View Full Version : NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: TUESDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2011 - 10:40 A.M.

12-20-2011, 10:41 AM
<u><font color="#ff0000" size="4"><font color="#0000FF" face="Verdana" size="6">H</font><font face="Verdana" size="6">E</font><font color="#0000FF" face="Verdana" size="6">R</font><font face="Verdana" size="6">E </font><font color="#0000FF" face="Verdana" size="6">N</font><font face="Verdana" size="6">O</font><font color="#0000FF" face="Verdana" size="6">W</font><font face="Verdana" size="6"> T</font><font color="#0000FF" face="Verdana" size="6">H</font><font face="Verdana" size="6">E </font><font color="#0000FF" face="Verdana" size="6">N</font><font face="Verdana" size="6">E</font><font color="#0000FF" face="Verdana" size="6">W</font><font face="Verdana" size="6">S</font>

</font></u><u><font color="#ff0000" size="4">THE DATA WILL UPDATE THROUGHOUT THE DAY AND SHOW THE UPDATE TIME IN THE HEADER</font><font color="#ff0000" size="4">. </font></u><font size="4">

</font><font size="4">
</font><font size="4"><u>NEWARK STAR LEDGER</u></font>

GIANTS INJURY REPORT INCLUDES AHMAD BRADSHAW BUT NOT JUSTIN TUCK (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_injury_report_includes.html)

"After the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/)’ frustrating loss to
the Washington Redskins on Sunday, Antrel Rolle said players need to practice
through injuries if they want to play on game day. A day later, Rolle insisted
he didn’t have specific teammates in mind — even if only two players fit his
description: Ahmad Bradshaw and Justin Tuck, both of whom didn’t practice until
last Friday.

It looks like Bradshaw will be alone this week. Tuck did not appear on the
pre-practice injury report released today by the Giants — a telling sign for his
chances to play Saturday against the Jets (http://www.nj.com/jets/).</p>

Following Sunday’s disappointing loss to the Redskins, Tuck said he felt
good. During his weekly radio interview on WFAN Monday, he said he’ll play on
Christmas Eve.</p>

“I’m playing,” he said. “I’m done talking about injuries. ...
definitely trying to be Santa Claus on Saturday [for Giants fans].”</p>

Bradshaw and nine other players, however, did appear on the list. All
indications point to Bradshaw participating in the week’s final practice ? this
week, that is Thursday — on a limited basis and playing Saturday.

C Davis Baas (neck) is still on the injury report, as are all three of the
Giants’ tight ends — Jake Ballard (knee), Travis Beckum (chest) and Bear Pascoe

WR Mario Manningham (knee), WR Devin Thomas (neck), LB Mark Herzlich (ankle),
DE Osi Umenyiora (ankle/knee), S Derrick Martin (back) also are on the injury
report."</p>REX RYAN SAYS IF JETS LOSE TO GIANTS, BLAME IS ALL ON HIM (http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2011/12/rex_ryan_says_if_jets_lose_to.html)

Excerpt: "Rex Ryan chose to approach the team's biggest game of the season — and most
meaningful matchup with the neighboring Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/) in series history — with the same
level of confidence he has in any other game.

And today, he added that if the Jets (http://www.nj.com/jets/)
lose, the blame will all fall on him. </p>

"I know it's going to fall on one person, and that's the way it should be,"
Ryan said. "It's coming right on top of me and that's fine. And when we win, it
will be about the Jets and that's where I want the attention to be. If we lose,
it's coming right down on me and I can handle it. I hope I don't have to." </p>

It is the same type of big-game rhetoric he used before, making last year's
Indianapolis Colts game a matchup between himself and Peyton Manning and last
year's New England Patriots game Ryan vs. Bill Belichick. </p>

But with a playoff spot likely on the line, Ryan said he's just being honest.

"I think anybody that is in a similar situation would really be (embracing
the game like this). The truth of the matter is, you feel like you have to win
this game," Ryan said. "I feel like I have to win this game because I put it out
there, I want to be the better team in our city. There's no doubt. I want to be
the team that people talk about, that are interested in and you do that by
winning. </p>

"And that's who I want to be, and I want to be the best team in the NFL. It's
not just in this city, but clearly when you have two teams that share the same
name and share the same stadium, it's much bigger than that and I realize it."

<a href="http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2011/12/jets_coach_rex_ryan_fires_firs.html">Ryan
started the inevitable back-and-forth Monday</a> by issuing the first batch of
bravado, saying that the Jets have clearly been the better team over the past
two years. He reiterated as much today, saying that he's never gone into a game
feeling below an opponent."
</p>GIANTS-JETS HOT TOPIC, WHO'S THE BETTER COACH: RYAN OR COUGHLIN (http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2011/12/giants-jets_hot_topic_whos_the.html)

"One, Jets' coach Rex Ryan, is big, brash and <a href="http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2011/12/jets_coach_rex_ryan_fires_firs.html">seems
to go out of his way to stir up trouble, as he did Monday</a>. The other,
Giants coach Tom Coughlin, is smaller, tight-lipped and makes
discipline - his own and others' - a central tenet of his reign. It's tough to
imagine a pair of coaches more opposite in style, yet Rex Ryan and Tom Coughlin
share the crucible of the metro region, share a stadium and <a href="http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2011/12/politi_jets_and_giants_to_meet.html">this
week share a game that neither team can afford to lose</a>.<div id="article"><div class="entry-content">

So we ask Giants and Jets fans today, who's the better coach? We'll leave the
criteria and the judging up to you - both to vote in our poll and also to
explain your opinion in comments below - but here are a few nuts-and-bolts
points in comparison.

<a style="PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; MARGIN: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; DISPLAY: inline; PADDING-TOP: 0px" name="pd_a_5777060"></a>
</p><div id="PDI_container5777060" class="PDS_Poll">
<div class="pds-box">
<div class="pds-box-outer">
<div class="pds-box-inner">
<div class="pds-box-top">
<div class="pds-question">
<div class="pds-question-outer">
<div class="pds-question-inner">
<div class="pds-question-top">Thank you for voting! </div></div></div></div>
<div class="pds-answer">
<div class="pds-feedback-group"><font color="#0000FF"><label class="pds-feedback-label"><span class="pds-answer-text">Tom Coughlin </span><span class="pds-feedback-result"><span class="pds-feedback-per">78.43%</span><span class="pds-feedback-votes"> (578
votes)</span></span> </label><span style="LINE-HEIGHT: 1px; DISPLAY: block; HEIGHT: 1px; CLEAR: both" class="pds-clear"></span></font>
<div id="PDI_feedback0" class="pds-answer-feedback">
</div><font color="#0000FF"><span style="LINE-HEIGHT: 1px; DISPLAY: block; HEIGHT: 1px; CLEAR: both" class="pds-clear"></span></font> </div>
<div class="pds-feedback-group"><font color="#0000FF"><label class="pds-feedback-label"><span class="pds-answer-text">Rex Ryan </span><span class="pds-feedback-result"><span class="pds-feedback-per">21.57%</span><span class="pds-feedback-votes"> (159
votes)</span></span> </label></font><span style="LINE-HEIGHT: 1px; DISPLAY: block; HEIGHT: 1px; CLEAR: both" class="pds-clear"></span>
<div id="PDI_feedback1" class="pds-answer-feedback">
</div><span style="LINE-HEIGHT: 1px; DISPLAY: block; HEIGHT: 1px; CLEAR: both" class="pds-clear"></span> </div><span style="LINE-HEIGHT: 1px; DISPLAY: block; HEIGHT: 1px; CLEAR: both" class="pds-clear"></span>
<div class="pds-total-votes">Total Votes: <span>737</span></div></div>
<div class="pds-vote">
<div class="pds-totalvotes-outer"><span class="pds-links-back"></span><span style="LINE-HEIGHT: 1px; DISPLAY: block; HEIGHT: 1px; CLEAR: both" class="pds-clear"></span> </div></div></div></div></div></div>

