When Daniel Jones was sacked for the tenth and final time by the Seahawks on Monday, it didn’t just mark the end of a brutal night for the Giants’ quarterback.
The moment also served as a microcosm for New York City’s championship drought.
After Uchenna Nwosu knocked out Jones, the linebacker danced happily on the MetLife Stadium grounds as his team pulled off a comfortable 24–3 win, in which the Giants never led.
New York City teams have also come a long way from winning a championship over the past decade, with the Seahawks far from the first opponent to celebrate at the Big Apple’s expense.
No team in the NFL, NBA, MLB or NHL has captured a title since the Giants’ 2012 victory over the Patriots, marking the city’s longest streak since a barren period between 1906 and 1920.
Of course, New York is a decorated sports city with plenty of legendary moments – not to mention more “Big Four” championships than any other city, 54.
So how did we get here?
Daniel Jones and the Giants fell to 1-3 after losing to the Seahawks on Monday night
A few weeks ago, things looked more positive for the Giants and Jets.
The latter, who haven’t won a Super Bowl since 1969, were seen as Lombardi Trophy contenders with the addition of Aaron Rodgers to a talented young core.
But the quarterback’s first season away from Green Bay lasted just four starts when he tore his Achilles tendon in Week 1 against the Bills.
The Jets are now 1-3 (as are the Giants) with Zach Wilson under center, and the franchise is particularly cursed, even compared to its fellow New York strugglers.
Gang Green hasn’t made the playoffs since 2010, when it played its second straight AFC Championship game, and has failed to draft its next starting quarterback of the future several times since.
Aaron Rodgers tore his Achilles minutes in his Jets debut against the Bills earlier this month
That Geno Smith, selected in 2013, lost his starting role in 2015 after being punched by a teammate and breaking his jaw demonstrates the dysfunction that has consistently defined this franchise.
But the Giants haven’t been much better since franchise legend coach Tom Coughlin left in 2015.
Ben McAdoo lasted just two seasons after making the playoffs in his first, and his pleas for the team to trade for Patrick Mahomes were ignored. Pat Shurmur and Joe Judge have been even worse, and Brian Daboll’s group is off to a rough start after winning Coach of the Year in 2022.
The Giants’ win over the Vikings in last season’s wild-card round was their first since their last Super Bowl run, although Daniel Jones (already with six interceptions) has returned to some troubling trends after receiving a four-year deal from $160 million.
Even with Wilson under center, the Jets likely have better Super Bowl prospects in the short term, assuming Rodgers returns next year. Their fans are understandably deflated at the moment, but that could change in 2024.
There are more question marks surrounding the Mets and Yankees – the teams with the two highest payrolls in baseball.
The Yankees remain loyal to manager Aaron Boone despite a hugely disappointing season
The Mets also had a disappointing year, winning only 74 games with the largest payroll
Both missed the MLB postseason by a wide margin, with the Mets firing manager Buck Showalter but the Yankees hanging on to maligned boss Aaron Boone.
The Yankees have been one of the most consistent teams in the MLB since their last World Series in 2009, but waiting fourteen years for a title is ultimately far too long to please one of the most difficult-to-please franchises in sports.
Prior to this season, the Yankees made the postseason six straight seasons, although the Mets have gotten closer to a championship over the past decade.
They fell to the Royals in the 2015 World Series, but have failed to even reach those heights since. They had just two more postseason appearances with a whole series of incredible events coming up.
Slugger Yoenis Cespedes broke his ankle in 2019 while trying to avoid a wild boar on his ranch, according to the New York Post reportedwhile Noah Syndergaard was sent to the injured list a year earlier with a bout of hand, foot and mouth disease.
A similar symphony of bad luck has hit the NBA Nets in recent years.
Injuries to both Kyrie Irving and James Harden in the 2021 playoffs isolated Kevin Durant and derailed a team that looked certain to win a title, while Irving’s refusal to take the COVID-19 vaccine meant he would miss the team’s next home games team was unavailable. season.
