View Full Version : NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: MONDAY, DECEBER 26, 2011 - 10:20 A.M.

12-26-2011, 10:20 AM
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</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 size="6">THE PLAYOFFS HAVE BEGUN!

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

GIANTS-JETS GAME REVIEW: EMOTIONS RUN HIGH IN GIANTS' VICTORY (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants-jets_game_review_emotio.html)

"Have you ever seen a season in which there have been so many replays in the
gray area as this one for the Giants?

It used to be the red challenge flag would be tossed, a few angles would be
shown and everyone with at least a loose grasp of the rules would know what was
coming. The only people on edge would be those in the stadium who didn’t get an

Not this year. Between Jeremy Kerley’s elbow being ruled on
the turf instead of on top of Antrel Rolle’s cleat, the “tuck
rule” reversal of Mark Sanchez’s first fumble, the reversal of
the second one because his arm was ruled to have come forward before
Linval Joseph contacted the ball and what possibly could've
been a fumble on Santonio Holmes that wasn't reviewable, it was
a microcosm of this season for the Giants.</p>

"Not in my time," Tom Coughlin said today when asked if he's
seen a season like this. "I can't tell you how many of these things are
inconclusive. It's incredible. Really. And I guess someone else would argue from
the other side, 'What do you mean it's inconclusive? The information is there
for us and we make the call.'</p>

"But to me, standing on the field, getting information from above, 'Is it or
isn't it? I can't see it all.'"</p>

Yeah, I know it feels to many of you every replay challenge has gone against
them (<a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_tom_coughlin_believes_j.html">Jake
Ballard supposedly being out of bounds</a>, Greg Jennings’ not having his
touchdown taken away by the Calvin Johnson rule and a few others I’m surely
forgetting), but that’s not the point I’m making.</p>

I guess what I’m trying to say is why has it been so close this season? Why
haven’t the replays been so clear cut? I posed that question on Twitter during
Saturday’s game and somebody asked if my belief was it’s a result of sloppy
play. No, I don’t think so. Maybe the game is getting faster and therefore the
margin of error is smaller? That’s all I have for you on that one.</p>

I do know there’s some gray area in the rules, though, and wouldn’t be
surprised at all if these things are addressed in the offseason, considering a
key member of the competition committee is Giants president and CEO John
</p>* * * *


Coughlin. The guy is 65. Sixty-five. Yet, he took
<a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_tom_coughlin_moving_slo.html">a
shot like that to the knee</a>, stayed upright, went back to the sideline and
hasn’t complained a bit about it.</p>

WR Victor Cruz. Leaping over guys, eluding tacklers, running
away from players ... I'll ask one more time: how in the heck does this guy go
undrafted? How does all of that athletic ability go practically unnoticed by 32
teams? </p>

Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell. Somewhat lost in the
shuffle in all of the talk about his <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/ny_giants_silence_ny_jets_29-1.html">“simple”
game plan</a> was what that strategy says about Sanchez and the Jets' passing
game. To me, it’s an indication the Giants aren’t that impressed with either.
I’ve said before the way you beat the Giants’ defense is with multiple vertical
threats. The Jets don’t have that and rely upon far too many two-receiver routes
that don’t force defenders in zones to make tough choices. Plus, Sanchez makes
enough questionable decisions that you don’t often have to force the issue. To
me, and again this is me making an educated guess here, Fewell understands all
of the above and wanted to make sure his players were comfortable more so than
trying too hard to make Sanchez uncomfortable. If so, I love his line of
thinking and thought the game plan was perfect.
</p>DE Justin Tuck. He wasn’t about to say it was Antrel Rolle
who sparked him by saying <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_loss_to_washington_reds.html">players
need to practice</a>. Whoever it was got through. Tuck was motivated, eager to
play and was back to his old hustling self. He had a sack and two batted balls
at the line while also factoring into a few plays by generating pressure. He
drew a holding penalty, got Sanchez to move his feet on DE Dave Tollefson’s key
sack and got Sanchez to move again on the biggest play of the game – DT Chris
Canty’s sack for a safety.

Canty. It was clear from his answers after the game he felt
he had the advantage when matched up 1-on-1 with Jets LG Matt Slauson. He
certainly did when it mattered on the safety.</p>

S Deon Grant. You could see him peek back to Jets TE Dustin
Keller on a pass he broke up and probably could’ve picked off on the first play
of the second half. He had excellent awareness in zones on Saturday. The only
negative for him was a 27-yard pass-interference penalty in the fourth quarter
when he didn’t have to grab Keller at all.</p>

DE Jason Pierre-Paul. That’s why,<a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants-jets_game_preview_a_loo.html">
as I said on Friday</a>, you don’t move him from the spot he’s done the most
damage, regardless of the matchup. When he locks his arms out, there’s no such
thing as a franchise left tackle on the other end.</p>

CBs Corey Webster and Aaron Ross. Had we
guessed ahead of time which would be on Plaxico Burress and which would cover
Santonio Holmes, we all would’ve been wrong. Webster was on the smaller, quicker
Holmes and Ross was on the bigger Burress. Both did very, very well.</p>

Pierre-Paul, Webster and
Rolle. These were the guys Coughlin said played 100 snaps. And they
were effective until the end. That’s incredible, especially since Fewell was
hoping to <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/10/jason_pierre-paul_takes_no_iss.html">limit
Pierre-Paul to 40, 45 per game</a>.</p>

RB Ahmad Bradshaw. As I tweeted during the game, I haven’t
seen a Giants running back make somebody road kill the way he ran over Jets S
Brodney Pool since Brandon Jacobs plowed the Redskins’ LaRon Landry in 2008.</p>

Jacobs. His fire and passion is back to being a good thing.
That’s what winning does.</p>

LB Jacquian Williams. His stop on Jets RB LaDainian
Tomlinson 1 yard short of the stick in the second quarter was a play long
forgotten by game’s end but one that should be recalled and highlighted a few
times now. The Jets were trying to run him on a quick underneath two receivers,
which was a great call against man coverage, especially since Williams was the
guy in coverage because he’s been struggling at times this year. On this play,
he did an outstanding job of working through traffic to get to Tomlinson and
make the hit without allowing any more forward movement. It was a great play by
a guy who’s made mistakes but hasn’t given up trying to be aggressive. “As a
nickel linebacker, that’s my job. That’s me understanding whatever it takes to
not let you get any plays on my time,” said Williams, who also made a stop a
yard short of a first down to force a punt in the first quarter. “That’s all
that was. That’s just something I have to understand. It’s one of those things
you have to learn.” Williams also had a fumble recovery in the fourth quarter
and was even used out wide to help jam Burress. Great game for him.</p>