<div id="PD_superContainer">
<div style="POSITION: absolute; TOP: 0px; LEFT: -2000px" id="SwfStore_swfstore_0">


They both win. Ryan is now 28-18 (.609) and in his third season as a head
coach. He is 4-2 in the playoffs, with two straight AFC Championship losses and
some unkept promises on his record. Coughlin is 140-114 (.551) most of the way
through his 16th season, 72-54 (.571) with the Giants. He has a 8-7 playoff
record (4-3 with the Giants) and the 2007 Giants Super Bowl win to his credit.
To our knowledge, he hasn't made any public promises about where the Giants are

So you make the call, and you decide the terms on which you make that call -
who's the better coach, Rex Ryan or Tom Coughlin? Vote in our poll and explain
your vote below."</p></div>

POLITI: GIANTS AND JETS TO MEET IN UNIQUELY MEANINGFUL GAME FOR RIVALRY (http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2011/12/politi_jets_and_giants_to_meet.html)

Excerpt: "Rex Ryan got it started as usual Monday, ignoring the fact that his team and
the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/) were outscored by a combined
68-29 margin Sunday. “I recognize that they’re an excellent football team, but I
think we’re better,” the Jets (http://www.nj.com/jets/)head coach
said, which isn’t exactly setting the bar very high.

Then Deon Grant took the chest pounding a step further. “I’d be dumb and
stupid to say any team (in the NFL) is better than us,” the Giants safety said
while delivering holiday meals to the elderly — a comment so crazy we can only
hope the recipients asked for a food taster before eating.</p>

This, unfortunately, has been the essence of Jets-Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_or_jets_-_who_blew_it_w.html).
They talk like two boxers who have spent a lifetime exchanging blows, when in
reality, they’ve never had a meaningful fight. </p>

Until now, that is. </p>

You are forgiven for tuning out Saturday after the matching humiliations this
weekend. One of these two teams — likely the winner of this game — will make the
playoffs, but neither one is any good. </p>

Still, when it comes to this corner of the NFL, what we’re about to see is
unprecedented. Never, in a half-century of shared existence, have the Jets and
the Giants played this late in the season when both teams had something at
stake."
</p>JETS' COACH RES RYAN FIRES FIRST SALVO (http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2011/12/jets_coach_rex_ryan_fires_firs.html)

Excerpt: "Rex Ryan wasted no time Monday morning professing that his team is better
than the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/), not the “little
brother” or “second fiddle” anywhere or at any time, even if the Jets were
playing the Yankees.

The coach’s bluster came as no surprise, and it took the focus off <a href="http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2011/12/jets_see_playoff_hopes_take_hi.html">Sunday’s
embarrassing 45-19 loss to Philadelphia</a>.</p>

“From this press conference on, it’s going to be behind us,” Ryan said on a
conference call with reporters. “I can’t dwell on it. Not going to dwell on

Mathematically, the Jets do not technically control their playoff destiny
anymore, though they will likely qualify if they win out. But who was that team
at Lincoln Financial Field? And are the Jets better than that?</p>

Ryan called the Jets’ showing Sunday the worst in his tenure — with the
exception of last season’s 45-3 loss at New England. The Jets rebounded from
that game to make a run to the AFC Championship Game, but not before laying a
stinker against Miami the following week.</p>

This year, the Jets don’t have the wiggle room for back-to-back losses, thus
Ryan’s eagerness to move on from the “horrible performance.” Linebacker Bart
Scott said the Jets simply “ran into a buzzsaw.”</p>

“We had a setback, but when we look up, it seemed like the rest of the NFL
had a setback,” Scott said Monday night at a charity go-kart fundraiser for his
foundation. “If it was a full moon the night before, something in the Kool-Aid.
It was one of those days. The only thing that did happen well for us is that all
the other teams lost as well (but) we did lose an opportunity to separate
ourselves. Whoever loses the game this week is pretty much done.”</p>That’s not entirely true. The Jets would put themselves in a tougher spot with a
loss to their in-state rivals, but there are still scenarios in which they could
make the playoffs with a 9-7 record. In the race for the second wild-card spot,
the Jets and Bengals each have an 8-6 record with two games to go, while the
Raiders, Titans and Chargers are all at 7-7.

But the Jets can’t bank on a complicated set of tiebreakers falling into
place. Safety Eric Smith called this week’s game against the Giants a
“must-win,” and Ryan said its intensity is on par with a playoff game, because
the Jets could miss the playoffs if they don’t win." Read more...</p>FORMER LB ANTONIO PIERCE REMINDS TEAM NOW IS THE TIME TO STAND TALL TOGETEHR (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/ex-giants_linebacker_antonio_p.html)

Excerpt: "He was the master of motivation, the <a href="http://blog.nj.com/ledgergiants/2007/09/gen_pierce_fires_first_shot_in.html">admiral
of the air horn</a> and the idea man behind the <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2008/01/ny_giants_arrive_for_super_bow.html">black
suits on the flight to Phoenix</a> for the anticipated funeral after the death
of the Patriots’ perfect season.

Just once, Antonio Pierce would like to see a leader on the current Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/) team take a chance like that, to
make himself the target, to do something out of the norm, to show some

In short, to lead a team that badly needs direction.</p>

“The best way leaders emerge is when things hit the fan, when things get
tough, they stand up taller than everybody else,” the former Giants middle
linebacker and current ESPN analyst said by phone Monday. “They’re not afraid to
go out on a limb, they’re not afraid to put everything that’s going wrong on
their back. When I listen to the Giants, I don’t hear that. I hear ‘me’ and ‘I.’
I don’t hear ‘us’ or ‘we.’</p>

“You can talk about team, but until you use those words, you can’t be (a

The one-time defensive captain was hot Monday after seeing the Giants blow
chance after chance to take control of <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants-redskins_game_review_qu.html">Sunday’s
matchup with the Redskins, a game they lost 23-10</a> to knock them back into
second place in the NFC East with two games to play.</p>

Making matters worse was what ensued: Antrel Rolle’s saying injured players
need to practice during the week, leading many to believe he was talking about
defensive captain Justin Tuck. Rolle said he wasn’t pointing at Tuck, but Tuck
and Ahmad Bradshaw are the two players who most fit Rolle’s criteria.</p>

It’s Rolle’s way of trying to spark this team. While Pierce and coach Tom
Coughlin didn’t like the method, they agreed with the intent behind the message:
Now is the time to give a little more and play a lot better.
</p>“I think there is peer pressure,” Coughlin said on a conference call Monday
with reporters. “I wish there was more. I don’t know necessarily that’s the way
it is in our league anymore. I wish it was. You have strength in people to be
looked at in terms of how they prepare, how they play the game, and hopefully
there’s enough of that, that everyone rallies around it right now.

