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    "One by one,the Jets’ season goals have been erased, painfully unfulfilled.

    Win the AFC East. Secure a home playoff game. Be one of the league’s most
    dynamic offenses, and the No. 1 defense.

    Today, the Jets also lost the battle
    for area bragging rights, now unable to claim the “big brother” status coach Rex
    Ryan has trumpeted. And with their 29-14 loss to the Giants came perhaps the biggest blow of the
    season: The Jets’ playoff aspirations are on life support.

    To earn a postseason berth, the Jets must not only win next week at the Miami
    Dolphins — but the Cincinnati Bengals and Tennessee Titans and either the
    Oakland Raiders or Denver Broncos must lose, according to the NFL Network. In
    short, barring a near miracle, the Jets may miss the postseason for the first
    time in Ryan’s three-year tenure.

    “You can’t keep playing Russian roulette,” linebacker Bart Scott said. “When
    you keep playing that way and not taking care of business, that’s what you have
    to deal with. And then we have nobody to blame but ourselves.”

    This crosstown rivalry game was intense. Giants players triumphantly swung
    back the black curtains blocking their logos in the shared MetLife Stadium, and
    and Giants running back Brandon Jacobs
    had a heated postgame exchange, in
    which Jacobs yelled, “Time to shut up, fat boy!”

    It only adds insult to injury that the Giants may have delivered the knockout
    blow to the Jets’ playoffs push. The Bengals (9-6) are now in position for the
    second AFC wild-card spot, while the Broncos, Raiders and Titans are even with
    the Jets at 8-7.

    After a week of talking big, Ryan took the responsibility for the loss, the
    second straight game in which the Jets did not look like a playoff-caliber

    The Jets had all the momentum early, scoring first on a 5-yard touchdown pass
    from quarterback Mark Sanchez to tight end Josh Baker. They forced the Giants to
    punt on each of their three possessions in the first quarter.

    But with one play — a 99-yard touchdown catch by Victor Cruz — the tide
    seemed to turn toward the “visiting” Giants. With just more than two minutes
    until halftime, the Giants had a third-and-10 from their own 1-yard line. Two
    missed tackles by cornerbacks Kyle Wilson and Antonio Cromartie, and Cruz’s
    sideline hurdle of safety Eric Smith, turned a perhaps 11-yard gain into the
    biggest play of the day.

    “What can you do, man?” linebacker Calvin Pace said. “Third-and-10, one
    tackle, get off the field. We can’t get it done. They got the momentum.”

    The Jets had a chance to respond before halftime, but a promising drive
    instead ended with a missed 44-yard field goal attempt. The second half was a
    different game, one in which Sanchez was sacked four times, regularly had his
    passes batted by defenders and turned the ball over three times.

    Oddly, the Jets didn’t play their own game. They were having success running
    the ball — averaging more than 4 yards per carry — but yet Sanchez threw a
    career-high 59 passes. Ryan’s explanation was that the Jets were in catch-up
    mode, but they only trailed by more than one possession for 10 minutes of game
    time, almost exclusively in the fourth quarter.

    “If you look back, who knows what could have happened if we kept running?”
    said Sanchez, who completed 30 of those passes for 258 yards. “But that’s not
    fair, that’s not fair to (offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer). I thought
    he called a great game.”

    Ryan conceded, “You’re not going to beat anybody — we’re not — when you throw
    it that many times, that’s for sure.”

    Still, the Jets had chances late. They trailed by 20-7 early in the fourth
    quarter, but a bizarre series of plays with two overturned Sanchez fumbles, and
    a David Harris interception off a deflected pass, led to Sanchez’s 1-yard
    touchdown run. With 7:17 to play, they trailed by just six points.

    But the Jets went three-and-out on their next possession. They got the ball
    back on their 8-yard line with 2:24 to play, and instead of the fourth-quarter
    comeback that seemed to come so easily in previous charmed seasons, Sanchez was
    sacked in the end zone for a safety.

    “We had five different ways to win the game near the end,” said Scott, who
    did not put the blame entirely on the offense, “and we figured out a way to lose

    Afterward, there was a different attitude in the Jets locker room. Nose
    tackle Sione Pouha said they “don’t really feel like much.” Sixteen games in the
    season, receiver Santonio Holmes rued that the inconsistent offense has have no
    choice but to “roll with the punches.” Scott said the Jets, who once controlled
    their own destiny, didn’t deserve to anymore.

    “If we ever want a chance to right our wrongs,” Pace said, “maybe one day
    we’ll look ourselves in the mirror and say, ‘We’ve got to stop beating


    Excerpt: "It was a fitting end to a week of chirping between the Giants and Jets. The two resident yappers on each side —
    Brandon Jacobs and Rex Ryan — nearly coming to blows at what’s usually handshake
    and hug time.

    “Time to shut up, fat boy!” Jacobs yelled.

    At that point, Jacobs claims Ryan tried to come after him “the way his old
    man went after (Kevin) Gilbride.” To which, in this season of yuletide cheer, he
    sent the merriest of holiday greetings.

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

    We knew it would end this way, with the winning team getting the final say
    after days, weeks, months and years of trash talk. After an oft-sloppy but
    always entertaining 29-14 victory today, it was the Giants breaking from the
    “talk is cheap” part of Tom Coughlin’s mantra after delivering on the “play the
    game” portion to set up a showdown with the Dallas Cowboys for the NFC East
    title next Sunday.

    Chris Canty’s sack of Mark Sanchez in the end zone for a safety with 2:13 to
    play was pretty much the difference and set off celebrations that included
    Justin Tuck doing Fireman Ed’s “J-E-T-S” chant with a drop kick at the end.

    Time to shut up indeed.

    Still, even in victory, a hobbled Coughlin declined to get into the
    back-and-forth jawing. But he did notice how it sparked his team.

    Players who admitted they did nothing after getting “punched in the mouth” by
    the Eagles a few weeks ago, and had lost five of their last six, finally showed
    some fight.