RT Kareem McKenzie. Yeah, he gave up a sack. But if you get
a chance to see the game again, watch him closely on the 17-yard run by D.J.
Ware (the one on which Ware took out Coughlin) and see the hole he creates by
plowing Jets LB Calvin Pace. (Also take a look at WR Hakeem Nicks blocking CB
Antonio Cromartie downfield there.) McKenzie, who moved Jets S Eric Smith out of
the hole on Bradshaw’s second TD run, hasn’t had the best of seasons but he was
excellent on Saturday.</p>

RG Chris Snee and LT David Diehl. Two other
guys who had very good games up front. Snee had a nice block on DE Mike DeVito
on Bradshaw’s second touchdown.</p>

S Kenny Phillips. He's really played well the last few

Jets CB Darrelle Revis. I know some of you thought he
should’ve been called for pass interference on his the ball he broke up for WR
Hakeem Nicks in the end zone on a quick slant in the second quarter. I strongly
disagree. That’s just tremendous coverage, anticipation and awareness by one of
the great ones. QB Eli Manning looked right before the snap and saw what he
believed was Revis in press coverage. That means, as long as Nicks can get some
forward momentum, he has the advantage on a quick slant. But what did Revis do
as Manning was checking to the slant? He backed up a few steps. When Nicks got
into his route, Revis was able to work toward him and get his hands in there.
That and many other instances on Saturday show why he’s more than just

Jets DL Muhammad Wilkerson. Very impressive rookie.</p>

Jets DL Sione Pouha. Tough dude right there.</p>

Star-Ledger photographers Andrew Mills and William
Perlman. As you've seen on the site in recent days, these guys got
great action shots. They also gathered information and quotes from field level
to make my job that much easier.</p>

* * * *</p>


Nicks. The drops are baffling. But again, I'd say don't
sweat it.</p>

OT Tony Ugoh. He got blown back a few times as the jumbo
tight end to result in runs for a loss of yardage.</p>

Jets TE Dustin Keller. I had him down for three drops. The
one that doinked off the side of his head when he didn't turn for the ball had
to be the worst.</p>

Jets OGs Brandon Moore and RT Wayne Hunter,
LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson, C Nick Mangold and
Slauson. Sacks, pressures, penalties, botched snaps and missed
blocks for these guys.</p>

Jets LB Aaron Maybin. Hitting Ware out of bounds gave the
Giants 15 yards, which allowed P Steve Weatherford to get that much closer for a
punt to the 8-yard line. Next play: the game-changing safety.</p>

* * * *</p>


Let’s change it up a bit this week to talk about a few guys who helped on a
play that wasn’t by any stretch under the radar.</p>

Cruz did most of the work on his 99-yard TD. But don’t discount the work of
Snee and McKenzie, who gave Manning plenty of time and room to deliver that
ball. The Jets tried bringing pressure over Snee but it never came close to
getting home. In fact, Bradshaw didn’t even have to touch anybody in pass
protection to that right side.</p>

Jets DL Marcus Dixon tried a spin to the outside and
McKenzie just rode him further away from the pocket. Meanwhile, Snee ate up LB
David Harris on the blitz.</p>

Side note: I can’t wait until the coaches’ tape becomes available so I can
see how Bradshaw was the first to get to Cruz in the end zone. Did you notice
that? He was only about 10 yards behind Cruz when he crossed the goal line. As I
mentioned, he was in the backfield helping to protect, so he must’ve been
bustin’ it the whole way. That’s impressive effort.</p>

* * * *</p>


Two days later, I still can’t believe they overturned the call on the Kerley
fumble. They didn’t have enough evidence to overturn it based on everything we
all saw. Was his elbow down? Maybe. But we don’t know that for sure. Like
Mike Pereira said, stick with the call on the field.</p>

As for the near-fumble by Holmes, that looked like a catch to me. Perhaps it
could've been overturned on replay, though that would've only been possible if
it was ruled a catch on the field, which it wasn't.</p>

The biggest head-scratching offensive call by the Giants was, obviously, the
pass that was picked one play after the Jets fumbled at the 1-yard line with
8:43 to play in the game and the Giants leading by 13. How in the world they
threw there I’ll never know. From the way Manning was under center and then
backed into the shotgun, it was clear he’s the one that changed the play.
However, after gaining 9 yards on a run in the third quarter, the Giants came
out in four wides on third-and-1, which was a call that came from the sideline.
They tried to hit Cruz on the deep wheel route instead of pounding it or running
a shorter route. Now, the one thing I’ll say about that play is they knew they
had something there and that the only reason it didn’t work is Cruz broke off
the route. Two series later, they went back to it on second-and-7, got the same
matchup of Cruz vs. Wilson and hit it for 36 yards to help set up Bradshaw’s
first touchdown.</p>

At first glance, I didn’t understand why the Jets got away from the run so
much after their first drive. In re-watching the game, though, it was clear they
had a decent mix going. Before running the 2-minute drill in the second quarter,
they had 19 designed passes to 12 runs. That’s not their usual way of doing
things, but they were moving the ball well enough that I wouldn’t question the
play calling.</p>

Where they started to lose me was on the three-and-out (three straight
passes) to start the second half. They came back on the next drive to run on
three straight plays for a total of 17 yards but then threw on second-and-6,
which resulted in a 6-yard sack by Tuck. On their next drive, they opened with
runs of 7 and 6 yards but a false-start penalty on Burress and a holding penalty
on Hunter helped put them in passing situations. But then, they picked up 13 on
a toss play to start the next drive and then threw three straight times (the
first of which might’ve been an audible from a run) before punting.</p>

From the files of rules everyone should know by now, LB Chase
Blackburn actually made a smart play by going after the ball on the
punt after Jets CB Ellis Lankster “illegally” touched it at the
1-yard line. He can advance it if he picks it up and begins to return it. Even
if he fumbles, the Giants have the option of taking the ball where it was first
touched. In other words, there’s no downside to going after the ball. Smart play
by Blackburn and terrible analysis by Daryl Johnston on Fox,
who said “there should not be any discussion” about why a Giants player was
around the ball.</p>

* * * *</p>


Many were questioning me when I blogged <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_appear_to_be_focused_in.html">the
Giants appeared energetic and focused in practice</a> on Wednesday. Coughlin and
the players were talking about that after the game and continue to talk about
it, so trust me when I tell you it was noticeable.</p>

