"They were the better team today, and they're the better team this year. Clearly, I was wrong."
-Rex Ryan after loss
The short of the story? The New York Jets were embarrassed by the New York Giants Saturday afternoon to the tune of 29-14.
The more detailed version of events? The Giants were the more focused team, a team which also made the big plays when they were needed while the Jets seemed like they weren't all on the same page and an offense which looks great on paper, again let the defense down.
That's not to say the Jets defense was perfect. They did allow Victor Cruz to have a career day with three catches for 164 yards and a TD. In the process, Cruz broke to franchise records. One for his 99 yard touchdown reception which changed the momentum of the game and the second for single season reception yards (1,358 yds to be exact).
To look at Cruz's numbers alone you might be fooled into thinking the Giants had a career offensive day but with exception to Cruz's three catches and two timely long runs by Ahmad Bradshaw, their offense was mostly held in check by the Jets. In fact no other reciever for the Giants had more than 50 yds and Eli finished 9 for 27; recording one TD and one INT for a rating of 61.5, so the Jets were pretty active on D.
The story of this game came down to the Jets anemic offense against a focused and re-energized Giants defense. I want to say this now before I forget to mention it...Jason Pierre Paul is a beast. A BEAST! He had two of the four sacks on Mark Sanchez. The second year stand out took charge of the defense and he along with the rest of the defensive line hounded Sanchez into throwing two costly interceptions.
Speaking of Sanchez...many people are going to put this loss on his shoulders but I won't. That's not to say reevaluating Sanchez as the "face of the franchise" shouldn't be done because it should be. I don't think he was the reason for the loss but he sure as hell didn't do enough for the Jets to win. You shouldn't be able to bang Kate Upton without leading your team to victory in big games. In fact, that should be Kate's prerequisite for getting in those draws otherwise she might as well date cute bloggers who think they're funny and write about NY sports. But this loss aint all on Sanchez. Even his interceptions came under duress, his line did not do a great job of protecting him and pro bowl center Nick Mangold even ended up miffing a snap during a crucial part of the game in which points were needed for gang green. It also didn't help that for all his talking Santonio Holmes as well as Buress failed to get open consistently against a Giants secondary that is very lacking. The utter collapse and ineffectiveness of the entire Jets offense (maybe minus the running backs) during a constant and unrelenting siege by the Giants pass rushers shaped this entire game.
In the end the Giants were the better team and an embarrassed Jets team just has to take it on the chin and hope that somehow, someway they can sneak into the post season.
Victor Cruz (Giants) 3 rec 164 yds 1 touchdown
Ahmad Bradshaw(Giants) 15 rushes 54 yds 2 touchdowns
Jason Pierre Paul(Giants) 5 tackles 2 sacks
Corey Webster (Giants) 7 tackles 2 deflections 1 int
Dustin Keller(Jets) 8 rec 77 yds
David Harris (Jets) 4 tackles 1 sack 1 deflection 1 int