“And I think we will. I think there will be a unified commitment to playing
well together. There’s no finger-pointing, there’s none of that. There’s plenty
of blame to go around.”</p>

Tuck chose not to air it publicly, saying, “Some of the things I have in my
gut to say, I’ll keep to myself.”</p>

Asked later whether this would be a week he might let it all out, he replied,
“We’ll see.”</p>

Pierce would like to see somebody let it out on the field.</p>

“I’ve been booed before and I’ve been cheered there before, and I know how to
make them cheer: You show them heart. They just want to see some more fight,”
Pierce said. “As long as you’re still swinging, they’re good. But when you sit
down and you’re on the sideline and your body language tells them otherwise,
you’re going to get the reaction they got.”</p>

Tuck has admitted his body language isn’t the greatest, especially when he’s
hurting. Last year, in another moment when Rolle seemed to be talking about
Tuck, the former Cardinal said he was stunned to see “so-called leaders hanging
their heads” late in the loss to the Colts.
Pierce saw a lot of the same

“The one guy (playing hard) consistently is Jason Pierre-Paul. But he’s so
young and raw, so you look at your older guys,” Pierce said. “You look at Tuck,
Mathias Kiwanuka, Corey Webster, Antrel Rolle. Those have to be the guys who
during the game — that’s the key word: during the game — do something to raise
everybody up, to make everybody play at another level.</p>

“What’s happening right now, nobody’s making a play or saying anything until
after the game. It’s too late. It’s too late.”</p>

Pierce invoked the Giants’ slogan from their Super Bowl XLII: “Talk is cheap,
play the game.”</p>

With a laugh, he said, “It’s still true.”</p>

Pierce pointed to his friend and fellow middle linebacker Ray Lewis, whom he
saw displaying that sort of fire throughout the Ravens’ big loss to the Chargers
on Sunday.</p>

Lewis’ teams have bad games. So did the teams Pierce helped lead. But he said
they always played with passion the likes of which he isn’t seeing from the
Giants. </p>

“I hear them saying, ‘Our backs are against the wall and we’re going to come
out fighting,’?” Pierce said, “but I don’t hear it from all 53 players and I
don’t see it from all 53 players.”</p>

Or even from the few charged with getting such reactions out of their

“Sometimes you have to do something that’s out of the norm for you to get
your team going when you’re a leader,” Pierce said. “That has to be you. You
have to be comfortable enough to want that role and not be scared of getting the
backlash if you’re right or wrong.</p>

“You take the good with the bad.”</p>

* * * *</p>

Some select quotes from the rest of our interview with Pierce:</p>

On the lack of fire: "I don’t see it and I haven’t seen it
all year. But what happens is when you’re winning everything gets covered up,
gets swept under the rug. ... I’m not saying you always have to be a rah-rah
guy. Either you’re that guy or you’re a guy who goes out there and you play
lights out for 60 minutes. It’s that one play, it’s something you say, it’s the
look in your eye, it’s the way you play. Maybe you don’t make a play, but it’s
the way you play. They’re not showing any fire. When you watch the Giants play
(Sunday), there’s no leadership and no sense of urgency. Until the clock hits
zero, the Giants still have a chance to win because that’s a low-scoring game.
And they’re a team that can score 30 points. So from the defensive side of the
ball to the offensive side, where’s the sense of urgency? And that comes from
the players. No coach can do that. They can get the play call in quicker, but
you as players have to do it during the 60 minutes."</p>

On players who aren't natural leaders trying to lead: "Then
those guys shouldn’t have been put in position. Leadership, you’re born with it.
I’ve got a little boy. I can tell if he’s a leader or not. I know he’s going to
be one. I can see it. I’ve got another boy, he still needs some guidance."</p>

On where blame lies for the lack of leadership: "Being
truthful, it always starts up top. It starts with Coach Coughlin. He knows that.
He has to know this team better than anybody else. So he knows, 'Who’s that one
guy I can cuss him out in a meeting, I can get after his tail?' And he’s going
to say, 'All right, you know what, I’m going to get the rest of the guys going
and get after Coach and prove a point.' I don’t know if he has enough Coach
Coughlin-type guys. What is that? Coach Coughlin is a blue-collar guy. He talks
in simple terms. You want everybody to speak the same language. ... In ’06, all
we did was talk about one another, what they did wrong, what I did great. There
wasn’t a 'we.' What’d we do? We changed it. We said, 'We’re going to buy into
this, Coach.' What do we need to say? 'Us, we, team.' What were the results? It
got us a championship. Did we get on a run? Yeah, but why did we get on a run?
Because it was us against the world."</p>

On how things changed in '07: "We weeded some guys out, some
guys had to come in, we had to be a little more harsh with our criticism and
oour critique and you had to be accountable. My thing was, when I was in the
huddle, I wanted to see all 20 eyes. And I wanted them to see mine and know they
could count on me. For 60 minutes, I was going to be on the field. I was going
to fight until I had no more fight in me. That's what guys need to see. When I
see Jason Pierre-Paul, there’s no reason why a defensive end should have 16
tackles in a game, except for when they’re picking on him. And that’s not the
case. That lets you know for 60 minutes, this guy’s going to get after it."</p>

On the culture in '07: "The one thing we always looked at
before we walked out of the tunnel was one of us were going to make a play and
do something to change the game. That’s what you need to believe in. Go out
there and make plays. You have to make things happen. The Giants did that
Sunday. That’s what’s so frustrating. First play of the game, interception. Then
three and out. And it seemed like they started losing their swagger. And then
another interception. And then the Redskins made some plays and the swagger was
gone the rest of the game in a game that was only a touchdown or two away from
tying it up. That’s what people are seeing. When you have things right there in
your hands and you can grab it, you’ve gotta grab it. I know when I was there we
lost some games that were stupid and silly but I don’t know how many times we
went out there and didn’t show fire or passion. That was one thing we were going
to do. We had an eff it mentality. If we lose by a lot of points, it stings. But
you don’t lay down, you don’t give up and you don’t lose that look in your