I had a feeling, <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/against_jets_giants_defense_wi.html">from
the way the Giants’ defensive backs were talking</a> last week, we wouldn’t see
much of rookie CB Prince Amukamara. That’s exactly what
happened, though he did make a brief appearance in the second half. (Great call
by the officials on the push-off on Burress to get separation from Amukamara.)
The Giants have to make sure they keep his confidence up. Remember how much
Webster meant to them during the ’07 playoff run after he got benched.</p>

Speaking of rookies who didn’t see much playing time, did you notice LB
Greg Jones in there for a few plays? He came up to help fill
the hole on a run midway through the second quarter.</p>

The way the game was shaking out, the Giants’ settling for a field goal after
Cruz got them to the 2-yard line with a 29-yard reception (15 yards after the
catch there) seemed to be a big victory for the Jets. The play that had the best
shot in that sequence was the play-action pass on first-and-goal TE
Travis Beckum dropped. The Jets simply bullied Beckum and TE
Bear Pascoe on that play. Pascoe was flattened by Harris as he
came off the ball. That seemed to be where Manning was looking initially. Then,
Beckum appeared to have trouble adjusting and finding the ball after LB
Bart Scott jammed him in the middle of his crossing route.
Without TE Jake Ballard, the Giants were forced to put Beckum
on the line there so he (and not OL Ugoh) could run the route. That also meant
WR Ramses Barden as the “move” tight end. That’s about as
undersized as you can get in a jumbo formation. The next play was a run wide
right Jacobs had to cut back a bit because Pascoe lost ground on his block. I’m
a bit surprised the Giants felt they could use that formation without

The replay reversal of Kerley’s fumble cost Ross his third defensive
touchdown of his career. One of his previous two was the pick six against the
Jets in ’07, so he would’ve had two in two games against the Jets.</p>

What the heck was Jets LB Jamaal Westerman thinking when he
got off the ground to hit Manning late in the third quarter? A lot of these
roughing-the-passer penalties are close. That, uh, was not one of them. It
didn’t matter much because it resulted in a punt by the Giants but the former
Scarlet Knight has to know better.</p>

That onside free kick after the safety was awfully dangerous for the Giants.
FB Henry Hynoski was part of the wall trying to clear room for
Nicks to recover the ball. But Hynoski didn’t see until late the ball was coming
for him and tried to leap out of the way. It ricocheted off him and, luckily for
the Giants, squirted out of bounds.</p>

I had somebody ask me if I saw much twisting from the Giants' D-line after
saying in my game preview the Eagles had done it successfully. I saw a little
and even noticed they stood up their rushers like Philly did. Could they have
done more? Yeah. But I think they also wanted to work on batting balls down at
the line and closing those throwing windows. They were certainly effective doing
all of that.</p>

And finally, to bring it all back to the replay theme, if you’re wondering
why the safety wasn’t replayed, it’s because it was ruled Sanchez’s forward
progress had been stopped. Forward progress is not reviewable. Of course, in the
end, it was the right call anyway so worry about it no more."</p>

GIANTS' TOM COUGHLIN MOVING SLOWLY AFTER SUFFERING LEG INJURY VS. JETS, BUT SAYS "NEVER BETTER" (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_tom_coughlin_moving_slo.html)
</p>Excerpt: "Tom Coughlin climbed the stairs one by one on his way up to the podium for
his press conference today. He's clearly stiff and sore after D.J. Ware was
shoved into him by Aaron Maybin on the sideline late in Saturday's victory over
the Jets (http://www.nj.com/jets).


"Never better," the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants)' coach
said, repeating <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/politi_giants_tom_coughlin_out.html">what
he said after the game</a>. "I may not be able to run for a while."</p>

Coughlin said he didn't go for any tests on his leg and doesn't plan to do so
in the near future. He's not making this about him but he had some fun with
media asking about the subject.</p>

"I'm not going to disclose injuries," he said slowly and sarcastically when
asked what part of his leg is hurting.</p>

Asked if he showed up for treatment on Sunday, Coughlin deadpanned, "I did -
to check on the players that were there."</p>

When asked if he'll be coaching from the box anytime, Coughlin laughed and
said, "No, I'll move a little quicker."</p>

And when asked how much Ware was fined for running into him, without missing
a beat, Coughlin shot back, "Uh, he's no longer with the team."</p>

Seriously, though, he blamed himself for the incident.</p>

"The problem I had is I relaxed because he was out of bounds. The only thing
that happened was, 10 yards later, he got hit out of bounds," Coughlin said. "As
John Mara said, 'Too bad you got hurt (but) we got the 15 yards.'"</p>

Coughlin indicated he should've kept his eye on Ware.</p>

"Watch the game. Keep your eye on the field," Coughlin said. "Sometimes
someone will come to you and you'll visit that way but if there's a normal
situation, for example a punt, you'd better not fall asleep on a punt. It's my
fault. It should've never happened. But it could've been worse."</p>

* * * * </p>

Here's a rundown of the injured players:</p>

--DE Osi Umenyiora (ankle/knee) "is still..." That was the extent of
Coughlin's answer and, frankly, the extent of the question I asked. He cut me
off and then the next question cut him off. Translation: Umenyiora is still in a
holding pattern and doesn't sound to be on the good side of questionable for
Sunday's game against the Cowboys.</p>

--"Questionable to start the week" is how Coughlin described WR Mario
Manningham (knee), whom he said started to feel better late last week. He's
hopeful Manningham will be ready to play.</p>

--TE Jake Ballard (knee) said he's improving but isn't yet where he needs to
be. Ballard said he hasn't run yet and, as of this point, isn't ready to play.
But he has six days to get there so stay tuned.

--There are plenty of sore players, plus the entire roster is drained
physically and mentally after Saturday's game. In fact, DE Justin Tuck believes
his 88 snaps were the most he's played at the NFL level. Coughlin said three
players (DE Jason Pierre-Paul, CB Corey Webster and S Antrel Rolle) played over
100 snaps, which is an astronomical number. They can than the offense's
inability to sustain drives as part of the issue there. But the team does have
an extra day to get back to full strength, which makes Coughlin, Tuck and others
happy."
</p>REX RYAN DOESN'T REGRET OUTSPOKEN APPROACH BEFORE GAME (http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2011/12/rex_ryan_doesnt_regret_outspok.html)

Excerpt: "Rex Ryan's Jets were humbled by the cross-town Giants in a 29-14 loss on
Christmas Eve. But after a week of saying he doesn't want to be the "little
brother" or "second fiddle" in the area rivalry, and that his team is the better
team, the Jets coach doesn't regret his message.