    “It was shocking,” Coughlin said of the way his team came out in practice
    last week. “I looked up and said, ‘Is that the same guys?’ They had great
    purpose and the way they practiced is the way they played.”

    Hard. Fast. Aggressive."


    "When the Giants and Dallas Cowboys
    meet next week, the winner will take the NFC East title. The loser will miss the

    Those are the stakes that were set today after the Giants beat the Jets, 29-14, and the Cowboys lost to the
    Philadelphia Eagles, 20-7.

    Michael Vick threw two touchdown passes to lead the Eagles over Dallas in a
    game that became somewhat meaningless midway through the first quarter — when
    the Giants' win over the Jets eliminated Philly from the playoffs.

    But while the Cowboys still had wild-card hopes to play for, they clearly
    were more concerned about getting ready for the "win and you're in" route to the
    playoffs. Quarterback Tony Romo left after injuring his throwing hand on the
    first series and oft-injured running back Felix Jones hit the bench for good
    after the second series. They came within 7 seconds of getting shut out.

    Vick threw a touchdown pass on the opening series and again just before
    halftime. Alex Henery kicked field goals of 43 and 51 yards for the Eagles' only
    points in the second half.

    Philadelphia (7-8) won its third straight, giving the preseason "Dream Team"
    the chance to avoid a losing record by beating the Redskins at home in its
    finale next weekend. The Eagles also swept the season series against the Cowboys
    for the first time since 2006, having clobbered Dallas 34-7 in October.

    The Cowboys (8-7) lost for the third time in four games, and are guaranteed
    another losing record after Thanksgiving. If they end up missing the playoffs,
    that flop at the finish will loom large all offseason. Of course, if they win
    the division, it'll only be a footnote. The upcoming week will be filled with
    all sorts of similar high-stakes ramifications that will be riding on the finale
    for both Dallas and the Giants.

    Dallas announced late tonight that next week's game has been moved to prime


    "After a week's worth of trash talking and hype between the two teams that
    share one stadium, the final minutes of the Giants' 29-14 victory over the Jets were played in front of a sparsely
    filled MetLife Stadium. It was mostly just Giants fans who still remained, a
    smatter of blue surrounding the field.

    They even chanted "Giants Stadium" to rub it in.

    The Jets fans? They were long gone, perhaps like their team's playoff

    The Giants (8-7) quickly turned a tight game into a laugher in a 14-second
    span late in the fourth quarter. Leading 20-14, Chris Canty sacked Mark Sanchez
    for a safety with 2:24 remaining and then 14 seconds later, following a failed
    onside kick, Ahmad Bradshaw scored from 19-yards out on the first play of the
    drive to ice the game.

    The result meant that the Giants would still have something to play for next
    week as their matchup with the Dallas Cowboys will for the NFC East title.

    The Jets (8-7) are in worse shape. Due to their second straight loss, even a
    win next week in Miami may not be enough to get them into the playoffs. The
    Cincinnati Bengals won today to move them to 9-6 and take a one-game lead in the
    drive for the final wildcard spot. They are stuck with three other teams at 8-7
    and a game out of the playoffs heading into the final weekend of the season.

    The Giants took the lead in the second quarter on another big play from
    Victor Cruz, this one going 99 yards as he split two defenders to race down the
    sideline for the go-ahead score. While it was in peril, the Giants never
    relinquished the lead.

    When Ahmad Bradshaw bulled over Jets safety Brodney Pool on the way to a
    14-yard touchdown run to give the Giants a 17-7 lead, it looked like he left the
    Jets' chances run over as well.

    But after extending the lead to 13, Mark Sanchez scored from one-yard out to
    cut the lead to 20-14. That would be as close as they got."




    Excerpt: "At this point, every aspect of today’s Giants-Jets game has been broken
    down ad nauseam, and our ears are bleeding from the trash talk. But who has the
    edge in the categories that can’t be decided on the field today? We present our
    comprehensive (ahem) Tale of the Tape:

    Head Coaches’ Motto

    Tom Coughlin loves to
    say, “Talk is cheap. Play the Game.” For Rex Ryan, it’s more like, “Talk is
    cheap – and here’s some more of it!” EDGE: GIANTS

    Most Visible Fan

    The Jets have Fireman Ed.
    The Giants have, well, anybody other than Fireman Ed. EDGE:

    Celebrity Fans

    The Jets have Ray Romano,
    Adam Sandler, James Gandolfini and Kevin James. The Giants have Jon Bon Jovi.
    Didn't he just die or something? EDGE: JETS

    Team Colors

    The Jets are green, the color
    of emeralds, nature and money. Not bad. But the Giants are blue, and as any
    grade school kid could tell you, yellow and blue make green. EDGE:

    Plaxico Factor

    The Giants had Plaxico
    Burress when he was late for practices and carrying a loaded gun into a
    nightclub. The Jets have him when he’s a grateful family man working for
    charities to stop gun violence. EDGE: JETS

    Team History

    Giants have three Super Bowl
    trophies, most recently in 2007, and four titles in the pre-Super Bowl Era. The
    Jets still have but one, most recently when man was walking on the moon.
    EDGE: Giants

    Quarterback Trysts

    Eli Manning is happily
    married with a new baby. Mark Sanchez, according to
    Page 6, is dating
    supermodel Kate Upton. No wonder he can’t focus on opposing defenses.

    Pop Culture References

    The mostly unfunny
    movie “Big Fan” is about a hardcore Giants fan who is beaten up by his favorite
    player. Former Jets coach Eric Mangini got a table at Vesuvio in “The Sopranos.”


    The Jets have them. The
    Giants are one of six NFL teams that do not. EDGE: GIANTS

    Misbehaving Icons

    Giants great Lawrence Taylor pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges after
    a May 6 arrest for statutory rape, which is no laughing matter. Jets icon Joe
    Namath tried to kiss Suzy Kolber on national TV (and we're still giggling).


