Rapid Reaction, Christmas Edition: Giants-Jets

Merry Christmas Giants fans!

As expected this was a tight game that was came right down to the end. But no fourth quarter comeback was necessary today. The Giants were ahead 10-7 at half time and never relinquished the lead. It was a huge “road” win for the Giants

-The Giants might have been able to run away with this one earlier if they weren’t on the brutal end of two big calls in the Jets favor. The first was the too many men on the field call on fourth down in the first quarter. It was the right call of course, but take that away and the Giants had a defensive touchdown. Instead, the Jets get an automatic first down and score to go up 7-0. Add it to the list of times the Giants have hurt themselves with penalties in key moments all year.

The second one was, of course, the fumble that Ross recovered and ran back. It was a very close call, but honestly I didn’t think that there was enough evidence to overturn the ruling on the field. Thankfully it didn’t end up costing the Giants anything since Nick Folk missed the ensuing 44-yard field goal.

Then, of course, there was the pair of incomplete pass challenges that didn’t help either. It definitely felt like there were more reviewed plays in this game than any other this season.

-After that first drop by Hakeem Nicks, did anyone else have flashbacks to last week, when early dropped passes could have changed the whole tone of the game? Luckily the Giants managed to hold it together much better than they did against the Redskins.

-I think Darrelle Revis knows who Victor Cruz is now. His 99 yard touchdown reception was the longest play in Giants history, tied for longest in NFL history. (The former longest play by a New York Giant was Earl Morall to Homer Jones for a 98 yard reception in 1966.) That was a beautiful play by Cruz from start to finish, from making Antonio Cromartie miss the initial tackle to staying in bounds to make sure the touchdown stood. He has also now broken Amani Toomer’s single-season record for most receiving yards in Giants history. Hindsight is 20/20 and all that but it’s hard to believe that the Giants signed Cruz as an undrafted free agent.

-Jacquian Williams played one of, if not his best, game of the season. His awareness on his tackles was excellent (including a huge third down stop), he wrapped up well and he had a goal line fumble recovery as well. I was impressed with him today.

-Can someone please explain to me why Tom Coughlin couldn’t challenge the Santonio Holmes fumble? There was absolutely no explanation given to explain why he wasn’t allowed to throw the red flag. Again, it didn’t end up costing the Giants anything as Ahmad Bradshaw scored on the ensuing possession but still. At least we got this, uh, interesting headline as a result:

(Last I checked, the Giants and Jets weren’t even in the same conference, much less the same division.)

-I cannot say enough about how well the Giants defense played, especially in the second half. They gave the Jets almost nothing to work with, put pressure on Sanchez, were stingy on third down for a change, and came up with big turnovers and sacks, and a safety to ice the game. They’ve been heavily criticized in recent weeks- rightly so- but they won the game for the Giants in the second half.

-Overall, the Giants played disciplined football. They weren’t perfect, the running game and offensive line still struggled, a few play calls were questionable, but they didn’t take stupid penalties and won the turnover battle. They played well enough to win, despite some very questionable calls, and it was enough to stay in the hunt for the NFC East division title.

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Tags: Amani Toomer Antonio Cromartie Darrelle Revis Hakeem Nicks Jacqu Mark Sanchez New York Giants New York Jets Nick Folk Santonio Holmes Tom Coughlin Victor Cruz

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