"The day I walked in here ... I felt that I didn’t want to be the little
brother or whatever," Ryan said. "That’s who I am, and so do I regret it? No.
Did it work out? Nope, it never worked out. But I'm never going to say I regret
anything that I believe in my heart. I've always said from Day One I am going to
be true to myself, and when I leave this job 10 or 15 years from now, I'm going
to be true to myself."

GIANTS WILL FACE COWBOYS IN REGULAR SEASON FINALE, BUT THEIR PLAYOFFS HAVE ALREADY STARTED (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_will_face_cowboys_in_re.html)

Excerpt: "The official NFL schedule says next weekend is the 17th and final week of the
regular season.

Ask the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/) and they’ll tell you
it will be their second week of the playoffs.</p>

The elimination stage of the Giants’ season began with an emotional 29-14
Christmas Eve victory over the Jets (http://www.nj.com/jets/) in
what was billed as the Battle for New York. </p>

The emotion and intensity will continue when they battle another rival, the
Dallas Cowboys, Sunday night at the Meadowlands with everything at stake. </p>

It’s simple. Both 8-7 teams — if you believe in such a thing — control their
own destiny. Win and you earn a postseason berth as the NFC East champions and
the conference’s No. 4 seed.</p>

Lose and the entire franchise from the front office on down will face a long
offseason of scrutiny. </p>

“It started last week,” coach Tom Coughlin said of the week of practice
leading up to Saturday’s victory over their fellow MetLife Stadium tenants. “We
knew that if we won two that we would be the winner of the NFC East and be in
the playoffs, so we have two games and now one under our belt.

“To be honest with you, we need to put this one aside as fast as we can and
go to work on Dallas with the same attitude we had last week.”</p>

The attitude Coughlin refers to is a boost of energy and focus at practice
that he and his players highlighted during a week in which their backs were up
against the proverbial wall. Whether it will continue and translate to another
imperative victory on Sunday is not a foregone conclusion given their recent
track record.</p>

It was two weeks ago today that the Giants were riding another high after a
miraculous fourth-quarter comeback victory over the Cowboys in Dallas. But the
next Sunday at home they inexplicably laid an egg against an inferior Redskins
team to put themselves in this do-or-die situation. </p>

“Playoff game. That’s it,” linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka said of the looming
matchup with Dallas on New Year’s night. “It’s a playoff game and we need this
one to accomplish our goal. We’re just going to keep the pedal on the gas and go

Sunday’s matchup will be the second time the teams face each other in less
than a month, and having such a high-stakes divisional game for the last weekend
of the season is exactly what the NFL was aiming for when it decided to group
divisional games at the end of the regular season. The game was originally
scheduled for 1 p.m., but the league used its flexible scheduling to move the
showdown to prime time.</p>

The first time around, on Dec. 11, the Giants overcame a 34-22 lead with 5:41
remaining to overtake the Cowboys. Now the Giants will look to duplicate the
result 21 days later.</p>

“That’s a little different,” Kiwanuka said of playing the Cowboys twice in
such a short span. “When I looked at the schedule, it looked a little odd, but
given the situation, this is a beautiful situation to be in.” </p>

Last season, the Giants were in a better situation record-wise when they
headed into the final weekend one game better at 9-6. They took care of
business, beating the Redskins, 17-14. But unlike this year they needed help
from other teams to earn a berth in the postseason and didn’t get it. </p>

This time it’s all on them to avoid missing the playoffs for the third
consecutive season." Read more...</p>

NFL WILL NOT LOOK INTO PRIVATE CONVERSATION BETWEEN BRANDON JACOBS AND REX RYAN (http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2011/12/nfl_will_not_look_into_post-ga.html)

"The NFL will not look into the tense post-game exchange between Jets (http://www.nj.com/jets/) coach Rex Ryan and Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/) running back Brandon Jacobs, an NFL
spokesman confirmed.</p>

After <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/ny_giants_silence_ny_jets_29-1.html">the
Giants' 29-14 Christmas Eve win</a>, Jacobs yelled at Ryan, “Time to shut up,
fat boy!”</p>

Jacobs <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/ny_giants_silence_ny_jets_29-1.html">claims
Ryan then tried to come after him</a> “the way his old man went after (Kevin)
Gilbride.” </p>

“You’re talking to the wrong Giant,” Jacobs said he yelled, “because I will
kick your (butt)!”</p>

Ryan called the exchange with Jacobs a "private conversation" — perhaps a
reference to the league's reason for not looking into New England coach Bill
Belichick's reportedly vulgar remark about the Jets to his son after the
Patriots' Week 10 win.</p>

"He doesn't like me," Ryan said of Jacobs. "I respect him, but I couldn't
care less about him."</p>

Ryan has been fined twice by the league in his three-year tenure, both for
interactions with fans."</p><font size="4"><u>NY DAILY NEWS</u></font><u><font size="4">
</font></u><font size="4"><font size="3">
GIANTS' DEFENSE BASKS IN WIN OVER JETS, COMES ALIVE AT THE PERFECT TIME (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/ny-giants-defense-basks-win-ny-jets-alive-perfect-time-article-1.996845)

Excerpt: "</font></font>Every defensive player who was asked last week responded with a roll of the
eyes or a disgusted shake of the head. None of them could think of one game
where the Giants’ defense actually played like a Giants defense.

Until now.</p>

“You got it,” linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Mathias+Kiwanuka)
said after the Giants’ season-saving, 29-14 win over the Jets on Christmas Eve.
“You got it right there.”</p>

“I think this was definitely it,” added safety Antrel Rolle (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Antrel+Rolle). “We came
out and played relentless.”</p>

That’s the perfect way to describe the five-sack, three-turnover-caused
performance of the Giants’ beleaguered defense in what was their best and most
relentless performance of the season. The Jets entered the game clearly thinking
they could withstand the Giants’ rush and pick apart their vulnerable secondary.
Mark Sanchez (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Mark+Sanchez) even
threw the ball 59 times.</p>

But he completed just 30 for only 258 yards and if it weren’t for a couple of
close-but-fortunate replay reviews he might have turned the ball over two more
times. Especially in the second half, the Giants’ defense never let the Jets’
attack pick up steam.</p>

It was a welcome change from their recent performances, which had been marked
by confused looks on players’ faces, botched assignments and quarterbacks being
mostly untouched. And considering what’s at stake on Sunday night, when the
Giants face the Dallas Cowboys in a winner-take-all NFC East showdown at the
Meadowlands, the revival couldn’t have come at a better time.</p>

