NFL teams have all gotten their first preseason games under their belt and are now gearing up for game number two. As we get deeper into camp, the positional battles become more important, fringe players are fighting for a roster spot, and rookies are proving whether or not they belong in the starting lineup at the beginning of the regular season.
In New York, both the Giants and the Jets are hoping that their first round picks can make an impact this season. For the G-men, it’s running back Saquon Barkley, who rushed four times for 43 yards in the team’s 20-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns. On the Jets side, QB Sam Darnold has drawn praise for his opening performance, in which he completed 13-of-18 pass attempts for 96 yards and a touchdown in the 17-0 win over the Falcons. Good starts for the rookies, and as we look forward to the regular season, we asked WCBS 2 New York sports anchor Steve Overmyer for his thoughts on the expectations for both teams heading into the season.
“I think Jets fans need to temper their expectations a little bit,” said Overmyer. “Anytime you’re going to have a rookie quarterback in there for the majority of the year, he’s going to take his lumps. I would think the Jets are probably going to be somewhere in the six to seven win range.”
“For the Giants, my expectations are maybe a little higher than most. Let’s not forget that this is a team that two years ago was a double-digit victory team,” said Overmyer. “If not for the injuries last year and the disgruntled attitude in the locker room, they were expected to be a Super Bowl contender last year. They have all the big pieces back once again. I see the Giants getting 11 wins.”
Different expectations for the two teams in town in NY, but the Big Apple isn’t the only city that’s home to a pair of squads. Out on the opposite coast, the City of Angels is home to an AFC and NFC team as well in the Chargers and Rams respectively. The Rams were a breakthrough team last season while the Chargers experienced a late surge. So, heading into 2018 is it possible that both teams are playoff-bound? We checked in with CBS 2 L.A. sports anchor Jim Hill for his thoughts.
“My expectations for the Rams this year are to at least repeat as NFC West champions,” said Hill. “After that it could be a coin toss because they snuck up on a lot of people last year throughout the course of the regular season but once they got to the postseason it was a completely different story. They had a wild shootout against the Philadelphia Eagles in the regular season and then in the playoffs lost to the Atlanta Falcons. They know what it’s like to play in big games, they know what it’s like to lose in big games and they know what it’s like to win in a big game.”
“When you have Phillip Rivers, you have great expectations,” said Hill of the Chargers. “They should have been in the playoffs last year if it hadn’t been for a bad kicker. Two kicks cost them the playoffs last year. If they get those two kicks early in the season, they win the AFC West. With Phillip Rivers there and a better kicker, a more improved defense and running attack? They’ve got a shot.”
For more of the guys’ thoughts on those four teams, check out the video above.