On whether he agrees with Rolle saying guys need to play and practice
hurt: "I was the first one to say it. I think I need to check my
copyright statements. That’s just how it is. That’s the National Football
League. When I came in the league, I played with guys that played 20 years in
the league, Bruce Smith, Darrell Green. These guys played hurt. I watched them.
I was young. I knew I could run around for a while. But I saw what these guys
were doing every day. And you know what? They didn’t take every snap. But they
were out there. And that’s accountability. You’re out there with your boys. I
don’t like to use war terms but you’re out there with your soldiers, you’re out
there with your guys. You know when things get rough, this dude’s going to be
there. I think what Rolle was saying, and I hope I’m not putting words in his
mouth, was he’s not sure if those guys are going to be there on Sunday. That’s
how I interpreted it."</p>

On Rolle's timing: "I don’t like when he did it. He
delivered it after the game. I like getting to that on Wednesday or Thursday.
After the game, guys are a little sensitive to it. It creates a little buzz.
Wednesday and Thursday, it grabs a guy’s attention and impacts the rest of the
week. And by Sunday it’s all over and done with. But after the game guys are
emotional."</p>GIANTS' OSI UMENYIORA, JAKE BALLARD DOUBTFUL FOR SATURDAY'S GAME VS. JETS (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_osi_umenyiora_jake_ball.html)

Excerpt: "On a short week, the injury news for the Giants doesn't seem to be getting
much better.

Defensive end Osi Umenyiora is unlikely to be ready for Saturday's game
against the Jets, Tom Coughlin indicated on a conference call this afternoon.
The two-time Pro Bowl selection is still out with a high-ankle sprain suffered
last month against the Saints.</p>

"I'm duly concerned because we were hoping we'd have him back," Coughlin
said. "We're going to take it day-to-day but we'd really have to have some major
improvement to say he can go."</p>

Meanwhile, tight end Jake Ballard is expected to "miss some time" with an
injury to the posterior cruciate ligament in his knee suffered on Sunday against
the Redskins, according to Tom Coughlin. The Giants' coach said it's an old
injury Ballard's had but that he's hoping it won't be a season-ending deal.</p>

Making matters worse is backup tight end Bear Pascoe's rib injury.</p>

"We'll see how much that affects him when we prepare to practice (Tuesday),"
Coughlin said.</p>

Plus, tight end Travis Beckum is also dealing with a chest issue that
sidelined him against the Redskins.</p>

The good news is wide receiver/special-teams contributor Devin Thomas
suffered a neck burner, not a structural issue and has been cleared to practice
this week."
</p>GIANTS, REDSKINS GAME REVIEW: QUESTIONING THE COACHING IN THIS ONE (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants-redskins_game_review_qu.html)

Excerpt: "[i]Y’all know me. Y’all know what I do for a
livin’. I’ll catch this bird for ya…

Don’t ask me why <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPi40lQetew&amp;feature=related">I’m
quoting Quint</a>. There’s really no good reason except the first sentence I was
going to write was, “You all know me.” Guess I’m just trying to cheer you up.
Did it work?</p>

Anyway, as I was saying, you all know me. You know how reluctant I am to say,
“That was a poorly coached game.” Most of the time, I look to the execution (or
lack thereof) as the reason things don’t work out on the field. It drives many
of you nuts because you love to throw darts at the coaches but I see what I see
and often defend the staff.</p>

Not Sunday. Not at MetLife Stadium. Not for the home team.</p>

That, in my estimation, was a poorly coached game.</p>

This is not to exonerate the players at all. As you’ll see below, they’re
culpable as well. But as you’ll also see below, there were a lot of decisions
from the coaches with which I do not agree. And this isn’t Monday morning
quarterbacking here; I scratched my head when I saw these things live.</p>

Let’s get through this quickly, as I have a strong sense you’re not
interested in dwelling on this one.</p>

* * * *</p>

GAME BALLS</p>S Kenny Phillips. Lost in all of the issues Sunday was the
fact he made a heckuva read and play on the ball on his interception. So good I
still gave him a game ball here despite a head-scratcher of a face-mask penalty
to help kick start the Redskins’ first touchdown drive. I’m not sure why
Phillips continued to grab and yank FB Darrel Young’s face mask. He should’ve
realized what he was doing a lot sooner than he did.

DE Jason Pierre-Paul. On his sack, he got to Redskins QB
Rex Grossman in 2.0 seconds. Grossman carried out the
play-action fake and then turned to see Pierre-Paul already only 2 yards away
from him. Why WR Niles Paul didn’t chip him at the line I have
no idea. The Redskins paid attention to him for most of the day (which is why
the Giants stood him up and looped him around to create a pressure later on) but
let him come off the line clean there. Obviously, the two negatives on the day
were his failure to recognize Young had the ball on his TD run and his
roughing-the-passer penalty on the next drive for helmet-to-helmet contact.
Otherwise, Pierre-Paul was excellent once again, including on another tipped
field goal that still made it through.</p>

Giants manager of special events Jeff Conroy. He did a nice
job of making sure the New Providence High School marching band didn’t play at
halftime while Devin Thomas was lying on the turf. They were ready to go. I’m
sure Conroy feels badly the band didn’t get to play, but that was absolutely the
proper call out of respect for Thomas. Good job by him and the Giants there.</p>

* * * *</p>


DE Justin Tuck. If you need proof he isn’t himself, watch
the play on which Phillips was flagged. It was an end around to Paul, who plants
his foot in the turf to juke Tuck, whose lower-leg issues are preventing him
from making any change-of-direction moves. Watch how slowly his body reacts to
what his mind wants him to do.</p>

QB Eli Manning. He started 0-for-6. Brutal, right? Until you
consider he basically threw two balls away because nobody was open and had the
next two dropped. And frankly, I’m having trouble finding fault with him for
much of Sunday’s game. The interception by Hall was a bad throw and decision.
The one to RB D.J. Ware could’ve been thrown better but wasn’t fully his fault.
(See below.) And the third one was a result of Mario Manningham’s stopping his
route. So if you thought Manning reverted to bad form a bit Sunday, I’d suggest
looking again.</p>

S Antrel Rolle. I’m honestly not sure where to put him? Do I
give him a gasser for missing a tackle on a third-and-16 in the first quarter
and another one on Young’s TD run, plus the 20-yard pass he allowed to Moss on
third-and-11? (He said on WFAN today there were “reasons” he didn’t make the
tackle on Young, clearly once again suggesting he’s playing through injuries.)
Do I give him a game ball for having the courage to say some things others
might’ve kept inside? Or do I leave him here because it all balanced out? You
tell me. This one’s for the people.</p>

LT David Diehl. I actually agree with him when he says he
was <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_show_difficulty_of_runn.html">at
a disadvantage for over a quarter</a>. Orakpo made the play at the right time.
Otherwise, Diehl held his own.</p>

* * * *</p>


Coach Tom Coughlin. Among other things you’ll read below,
his decision to challenge Atogwe’s pick was a terrible one. His previous six
losses have been awfully close; this one wasn’t. Fox showed the perfect angle
right away that made it clear the ball never hit the ground. That should’ve been
enough for whomever lets Coughlin know whether to challenge. So I suppose the
real gasser here is for the guys in the box. But the job of Coughlin and his
staff Sunday was arguably the worst of the season.</p>

Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell. After the game, I was
chatting with the honorable Vinny DiTrani, The Record’s NFL guru who is now in
semi-retirement and only covers home games. We were talking about how much zone
Fewell has played of late. My point was I had a feeling Fewell would shy away
from man coverage after the debacle in New Orleans. <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/11/giants-saints_game_preview_a_l.html">I
had recommended ahead of time playing a lot of man</a> that night and that’s
what Fewell did. The Saints won. It happens. But Fewell has gone back to a
zone-heavy scheme with a bunch of guys better served to play man. You can see by
the way they don’t react to receivers running through their zone it’s not the
strength of their game. This team has to go down playing aggressive, tight man

Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride. This is the most
reluctant of my coaching gassers because he schemed and called some plays to
allow guys to run free in the secondary. Still, I didn’t like the way the Giants
took shots deep down the field on third-and-manageable. The worst example of
this was when they had third-and-6 from the Redskins’ 18 and ran three routes
near the goal line. It was covered and took too long to develop, leading to a
sack for a loss of 8 yards and, consequently, a missed 44-yard field goal by
Lawrence Tynes.</p>

WR Hakeem Nicks. I don’t know that I’ve ever given him a
gasser. He had a few drops. It happens. I would expect a big bounce-back
performance this weekend.</p>

CB Prince Amukamara. Look, we understand how difficult it’s
been for rookies and free agents this season. The Giants’ coaches and players
understand that, which is why they’re trying to be patient with Amukamara. But
obviously, they believed he needed to be pulled from the game. Some of the
mistakes he’s making are because of complex reads that are tough for rookies.
(Which is why he got a pat on the helmet by CB Corey Webster after failing to
get to WR Santana Moss on his TD.) There are others he should know not to make,
such as the one on the 16-yard pass from Grossman to WR Jabar Gaffney. Amukamara
was playing off coverage there because it was third-and-14. What he has to do is
maintain outside leverage and not allow Gaffney to spin toward the sideline as
he did to pick up an extra 8 yards and the first down.</p>

Manningham. By now, he can’t be making critical mistakes
such as the one he made on the interception in the end zone.</p>

* * * *</p>


This is the first of my second guesses. And again, I wouldn’t lie to you,
it was a first guess.</p>

It was the first play after Redskins S Reed Doughty tackled
Nicks for a pass-interference penalty that moved the ball to the 3-yard line.
Allow me to repeat: the 3-yard line.</p>

The reason for my reiteration is I wouldn’t be shocked if we learned the
Giants thought the ball was going to be placed closer to the goal line, because
they sent in their “jumbo” personnel. That means two backs and three tight ends.
It’s what we usually see only when the ball is inside the 2. But once more, it
was at the 3.</p>

As soon as I saw the personnel in the huddle, I didn’t have high hopes for
the play. And rightfully so, because a run by Brandon Jacobs to
the right lost a yard. And it was a huge, huge yard because two plays later,
Ware was ruled to not have control yet at the goal line after a replay review.
The ball was moved back to the 2, which was a bad spot because he seemed to
maintain control at the 1. That’s a long way of saying I believe the yard lost
on first down would’ve made the Ware play a touchdown, not to mention the
first-down play could’ve picked up yardage had they come out in a better
personnel package. A touchdown during that sequence and it’s a 13-point game
with 9 minutes to go. Still no guarantee the Giants come back, but they were
moving the ball while playing solid defense. It was doable.</p>

In short, I know<a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_eli_manning_a_master_of.html">
a lot happens between plays</a>, but the Giants have to get that personnel
grouping correct right there. When you don’t, you saw what can happen.</p>

* * * *</p>


If you watched our postgame video, you heard me say this already: why didn’t
the Giants put the sun to their receivers’ backs to start the game? They lost
the toss, so the Redskins took the ball. After that, you do the next-best thing
to give yourself an early advantage. That should be defending the goal onto
which the sun is shining. It’s what we were always told when I played in high
school – unless there was significant wind. Coughlin said he chose to defend the
east end zone because of wind issues. But the wind was only 9 mph and didn’t
seem to be blowing the flags on the goal post very much. The sun bothered Nicks
and WR Victor Cruz on two plays that could’ve been long

Speaking of the Cruz play, I thought that was an excellent non-call on DB
Byron Westbrook. Much as the crowd, the Giants and Troy
Aikman wanted a call, Westbrook barely touched Cruz. It wasn’t the
greatest body control you’ll ever see from a defensive back, but that’s not the
point. It’s just like when people are yelling for a face-guarding penalty (which
doesn’t exist). Just because it looks bad doesn’t mean it’s a penalty.</p>

Back to the coaching second guesses. Actually, this one was another first
guess. I had a huge, huge problem with Coughlin’s lack of a timeout after TE
Logan Paulsen’s 10-yard catch to make it fourth-and-1 at the
Giants’ 31 with 1:49 left in the first half. Coughlin started to call timeout
but then realized the Redskins were planning to go for it, so he stopped
himself. The reason is he didn’t want to give them more time on their drive.
Here’s my point, though: those 40 seconds the ‘Skins ran off the clock didn’t
matter to them. By the time they ran the clock down, they had 31 yards to go for
a touchdown in a little over a minute plus all three timeouts. Time wasn’t a
factor; downs were. So if Coughlin calls a timeout and the Redskins convert on
fourth-and-1, no big deal. It’s basically the same situation as not calling one.
But when he didn’t call one and the Redskins milked the clock before throwing an
incompletion on fourth down, the Giants got the ball back with exactly a minute
left instead of 1:40. They kicked a field goal to make it 17-3 at halftime when,
with more time on the clock, they could’ve scored a touchdown. You’re down 17-0.
You have to do something to get your team going. Take a shot. And again, it
wasn’t even a “shot,” so to speak. There was no downside to calling timeout.
That’s terrible clock management right there.</p>

Another decision I still don’t get is why the Giants didn’t dress DT
Jimmy Kennedy. They knew Washington is a run-heavy team but
dressed only three DTs. The extra spot went to rookie RB/KR Da’Rel
Scott. He and WR/KR Jerrel Jernigan were active in the
same game for the first time since Week 9. I can’t kill the Giants for this one
because the run defense held the Redskins to 3.1 yards per carry. I just don’t
know why Kennedy, who played well in his limited role early in the season, is
having trouble getting a uniform these days.</p>

* * * *</p>

</p><div class="entry-content">ODDS AND (TIGHT) ENDS

Why was Manning looking for Ware downfield on his first interception? And why
was Ware in the slot and running that seam route? Because that’s the Giants’
“Detroit” package, which usually includes TE Travis Beckum as
the slot receiver. Beckum was inactive and the Giants chose to have Ware replace
him. Don’t blame Manning here; he made the correct read because the Redskins
blitzed off that side and Atogwe overran Ware to cover Cruz. Ware’s inexperience
in that position led to his not bending the route more toward the middle of the
field. That’s why Manning gestured the way he did after the play and why Fox
cameras showed him gesturing for Ware to convert his route more toward the post
than up the seam.</p>

