(Long Island, N.Y.) With both teams a combined 10-3 and on respective five and four game winning streaks, Jets and Giants fans began to dream a little. Although it was only October, they began to dare speak of the first ‘Subway Super Bowl.’ Just imagine what it would be like next February if they represented the AFC and NFC in the big game in Texas at Cowboys Stadium?
Then the Jets were shut out at home by the Green Bay Packers on Halloween, 9-0.
At least the Giants (5-2) didn’t have to worry about not holding up their end of the bargain due to the bye week. But the Jets, also 5-2, just came off theirs and played as if on a short week instead of an extended one. Getting some of the walking wounded an extra week of rest should have helped, but the outcome did not seem that way.
“We were fresher and healthier than we’ve ever been, we just never got it done,” said Jets head coach Rex Ryan. “We certainly were ready to play on defense. I thought we were ready to play on offense, but it never worked out that way.”
What is troubling about the Jets is that they have not played exceptionally well of late, and not just in this loss. Three weeks ago at the New Meadowlands, they allowed Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings to claw back in the game, but held on for a close win only after the former Jet quarterback threw an untimely late pick. Then the following Sunday at Denver, the Jets had to have a miracle finish to come back and beat the hapless Broncos. Ryan realizes the importance of dropping games like the most recent.
“Obviously, Green Bay is one of the top teams in the NFC, but they’re playing at our place, and we have to win those games. I don’t care who we play – if you play at our place, we should win. That was disappointing.”
While Ryan’s bunch has been talking Super Bowl since training camp, the Giants have been more subdued in their predictions. They just take it week-to-week in a workman style environment with Tom Coughlin leading the way. The veteran head coach realizes that even when you’re playing well, getting back to work after the bye is something that is a concern.
“That’s always the challenge, not just to come back where you were, but to come back and escalate the quality of your performance, lift your game to another level, which is the constant message, which is always about our team, not necessarily the other team, but about our team so that [we] can keep getting better on all phases.”
The Jets have a winnable but tricky game this Sunday at Detroit. The Lions have played much better this season and are coming off a 37-25 win against Washington, so taking them lightly may come back to bite Gang Green. As for the G-Men, they are headed up to Seattle to face the first place Seahawks, who are coming off a 30-point loss to Oakland.
Let’s get through Thanksgiving before bringing the Super Bowl back up for either of our two teams.