“I don’t think we necessarily needed it. I think we always knew that it was
going to come and it would be there,” Kiwanuka said. “But timing is everything.
We’re clicking on all cylinders right now.”</p>

“What better time to be playing your best football than this time?” said
defensive tackle Chris Canty (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Chris+Canty). “December,
January in the National Football League is when you want to be at your

There were plenty of players at their best. <a title="Corey Webster" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Corey+Webster">Cornerback Corey
Webster</a> and <a title="Kenny Phillips (Football)" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Kenny+Phillips+%28Football%29">safety Kenny
Phillips</a> each had an interception. Canty had a sack for a game-sealing
safety. Justin Tuck (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Justin+Tuck) had a sack
and two batted passes in his finest game of the season. And Jason Pierre-Paul (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Jason+Pierre-Paul)
added two more sacks to give him 151/2 for the season. The players credited
defensive coordinator Perry Fewell (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Perry+Fewell) for his
game plan, too, not only for simplifying some of the coverages, but for sticking
with it when things weren’t necessarily going right."
</p>ELI MANNING, TOM COUGHLIN GIVE GIANTS UPPER HAND AGAINST COWBOYS (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/eli-manning-tom-couhglin-ny-giants-upper-hand-dallas-cowboys-article-1.996847)

"The Giants are the champions of New York after their knockout victory over
the Jets and by Sunday night, they should be the champions of the NFC East.<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">

It’s all set up for the Giants to beat the Cowboys in their winner-take-all
division title showdown in what will be a festive New Year’s night at MetLife

In a league that’s all about coaches and quarterbacks, the Giants have a
considerable advantage in the NFC East Championship Game: banged-up <a title="Tom Coughlin" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Tom+Coughlin">Tom
Coughlin</a> with a left leg injury and a healthy Eli Manning (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Eli+Manning) versus a
healthy Jason Garrett (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Jason+Garrett) and a
banged-up Tony Romo (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Tony+Romo) with a swollen
throwing hand.</p>

Even if Romo didn’t bruise his right hand on Eagles <a title="Jason Babin" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Jason+Babin">defensive end Jason
Babin</a>’s helmet on Saturday on Dallas’ first possession, Manning would have
the edge. Fortunately, Coughlin’s injury was to his leg and not his head when <a title="Aaron Maybin" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Aaron+Maybin">Aaron
Maybin</a> pushed D.J. Ware into him, so he figures to outcoach Garrett.</p>

Coughlin and Manning have won a Super Bowl together. Garrett, in his first
full season, has cost the Cowboys three games — against the Lions, Patriots and
Cardinals – with rookie game management blunders late in the fourth quarter.
Romo has been more style than substance since he took over as the Cowboys
starter in the seventh game of the 2006 season: He is 1-3 in the playoffs and
has never been past the divisional round.</p>

Before the Giants beat the Cowboys in their wild game in Dallas on Dec. 11, I
picked the Giants because of Manning being more reliable than Romo in a big
spot. In the final 3:14 of the fourth quarter, Manning led the Giants to two
touchdowns to overcome a 12-point deficit.</p>

In between those two scores, Romo, who otherwise played at a high level with
four TD passes, overthrew a wide-open Miles Austin (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Miles+Austin) on what
would have been a 75-yard touchdown with 2:20 left to clinch the game. Austin
said he lost the ball in the lights, which is about the same as saying the dog
ate my homework.</p>The Cowboys opened the season by blowing a 14-point fourth quarter lead to
the Jets at MetLife when Romo fumbled at the goal line, the ’Boys had a punt
blocked for a touchdown and Romo threw a crucial interception to Darrelle Revis (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Darrelle+Revis) to
set up Nick Folk (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Nick+Folk)’s game-winning
50-yard field goal with 27 seconds left.<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">

And now Dallas closes the regular season at MetLife. It’s not a classic
showdown: Big Blue and the ’Boys are just 8-7 and haven’t been able to get out
of their own way. But the winner gets a home game in the first round of the
playoffs. “You always want to put yourself in position for games like this,”
Giants guard Chris Snee (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Chris+Snee)

Manning has struggled the last two weeks, but has carried the Giants this
season. Romo had been playing great until the hand injury – 22 TDs and just four
INTs in his last 10 games. If Romo has any trouble gripping and controlling the
ball, it will take pressure off the suddenly energized but highly criticized
Giants defense.</p>

The Giants-Jets game started Saturday at 1:03 p.m. and took three hours and
35 minutes to play, about 30 minutes longer than usual. The extra time might
wind up winning the Giants the division.</p>

Why? The Cowboys-Eagles game started at 4:15. The Giants were up by only
20-14 when the game started and when Romo was injured with 9:52 left in the
first quarter. If the Giants had lost and the Cowboys had beaten the Eagles,
then Dallas would have clinched the NFC East. So Garrett had to start Romo</p>

. Once the Giants beat the Jets, the outcome of the Cowboys-Eagles game was
meaningless: Philly was eliminated and the winner of the Giants-Cowboys game
would win the division. If the Giants game was over at 4 p.m., as most of the
early starts are, maybe Garrett doesn’t take a chance with Romo and saves him
for the Giants.</p>

X-rays on Romo showed no fracture and it was an easy decision not to let him
back in the game. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Jerry+Jones) made a trip
from his box to the locker room to check on Romo, then showed up on the sideline
to chat with Garrett to make sure Romo wasn’t going back in the game. By that
time, the Giants game was over anyway, so it was an easy call.</p>

R omo’s hand was heavily wrapped, but the Cowboys expect him to play against
the Giants. He said he feels good about his hand “and being able to play next
week. We’ll have to see how the swelling goes, but I expect it to go down as the
week progresses and I’m looking forward to New York.”</p>

The Giants or Cowboys will be NFC East champs. The loser is out of the
playoffs. I like Coughlin and Manning over Garrett and Romo."</p></div></div><u><font size="4">NY POST</font></u>

GIANTS LIKELY WITHOUT OSI, JAKE, AND MARIO (http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/giantsblog/giants_likely_without_osi_jake_mario_pNrI0TXpALaOu avIz7GUAN)

"The Giants appear increasingly likely to be without two key pieces on offense
and Osi Umenyiora again Sunday when they square off with the Cowboys for the NFC
East title and a spot in the playoffs.<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">

Along with Umenyiora, tight end Jake Ballard (partially torn PCL) and wide
receiver Mario Manningham (sore knee) received downbeat assessments from Tom
Coughlin as the Giants prepared for their win-or-go-home showdown with Dallas at
MetLife Stadium.</p>

