Were the New York Jets and Giants concerned about their rivalry, about bragging rights or just about winning a game and making the playoffs? Was there some extra intensity out on the field of play?
If you think not, that defies what competing is all about—the thrill of victory.
“There was extra intensity, because we needed it and they needed it,” said Jets head coach Todd Bowles. “Being that the stadium is both of ours, the fans were into it a lot.”
There are varying theories of this theme. Jets receiver Brandon Marshall said, “We don’t care about New York Jets verses New York Giants. They’re just another team on our schedule. We just wanted to get the W.” But just imagine losing, sitting at your locker after the game, having to face coaches, teammates and hoards of media coming into the locker room, wanting interviews and explanations about that loss. Though they may not directly say so, their stories and reports are insinuating that you suck. There are headlines in large capital letters being prepared saying, “BLUE ANOTHER ONE.”
“This was a statement game for us, as far as coming from behind and winning one,” said receiver Eric Decker, who along with Marshall, totaled more than 100 receiving yards on the day. “To get the win is big time for us.”
Channeling his inner Malcolm, Bowles concluded his comments about the game’s intensity, keeping the Giants scoreless in the second half, the Rontez Miles fourth-down red-zone interception, the Jets coming from behind at the end to tie the game and their eventual overtime victory in this way: “We tried to win it, by any means necessary, and we did.”
The Jets, who have lost more than one game this season that they were expected to win, defeated the Giants at a time when both teams’ season and playoff hopes are in jeopardy. The Jets were also in jeopardy of losing Sunday, even giving up a punt return, but because of perseverance, stick-to-it-ness, a questionable Giant decision and a missed Giants field goal, they now have a two-game winning streak and are 7-5, in second place in the AFC East behind the 10-2 New England Patriots, who the Jets play again, here, later this month.
The Jets are also catching another break, playing the 3-9 Tennessee Titans at home Sunday, and the 4-8 Dallas Cowboys, who because of injuries are considered weak in the quarterback position, the following week in Dallas. The potentiality of Jets playoff football does exist.