Jets vs Giants: The battle for New York


In Week 13 of the NFL we have the infamous battle in the Jets vs Giants. It happens once every four years and it’s a battle for bragging rights and often playoff contention.

The Jets and Giants compete annually in the third preseason game for the much adorned ‘Snoopy Trophy’ and this year Gang Green won in spectacular fashion, but 2015 also marks the celebration of their quadrennial regular season match-up. Of course every time the Jets and Giants play, the stakes are high just as they were the last time they met in 2011. The Jets came into the contest 8-6 with their postseason dreams very much alive looking to get to their third consecutive AFC Championship game. While the Giants were coming in 7-7 with their playoff hopes on life support.

Only one of these two teams would come out with their playoff destinies still in their proverbial hands and the Giants got the play of the day in the most critical moment of the game. The Jets seemed to be dominating the game early when they had the Giants backed up to their own goal-line when fate seemed to intervene. Eli Manning dropped back, threw the pigskin, two Jets players ran into each other, and the rest is history.

Victor Cruz slashed his way to a 99-yard touchdown and took control of the game as the Giants went on to win the game and change the momentum of their entire season. It transformed Tom Coughlin’s coaching security questions into another Lombardi trophy.

Now fast-forward four years later, the Giants are tied for first place in the NFC East at 5-6 in one of the funkiest divisions in all of football. On the other side of the coin you have the Jets who just got their 6th win of the season against the Miami Dolphins, now they sit just outside the playoffs looking in at 6-5.

Both teams are coming into this one needing a win to inch a little bit closer to the playoffs. There are so many story-lines to watch out for in this one: Darrelle Revis vs Odell Beckham Jr., Good Eli vs Bad Eli and more so let’s break it down.

Aug 29, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) makes a one handed catch over New York Jets defensive back Darrelle Revis (24) but lands out of bounds during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

We saw a small slice of what could be during this preseason, but temper your expectations folks. Revis might not even be playing in this game as he’s parlaying his way through the NFL’s concussion protocol. Head coach Todd Bowles gave an injury update on Revis and his thoughts on guarding OBJ, provided by the Media Relations Department of the Jets:

On injury status of Darrelle Revis…

He’s still in concussion protocol, getting better every day.

On if Revis is able to attend meetings…

Not yet, no.

On if he thinks Revis will be out for Sunday’s game…

Not sure. If he doesn’t do anything in the next two days, he probably will be.

On who would cover Odell Beckham…

I’m not giving away our game plan.

On what about Beckham challenges defenses the most…

Everything. He can run routes, he’s quick off the ball, he’s explosive, he can go up and get the ball with one hand or two. Whether you have him covered or not, he can catch himself open, which is rare. Most receivers can’t do that.

On if they have to give Beckham more attention not only because of his ability, but also because he is a focal point of the offense…

You know he’s going to get the ball. Timing is everything. Obviously, there is a calculated risk and everything. You can’t double him the entire game, so it becomes a chess game.

So I’m going to try this one more time, I gave my advice to the Jets to double-team JJ Watt and they chose to respectfully decline and it cost the team the win. Now I’m going to plead my case again and this time it is regarding superstar in the making Beckham Jr.

This guy is a dynamic talent and as much as the fans want to see this Revis vs. Beckham match-up (again most likely Revis is out for Sunday *unofficially) so this could be all for naught. Regardless of Revis playing or not the Jets have to force Manning to beat them another way, with another guy. The Jets opted against forcing T.J. Yates to look at alternative options and left DeAndre Hopkins on Revis Island and it cost the Jets big time.

I don’t know if it’s Revis’ ego or the Jets confidence in Revis, regardless we have to pump the brakes. Revis isn’t the #1 corner in the game, but he is still an elite corner. The Jets have to be smart if Revis plays, don’t be afraid to throw a safety over the top. Or perhaps throw Revis on the 2nd receiver and double team OBJ with another corner and safety over the top.

There’s a lot of different scenarios the Jets can utilize because of the unreal depth at the position. OBJ is good, I mean really good, like good enough to beat the Jets on his own. So Bowles and company have to make sure that doesn’t happen at all costs. My gut feeling is no Revis on Sunday and most likely no Marcus Williams, so the Jets secondary depth will surely be tested by this Giants’ receiving corps.

Nov 29, 2015; Landover, MD, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) attempts to throw the ball while being sacked by Washington Redskins defensive end Jason Hatcher (97) in the third quarter at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 20-14. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Last week we met Bad-Eli. Before the Giants could blink the Washington Redskins were up 17-0 and Manning ended the day with 3 interceptions. In fairness two of them were tipped balls but regardless the formula is there. It’s not a secret formula by any means, force the opposing team to make mistakes and cash in on them, that’s what the Redskins did anyway.

For the Jets they can’t expect bad-Eli to happen on his own, the Jets have to disrupt the pocket and they have a great mismatch on the inside with their interior pass-rushers in Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson who could make it a long day at the office for Manning if they can penetrate the weakened offensive line of the Giants.

The Jets win over the Dolphins was exactly what they needed, but the win can’t erase the 1-4 stretch the Jets just got themselves out of. In that stretch they let opposing quarterbacks torch their secondary, Manning has the potential to do just that.

Good-Eli has looked Super Bowl good at times this season: 6 touchdowns, no picks against the New Orleans Saints, even the 2 touchdown no pick game against the New England Patriots was good, and the near 400 yard performance against the 49ers is nothing to sneer at. In other words the morale of this story is that Manning is a 2-time Super Bowl MVP and he can destroy you if given time. We’ve seen what quarterbacks can do when given time against the Jets.

Green Lantern: ODB Is Amazing, But Jets Have Weapon Just As Dangerous

— CBS New York (@CBSNewYork) December 3, 2015

Yes they do and that’s the final point I want to make in this match-up. There are enough story-lines to write a feature novel in this game, but one of the main match-ups I’ll be paying attention to is Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker vs Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Prince Amukamara. Marshall and Decker form one of the best 1-2 WR duos in the entire NFL so this will be a fun one to watch.

Next: Top 10 sleepers for Week 13

The Giants have the 27th worst defense overall in the NFL and they boast the worst pass defense in the league surrendering 309 yards per game as they rank 19th in rush defense giving up 110 yards per game. The offense of the Jets could certainly go to work against this Giants team.

Do the Giants have a variety of weapons? Sure, but the Jets do too. This game could be a shoot-out and if that’s the case I have a few questions: who do you trust more Ryan Fitzpatrick or Manning? What defense do you trust more to get a stop: Jets or Giants? The answers to these questions could lead us to who pulls out the gritty win on Sunday. Will one of these two squads take the momentum of this win and carry it to another Lombardi trophy?

Only time will tell, it should be a phenomenal game to watch on Sunday.