeback, as the Giants overcame a 20-0 halftime deficit to beat the Cardinals 31-28 and even their record at 1-1.

They certainly looked to be on their way to starting a season with an 0-2 record for the sixth time in seven years and with legitimate questions surrounding the futures of Daniel Jones and Brian Daboll.

But against a Cardinals team that was led by Joshua Dobbs — filling in for the injured Kyler Murray — the Giants breathed new life into the football season, even if it proves to be fleeting.

After all, all the Giants did Sunday was beat the Cardinals, who have been a mess for most of their history, and widely thought to have their eyes on a top draft pick more than on winning games. And they needed a miracle comeback to do it.

Daniel Jones #8 of the New York Giants throws the ball during the fourth quarter in the game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium on September 17, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona.
Daniel Jones threw for 321 yards in leading the Giants back from a 20-point halftime deficit to get a much-needed win over the Caridnals.
Getty Images

The Giants outscored Arizona 31-8 in the second half, but that still came against a backup quarterback. Even with the win, at 1-1, Giants are the only team with a loss in what could be a tough NFC East.

Perhaps more worrisome, Saquon Barkley left the game with an ankle injury that could derail the whole season depending on how he looks upon further examination.

While the potential loss of Barkley wouldn’t be as devastating as the Jets losing Aaron Rodgers, it would still be devastating to an offense that’s hardly a juggernaut even under the best of circumstances.

Speaking of those Jets, with Zach Wilson under center they proved in a 30-10 loss in Dallas exactly what even the average sports fan understood going into the season: The Jets would be cooked without Rodgers.

In his first start of the season, with Rodgers recuperating from torn Achilles surgery, Wilson showed himself to be exactly who most people thought he was.

Zach Wilson #2 of the New York Jets looks for the open man during the first quarter.
Zach Wilson was sacked three times and threw three interceptions in a performance that lived down to many fans’ fears in Dallas.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Against the Cowboys, who tormented the Giants last week, Wilson threw three interceptions while going just 12-of-27 for 170 yards as the Jets undid much of what they accomplished with Wilson on the field in their stunning win over the Bills a week ago at MetLife Stadium. And a rushing attack that looked so promising last Monday night got 16 combined yards out of Breece Hall and Dalvin Cook.

While Rodgers hinted this past week at a possible playoff return, Wilson and Co. proved getting there might be a pipe dream for the Jets again this season.

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New York Post

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Many unhappy returns

New York Yankees starting pitcher Carlos Rodon delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023
Carlos Rodon pitched well against the Pirates on Sunday but not well enough to guide the Yankees to a win against a team 10 games under .500.

The last two major starting pitcher acquisitions for the Yankees were both on display Sunday, with Carlos Rodon looking to deliver a second straight solid outing and Frankie Montas back in action — with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre — for the first time this season after spending most of it rehabbing since having shoulder surgery in February.

Both 30, their careers have been fairly similar and successful. Rodon entered Sunday with a career 3.75 ERA and 1.250 WHIP and Montas had a 3.90 ERA and a WHIP of 1.292.

Despite their respective track records, it’s hard to imagine two significant deals going worse for the Yankees, who traded for Montas at last year’s trade deadline from the A’s when they missed out on Luis Castillo and then signed Rodon to a huge, six-year, $162 million contract in the offseason after two standout years in a row.

Montas, who allowed a run in an inning with SWB on Sunday, was almost immediately done in last year by shoulder woes and the injury-prone Rodon has either been hurt or ineffective for nearly his entire first season in The Bronx.

Rodon managed to pitch a season-high 6 ⅔ innings in a loss at Pittsburgh on Sunday, striking out 10 and not walking a batter, but he still let up three runs to another dismal Pirates team.

Frankie Montas looked good in an inning of rehab work with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Perhaps if one of them pitched to expectations, the Yankees would still have a legitimate shot at the postseason instead of being reduced to a potential spoiler role against Toronto — in a pair of series — and Arizona.

Montas will be a free agent after the season and his tenure with the Yankees is likely to be an unfortunate afterthought, but Rodon has a long time to go on his contract and the Yankees need him to get back to the form he showed with the White Sox and Giants the previous two seasons if they hope to get any value for the contract.

And as they likely head back into the free agent and trade markets to fortify their rotation for 2024, they’ll have to evaluate what went wrong in both transactions, as the Montas deal hurt their chances in ‘22 and again this year and Rodon’s dud of a season — when he was supposed to be a lefty ace alongside Gerrit Cole — made it impossible for the Yankees to get anything going in ‘23.

Can Deion and Colorado finish what they’ve started?

Head coach Deion Sanders of the Colorado Buffaloes walks off the field at halftime of a game against the Colorado State Rams at Folsom Field on September 16, 2023 in Boulder, Colorado.
Deion Sanders has already led Colorado to two more wins this year than the school recorded last season.
Getty Images

Deion Sanders was one of the biggest stars in college football when he played at Florida State from 1985-88 and re-established himself in the college game from 2020-22 as the head coach at Jackson State in Mississippi, where he led the SWAC team to back-to-back bowl appearances the last two seasons.

After a move to take over the program at Colorado, he’s off to a whirlwind start, leading the Buffaloes to a 3-0 record in his first season in Boulder.

Sanders and Colorado caught everyone’s attention with their opening week win over TCU, which was coming off an appearance in the national championship game.

Following a rousing double overtime win Saturday night over Colorado State, though, he and the Buffaloes are about to face potentially even stiffer tests over the next two weeks. First comes a visit to Oregon, which was ranked 13th in the country before the Ducks routed Hawaii on Saturday, followed by a home game against Southern Cal, which was ranked No. 5 prior to a lopsided win over Stanford and is led by Lincoln Riley and defending Heisman Trophy-winner, and frontrunner to win it again, Caleb Williams, at quarterback.

Quarterback Shedeur Sanders #2 of the Colorado Buffaloes throws a pass for a first quarter touchdown against the Colorado State Rams at Folsom Field on September 16, 2023 in Boulder, Colorado.
With more than 1,200 yards passing and 10 touchdown passes in his first three games, Shedeur Sanders has played himself into Heisman Trophy contention.
Getty Images

Colorado has Sanders’ son, Shedeur, at QB, and he has already joined Williams at the top of the Heisman conversation.

Colorado is coming off a one-win season and hasn’t won more than five games since 2016.

That seems soon to change.

Whether Sanders can take his turnaround of Colorado into the championship hunt will begin to be determined in the next couple of weeks.

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