Did you see what the Redskins did to convert a third-and-12 in the first
quarter? Hint: it’s what teams have been doing to the Giants all year. They ran
a crosser in front of LB Jacquian Williams and then ran an in
cut behind him. The crosser was Moss and WR Donte’ Stallworth
caught the ball behind Williams for 19 yards and a first down. Williams seemed
discombobulated by Moss’ presence, even though he was only 4 yards off the ball.
He didn’t get his feet under him and didn’t get deep enough to affect the throw
to Moss. After the catch, Phillips and Rolle are staring at Williams. They
didn’t chew him out but you could tell they’re frustrated by an issue that’s
been bugging this defense all season.</p>

I still have no idea what DT Chris Canty did to draw a
personal-foul penalty on Webster’s interception to start the game. Sorry, wish I
had more for you there. Fox never showed a replay and I didn’t make it to
Canty’s locker postgame.</p>

CB Aaron Ross wasn’t flagged for launching into Grossman on
Grossman’s second interception. I guess that’s legal. Who knew? Referee
Alberto Riveron was watching the hit closely, so it’s not like
he missed it. I know you can’t launch into defenseless receivers, per a recent
rule change, but quarterbacks apparently don’t fall into that same category.
That being said, Ross has to be careful because leaping high into a quarterback
will cause helmet-to-helmet contact more often than not.</p>

I’m not the biggest Joe Buck fan, but the “All you analysts
up here guessing coverage. How do you sleep at night?” line was absolute gold,
Jerry. Gold</p>

I’m convinced when Rolle rolled his eyes after saying they should’ve created
more “opportunities” he was talking about the wasted interceptions in the first
half. I’m sure he was also thinking about the two Giants drives that lasted all
of two plays.</p>

I wrote on Friday LB Mathias Kiwanuka would have to be <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants-redskins_game_preview_a.html">a
factor in keeping the run contained</a>. He came too far upfield on one play but
otherwise did a real nice job on the edge once again. And I’m not sure if when
Coughlin talked about adjustments to the Redskins’ running game he meant that
pitch play they designed to run up the middle but that’s a nice little

And finally, it wasn’t quite game-ball worthy because they were so limited
but the offensive line, as well as Bradshaw and Jacobs, did a good job on the
ground once again. They picked up 5.1 yards per carry and Bradshaw had the nifty
catch he kicked to himself. Good stuff. They'll need more of it in the next two
weeks." Read more...</p>

GIANTS' DEON GRANT SAYS PRINCE AMUKAMARA NOT READY (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_deon_grant_says_prince.html)</p>

"Cornerback Prince Amukamara began his NFL career with an interception on one
of his first plays against the Eagles in Week 10. Since then, it's been a trying
time for the rookie and his struggles continued in the first half yesterday
against Washington, culminating in his benching at halftime.</p><div class="entry-content">

Veteran safety Deon Grant -- citing Amukamara missing offseason workouts due
to the lockout and the preseason and a chunk of the season due to a fractured
foot -- has a simple answer as to why Amukamara has been struggling: he isn't
ready. </p>

Grant said he pulled the first-round pick to the side during halftime of the
disappointing Giants' 23-10 loss "for a long talk" and told him "don't let your
confidence drop on this situation."</p>

"I told him, ‘you got every physical attribute to play this game and go
against any receiver,’" Grant said at a holiday food drive event in Brooklyn
today. "I said, ‘but right now, you’re just not ready for that.’ Not saying that
he won’t be ready, it’s not taking anything from him, but me being in the game
for a minute, physically he made plays through the stretch since he’s been back,
but I’ve just been seeing him struggle. </p>

"I’ve been having conversations with him on a weekly basis. He’s just a tough
kid so even though he knows in his mind he might not be ready, he’s not going to
tell anybody...It’s natural. It’s bad because of the situation that he’s facing
with the absence of mini camps and OTAs and just having the playbook early.

Grant said defensive coordinator Perry Fewell cleared the communication
problems that had been hampering the secondary for weeks and players were just
getting beat. But to him, it wasn't just Amukamara.</p>

"Corey [Webster is doing a good job, [Aaron] Ross has been doing a good job
but I think Ross got...he wasn’t really himself last week," Grant said. "He
played solid, but he wasn’t really himself last week and we already talked about

Grant said the secondary's weakness has been thinking too much and there is a
reluctance to physically challenge receivers as a result -- and it will need to
change Saturday against the Jets.</p>

"When we’re not having those miscommunications and all that other stuff,
Corey is doing it more as far as challenging and being more aggressive instead
of always playing safe. But I think that’s our weakness right now," Grant said.

"We’re trying to play safe a little bit too much. We don’t know how to
transition – and I’m not going to say all of us – but we don’t know how to
transition the coaching to, ‘Alright, now you have to go out there and be a
football player.’ And I think that’s what we have backtracked to now. And I
think when we get back to being physical, being aggressive, challenging
receivers, then we’ll be successful."</p>


Grant wouldn't comment on what Antrel Rolle said after the game about players
needing to overcome injuries during the week to practice. </p>

"If he didn’t call anybody out I can’t talk about it," he said. "If he didn’t
call anybody out I can’t really speak on it. I won’t speak on it anyway because
I think 'Trel makes statements so I stay out of situations with individuals
doing what they have to do in the media."</p></div>REX RUAN SAYS "IT'S ON" BETWEEN GIANTS AND JETS IN BATTLE FOR NEW YORK (http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2011/12/rex_ryan_says_its_on_between_j.html)

"The Jets-Giants Christmas Eve showdown has been looming all season. Coach Rex
Ryan wasted no time in setting the tone this week, declaring on a conference
call this morning that he thinks the Jets are a better team than the Giants and
will not play second fiddle to their cross-town foes.<div class="entry-content">

"Quite honestly, I never came here to be little brother to anybody," Ryan
said. "So, it’s on."</p>

The big brother-little brother reference traces to Ryan's recent book, "Play
Like You Mean It," in which he boldly deemed the Jets the "big brother" of New
York football. He didn't back down.</p>

"Certainly, we were the better team the first two years," Ryan said. "We made
the playoffs and went to the championship game. To say a team’s better than you
that never made the playoffs, just is ridiculous. Clearly, we were the better
team my first two years. And we get to prove it on Saturday who the best team is
this year."</p>

The Jets and Giants only play in the regular season once every four years, so
Ryan said it would be "foolish" not to acknowledge there are some serious city
bragging rights at stake. Both teams are also fighting for their playoff lives
and, while a loss Saturday would not eliminate either team, it would make its
push much harder.</p>

Ryan had praise for Giants defensive lineman Jason Pierre-Paul, saying he is
"playing as good as anybody in the league," and also said he has "immense"
respect for coach Tom Coughlin. But when it comes down to it?</p>