Ballard said he is still in pain and would not have been able to play if the
game had been held Monday. Coughlin said he hopes Manningham can play this
weekend but did not sound confident.</p>

At least the Giants would be accustomed to having to adjust without all three
players. Umenyiora (high ankle sprain) has missed four consecutive games;
Ballard and Manningham sat out Saturday's win over the Jets.</p>

As for the Giants coach himself, Coughlin wouldn't reveal the injury he
suffered when D.J. Ware ran into him on the sidelines Saturday but said he has
"never felt better" and ruled out coaching from the press box against

Coughlin joked about the injury, too.</p>

Asked how much Ware was fined for the play, Coughlin deadpanned, "Actually,
he's no longer with the team."</p></div>

GIANTS' FOCUS NOW TURNS TO COWBOYS (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/men_focus_turns_to_boys_zYSuowye8ZO7TrCXDfzAhO)

"It was only moments after the Giants came up big in a game that tested their
emotional restraint, their physical resolve and their mental toughness that a
subtle mood shift enveloped a victorious locker room. Beating the Jets felt like
an intramural scuffle with a mouthy bully compared with the more familiar
showdown still looming.<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">

“There are bigger games ahead for us,’’ guard Chris Snee said when the
finishing touches were applied to a 29-14 dismissal of the Jets. “Don’t get me
wrong, we’re going to enjoy this, we’re excited, but we know who is coming to
town next week.’’
</p>It is too late for<a class="topiclink" href="/t/Jerry_Jones"> Jerry Jones
</a>and Tony Romo to come to town and make like the Grinch who stole Christmas,
but the Cowboys can sure wreck any and every festive plan the Giants have for
New Year’s Day. The Cowboys on Saturday night will ring in 2012 in a New
Jersey-area hotel and the next night, in a winner-take-all battle for first
place in the NFC East, the Giants and Cowboys meet at MetLife Stadium in a
regular-season finale that could make the passion of Giants-Jets look like a
friendly game of two-hand touch.<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">

“You always want to put yourself in position for games like this,’’ Snee
said. “Listen, I’d love to be going into the last game and not have any of that
on my mind. But this is when the playmakers step up and when the good teams
prove themselves. We just have to go out and beat a team that was a tough game
the first time we played ’em.’’</p>

<a href="http://www.nypost.com/blogs/giantsblog" target="_blank">UPDATES FROM

The Giants are in position to claim the NFC East title and get into the
playoffs for the first time since the 2008 season because back on Dec. 11 the
long left arm of<a class="topiclink" href="/t/Jason_Pierre-Paul"> Jason
Pierre-Paul </a>blocked a potential game-tying field goal in the closing seconds
of regulation. The Giants, mighty on offense and yielding on defense, snapped a
four-game losing streak as they bounded out of Cowboys Stadium with a 37-34
triumph that saved their season. </p>

Both the Giants and Cowboys are 8-7 and whoever wins this ultimate showdown
becomes the first team to ever claim the NFC East championship with fewer than
10 wins, going back to when the division was formed in 1970.</p>

“We’ve got to win, we’ve got a big chance now to win the division,’’
co-owner John Mara (/t/John_Mara)said. “You get
into the playoffs, anything can happen, that’s been proven every single

After going 10-6 last year and missing out on the playoffs, the Giants get in
if they get to 9-7 this time around. If so, they are the No. 4 seed in the NFC,
do not get a bye but do get a home game, most likely against the Lions or

Before they can claim that prize they must dispatch the Cowboys, who this
past Saturday, after seeing the Giants take care of the Jets, realized their
game against the Eagles was meaningless, and handled it accordingly. The
Cowboys, at times in preseason mode, were beaten 20-7 and Romo left the game
early in the first quarter after smacking his right hand on the helmet of Eagles
defensive end Jason Babin.</p>

Romo did not break his throwing hand, but he did suffer broken blood vessels.
He insists his bruised hand will be fine in time to throw against the Giants. It
will be an injury that will be closely watched all week, as the Cowboys want no
part of needing to use backup<a class="topiclink" href="/t/Stephen_McGee"> Stephen
McGee </a>in a game of this magnitude.</p>

The Giants also hope they can avoid the two-game swoon Eli Manning’s passing
game has experienced. Manning completed only 9 of 27 passes on the Jets and in
the last two games has connected on only 48 percent along with one touchdown and
four interceptions.<a class="topiclink" href="/t/Hakeem_Nicks"> Hakeem Nicks
</a>has five drops in the past two games.</p>

On the flip side, the Giants hope they can maintain the defensive surge they
threw at the Jets.</p>

“We just look forward on building on this performance,’’ defensive tackle
Chris Canty said. “This is not the end-all, be-all for us, we have to improve,
continue to gel. What better time to be playing your best football? December,
January in the National Football League is when you want to be at your

GIANTS' SEASON RESTING ON PLAYERS, NOT COUGHLIN (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/stage_set_for_giant_finale_xtLLHoE7L3zkqVGVDEGkVN)</p>

"This next one, this last one, New York’s Team versus America’s Team with all
of New York Rexcluding<a class="topiclink" href="/t/New_York_Jets"> Gang Green
</a>Nation and most of America watching, for the division title, for the
playoffs, for the season, should not be on Tom Coughlin.</p>

It should be on Coughlin’s players.</p><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 2011 Giants have played 900 minutes of football, alternately inspiring
and indefensible football, and only these next 60 minutes, these last 60 minutes
against the Cowboys Sunday night, will truly define who they are, and what they
are made of.</p>

It will not be a referendum on who Coughlin is, or what he is made of.
</p><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">

Barring an epic Miracle of the Meadowlands III humiliation, these next 60
minutes, these last 60 minutes, no longer need to be about whether Tom Must Go
or Tom Must Not Go.</p>

It should be on which Giants players go, and which Giants players stay. So I
ask them: Are you champs, or are you chumps? Do you have an indomitable will, a
refuse-to-lose defiance that has vanished since Super Bowl (/t/Super_Bowl)XLII when it comes time to finish?</p>

Can you reach down and summon every last ounce of New York Football Giants
Pride that your late, great owners,<a class="topiclink" href="/t/Wellington_Mara">
Wellington Mara </a>and Bob Tisch, would have wished from you? </p>

Can you visualize a warm, sweet New Year’s Night love affair with your fans
inside MetLife Stadium less than 24 hours after the ball drops in Times

Will the image of<a class="topiclink" href="/t/Jerry_Jones"> Jerry Jones
</a>whooping it up on the Cowboys sidelines be enough to scare you straight?
Will you be able to look yourselves in the mirror during another winter of your
discontent if you allow Tony Romo (/t/Tony_Romo)to
beat you with a bruised passing hand?</p>