Kevin Durant sprained MCL last January, effectively ending the Nets’ title hopes
That likely played a role in James Harden eventually asking for a trade, and the drama continued the following season when Irving tweeted the Amazon link to an anti-Semitic movie and was suspended for eight games.
When the team won an impressive 18 of 20 games upon his return, the streak was of course halted when Durant sprained his MCL. A month later, the Nets’ title dreams were officially dead when Irving — who had requested sign-and-trade packages the summer before — was dealt to the Mavs and Durant was sent to Phoenix.
What remains in Brooklyn now is a young, courageous group led by the likes of Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson and Nic Claxton – and hopefully a healthier Ben Simmons. But this isn’t a title contender – not at least until they cash in on some of their assets from the Durant trade.
The Knicks will hope they are closer to a ring.
Their five-game win over the Cavs in the first round of last year’s playoffs was their first series win since 2013, and they return their core of RJ Barrett, Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson that got them there. Tom Thibodeau is also the most competent coach the franchise has had in years.
By all accounts, the Knicks should be good again — probably better than the Nets — but a title still feels far away unless they can land a disgruntled superstar like Joel Embiid.
The Knicks had a strong 2022-23 season, but a title still seems like a big ask for their current group
Randle is a perennial playoff warrior and Brunson, as good as he is, probably won’t reach the level of the No. 1 champion. And the Knicks’ chances of getting out of the Eastern Conference certainly haven’t been helped by the Bucks. Damian Lillard landed to team with Giannis Antetokounmpo, and the Celtics tapped Jrue Holiday to lead their backcourt.
Quietly, New York City’s best chance at a title could technically be just outside the city limits.
The New Jersey Devils have the joint second-best odds of winning this year’s Stanley Cup, according to DraftKings, while the Rangers should also be in with the seventh-best odds.
The Islanders, meanwhile, reached the conference finals in 2020 and 2021, but appear to have regressed somewhat after a first-round exit last year.
Along with the Mets, the Rangers are the only other team to reach the Finals since the Giants’ Super Bowl victory in 2012, losing to the Kings in five games in 2014.
The NHL can be extremely unpredictable, but the Rangers and Devils expect to be in the mix at least this year.
Jack Hughes (86) is an All-Star and hopes to build on the Devils’ success last season
Additionally, soccer fans will note that NYCFC won its first MLS Cup in 2021, while the WNBA’s Liberty are in the WNBA Finals with a chance to win a title against the Aces. The Bills, in western New York, are also one of the NFL’s best teams.
However, that won’t be enough to satisfy some and the wait for a ‘Big Four’ title in NYC still looms.
So which team will be the one to end the drought?
Right now, the city’s best hope might lie in the NHL.
The Giants and Jets don’t look like playoff teams, let alone contenders. The Knicks and Nets should be more competent than that pair, but almost certainly lack the star power – as currently constructed – to win a title.
The Devils, meanwhile, have big hopes behind Jack Hughes and will be hoping to improve on last year’s semi-final.
However, if the wait for a NYC championship extends beyond the upcoming NBA and NHL seasons, things will get interesting.
Rodgers could break New York City’s championship drought if he returns from injury
But the Yankees are expected to return to form with Aaron Judge in the lineup
As bad as the Mets and Yankees were this year, they will continue to spend money. That’s not all there is to baseball, but it certainly gives them an edge, and they can be expected to be much more competitive in the coming years – especially the Yankees, with one of the best players in baseball in Aaron Judge.
And waiting in the wings is Aaron Rodgers. Things feel bleak for the Jets right now, and it understandably feels bizarre to name a team that might miss the postseason this year.
But if the quarterback fully recovers from his Achilles injury, he will return to his role leading a team loaded with talent on both sides of the ball.
The wait for a new NYC title has been a long time, and even longer for Jets fans in particular.
But with Rodgers in green, it could all be worth it.