Sunday, December 6, 2015

Giants giftwrap Jets win in ugly MetLife Bowl


A matchup between the widely inconsistent Jets and Giants lived up to the expectations, and the stench from this one was pretty rancid, especially on the Giants sideline as Big Blue blew their fifth fourth quarter lead of the season. 

While  it isn't all Tom Coughlin's fault, he is going to take the brunt of the blame for the Giants woeful second half performance against a Jets team that wasn't that impressive either. If you want this game in a nutshell, the Jets beat themselves throughout the first half, while the Giants beat themselves in the entire second half. Perhaps it was fitting that both teams went into overtime, and were a Chris Brown field goal away from finding themselves in a 23-all tie. 

This game will come under many different interpretations from both fan bases. On one hand, the Jets put together an improbable comeback with Ryan Fitzpatrick playing the role of the hero for Gang Green. The much maligned veteran quarterback was at his best when he needed to with his team down 10 points.

On the other hand, the Giants defense, which was porous for much of the day, was at its worst allowing the Jets to put together drives of 80 and 71 to erase a 20-10 deficit. In addition, Big Blue didn't help its own cause by screwing up a goal-line situation for the umpteenth time this year, when Eli Manning put up a hideous pass on fourth and two at the Jets four year line, only to have it intercepted by Jets linebacker Rontez Miles. Why were the Giants even going for it on fourth and two is a question that is beyond understanding. The Giants should have settled for the field goal at this point. Had they they would have build a 23-10, making it even harder on the Jets to comeback in the fourth quarter. 

After the goal-line interception, Fitzpatrick went to work, connecting with Eric Decker on three big gainers down the middle of the field to move the football to the Giants 32-yard line. Later, Fitzpatrick connected with Brandon Marshall for 25 yards, as the receiver churned out extra yardage to get the Jets closer to pay dirt. Of course the Jets did themselves in on the drive with a flurry of terrible play calls forcing Gang Green to settle for a field goal to cut the Giants lead to 20-13. 

With 4:24 to go in the game, all the Giants needed was to pick up some first downs and they would have been on their way to a victory. Instead, Manning and company totally mailed it in with a three-and-out. The Jets now had a shot with 2:57 to go. 

Give credit to Fitzpatrick here, even as he was getting smacked around by the Giants pass rush, he stood in there and made the throws. He dumped it off to Bilal Powell for a 20-yard gain, and connected with Brandon Marshall for 10-yards to Giants 40. Then with everything on the line on a 4th and six at the Giants 36 yard line, Fitzpatrick took off for 15-yards and a new set of downs. How the Giants allowed this to happen is beyond belief, but they did, as the defensive line parted like the red sea. Two plays later Fitzpatrick found Marshall for the touchdown, fittingly sending this fiasco into overtime. 

Even in overtime, both teams seemed to do whatever they could to screw things up. The Jets were in great position to win the game with a touchdown, but Fitzpatrick couldn't complete a pass in the red zone, and the Jets shot themselves in the foot with a delay of game penalty, forcing Gang Green to settle for a field goal. 

Then the Jets almost coughed the game up when Dwayne Harris appeared ready to break free for another long kick return, but was finally tackled at the Giants 45 yard line. Now leave it to the Giants to screw things up from this point, as Odell Beckham Jr. had the dumbest play of the day when he decided to kick the football after failing to haul it in on third and one. Result the Giants were penalized five yards and forced to go for it on 4th and seven. 

Even though Beckham later caught a huge fourth down pass on the next play, his own stupidity was a microcosm of the day, which was then magnified times 10 when Chris Brown missed his first field goal of the year handing the Jets an extremely fortunate victory. 

As mentioned earlier the first half was the total opposite. The Jets dominated both in statistics and stupidity. The Jets secondary was shredded by Eli Manning on 72-yard touchdown pass to Beckham Jr. While many will try to make the absence of Darrelle Revis and Marcus Williams as an excuse for the play, there was no stopping the speedy OBJ on that play. He had everyone beat by at least five yards. 

In addition, the Jets surrendered an 80-yard punt return for a score by Dwayne Harris that gave Big Blue a 10-3 lead. And before Beckham wowed the world with his own selfish play, Jets offensive lineman Willie Colon, who is on the sideline as inactive got into an argument with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie resulting in a 15-yard penalty on the Jets that hurt the football team. 

The very fact the Giants even had a 20-10 lead at the half was a joke in itself. The Jets had outplayed Big Blue, and Manning was poorly inaccurate in the first half with the exception of one big pass. But, hey what else would one expect when these two teams get together. 

Now for the fallout. With the loss, the Giants are going to be ready to blow everything up. There won't be a Giants fan on the planet who won't want Tom Coughlin fired, but he is not responsible for Eli Manning playing like a mediocre quarterback for the second straight week, just as he is not responsible for OBJ's immaturity and the defense's inability to tackle anyone. This is a total decay from top to bottom, and everyone should pay for this, not just the head coach. 

As for the Jets, this win could being a playoff run for them. The Jets are 7-5, and suddenly a tough December schedule doesn't look so bad after this incredible win on Sunday. The Jets play host to the woeful Tennessee Titans next week, and there is good chance New York could be 8-5 by this time next week. 

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