EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Reuters) - There are still nine weeks to go until the Super Bowl, the first to be played in the New York area, but already there is an air of resignation in the Big Apple.
The 48th Super Bowl, scheduled for February 2, 2014, might be the first to be played outdoors in a cold weather state, but it looks almost certain to continue the same pattern as all the others.
The one common thread in each of the 47 previous Super Bowls was none of the teams that made it to the National Football League’s showcase played home games on that field.
But if ever the curse was going to be broken, this was the season to do it, after NFL owners voted to play the game at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
The Metlife Stadium is the home to not one but two NFL teams - the New York Giants and the New York Jets - but neither looks like making it to the big game.
The Giants, Super Bowl champions just two seasons ago, got off to an awful start, losing their first six games and although they strung together four wins, they need a miracle just to make the playoffs.
The Jets are also relying on an improbable sequence of results to go their way just to make the playoffs after they were humiliated 23-3 at home by the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
Needing a victory just to get their win-loss record back to .500, they suffered their third straight defeat since their bye to fall to 5-7.
For the second week in a row, the Jets failed to score a touchdown, prompting head coach Rex Ryan to bench rookie quarterback Geno Smith at halftime.
“We did nothing well today,” Ryan growled.
“It was an awful performance by us, we got outplayed in all three phases of the game.
“We better get better in a hurry.”
For the Dolphins, the win kept them in the playoff race. They improved to 6-6 and in a tie for the second AFC wildcard spot.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw for 331 yards and two touchdowns while Caleb Sturgis kicked three field goals after missing with his first attempt in a scoreless opening quarter.
Sturgis booted two in the last minute of the second quarter to give the Dolphins a 6-0 lead at halftime before wide receivers Brian Hartline and Mike Wallace each scored touchdowns in the third quarter to put the result beyond doubt.
Reporting by Julian Linden; Editing by Gene Cherry