By Sunday afternoon (1 p.m. kickoff, CBS), the New York Jets game at the New York Giants will be hyped more ways than imaginable. It will be crosstown rivals meeting for the first time in the regular season since 2011, two teams in the same market battling for the heart of New York City.
But more importantly for the 6-5 Jets, a win would be a huge step towards the playoffs.
After last Sunday’s emphatic win over the Miami Dolphins, it will be the Jets looking to build and get two-in-a-row for the first time since the season’s first two games. The Giants need a win as well to keep hope alive in a bad NFC East. If they go to 5-7, well, the season is almost over.
Then again, six wins might be enough in that division.
1. More Fitzmagic?
The Giants’ secondary is horrible. Atrocious. Not only that, it is downright bad. Ranked dead last against the pass, this should be an opportunity for the Jets to continue on the progress from a week ago where quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick threw four touchdown passes and didn’t have an interception. This week, it might be the passing game that sets up the run game, allowing for Chris Ivory to have a big second half. It might also be a breakout week for rookie Devin Smith, who had a touchdown grab last week, the first of his career. The Giants have struggled to control the slot receiver in recent weeks, so Smith might be a sleeper fantasy pick.
2. Odell vs. 'Cro'
With Darrelle Revis likely out with a concussion, the task of tracking Giants Pro Bowl wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. falls to the veteran, Antonio Cromartie. It has been a rough season for ‘Alcrotraz’ as he has struggled in one-on-one assignments – and it doesn’t get much bigger than this one. Beckham has four straight games over 100 yards heading into Week 13. Cromartie, who has been burnt over the top in recent weeks, may not be up for the challenge. He hasn’t shown much of his Pro Bowl form from last year with the Arizona Cardinals.
Oh, and Beckham has five touchdown catches in the past four games. No big deal.
3. Just win, maybe A win on Sunday would put the Jets at 7-5. Since the 2011 season, the Jets have only sniffed the rarified air of a seventh win once and that was in 2013. A win here would look good and further validate the rebuilding project taken on by a first-year head coach and general manager. It would also upend a Giants season that was supposed to have them back in the playoffs ... a loss that might also be the final straw for the Giants and the coaching career of Tom Coughlin.