Throughout the season, the New York Giants and New York Jets have had their highs and their lows, but this past Sunday, both teams had one of their most challenging games of the season. The Giants came into this game at 5-6 while the Jets entered 6-5. Both needed a major victory to help them with their playoff push.
In the AFC East, the New England Patriots have seemed to run away with the division, but the Jets still have a good chance to make one of the Wild Card spots.
In the NFC East, the Giants are in one of the most competitive divisions. Right now, it’s anyone’s game to take the lead and ensure a division title.
The stadium was electrified when the Jets and the Giants walked across the field ready for one of the most valuable games of the season.
To start off the game, the Jets made a 24-yard field goal on one of their first possessions by kicker Randy Bullock. In the entire first quarter, defense came through on both sides of the ball and made great defensive stops when they needed to most.
The Giants had a lot of trouble running the ball from the beginning to end with a strong, fast defensive line from the Jets. The Jets defense came prepared and constantly made great game-saving tackles from this quarter on. From the start of this game, the offense would finally get into the picture.
In the second quarter, the game picked up with excitement as Giants’ punt returner Dwayne Harris returned a punt with great team blocking for an 80-yard touchdown. The Giants finally achieved some points on the score board and didn’t seem to hold back. Their offense was beginning to click and stay in tune with one another, moving the ball down the field nearly every drive in this quarter.
Josh Brown kicked both 20- and 35-yard field goals when the Giants missed a couple opportunities in the red zone, although they did get some points. The Jets were starting to make some good progress moving the ball down the field when quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had a screen pass to running back Bilal Powell for a 250-yard touchdown to cut down the deficit.
However, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who led the team with total yards received at 149, had an impressive touchdown, escaping the secondary of the Jets for a 72-yard touchdown from quarterback Eli Manning. To end a tightly contested half, the score was 20-10, with the Giants on top.
During the second half, the New York Jets were continuing to move the ball and use outstanding clock management, yet they couldn’t put up any points. The Giants were in the same predicament, as they had difficulty getting the ball into their red zone, which resulted in both teams punting often.
As the final quarter of play came along, the Giants couldn’t be productive on the offensive or defensive end at all. They struggled to move the ball and most importantly, they couldn’t make tackles or hold the Jets’ offense during this quarter.
The Giants were hoping not to make the same repetitive mistake that has become a reoccurring issue this season: having a lead going into the fourth quarter but being unable to hold that lead to win the game. The Jets wanted to take advantage of this weakness the Giants can’t seem to overcome, which is when Fitzpatrick took charge of his team and played a brilliant come back.
Bullock kicked a 24-yard field goal to cut down the lead, but the biggest play of the game was the throw of Fitzpatrick to wide receiver Brandon Marshall, a game-tying 9-yard touchdown with 27 seconds remaining in the game. The Giants’ poor tackling and the Jets’ will to fight for the win helped them decide the victor in an overtime duel.
In overtime, the Jets were quick to score a 31-yard field goal and the Giants were looking to either score a game-winning touchdown or tie up the game with a must-needed field goal.
Brown, who has been perfect on the year and has made 29 consecutive field goals this season, missed the attempt for the first time, which resulted in a huge loss for the Giants but an incredibly valuable victory to the Jets.
For the Giants, the loss puts them in third at the moment and Tom Coughlin’s job is on the line if they cannot obtain a play position this season. As for Todd Bowles, he has done an outstanding job thus far and the Jets have potential to win some big games in order to make the playoffs.
It’s going to be an important last four weeks of the season that you don’t want to miss.