A Tale of Two Cities
The final game at Giants Stadium was a 37-0 blowout that cemented the home teams playoff position and set up a rubber match for the following week. History would tell us that the Giants were the team on the field, but shockingly it’s the rookie head coach and the rookie quarterback whose season will continue past sixteen games while Eli and Tom Coughlin are forced to spend the entire off-season trying to figure out what caused them to lose their final two games by such an embarrassing total.
What could have caused this seismic switch in the power of football in New York? Defense is the key to playing games in the northeast in December and the Giants defense has been their weakness in the 3-8 slide that was their last 11 games. It would be unfair to not point out the losses of Pierce, Ross, and Phillips this year, but Bill Sheridan stands to take a lot of the blame with his exotic schemes, ones that sometimes had defensive ends covering wide outs down the seams. The Giants season began with such promise, promise which turned into expectation with a 5-0 start, however it ends in bitter disappointment and a long offseason.
The Jets on the other hand, instead of squandering the talent they had on defense with excuses of having a rookie starting quarterback; they rode their defense and Rex Ryan’s aggressiveness to punch their first playoff ticket since 2005. While I have been personally hard on Sanchez throughout the season, he did follow in completing Jet’s fans vision of their own Matt Ryan/Joe Flacco story by having a first year starter lead them to the playoffs. Also, it was nice to see the Jets finally not blowing their fans hopes by coming up with the win in the must-win game, a win that has avoided them in recent years.
The Giants and the Jets records are only separated by 1 game, but with the Jets ending the last undefeated team’s run, beating the Pats, and finally making the season really worthwhile by making the playoffs, it leaves the Giants fans feeling a little more than just one game worse.
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