"I recognize that they’re an excellent football team, but I think we’re
better," Ryan said.</p>

He added: there’s no way I’m going to be second fiddle. If we were playing
the New York Yankees, I don’t want to be second fiddle to them. So, it’s the
same type of deal; that’s kind of my approach here. I want to be the best team
in football, not just be the best team in this city. But we’ll start by being
the best team in the city."</p>

Ryan said each team's loss this weekend -- the Jets to the Eagles, the Giants
to the Redskins -- may take away "a little bit" from the game, but he still
predicted a "knock down, drag out." The Jets are technically the home team, and
he implored Jets fans to keep their tickets, though he acknowledged that might
be a tough task if "the price is right."</p>

The victor on Saturday, he said, will be able to look at its opponent and
say, "Yeah, you’ve got a good team, but we beat you, and that’s as simple as
that." Ryan said this showdown will be the end-all, be-all to any such argument.
He's "planning" on winning.</p>

"There's a lot of talk going back and forth, most of it driven by me," Ryan
said. "But you know what, I’ll stand by anything I have ever said. I didn’t come
here to be anybody’s little brother, I came here to win, to be looked at that
way. And to take over not just this city and everything else, even though it is
the city to take over, but also this league. I haven't accomplished that yet;
Saturday, I think, will go a long way to doing that. We have to win this game,
we have to get in the playoffs, and the Giants have to do the same. So it is
going to be huge."</p>

Ryan added: "Quite honestly, both of us are having disappointing years, but
it comes down to who beats who. It doesn't matter about other things. You're
basically the same record, everything is at stake, so the proof is in the
pudding. Whoever wins this game is clearly the best team in New York."</p></div><font size="4"><u>NY DAILY NEWS</u></font>
AFTER FURTHER REVIEW, GIANTS MORE OF A PLAYOFF RUN THAN JETS (http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/backpage/after_further_review_giants_better_dOX0axa6y5mDUym o3rRTmI)

Excerpt: "It was inexcusable, terrible and sadly predictable. <div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">

The Giants' 23-10 loss to the Redskins on Sunday was not a shock for a team
that consistently fails to show up against inferior teams. Eli Manning had an
off game and his receivers did not help, starting with Hakeem Nicks' drop that
likely would have been a touchdown to give the Giants an early 7-3 lead. The
Redskins rolled from there with Rex Grossman showing up the Giants secondary for
the second time this season. </p>

It was another valley in the Giants' rollercoaster season. But they've shown
the ability to rise up and play with the best teams in the NFL. When Manning and
the offense is on, it has proven capable of beating the Patriots and Cowboys on
the road, and hanging with the Packers at home. </p>

But the Jets have been something worse than unstable: They have been
ordinary. Their defense no longer looks capable of winning games, and the
offense has never been able to do that since Rex Ryan took over as coach. The
Jets have not beaten any current playoff team since Week 1, when they rallied to
beat the Cowboys, but that was more due to Dallas’ mistakes than Jets
initiative. Their other impressive victory came against the Chargers, who are
peaking now, but were about to start a six-game losing streak when they came to
New Jersey. </p>

Last year, the Jets suffered that 45-3 beating against the Patriots, but they
also defeated their rivals earlier in the season. Last year in Week 15, they
upset the eventual AFC champion Steelers in Pittsburgh. This year's Week 15 trip
to Pennsylvania was a 45-19 rout dished out by the Eagles. </p>

Even the Jets' 9-7 team from 2009 had an early-season win over the Patriots
to hang their helmet on, and an identity with the No. 1 rushing team and No. 1
defense in the league. </p>

These past two years the Jets have played their best football in the
playoffs, but it was based on a foundation built in the regular season. </p>

It's tough to decipher what this team is. It spent the offseason trying to
build up the passing game, but were quickly exposed and changed course back to a
running team. But the offensive line has taken steps back in recent seasons and
is now closer to average than elite. </p>

The Eagles offense had shown flaws all season, but it moved the ball at will
against the Jets on Sunday. The Jets did not resemble a team that shut down
Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in the playoffs, and it will have a hard time
shutting down Eli and the Giants to reach the playoffs this year.</p>

The Giants are not a great team, but except for the debacle in New Orleans,
have played well against some of the better teams in the league. And in what is
now a quarterback league, they have Manning, who has proven capable of playing
with the best. The Jets have been able to overcome Mark Sanchez’s struggles, but
they have yet to do that against a good team playing near the top of its game
this year. </p>

None of this means the Giants will beat the Jets on Sunday, just that they
are the better bet for a playoff run if they do. </p>


If the Jets are able to make the playoffs it would almost certainly be as the
No. 6 seed. </p>

That likely would mean a wild-card matchup with the Texans, who blew a chance
to be a No. 1 seed with their loss to the Panthers on Sunday. Houston has been a
nice story this year, but is certainly the most favorable matchup the Jets could

Rookie T.J. Yates starts at quarterback, and if the Jets have a chance to win
a playoff game this would be it. It could also set up another matchup with the


If the Giants get into the playoffs it would be as the NFC East champion,
which would give them the No. 4 seed in the NFC. Right now that would mean a
matchup with the Falcons, but it also could be the Lions if Detroit wins out
(vs. Chargers, at Packers) and Atlanta loses to New Orleans this Monday night.

Either of those matchups would be destined to end 35-31. </p>


Tom Coughlin was once considered the best at challenging replays, but the
Giants coach has had a rough season in that area. </p>

Coughlin challenged a Redskins interception early in the second quarter.
Watching it live, the call looked dubious, but after the first replay it was
clear safety O.J. Atogwe had made the pick. Because of the change of possession,
the Giants had to time to view those replays and still challenged it. He is now
3-for-10 this season." Read more... </p>

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/backpage/after_further_review_giants_better_dOX0axa6y5mDUym o3rRTmI#ixzz1h8DR8DlV</div>


GIANTS AND JETS HAVE NOTHING TO BRAG ABOUT (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/giants-jets-boast-heading-christmas-eve-showdown-article-1.994157)

"The only good news for our two overrated and underachieving football teams is
that one of them will get a win on Saturday, one of them will continue to
believe it can make the playoffs and then make a run. But the real fact of this
game, at least off what we have seen from the Giants and Jets so far, is that
the only championship for which either one of them will compete this season is
the championship of each other. Two teams that played dead on Sunday try to show
some life at MetLife Stadium on Christmas Eve.
<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">

At the same time they try
to answer a question that all New York and Jersey football fans have right now,
whether they root for the Giants or Jets:

Is this all you guys

“Quite honestly both of us are having disappointing seasons,” Rex Ryan (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Rex+Ryan)
said in his conference call Monday and really could have stopped right there,
but he’s Rex, after all, and stopping right there would have been like stopping
after one bag of potato chips. Or one Super Bowl prediction. His team was
supposed to fight for first place in the AFC East and he had them in
Indianapolis for the Super Bowl, you bet, and now they all fight for the sixth
playoff spot out of six in their conference.