    Giants have a classic, simple look. So do the Jets but then once a year they
    trot out those awful gold and blue New York Titans uniforms. EDGE:

    Tuna Era

    Bill Parcells led the Giants to a pair of Super Bowl titles. He got the Jets
    as far
    as the AFC Championship Game before bolting a year later.

    Dark Days

    The Giants failed to make the
    playoffs from 1963-81. As for the Jets, two words: Rich Kotite. EDGE:

    Moment of Ignominy

    Giants quarterback Joe Pisarcik’s shocking fumble led to the “Miracle at the
    Meadowlands” for the Eagles. The Jets blew a three-point lead to lose the “Heidi
    Game” to the Raiders, but hey, at least fans didn’t see it. EDGE:

    Social Media

    The Jets are one of the most
    active teams on Twitter and Facebook, with 275,000 followers. The Giants, who
    may have just disconnected their CompuServe account recently, have less than
    half that many. EDGE: JETS.

    Touchdown Celebrations

    Santonio Holmes and
    the Jets receivers have perfected the “Fly Like A Jet” routine, but a touchdown
    dance should be an actual dance — and no one salsas better than Giants receiver
    Victor Cruz. EDGE: GIANTS."


    Excerpt: "First, the disclaimer: Among the monumental concerns which affect our daily
    lives, the weighty matter of which football team rules New York doesn’t rank
    quite as high as Best Place To Buy Mulch or Fastest Pizza Delivery. Priorities,
    folks, priorities.

    It is in observance of this immutable truth that we state with a fair amount
    of certainty that Rex Ryan’s words probably don’t penetrate the minds of the
    local football devotee — at least those of the blue-clad variety — or those of
    the Giants themselves.

    Just to make sure, we checked earlier this week: “Naw, we haven’t heard
    anything Rex said,” defensive end Dave Tollefson said. “So what was it?”

    No sense replaying a broken record, we told him — half the time his blather
    is the rhetorical equivalent of “meh” anyway. No, this was raised only to
    discern whether Tom Coughlin, once and for all, would get so vexed by Rex that
    he would scribble something on a chalkboard for the first time in his coaching

    Turns out that you get the same answer you always get in times like these:
    Soliciting a Coughlin reaction to trash talk is like asking a dummy in Macy’s
    window for directions to housewares.

    “This is a game of pride, so any time someone slights you, you want to know,”
    Tollefson explained. “But face it, (Coughlin) isn’t a bulletin-board guy. He’s a
    wooden guy.”
    Wait, was that a descriptive adjective, or does he mean John

    “John Wooden,” Tollefson said. “You know, dedicate yourself to your core
    (values). Work on your own deal. Don’t let outside factors change how you
    prepare or how you play. Get your game right, go out and execute.”

    “Wooden and Lombardi, Churchill and Patton — he’ll quote people, but that’s
    as far as it goes with using” external stimuli, lineman Chris Snee said. “Or
    he’ll use other sports accomplishments as a lesson — like what St. Louis had to
    overcome to win the (World) Series this year. Or he’ll read us the highlights of
    a story — there was a Roy Halladay piece in SI a few years ago I remember that
    he liked. But that’s about it, really.”

    The only exception anyone could remember was back in ’07, prior to the
    divisional playoff at Dallas, when Coughlin made it known to his guys that Jerry
    Jones had already placed tickets for the NFC title game on the stools of each of
    his players.

    “But even that was just a circumstance he didn’t even make a big deal about,”
    recalled Snee, also the coach’s son-in-law. “He just brought it to our
    attention. I mean, c’mon — it’s not like we needed any motivation for a playoff
    game. I never got that.”

    Otherwise, Coughlin is as constant as the North Star, which is why we like
    him, and what you read is what you get: The guy’s credo was spelled out for his
    players on those T-shirts he distributed a few years back, the ones that read
    Talk Is Cheap, Play The Game.
    Compare that to the guy across the field this
    afternoon. Talk ain’t cheap — especially when you get slapped with a $75,000
    fine for verbally abusing a fan, using an expletive.

    So what’s this have to do with football? Maybe nothing, maybe everything. It
    depends. Do you subscribe to the theory that a team assumes the identity of its
    head coach? Or believe that individual styles solicit different results? Or that
    football is the one activity in which swagger and bravado should trump
    determination and equipoise?

    Maybe it’s a valid study.

    More than once this year, we’ve sensed that the Jets have benefited from
    their coach’s shoot-from-the-lip prattle, notably this week. Ryan’s team was
    embarrassed in Philly — mostly because it was a horrible matchup against a
    dynamic speed team that is just finally getting around to finding itself (a tad
    late) — yet the Jets never act embarrassed. They already speak as though they’re
    a lock for the playoffs, and face it, they’ve already made plans about what
    they’ll do to Houston and its third-string quarterback in two weeks.

    Until then, the meme is We’ll Prove We Own New York." Read more...


    Excerpt: "There are a few things buoying Kenny Phillips’ confidence this week: the
    attitude of his teammates, the energy they’ve shown and the general belief the
    Giants will bounce back from a disappointing loss against the Redskins by giving
    the un-merriest of greetings to the rival Jets.

    This isn’t just a hunch on Phillips’ part. He has empirical evidence to
    support his claim: a game plan that has all of the players excited.

    “That’s one of the reasons practice has been so good this week,” the Giants’
    safety said the other day as the locker room emptied following the final full
    practice of the week. “It’s just guys getting back to what they know, being

    “We’ve got our playmakers on the field. We’re putting guys in position to
    make plays. It’s going to show. You’ll see what happens.”

    Phillips wasn’t alone in his optimism. A few players were enthused by
    defensive coordinator Perry Fewell’s willingness to get back to basics this
    week. The plan is apparently to rid themselves of many on-field checks in favor
    of getting back to basic schemes that worked last season.

