NFL Prediction: Battle Of Survival In New York Between Jets And Giants
Friday, December 23, 2011
by Aengus Moorehead
After last week's debacle for the New York teams, the Jets and Giants meet on Saturday battling for their playoff lives at MetLife Stadium. The New York Jets, who are deemed the home team in the contest, were routed at Philadelphia last week and need wins in their final two games to clinch a playoff berth.
Meanwhile, Eli Manning’s hot hand fizzled out in an embarrassing setback against the Washington Redskins a week ago. Manning threw three interceptions in the loss, forcing the Giants to sweep their final two games to earn their spot in the playoffs. The New York Giants have won the past four games in the series.
The New York Jets were blasted by a 45-19 score last weekend in Philadelphia, making their hold on the final AFC Wild Card playoff spot a little more tenuous and simultaneously keeping the Eagles in the chase for the NFC East, where they're a game behind the second-place Giants.
At 8-6, the Jets are tied with Cincinnati in the standings but own a tiebreaker edge on the Bengals, with both teams a game ahead of the trio of Tennessee, Oakland and San Diego. Wins in the final two games, with the Jets closing next week in Miami, would guarantee them a third straight Wild Card playoff berth.
The Giants, who lost to Washington by a 23-10 count last week, are no longer in the NFC Wild Card picture, but can still take the East with wins over the Jets and next week at home against Dallas.
The Cowboys are division champs if they win their final two games, which includes a matchup with Philadelphia on Saturday, or by beating the Eagles and the Giants losing to the Jets. Philadelphia would capture the NFC East if they win their final two games and the Giants lose this week but defeat Dallas in the finale.
The Giants own a 7-4 advantage in their all-time regular-season series with the Jets and have won the last four meetings between the rivals, most recently scoring a 35-24 decision as the home team in 2007. The Giants also posted a 31-28 overtime victory over the Jets in 2003 and prevailed in encounters in both 1996 (13-6) and 1999 (41-28) as well. The Jets' last triumph in the set was a 10-6 verdict on Oct. 31, 1993.
The Jets did come out on top via a 17-3 score in a preseason clash between the teams back on Aug. 29.
Tom Coughlin is 4-2 in his career against the Jets, owning a 1-0 mark during his tenure with the Giants and a 3-2 mark while at the helm of Jacksonville from 1995-2002 that includes a loss in a 1998 AFC Divisional Playoff. Rex Ryan will be taking on both the Giants and Coughlin for the first time as a head coach.
Time & Venue:
- 1:00 PM ET, Saturday, December 24, 2011. MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
NFL Football Odds: Jets -3, O/U 45.5
Since starting the season 6-2, the Giants have lost five of their last six games and needed a late rally to beat Dallas for their only win in the terrible stretch.
Despite last week’s dismal performance, Manning has already set the franchise mark for passing yards in a season and is one of four quarterbacks on pace to break Dan Marino’s all-time mark. He also needs one TD pass in the fourth quarter to break the NFL mark. The Giants have a long list of injuries, including DE Osi Umenyiora (doubtful, ankle) but DE Justin Tuck hopes to return.
While the Giants bank on a powerful offense hoping to offset its defensive woes, the opposite is true for the Jets. Ryan’s defense is ranked seventh in the NFL but its enigmatic offense is 26th. Shonn Greene has turned things around to pace the running game and needs 59 yards to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his career.
Santonio Holmes has scored a TD in five straight games but the passing game is inconsistent at best. QB Mark Sanchez suffered a neck injury against the Eagles but will play. RB-KR Joe McKnight is doubtful and safety Jim Leonhard was placed on IR two weeks ago. The Jets are 6-1 at home on the season and, despite Ryan’s claims as a defensive guru, they’ve scored at least 24 points in every win this season.
Manning and his offense have been at or near a record-setting aerial pace all season in spite of the league's least-productive rushing attack. The Jets figure to emphasize stopping the pass, which could open up some lanes for Bradshaw and Jacobs.
As it's been for the past two seasons en route to the AFC title game, the Jets are beginning to rely more on the running game -- and particularly tough guy Greene. If they can generate yards and gobble clock with runs, they'll keep Manning and his arsenal off the field.
As usual, the Jets' Ryan has taken the role of big talker leading up to the intra-region matchup, which may or may not be beneficial to a team that's heard his bluster now for three seasons. A win here may be imperative for his message to continue to resonate down the road.
The Giants are ranked eighth in total offense but 28th in defense.
Because this is a Jet home game, their fans were awarded the tickets.
The Jets beat the Giants 17-3 in the preseason.
NY Jets are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games when playing NY Giants
The total has gone OVER in 4 of the NY Jets last 5 games at home
NY Jets are 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of the NY Giants last 6 games when playing NY Jets
NY Giants are 3-6-1 ATS in their last 10 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of the NY Giants last 6 games
While the Giants seem capable of higher-end peaks, their valleys -- like last week's dud at Washington -- are probably lower than the Jets' crashes. The Jets have become accustomed to finding the right formula at this time of year, and should be able to play soundly enough against Manning while doing just enough on the offensive side against an oft-dubious Giants defensive unit.
NFL Football Pick: Take Jets.
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