You read that right: Twenty-two. And fifty-nine.
It would be awful if one of the New York metropolitan area’s NFL teams had that kind of record over the past five seasons.
To have both the Jets and Giants tied with that league-worst report card since 2017 is difficult to believe.
That is a lower winning percentage than the Yankees’ in August of this year, a much-discussed 10-18 debacle that was their worst month since I was a young reporter watching Stump Merrill pick at his postgame meals in 1991.
But that was one month. This has been going on for years in football.
That 22-59 mark covers 81 combined games, roughly the equivalent of a full basketball or hockey season.
The last time the Rangers won so few games in a full NHL season was 1965-66, when they played only 70 overall.
The Giants went 1-12-1 that autumn of ’66, arguably the worst team ever fielded by the franchise, but the Jets were 6-6-2 and headed in the right direction with second-year quarterback Joe Namath.
Which is a key point here, because having one team or the other go through a tough stretch is understandable, but having both franchises that represent the biggest, richest market in the NFL be this bad for this long is absurd.
The teams have had a combined one playoff berth, no playoff victories and 10 head coaches since the Giants won Super Bowl XLVI in February 2012.
Now, here we are again, with the Jets set to host the Ravens and the Giants visiting the Titans on Sunday as both seek to push the rock back up the hill again.
Both are underdogs, and figure to be underdogs in most games this season.
The smart money says neither team will make much noise, at least not enough to get above .500 and/or contend for the playoffs.
But that does not mean we will lack hot-seat-watching theatrics this autumn.
Let’s take a quick tour of some men in that category, shall we?
1. Jets general manager Joe Douglas. Promising on paper, deficient in standings.
2. Giants quarterback Daniel Jones. GM Joe Schoen and coach Brian Daboll appear to be, um, skeptical.
3. Giants running back Saquon Barkley. Former GM Dave Gettleman said he was “touched by the hand of God.” Hey, whatever helps at this point.
4. Jets quarterback Zach Wilson. Get on the field, then we’ll talk.
There are others, of course, including executives, coaches and players, and the ownership of both franchises.
Giants co-owner John Mara has talked for years about not wanting the franchise to descend back into its late 1960s through 1970s funk. Well, here we are!
Adding to the sad spectacle is that the NFL is uniquely engineered to handle its New York franchises being irrelevant.
In baseball, basketball and hockey, TV networks and the rest of the marketing apparatus always must pay attention to New York teams, because, well, they are New York teams.
In the NFL, fans across the country — including New York — are just as happy to talk about the small-market Bills and Packers as they are big-market duds.
The number of 1 p.m. games played in recent years by the Giants and Jets would have been unfathomable for most of football’s television history. Now the NFL no longer even cares whether they play at the same time. Better to clear late afternoon TV windows for teams that people actually want to watch.
The Giants do at least start with a late afternoon game in Week 1. So they will know when they take the field whether the Jets have fallen to 22-60, giving them a chance to move ahead in the sad-sack New York football standings.