    Gone will be the confusion, the “I was right” excuses between players
    executing different calls, the not-so-veiled grumbling from Antrel Rolle wanting
    to be a “ball hawk” and the passive approach from defensive backs trying to
    figure out what to do.

    Also eliminated will be the ridiculous rate of third-down conversions by
    opponents, the quick releases from quarterbacks giving the pass rush little time
    and the receivers running free for uncontested touchdown grabs.

    Well, at least they can only hope all of these things will be cleaned up for
    a defense that has yet to turn in a dominating performance this year.

    “From the front to the back. It’s been everything, it hasn’t been right,”
    safety Deon Grant said. “But this week (Fewell) got back to, ‘Forget it. I’m
    going out there with the guys I’ve got, I’m going back to last year’s

    “He’s been trying so hard this year to call hard defenses to be effective but
    he was trying to protect certain guys that didn’t know the defense as well.”

    •?• •

    Let’s not misconstrue: the 2010 Giants weren’t the ’86 Bears, the 2000 Ravens
    or even the ’07 Giants. The Colts ran all over them, the Eagles scored 21 in a
    little over 6 minutes and the Packers hung 45 on them in what was pretty much a
    must-win game in Week 16.

    But in Fewell’s first season in East Rutherford, the Giants led the league in
    takeaways with 39, and their 46 sacks were fifth-most in the NFL. They were also
    tops in the NFL in third-down conversions allowed at 32 percent.

    This season, they’re tied for ninth in takeaways (26), are 10th in sacks (37)
    and if there was a stat for confused linebackers and defensive backs, they’d be
    in the hunt for the top spot.

    The glaring (and measurable) problem is one that has contributed to a few of
    their recent losses: third downs. The Giants are now tied for 21st in the league
    with opponents converting 41 percent of the time.

    Over the past month-plus, it’s gotten even worse in this department. For the
    first time in their history, they’ve allowed five straight teams to convert 50
    percent or more. In all, opponents are 34 for their last 63 on third downs.

    “It seems we’ve allowed teams to get in third-and-shorts and obviously the
    percentages go up,” defensive end Justin Tuck said. “Early in the season we did
    a good job of keeping them in third-and-8-pluses. That obviously allows us to
    get more creative on third down.”


    Excerpt: "Giants (7-7) vs. Jets (8-6)

    Week 16
    Sunday, 1
    MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford
    TV: Fox
    Radio: ESPN 1050-AM, WFAN


    The teams’ run games

    Both offenses entered the season with run-first reputations and it made
    sense. The Jets finished fourth in the NFL in rushing last season at 148.4 yards
    per game and the Giants were two spots behind with a 137.5 average. But this
    season has been a completely different story — the Jets enter today’s game
    ranked 21st (104.1 yards per game) and Giants inexplicably have sunk to the
    bottom of the league (86.1). Today, cold weather will make it difficult to throw
    the football as it did for both Eli Manning and Mark Sanchez last week so
    establishing the run game will be crucial to sustain long drives. After running
    the football effectively for a couple weeks, the Giants got away from the ground
    game and ran the ball just 18 times – for 91 yards — in last week’s 23-3 loss to
    the Washington Redskins. The Jets stuck with the run in their blowout loss to
    the Philadelphia Eagles, rushing 27 times, but averaging just 3.4 yards per
    carry. Though both offenses have not had much success with the run, both
    defenses haven’t been adept at stopping it. Something has to give.

    How the
    Giants attack right tackle Wayne Hunter

    Wayne Hunter has struggled all season in pass protection and Eagles defensive
    end Jason Babin took advantage with two sacks last week. Jason Pierre-Paul
    usually lines up on the opposite side, but Perry Fewell said he could position
    the second-year dynamo over Hunter. If not, Hunter will still see plenty of
    pressure from Justin Tuck and via the blitz — on the rare occasion when the
    Giants do blitz. Sanchez was hit early and often last week, and it could be more
    of the same today through Hunter’s side.

    The Jets and Giants played each other
    in the regular season four years ago? The Jets are still trying to forget. Not
    only did Plaxico Burress touch them up for 124 yards and a touchdown, but
    Brandon Jacobs tallied 100 yards and a TD on 20 carries in a 35-24 Giants
    victory. And to think, it started strong for the Jets with a Kerry Rhodes fumble
    return for a touchdown.


    1. How the Giants will deal with injuries at tight end

    Starting tight end Jake Ballard will be out today due to a strained
    PCL he sustained last week and his absence comes at an inopportune time because
    backups Travis Beckum (chest) and Bear Pascoe (ribs) are also dealing with
    injuries. Even if Beckum and Pascoe are 100%, they aren’t as versatile as
    Ballard — Beckum is exclusively a pass-catcher, while Pascoe is exclusively a
    blocker. Ballard can do both and the offense will be hindered without his
    balanced game on the field against a team that has had trouble covering tight
    ends all season. If Beckum or Pascoe can’t get the job done, expect more
    four-wide receiver sets.

    2. Having David Baas back may not be a good thing
    when a starting center — one that received a five-year, $27 million contract in
    the offseason — is coming off injury, he is unquestionably inserted in the
    lineup. But the Giants may be reluctant to do so this week. Since the
    Giants lost David Baas
    to a neck injury that set off intense headaches just
    hours before their game against the Green Bay Packers, they have enjoyed their
    best stretch on the ground this season. With Kevin Boothe at center and Mitch
    Petrus at guard the Giants have rushed for 100, 110, and 91 yards over the last
    three games – above average outputs for the league’s worst rushing team. This
    week Tom Coughlin didn’t confirm whether Baas will start. If he does, Boothe
    will move back to left guard and Petrus to the bench — and perhaps a drop-off in

    3. They go as Eli goes
    For much of the season, Eli Manning has come
    through for the Giants — he’s arguably enjoying his best season. But when he has
    faltered, so have the Giants. In their seven wins, Manning has a quarterback
    rating of 101.8 with 14 touchdowns to three interceptions. In the team’s seven
    losses, the numbers are predictably on the other end: one more interception than
    touchdown (12 to 11) and an 82.3 quarterback rating. The Giants’ dependence on
    Manning was on full display last week when he threw three interceptions in a
    frustrating performance for the normally potent offense. Another subpar game
    from Manning today and the Giants will be in trouble.


