As Rivalries And Rematches Go, This One’s A Dog

About two months ago, this game was circled in red on most NFL fans’ calendars, especially ones in the New York metropolitan area.  After all, the Giants and Jets were going to meet in the regular season for only the 15th time in the 53 years since they’ve both been members of the same league, and only the 12th time since they’ve shared a stadium.

And the dress rehearsal this summer was BIG news, as any fan of either HARD KNOCKS or this site already know.  It was big enough for new Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers to actually play in a pre-season game for the first time in years, and he lasted just long enough to throw what turned out to be the only touchdown pass he has thrown on MetLife Stadium turf this year which CBS Sports gushingly reported on:

Aaron Rodgers threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Garrett Wilson to cap the second and final series of his preseason debut with the Jets, helping his new squad to a 32-24 victory over the Giants on Saturday night. Wearing his white No. 8 Jets jersey and playing in the preseason for the first time since 2018 when he was with Green Bay, the four-time NFL MVP came out throwing in the regular-season tuneup against the Giants’ backups.  After completing three of his five passes for 23 yards on his first drive, Rodgers opened the next series for the Jets (2-2) with a handoff to Michael Carter and then overthrew C.J. Uzomah. His toss on third down fell incomplete to Wilson, but Amani Oruwariye was called for pass interference — putting the ball at the Giants 24. Rodgers then completed a 10-yard quick toss to Mecole Hardman. He followed with a perfectly placed pass to Wilson in the front left corner of the end zone with 8:23 left in the opening quarter that gave the Jets a 7-0 lead over the Giants (1-2), who were the home New York team at MetLife Stadium. That was it for Rodgers, who went 5 for 8 for 47 yards and the TD in his two series before being replaced by Zach Wilson.

I allowed that much detail to be reiterated because, as y’all know, Rodgers’ regular season debut–and his season–lasted all of four plays, and he will be watching Zach this afternoon as a “road” team leader against the G-Men, who themselves will be led by their backup quarterback, as $160 million man Daniel Jones misses his third consecutive game.

And on paper these teams are at best mediocre, with the Giants at times particularly offensive, and, no, I don’t mean in the football sense.  But with Tyrod Taylor at the helm, fresh off a home divisional win against the Washington Commanders that made him the first black quarterback in the 99-season history of the franchise to win a regular season game, and arguably the second most prolific Giant named Taylor to put on a uniform, the G-Men arguably suck less at this point than at any other time this season.  And thanks to the Jets’ upset of the Philadelphia Eagles in their pre-bye home game, even at 2-5 the Giants aren’t yet mathematically eliminated from their division, and in a conference that currently has only six teams over .500 they somehow are still within a game of a playoff spot.

Meanwhile, after a couple of lousy starts early on which revived the clamor for Zach Wilson to be run out of town, for Kirk Cousins, Ryan Tannehill, Kurt Warner, hell, even Joe Namath to take over, Wilson’s management and the Jets’ defense that helped bring the Eagles to their first loss of the season, ensuring that the Miami Dolphins are drinking champagne to preserve their status as the owner of the league’s most recent unbeaten season for a 51st year, has them at a competitive 3-3.

So no, it’s not the worst game on today’s schedule.  And it’s definitely not as red-letter worthy as it was in August,  But it is a battle with signficiant consequences, as both the statistical and emotional impact on today’s loser may indeed cement a lousy and uneventful second half of the season.

And as for the “dog” reference?  Well, MetLife’s corporate spokespup is indeed Snoopy, and in 2015 the game was designated with the name “Snoopy Bowl”, with a trophy similar to the statue that graces the front gates of the spaceship in the swamp that both teams call home.  And as Wikipedia recounted, that game wasn’t all that bad:

On December 6, 2015, the Jets and Giants played in MetLife Stadium with Giants as the official home team. The Jets entered the game with a 6–5 record, desperately chasing an AFC wildcard spot, while the Giants entered with a 5–6 record and were fighting for first place in the NFC East. The Giants had won the last five meetings between the clubs, and the last two were critical for the Giants’ championship runs. After each teams started with one failed possession the Jets led a 78-yard drive with several strong runs by Chris Ivory and finished with a field goal. A couple of possessions later in the second quarter as both teams were stagnant on offense Dwayne Harris returned a Jets punt for an 80-yard touchdown. On the Jets’ next possession Chris Ivory fumbled the ball in the Jets’ red zone but the Giants failed to capitalize and only got a field goal out of the opportunity. The Jets had another strong drive that ended with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Bilal Powell. Giants star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. caught a 72-yard touchdown pass on the next Giants drive to take a 17–10 lead. The Giants got another field goal before the end of the half and entered the locker room up by 10. The Giants led an 11-minute drive in the third–fourth quarter. On fourth down on the Jets’ four-yard line the Giants controversially attempted to go for the touchdown rather than take a short field goal and threw an interception. The Jets marched down to the Giants’ redzone but settled for a field goal. The Jets got the ball back again with two minutes and all of their timeouts remaining, and marched efficiently down the field until Fitzpatrick threw a touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall to tie the game. The teams squared off in overtime. The Jets got the ball first and continued their stellar offensive play from the fourth quarter and scored a short field goal. The Giants got within field goal range to the Jets 30-yard line on their drive, and Josh Brown missed the 48-yarder, his first missed field goal of the year. The Jets beat the Giants for the first time since 1993.

Another recap from the past to whet whatever appetite you may have.  Hoping against hope there may be something equally as compelling to report on tomorrow.

But expecting dog food nonethless. You know that feeling, Giants fans.




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