Giants vs. Jets: 5 Things We Learned from New York Giants' 29-14 Win
In a game that they pretty much had to win to stay alive in the playoff race, the New York Giants beat the New York Jets 29-14. With New York bragging rights on the line, the Giants stepped up and proved who the big brother is.
It was a close game throughout, and ugly to boot, but the Giants pulled away with a fourth-quarter score, a safety and a touchdown run by Ahmad Bradshaw to seal the victory.
The players finally seemed to want to be on the field, and it showed on the score board.
Here are five things we learned from today's outcome.
Officially Eliminating the Eagles Had To Be Motivating Factor
While the Giants did not play their best game of the season, the defense definitely played much better and played well for the first time in a long time.
You have to figure officially putting to death the Eagles' playoff chances was in the back of their mind as much as keeping alive their own chances.
Victor Cruz Broke Two Franchise Records
With 164 receiving yards, giving him 1,358 on the season and a 99-yard touchdown catch, Victor Cruz set two franchise records.
The undrafted free agent out of UMass has taken the NFL by storm this season after Domenik Hixon went down with an ACL injury in Week 2.
That makes the record that much more remarkable given that he broke it in 13 games with one more game remaining in the season.
Cruz is a baller who deserves to go to Hawaii this season.
Talk Is Cheap
Both the Giants and Jets are certainly guilty of trash talking this week, but Rex Ryan did the most of it, and he will now have to put his foot in his mouth.
Hakeem Nicks is not out of the woods either; he was constantly dominated by Jets corner Darrelle Revis today after saying he was "decent."
The bottom line—talk is cheap, and you settle things on the field.
The Giants Finally Won without a Great Game by Eli Manning
The Giants have relied on Eli Manning to be great in all of their wins this season, and for once, they were able to come away victorious without him playing out of this world.
He finished 9-of-27 (with a few drops) for 225 yards, one touchdown and one interception (that was once again dropped off a receivers' hands).
The defense played well and they ran the ball effectively for the fourth consecutive game. It was a collective effort from all three backs, who combined for 26 carries and 115 yards and two touchdowns by Ahmad Bradshaw.
Week 17 Cowboys vs. Giants Is Winner Take-All for the NFC East
With the Giants win over the Eagles, the Cowboys and Giants will face off for the NFC East title at Met Life Stadium next weekend.
If the Giants fall flat and are not competitive, you can guarantee the Giants will make wholesale changes in the off season. They have not missed the playoffs three straight years since 1994-96.
I don't know that anyone is going to be scared of the Giants if they win next week, but they are at their best when everyone counts them out.
Who knows what can happen with a home playoff game, but first, they have to take care of business next week, which is anything but a certainty with Eli Manning at home in December/January.