    1. They’re vulnerable to the vertical passing game

    Without injured strong safety Jim Leonhard, the Jets were torched for 38
    points by an Eagles offense waiting to burst. Some players claimed the Eagles
    were able to call out their coverages from the line and tailor the passing game
    to cut right through the Jets — a fact that’s tough to argue against since
    Eagles tight end Brent Celek ripped off 156 yards on five receptions. The Giants
    have a versatile set of receivers that function very well in their vertical
    system. They will stretch the field in the same way the Eagles did and, in less
    than a week’s time, the Jets will have to figure out how to stop them without
    Leonhard, their quarterback in the secondary, and with a play sheet that will
    still be limited.

    2. They roll with the run game, good or bad
    More than
    anything, the Jets are a team of tempo. They like to set up the pass with the
    run, and like to use their big back to wear down a defense early. It appeared
    things were going according to plan early on last week when Shonn Greene was
    ripping off one solid gain after another before the Eagles shot out of the gate
    and flipped the game plan on its side. From there, the Jets offense struggled
    when passing was expected. Unlike the Giants, the Jets need to keep the game
    close enough to run the football to set that tempo and keep their offense
    unpredictable and potent. They have only won one of their eight games this
    season with less than 100 yards rushing, and that was in Week 1 against a
    paper-thin Dallas secondary.

    3. Their QB is a little banged up
    Even if the treatment
    Mark Sanchez is getting all week works, and there is no lingering soreness in
    his neck and shoulder area, the fact is Sanchez is taking too many shots. Save
    for some games this year — like a very solid performance against the Redskins —
    premiere pass-rushers like DeMarcus Ware and Jason Babin have teed off on the
    Jets QB. That takes the Jets out of their rhythm and places them in
    third-and-forget-it situations. And in those games, the image of the quarterback
    getting his throwing shoulder fanned out on the sideline is neither good for the
    psyche or the game plan. Sanchez is a completely different quarterback when he’s
    comfortable, as obvious as that sounds. Offensive line coach Bill Callahan said
    there’s a definite zone he sees Sanchez in when the offensive line, blocking
    backs and tight ends come together. They see a different picture when Nick
    Mangold needs to help Sanchez off the field, as they did last Sunday.


    Eli Manning is having a season to remember.
    Mark Sanchez is still finding his way.

    Running back
    Ahmad Bradshaw may be better overall, but
    the Giants average less than 90 yards per game.

    Wide receiver
    Victor Cruz: 1,194 yards. Burress and
    Holmes combined: 1,125.
    Edge: Giants

    Offensive line
    For as many times as the Giants throw,
    surrendering nine less sacks than the Jets is impressive.

    Edge: Even

    Defensive line
    No question here, the Giants front has
    them in the top 10 in sacks once again.

    With Calvin Pace and David Harris playing at a
    high level, the Jets get the nod over a patchwork Giants unit.

    Edge: Jets

    We’ll see if Victor Cruz can get the best of
    Darrelle Revis. Many have tried, and failed.

    Special teams
    Jets coordinator Mike Westhoff says his
    returns are so good, the Giants copy them.

    Giants cornerback
    Prince Amukamara

    1. How have you been dealing with the recent adversity?
    know I’m not as caught as like the guys I’m on the field with, but I’m just
    learning on the field everyday. I never doubt myself. There’s no point in me
    doubting myself. It’s just a point of keep learning and just trying to help this
    team win.

    2. Deon Grant said he pulled you aside at halftime last
    week to talk to you before you were benched. What did he say?

    It was
    a great talk. Deon’s one of the veterans that I definitely look up to and that
    definitely took me under his wing. He just basically told me to keep my head up
    and just to stay in the game.

    3. How important is it to bounce back?
    That’s always my
    mindset, especially as a competitor. It’s no secret that I’m facing some
    adversity right now, but I just have to persevere.

    4. Do you think the Jets are going to go after you, knowing your
    recent struggles?

    For sure. Corey (Webster), (Aaron) Ross and ‘Trel
    (Rolle) always tell me to play like the ball is coming your way every time so I
    just have to go out there and play well. I think it’s a great challenge just for
    us defensive backs, but the way we’re working, the way our mindset is right now,
    I think we should be good." Read more ...


    Excerpt: "Back when the Jets and Giants were making a push for the Super
    Bowl, Gov. Chris Christie proudly
    stood alongside both teams
    . This summer, he worked with both teams and the
    league to postpone
    the preseason matchup
    as Hurricane Irene bore down on the area.

    In short, he's had a very good working relationship with both the Jets and

    But when it comes to Saturday's game that actually means something for both
    teams, Christie isn't pulling for both. He's taking a side.

    And in case anyone was wondering, he literally spelled out his

    “J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets," Christie said in an interview with SiriusXM's
    Mad Dog Radio. "Absolutely. Rex (Ryan) and the boys win by seven." Read more...



    last straw came when the Giants arrived at the stadium on Saturday and saw all
    their Super Bowl logos on the wall outside their locker room covered with black
    curtains. After a week of listening to the Jets talk, that was the final

    Boy did it feel good to the Giants to tear those curtains

    That’s the first thing they did after coming off the field with
    their honor restored and playoff hopes saved thanks to an emotional, 29-14 win
    over their intra-city rivals in the Meadowlands. David Diehl, Lawrence Tynes and
    did the honors as soon as the game was over, but the entire Giants
    organization shared their joy.