So Ryan kept going Monday,
talking about how his team has been better than the Giants the last couple of
years, as if that is part of the conversation right now, or anybody but Rex
himself cares. Really he just needs for the Jets to be better on Saturday, maybe
even give their fans the one game they’ve been waiting for all season, the one
that actually makes them look as good as the coach always says they

Even Ryan can’t possibly think, off the way his team has played this
season, both sides of the ball, that somehow the Jets will turn into world
beaters in the playoffs again. Because if there is a single area of football
where he genuinely thinks his team is better this year than last, he ought to
send up a flare.

Ryan was probably just doing some chirping on the Giants
Monday as a way of changing the subject from Eagles 45, Jets 19, making the
subject anything but that.

He sure was right, though, about how both
teams have disappointed, right through Sunday’s games. The only win either of
our teams have worth talking about against a team worth talking about is the
game the Giants got off the Patriots in Foxboro, Eli Manning (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Eli+Manning) taking his
team down the field at the end, the last time the Patriots lost against

Other than that, both the Giants and Jets have nice comeback
wins over the Cowboys, an over-hyped team with an 8-6 record like the Jets’
record. At least the Giants got them last Sunday night, and on the road. The
Jets got that game off the Cowboys at MetLife three months ago.

Giants were 6-2 not so long ago, looking swell, now are 7-7 and hanging on for
dear life in a soft NFC East. Fourteen games for them and 14 for the Jets and
just one win against an elite team between them. The Jets have lost twice to the
Patriots, got their hats handed to them by the Ravens on Sunday night football.
The best win they have had lately was against a Chargers team in the process of
losing six games in a row. Maybe in a week that started with silliness from the
Jets coach about winning the “town” from the Giants — East Rutherford? — they
think they can still brag on a couple of wins against the incredible shrinking
Buffalo Bills.

But then the coach always thinks he is speaking in a
language that can only be described as “back page.” After a Sunday when both the
Jets and Giants backed up the way they did.

The Jets were trying to make
it four wins in a row, the Giants were trying to build on that comeback against
the Cowboys. Neither of them bothered to show up. Mark Sanchez (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Mark+Sanchez) couldn’t
get to 200 passing yards for the third week in a row, Santonio Holmes (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Santonio+Holmes)
acted like a bonehead during and after the game, Rex’s defense looked like the
most overrated part of a currently overrated team.

The Jets didn’t
protect their own quarterback, couldn’t do anything to stop the other team’s
quarterback, turned the ball over, saw Holmes celebrate the way he did down
28-10. The Giants were no better. Their coach showed up for his postgame
interview and talked about how he “expected more” out of his team.


At least nobody could accuse Ryan’s team or <a title="Tom Coughlin" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Tom+Coughlin">Tom
Coughlin</a>’s team of doing anything to over-hype Giants vs. Jets. Neither one
of these teams has a losing record, though the Giants could sure get there by
about 4:30 on Saturday afternoon. They both just looked like complete losers in
Week 15.

The Giants can still get games off the Jets and Cowboys and win
the NFC East with 9-7. The Jets can get to 10-6 by beating the Giants on
Saturday and then beating the Dolphins on the road, on the last Sunday of the
regular season. The Jets, who always seem to get a lot of help at this time of
year, might even find a way to get into the playoffs with a 9-7 record of their

“I want to be the best team in football, not just the best team in
this city,” Ryan said Monday. “But we’ll start by being the best in this

Somebody has to be."</p></div>GIANTS LET RES RYAN AND JETS DO THE BRAGGING, PLAN TO MAKE STATEMENT ON FIELD ON CHRISTMAS EVE (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/ny-giants-rex-ryan-ny-jets-bragging-plan-statement-field-christmas-eve-showdown-article-1.994186)

"The Giants do their best not to talk trash. They are a veteran team with a
no-nonsense coach, and most weeks, they spend most of their time tiptoeing
around any inflammatory quotes.<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">

So on Monday, while Rex Ryan (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Rex+Ryan) was at his
blustery best proclaiming the Jets as the Big Apple’s best team and ripping the
Giants for missing the playoffs for two straight years, Big Blue quietly
disputed Ryan’s chatter.</p>

“I definitely disagree with him on that,” said safety Deon Grant (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Deon+Grant).</p>

Instead, the Giants reminded the big-talking coach that there’s actually a
game to settle this entire debate, one that will be played Saturday at MetLife

“That’s the beautiful thing is that we’re going to find out real soon,”
linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Mathias+Kiwanuka)
said of Ryan’s rant. “I’m not worried about anything anybody says — especially
somebody that’s not going to have pads on.”</p>

To Kiwanuka and the Giants, there’s too much at stake to waste the week
trading barbs with Gang Green and its sideline mascot of a coach. They’ve lost
five of six games, and they were just embarrassed by the Redskins at home.</p>

It was a sobering experience, one that even silenced Antrel Rolle (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Antrel+Rolle), the
Giants’ resident trash-talker. During his weekly paid appearance on WFAN, the

12-20-2011, 12:22 PM
thanks Ro....
the hate and embarassment are fading a bit. The hope of beating the ****ing Jets into the "Giants Stadium" turf is starting to build up.....
Hope and errant play goes to the sidelines and smacks Rex in his big mouth....
that would be cool......

12-20-2011, 03:14 PM
thanks Ro....
the hate and embarassment are fading a bit. The hope of beating the ****ing Jets into the "Giants Stadium" turf is starting to build up.....
Hope and errant play goes to the sidelines and smacks Rex in his big mouth....
that would be cool......I hope so, I really do.

12-20-2011, 05:03 PM
thanks Roanoke!</P>


12-20-2011, 08:49 PM
thanks Roanoke!</p>



12-20-2011, 08:50 PM
thanks Ro....
the hate and embarassment are fading a bit. The hope of beating the ****ing Jets into the "Giants Stadium" turf is starting to build up.....
Hope and errant play goes to the sidelines and smacks Rex in his big mouth....
that would be cool......

That would be worth a one game suspension lol

12-20-2011, 08:51 PM
thanks Ro.... the hate and embarassment are fading a bit. The hope of beating the ****ing Jets into the "Giants Stadium" turf is starting to build up..... Hope and errant play goes to the sidelines and smacks Rex in his big mouth.... that would be cool......

That would be worth a one game suspension lol

and a hefty fine too.....</P>

12-20-2011, 10:39 PM
thanks Ro.... the hate and embarassment are fading a bit. The hope of beating the ****ing Jets into the "Giants Stadium" turf is starting to build up..... Hope and errant play goes to the sidelines and smacks Rex in his big mouth.... that would be cool......

That would be worth a one game suspension lol

and a hefty fine too.....</p>


G-Men Surg.
12-20-2011, 10:48 PM
Sad reading about Jake's injury.
Thanks RF !

12-20-2011, 10:56 PM
Sad reading about Jake's injury.
Thanks RF !

It really is. When will the injury merry-go-round stop?