Will you remember the anguish inside your souls sitting helplessly inside the
visiting locker room at FedEx (/t/FedEx)Field
knowing you had no one to blame but yourselves for missing the 2010

Will you finally have the courage to break through whatever psychological
barrier has debilitated you and shoo away the haunting, taunting ghosts of
Collapses Past? Is it asking too much for each and every one of you to commit to
be all in one more time so true blue Giants fans can be treated to their first
home playoff game in three years?</p>

The argument for Tom Must Not Go was there for all to see in The Battle of
New York. And in the final few minutes, after he had nearly been kneecapped by
D.J. Ware, a telling scene unfolded.</p>

The Fox television cameras showed vice president of Medical Services Ronnie
Barnes and team physician Dr.<a class="topiclink" href="/t/Russell_Warren">
Russell Warren </a>attempting to examine an agitated Coughlin, standing on a
barking, 65-year-old hamstring by the bench and refusing to take his eyes off
the playing field. Then “No Toughness, No Championship” Tom limped back to his

“He’s not exactly the ideal patient, is he?” Giants vice president of
Communications Pat Hanlon said to the medical men.</p>

The inmates must never run anyone’s asylum. But Eli Manning (/t/Eli_Manning)wants Coughlin back, and there is
widespread respect for Coughlin among key veterans.</p>

A Miracle of the Meadowlands III could prompt ownership, which has a history
of erring on the side of stability, to decide that choking away another season
is unacceptable. That someone should have to pay a price for a 2-6 second half,
and it is time for a new voice and younger blood on the sidelines. But Coughlin
didn’t have any Dream Team, Andy Reid did. And Reid’s Eagles have nothing to
play for now.</p>

The Tom Must Go crowd would emphasize the Giants could not secure a playoff
berth even with Manning enjoying a career season.</p>

The Tom Must Not Go crowd would counter while there is no crying in football,
you try winning a division after you lose your best cornerback, your
middle linebacker, your left tackle, one of your premier pass rushers, your
starting running back for a month, your center for three weeks, your tight end
for The Battle of New York, and a diminished defensive captain for most of the

And the Giants are still standing. As Kings of New York. Coughlin never
blinked. So I ask the players: Will you blink?</p>

“I know we gotta win next week. ... We got to. ... We gotta get in the
playoffs, for everybody”<a class="topiclink" href="/t/Dave_Tollefson">
Dave Tollefson </a>said.</p>

For everybody?</p>

“For everyone,” Tollefson said. “This organization, we gotta get in the
playoffs. We’re too good of a team to be sitting home.”</p>

I said to Tollefson, one of the true Giants: “You said that last year

“Yeah,” he said. “Well, gets old saying it. So let’s not say it
anymore, let’s make it happen.” </p>

Make Tom Must Stay happen."</p>

ELI EYES RETURN OF GIANTS' TARGETS (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/eli_eyes_return_of_giant_targets_fqCLEJD4qFS3nZ7hl AA3IM)</p>

"It is no coincidence that<a class="topiclink" href="/t/Eli_Manning"> Eli
Manning </a>struggled to locate open receivers in the 29-14 victory over the
Jets, as he had to make do without two targets, Mario Manningham (/t/Mario_Manningham)and tight end Jake Ballard, who
have combined for 77 receptions and eight touchdowns this season. The Giants are
hoping both of those players will mend in time for Sunday night’s first-place
NFC East showdown with the Cowboys.</p><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">

Ballard suffered a partially torn posterior cruciate ligament in his right
knee against the Redskins and last week still had not been able to run. He
believes he will only miss one game, but that might be wishful thinking.
</p><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">

Manningham has been dealing with a swollen and sore knee for the entire
second half of the season. He is hoping to avoid surgery following the season
and is optimistic he will be able to make it back for the Cowboys.</p>

<a href="http://www.nypost.com/blogs/giantsblog" target="_blank">UPDATES FROM

Without Manningham and Ballard, Manning completed only nine passes against
the Jets, and other than<a class="topiclink" href="/t/Victor_Cruz"> Victor Cruz
</a>with three receptions, no other player managed to haul in more than one

* DE [b]Osi Umenyiora, out the last four games with a high
ankle sprain, will try to test his ankle later in the week to see if he can get
back on the field to face the Cowboys. He is a longshot at best because thus far
he has shown no ability to push off the injured ankle. </p>

* In addition to the bruised throwing hand Tony Romo took
out of the 20-7 loss to the Eagles, the Cowboys came away with other injuries
that need to be watched this week. LB Sean Lee (hamstring) and
G Montrae Holland (elbow) both left the game in the second
quarter. RB Felix Jones (hamstring) was also pulled early, with
the Cowboys not needing to win the game after the Giants beat the Jets.</p>

* After going 6-10 in 2004, his first season breaking in rookie quarterback
Manning, coach Tom Coughlin has guided the Giants to seven
consecutive non-losing records. That doesn’t sound like much until you consider
it’s the franchise’s longest non-losing streak since going 10 straight seasons
(1954-63) without a losing record. </p>

The 11 first downs for the Giants against the Jets were the fewest in a
victory since Sept. 12, 1999, when they had four first downs but beat the
Buccaneers 17-13 in Tampa. ... Manning’s nine completions were his fewest in a
game he played the whole way since he connected on only seven amid the snow and
sleet in the playoff-clinching 38-21 victory in Buffalo on Dec, 23, 2007. ... CB
Corey Webster has a career-high six interceptions this season,
the most by a Giants player since Emmanuel McDaniel also had
six in 2000."</p></div><u><font size="4">
</font></u></div></div><u><font size="4">THE BERGEN RECORD
</font></u><font size="4"><font size="3">
REX RYAN SAYS HE DESERVES CRITICISM FOR LOSS TO GIANTS (http://www.northjersey.com/sports/pro_sports/football/Rex_Ryan_says_he_deserves_criticism_after_Jets_los s_.html)

Excerpt: "</font></font>Rex Ryan was humbled, his boasts little more than hot air.