    “We all saw that as a
    sign of disrespect,” Diehl said. “They’ve worked extremely hard to cover up our
    logos and the Super Bowl trophies right outside our locker room. I think all of
    us said, ‘Hey, fine. Let them do what they want to do. But after this game,
    we’re going to show that this is a team with a lot of pride.’ ”

    showed plenty of that on Saturday with a stellar performance that included five
    sacks and three turnovers by their revitalized defense and the first 99-yard
    play in franchise history on a touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Victor
    . It was a relentless effort worthy of their “big brother” status that
    the Jets had so loudly been after.

    “Given all the noise that was coming
    out of Florham Park, it’s a satisfying win,” said the Giants’ usually reserved
    co-owner, John Mara. “It kind of
    reinvigorates this franchise and the players.”

    This was about far more
    important things than “bragging rights” for the Giants, of course. The win
    literally saved their season. Had they lost they could have been eliminated from
    contention. Instead, they’ll wake up on Christmas morning knowing they can start
    preparing for a winner-take-all showdown for the NFC East title with the Dallas
    Cowboys at MetLife Stadium on New Year’s Day.

    But don’t underestimate how
    much those “bragging rights” meant to this franchise and its players, especially
    after listening to constant trash-talking from Rex Ryan and his players
    that really began three years ago when Ryan got the Jets job. Nobody seemed to
    take it more personally than Brandon Jacobs, who
    got into an argument with Ryan on the field after the game.

    Jacobs called
    Ryan a “loudmouth *******” and Jacobs said Ryan told him to “shut the f--- up.”
    Jacobs said he called him “fat boy” and when Ryan tried to talk back to him,
    Jacobs said, “I told him I’d punch him in the head.”

    Those warm holiday
    wishes aside, that’s exactly what the Giants (8-7) did to the Jets (8-7) with
    arguably their finest defensive performance of the year. Jets quarterback Mark
    tried in vain to pick apart the Giants’ vulnerable defense by
    throwing the ball 59 times. But he completed only 30, was held to 258 yards and
    threw two interceptions. He was also sacked five times.

    “Last week we
    practiced with more energy, more enthusiasm and greater speed (on defense) than
    we had in a long time, and it shocked me,” Tom Coughlin said. “I
    said, ‘Is that the same guys?’ The way they practiced is the way they played.
    They were exceptional. Regardless of the circumstance, they kept turning the
    Jets offense back.”

    They needed it, too, because Manning struggled to
    find open receivers against the Jets’ secondary. He completed only nine of 27
    passes for 225 yards.

    But he came through with two huge completions that
    turned the game. Late in the first half, on a thirdand10 from his own 1, he hit
    Cruz with a 12-yard pass that the second-year sensation turned into a 99-yard
    touchdown. Then late in the third quarter, he hit Cruz (three catches, 164
    yards) with a 36-yarder that set up an Ahmad Bradshaw
    14-yard touchdown run that gave the Giants a 17-7 lead.

    The Giants had a
    chance to ease their way to a victory from there, but they turned the game into
    a nail-biter after Sanchez fumbled a snap on the Giants’ 1-yard line with 8:53
    remaining and Giants linebacker Jacquian Williams
    recovered in the end zone. But Manning was picked off by Jets linebacker
    David Harris
    on the next play, and the Jets converted that into a 1-yard
    touchdown run by Sanchez that got them within 20-14.

    But the Giants’
    defense wasn’t finished, and defensive tackle Chris Canty sacked
    Sanchez in the end zone for a safety with 2:13 remaining. One Jets failed onside
    kick later and Bradshaw was running for a 19-yard touchdown that sent Jets fans
    scurrying for the exits.

    For the Giants, though, the “bragging” had only
    just begun.

    “Those guys in green like to do a lot of talking,” Canty
    said. “But at the end of the day the New York Football Giants talk with our
    football pads in between those white lines.”

    “We did a little talking
    ourselves. We’re not innocent,” added defensive end Justin Tuck. “But we
    came out and backed it up.”

    Yes they did, and now they still have a
    chance to back up all their playoff guarantees with one more big regular-season
    game. But that’s for later. First, they needed to reassert what Diehl yelled
    when he tore down the curtains, that “This is Giants Stadium!”

    And just
    as importantly to them, they sent a pointed message to the Jets that Jacobs put
    so eloquently: “It’s time for them to shut the f--- up.”


    Excerpt: "Pumped-up Giants fan Rick Patel didn’t wait
    long after the final whistle Saturday to loudly exercise his bragging

    “When you count the Giants out, they come through,” Patel crowed after Big
    Blue whipped the crosstown rival Jets in a wild, error-filled Meadowlands

    “Now Rex Ryan has to eat his
    words,” sneered Patel, 35, of Princeton, N.J., invoking the Jets coach — who
    could also add crow and humble pie to his holiday menu after Gang Green’s
    Christmas Eve collapse.

    Giants die-hard Craig Fernicola was
    thinking playoffs after Victor Cruz’s 99-yard
    touchdown catch and Ahmad Bradshaw’s two
    TD runs boosted the Giants to a 29-14 victory over their Met Life Stadium

    Oh, and he had something to say about the stadium’s new name.

    “This is Giants Stadium,” the Rockaway, N.J., resident announced. “Now all
    the Jets fans realize we are much better than they are.”

    For those Gang Green fans — including New Jersey Gov. Chris
    , who picked the Jets and sat in owner Woody Johnson’s booth
    — it was just another bitter loss.

    The Jets last Super Bowl win came in 1969, with Joe Namath at the helm.
    This latest loss to their bitter rivals made their playoff hopes for this year a
    little shakier.

    “I’ve been suffering a long time,” said Ed Martin, 48, of Midland
    Park, N.J. “Same old Jets. Just a different coach.” Read more...



    "Two days after the Giants’ most disheartening, damaging loss of the season,
    that disaster was already part of Tom Coughlin’s distant
    past. He ignored the ugly loss to Washington when he spoke to his players on
    Tuesday morning.

    He wanted them focused on the Jets. He wanted to make sure their eyes were
    still on the very reachable prize.