<div id="storybody">

Forget kings of the city. The New York Jets are now a desperate team on the
verge of missing the playoffs for the first time since Ryan took over as

"We've won eight games," Ryan said Monday. "Obviously, we were hoping to win
more than that."</p>

That was certainly the plan. Ryan guaranteed it months ago, when he declared
this Jets team the most talented bunch he has coached in New York. Even better
than the teams that went to the AFC championship game in each of his first two

The Jets (8-7) have proven themselves to be anything but. Still, at this time
last week, the Jets controlled their playoff destiny — a win, and they would've
likely made the postseason. Ryan claimed his Jets were the best team in New
York, superior to the Giants based on their two previous playoff runs.</p>

Not this year. They need to win at Miami on Sunday and get lots of help to
keep their season alive.</p>

"Anything can happen in the NFL," left guard Matt Slauson said. "The Packers
were kind of in a similar situation last year and sneaked in through the back
door and wrecked shop. The NFL is a crazy world and anyone can win any day."</p>

Or lose, in humiliating fashion, as the Jets did on Saturday. In fact, Ryan's
big words might have served as motivation in the Giants' 29-14 victory, but the
coach has no regrets.</p>

"I'll stand by everything I said," Ryan said on a conference call. "Did it
work out? No, and I'll be the first one to say it never worked out. I'm
responsible for that. Obviously, the Giants were the better team that day,
without question. So, I deserve the criticism that I take for it. I definitely
deserve it."</p>

The thing with Ryan — love him or hate him — is that this is who he has
consistently been since he got to New York three years ago. He was a breath of
fresh air after Eric Mangini's tightlipped regime, a guy referred to often as a
player's coach."
</p></div><font size="4"><font size="3">

GIANTS' REPORT CARD FOR JETS GAME (http://www.northjersey.com/sports/pro_sports/football/136217678_Giants_report_card_for_Jets_game.html)

"</font></font>Running game: B <div id="storybody">

<div style="CLEAR: both" class="storyboxholderv2">
<div style="MARGIN-TOP: 15px" id="storymedia" class="storyboxbodyv2">
<div class="photocaptionv2">Brandon Jacobs rushed for 42 yards and averaged 6.0
yards per carry. The team had 115 yards on the ground. </div></div></div>

The first half was just deplorable: six yards on seven carries. But the
Giants found their groove in the second half, finishing with 115 yards, two
touchdowns and 4.4 yards per attempt. Brandon Jacobs – before taking on Rex Ryan
– rushed for 42 yards and 6.0 per carry, and Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for 54 yards
and two scores. C David Baas (neck) returned after missing three games.</p>

</p><h5>Passing game: C-minus </h5>

I hope his teammates took care of him, because Victor Cruz turned around
Saturday’s game. His franchise-record 99-yard catch-and-run touchdown in the
second quarter completely shifted the momentum in a game the Jets owned early.
It also was one of the few highlights in the passing game. Eli Manning may have
suffered through his worst performance of the season (9-of-27, 225 yards, one
interception), and Darrelle Revis (five passes defensed) took Hakeem Nicks (one
catch, 20 yards) out of the game.</p>

</p><h5>Run defense: C-plus </h5>

The Jets’ running game never took over. But it did have some success, rushing
for 105 yards and 4.2 yards per attempt. Shonn Greene (58 yards on 14 carries)
was especially productive in the second half, and LaDainian Tomlinson added 29
yards on five carries. The question is why didn’t the Jets run more?</p>

</p><h5>Pass defense: A-minus </h5>

The best game of the season for the Giants’ defense came courtesy of an
aggressive front that registered five sacks and a secondary that shut down
Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress (a combined seven catches for 84 yards).
Mark Sanchez threw 59 times, but completed only 30 for 258 yards. And he threw
two interceptions. The only reason the Giants didn’t earn an A is because of the
three potential interceptions they dropped.</p>

</p><h5>Special teams: B </h5>

Steve Weatherford punted nine times – including a booming 58 yarder – and
averaged 43.4 yards per punt despite placing some in the middle of the field.
The coverage was solid, holding the Jets to an average of 22.0 yards on kickoff
returns, although they allowed an 18.5 yard average on punt returns. Jerrel
Jernigan averaged 25.7 on three kickoff returns and was close to breaking two of

</p><h5>Coaching: A </h5>

Does anyone want Perry Fewell fired now? And Tom Coughlin gets an A just for
keeping his feet when D.J. Ware collided with him on the sideline. He got his
team primed for this game, and they hung in there despite a difficult start.</p>

— Jeff Roberts"</p></div><u><font size="4">THE NEW YORK TIMES</font></u>

<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/pages/sports/football/index.html">http://www.nytimes.com/pages/sports/football/index.html
<u><font size="4">GIANTS 101</font></u>
GIANTS' JUSTIN TUCK SUDDEN;Y MORE TALKATIVE (http://www.giants101.com/2011/12/26/new-york-giants-defensive-end-is-suddenly-more-talkative/)

"For the first 14/15ths of the NFL (http://www.giants101.com/tag/nfl/) season, the New York (http://www.giants101.com/tag/new-york/) Giants sported a downtrodden, introverted <a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with Justin Tuck" href="http://www.giants101.com/tag/justin-tuck/" rel="tag nofollow">Justin
Tuck</a>, if he was even present at all.

The most recent public display his his frustration came when he refused to
talk to the media, but sported a shirt saying "My Pain, Your Entertainment".</p>

Then that all came to a screeching halt this past week when Antrel Rolle
along with former New York (http://www.giants101.com/tag/new-york/) Giant Antonio Pierce got vocal about leadership
within the locker room and intensity during the practice week.</p>

After Saturday's game against the Jets, it was revealed that Tom Coughlin sat
down with defensive end <a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with Justin Tuck" href="http://www.giants101.com/tag/justin-tuck/" rel="tag nofollow">Justin
Tuck</a> and discussed his status. Whatever got said, Tuck emerged a new

Or rather, the old Tuck at least.</p>

Tuck played his best game of the season against the Jets with several passes
defended to go along with a sack and several key hurries of Mark Sanchez.</p>

Today Tuck reiterated the fact that he "hates" the <a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with Dallas Cowboys" href="http://www.giants101.com/tag/dallas-cowboys/" rel="tag nofollow">Dallas
Cowboys</a> and that he will be getting after <a class="st_tag internal_tag" title="Posts tagged with Tony R

12-26-2011, 11:07 AM
thanks Ro...

12-26-2011, 11:10 AM
Thank you Ro, really appreciate what you do for these boards.

12-26-2011, 01:35 PM
thanks RF

12-26-2011, 08:11 PM
thanks RF


12-26-2011, 08:11 PM
Thank you Ro, really appreciate what you do for these boards.


12-26-2011, 08:12 PM
thanks Ro...

That's the avatar I wanted to see [Y]

12-27-2011, 04:55 PM
damn 'noke

i can't believe we watched the same game and i didn't catch one half of the stuff you noticed.

great report !