    “Gentlemen,” Coughlin told them, “Get your heads up. Get your eyes on me. Get
    the frowns off your face. You’ve created the greatest opportunity in the world
    for yourselves if we win two games. Win the division and we’re in the

    “And that’s exactly what the goal was at the beginning of the year.”

    In other words, forget everything else. Forget all the second-half slumps
    they have endured in the Coughlin era. Forget the worries about the coach’s job
    security. Forget about having won only one game in their last six. Forget the
    noise coming out of both camps this week and all the hype surrounding the
    biggest NFL battle for New York in at least 23 years.

    For the Giants (7-7), all that matters is this: They need a win to ensure
    their survival. If they lose to the Jets (8-6) at MetLife Stadium on Saturday
    afternoon they would be eliminated from the playoff chase if the Cowboys beat
    the Eagles later in the day. If the Giants win, they’ll be playing for the NFC
    East title when they face the Cowboys at the Meadowlands next Sunday.

    Who could ask for a better Christmas present than that?

    “If you were to sit down in August and say with two games to go you’d have
    your destiny in your hands and not depend on somebody else,” Coughlin said,
    “you’d say, ‘OK, sign me up for that.’ ”

    That’s true, although when the Giants began November with a 6-2 record they
    were probably hoping they’d have locked up a playoff spot by now. Instead, they
    have to fight for one against a Jets team that’s not only a battling for a
    playoff berth, but they have to do it in a war for the theoretical ownership of
    a city. Rex Ryan has turned this
    into a Battle for the Apple, filling his Jets with thoughts of finally shedding
    their “little brother” status in New York.

    Those mind games don’t seem to matter to Big Brother, though. The Giants
    believe there’s something a little bigger than “bragging rights” at stake.

    “It’s not like I’m going to be seeing guys at steakhouses and I’m going to
    run into (Jets quarterback Mark) Sanchez and be like, ‘Hey, guess what? We beat
    you,’ ” said Giants defensive end Justin Tuck. “Come on,
    man. Who cares? The only thing I care about is getting another one of those
    shiny things on my finger. That’s the only thing that we play this game for

    “Ask Rex Ryan if he’s cool with the (AFC) Championship Game two years in a
    row,” Tuck continued. “Guarantee you he’ll trade one of those for playing in the
    Super Bowl and winning it.”

    That’s why, when the Giants were asked what they are playing for this week,
    nobody mentioned the keys to the city. What they’re playing for, safety Kenny
    said, is “
    everything. It’s win or go home.”

    That, Coughlin said, isn’t a bad thing. It’s “exciting
    .” It makes for “a
    spirited time of the year.” So instead of hammering his players for their
    lifeless performance last Sunday in their 23-10 loss at home to the Redskins, he
    told them to remember that they’re still in control, and “these opportunities
    don’t come around very often.

    “I told our players I wanted their heads up, I want their eyes up, I don’t
    apologize for one thing, (and) they shouldn’t either, OK?” Coughlin said. “You
    keep from saying this most of the time as a coach, but this is a playoff
    atmosphere. It has to be.

    “It’s win and in, and it isn’t a pretty thing if you don’t.”


    Excerpt: "The vast majority of you no doubt long ago pledged your allegiance to the
    Jets or Giants. But there are still a few independent voters out there, deciding
    which side to back on Saturday when the Ryans meet the Coughlins.

    To help with this critical choice, and as yet another public service, The
    News offers you 10 good reasons to root for the Jets and 10 solid reasons to
    cheer for the Giants. Then you’re on your own.


    1. It’s actually good for Jet fans to suffer. Jet fans
    wouldn’t know what to do with themselves if they actually won anything. They’d
    suffer a terrible emotional letdown. Their sense of identity would be crushed.
    If you’re not a loser, what are you, exactly?

    2. The
    Jets are most to blame for the monstrosity that is MetLife Stadium. The Giants
    wanted more of a retro look to the place, but Woody Johnson
    prevailed. He has left us with a sterile, gray, symmetrical bowl, with no roof
    to protect fans and with locker rooms on the opposite side from the press box.
    Where did all that money go, exactly? This is more Met Blob than

    3. Nobody wants to hear the name “Bill
    ” anymore. If the Giants lose, we’ll have to endure more than a week
    of aimless conjecture about whether Tom Coughlin gets the
    ax. Coughlin will tell us he can’t worry about these things. John
    will say he will wait until the end of the season before analyzing
    things. Bill Cowher will tell everyone for the 6,000th time that he’s not
    interested in the job.

    4. The Giants are more fun to
    watch. Never thought we’d say such a thing, but the Giants are now one of the
    most entertaining teams in the NFL. Their defense stinks, so there is plenty of
    scoring. Their running stinks, so Eli Manning has to
    throw downfield a lot. Compared to the Jets, the Giants are the Saints of New

    5. Fox has better robots during its broadcasts —
    and we’re not just talking about the commentators. If the Giants win, we get to
    see their playoff games on the robot network!

    6. Plaxico Burress
    won’t go out and do something stupid to celebrate. Not that he’s done anything
    dumb lately, but why tempt fate?

    7. Joe Namath won’t
    guarantee any more victories this season. By January, nobody will ask him to say
    anything at all.

    8. The Jets are forcing their
    cheerleaders, “The Flight Crew,” to shiver their way through another December
    game and ought to be punished for it. Give the Giants credit for this much: They
    don’t bother with such nonsense. Nothing more demeaning in sports than
    professional cheerleaders bouncing around, underdressed, in the

    9. Tiki Barber won’t be
    able to blame Tom Coughlin. Until the Giants lose in the first round of the

    10. Fireman Ed already has
    too many endorsements. He’s become way too big for his fireman britches.
    J-E-T-T-I-S-O-N."

    at METLIFE STADIUM, 1 p.m.


    LINE: Jets by 3

    TV: Ch. 5 (Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa)

    RADIO: WFAN-660 AM (Bob Papa, Carl Banks), Nationwide on
    Sports USA (Larry Kahn, John Robinson)

    FORECAST: Sunny, mid-30s with 6-8 mph winds.


    RT Wayne Hunter vs. DE Justin Tuck While D’Brickashaw
    Ferguson vs. Jason Pierre-Paul is the marquee matchup, this is where the Giants
    want to attack. If only the injury-ravaged Tuck could regain some of his old
    form. Hunter was eaten up by Jason Babin’s speed for three sacks last week, and
    the Giants have to find a way to take advantage, if not by Tuck himself, then by
    a few overload blitzes on that side. Look for the Jets to chip on Pierre-Paul
    and slide protection toward Tuck.


    Tucks’ name is not on the injury report and Tom Coughlin says he’s feeling a
    big game coming from him. Jake Ballard (knee) will miss the game, depriving the
    Giants of a key weapon against the Jets, who have had a miserable time covering
    TEs. WR Mario Manningham (knee) is listed as doubtful. Jets RB/KR Joe McKnight
    will be a game-time decision with elbow and shoulder injuries, although he has
    been showing some encouraging signs. WR/PR Jeremy Kerley has recovered from his


    “(Tight end) Dustin Keller can give the Giants problems if they stay in zone.
    Jacquian Williams can run with him but they have no one to match up with him. As
    much as the Giants have been vulnerable to big plays, the Jets don’t have the
    speed at receiver to get it downfield. They’ll have to do their damage in yards
    after the catch and in the red zone. Eli Manning’s job deciphering the Jets’
    defense will be easier than in previous years. They’ve been forced to blitz a
    lot less and they don’t have teams back on their heels. If the Giants can mix in
    some success on the ground, I believe they will control this game. Special teams
    cannot be ignored. The Jets have the more explosive return game. The Giants have
    the more reliable kicker in (Lawrence) Tynes."


    For all of the trash-talking flying across the Jersey burbs between Florham
    Park and East Rutherford, there isn’t anything that should give either side an
    advantage. It doesn’t matter that Plaxico Burress is facing his old team or that
    the Giants DBs feel dissed or that Darrelle Revis is laughing at what Victor
    Cruz and Hakeem Nicks have said. Who cares if Rex Ryan thinks the Jets are
    better? All that bravado is amusing more than anything, considering that one
    team is .500 and the other barely above. The bottom line is that each team needs
    to win desperately.


    GIANTS 30-27: Knocking each other out with a tie would be
    more appropriate.- Hank Gola"


    "They finally have to shut up and play now. It feels like a Christmas miracle.
    By Friday, you half-expected Joe Namath or somebody
    from the Jets side to say that Lawrence Taylor was
    really nothing as an outside linebacker.

    The Giants and Jets — do they think they can talk about bragging rights after
    the seasons they’ve both had? — finally and blessedly get around to playing the
    MetLife-or-Death Bowl at 1 o’clock, and only one team can win, and that means
    only one team can take real life into the last weekend of the NFL season, one
    that held so much promise for the Giants and Jets halfway through it.

    Oh, sure, remember what it was like when they had each played eight games?
    The Giants were 6-2 and boy were they in the driver’s seat in the NFC East. The
    Jets? They were only 5-3, but remember all the big talk we heard, out of the
    locker room and in the papers and on the radio, about how the Jets were going to
    beat the Patriots at MetLife and take charge of the AFC East.

    The Jets promptly got beat by three touchdowns, are just 3-3 since then. The
    Giants are worse over their last six, 1-5, and just one Eli Manning fourth
    quarter away from being 0-6 since that 6-2 start. Now they play each other
    today, the biggest game the two of them have ever played against each other, a
    game out of the past between the two teams, from when they really were crosstown
    rivals — Yankee Stadium, Shea — instead of just cross-stadium. Or

    “It’s always emotional when you play your crosstown rivals,” Mark
    said the other day, getting into the spirit of it all by putting
    himself into a weird time warp, when the two teams really did feel as if they
    were playing for something even when it was just the preseason.

    was talking about it all the other day, about the preseason games and
    the regular-season games he played against the Jets. The only one that was big
    to him in the regular season was the last game in 1988, the Jets knocking the
    Giants out of the playoffs when Ken O’Brien
    threw one to Al Toon over Giants safety Tom
    at old Giants Stadium.

    But listen to Simms, a guy out of the past talking about how much the game
    mattered, even when it really wasn’t supposed to.

    “I always felt the tension during the week, whether we were playing them in
    the preseason or for real,” Simms said to me the other day. “And I have to tell
    you, it was really an awesome feeling. Fourth preseason game, last
    regular-season game, middle-of-the-season game. Didn't matter. The stuff between
    us and them felt truly wicked. Maybe we just didn't talk about it as much.”
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1

  • #2

    From the bottom of my heart I wish you and your love ones happy holidays RF ! Thanks as always !
    " Success is never final, but failure can be " B.P.


    • #3

      [quote user="G-Men Surg."]From the bottom of my heart I wish you and your love ones happy holidays RF ! Thanks as always ![/quote]

      My best wishes to you and your family for a great holiday season [Y]
      “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


      • #4

        thanks Roanoke!

        greetings from London@ Xmas time.

        merry Xmas to you and your family Roanoke!



        • #5

          Thanks Ro.....

          Here we go!!!!!!!

          "Measure Twice......Cut Once"
          You couldn't be more full of **** if you were break dancing in a Port-a-Potty.......Kruunch


          • #6
            Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: SATURDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2011 - GAME DAY - 11:00 A.M.

            [quote user="GameTime"]

            Thanks Ro.....

            Here we go!!!!!!!



            “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


            • #7
              Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: SATURDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2011 - GAME DAY - 11:00 A.M.

              [quote user="BigBlue1971"]

              thanks Roanoke!

              greetings from London@ Xmas time.

              merry Xmas to you and your family Roanoke!


              My best to you and yours this holiday season, my friend.

              “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1