Keep an eye on these five players as the Giants face the New York Jets Sunday
1. METLIFE SHOWDOWN
Once every four years, the Giants and Jets come up in the NFL's schedule rotation, and the two tenants of MetLife Stadium will square off this Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.
The Giants, who are the "host" team, have taken the last five meetings and are 8-4 overall against the Jets, whose last victory in the series came on Halloween in 1993.
"Well, as I said earlier in the week, it's December in the National Football League and both teams have opportunities," coach Tom Coughlin said. "Because of that, it's a big game, there's no way around it. It's an important football game for both teams." 2. MORE THAN BRAGGING RIGHTS
The local rivalry is trumped by the two sides' respective playoff hunts. The Giants, who are coming off consecutive losses, dropped to 5-6 on the season and are tied with the Redskins atop the NFC East (Washington currently holds the tiebreaker based on division record). Meanwhile, the Jets (6-5) sit four games back of the AFC East-leading Patriots and are one of seven AFC teams within .500 as they vie for a Wild Card spot. 3. PUGH PROBABLE; GIANTS INJURY REPORT
Out: TE Larry Donnell (neck), LB Devon Kennard (hamstring/foot), S Brandon Meriweather (knee)
Questionable: C Weston Richburg (ankle), RT Marshall Newhouse (back)
Probable: OL Justin Pugh (concussion), DE Robert Ayers Jr. (toe), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (hand), FB Nikita Whitlock (not injury related)
4. REVIS OUT; JETS INJURY REPORT
Out: CB Darrelle Revis (concussion)
Doubtful: CB Marcus Williams (knee), DB Dion Bailey (ankle)
Questionable: LB Calvin Pace (abdomen)
Probable: WR Eric Decker (knee), QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (left thumb), C Nick Mangold (hand), WR Brandon Marshall (toe/ankle), LB Trevor Reilly (knee), DB Buster Skrine (shoulder) 5. BECKHAM DOMINANT AT HOME
While the Beckham vs. Revis matchup is put on hold, the Giants' wide receiver searches for his fifth-straight game with at least 100 receiving yards. He will do so in the comforts of MetLife Stadium, where he has 11 touchdowns and seven 100-yard performances in 11 games. 6. REX-LESS DEFENSE STILL STINGY
From 2009-2014, Rex Ryan's Jets ranked first in passing yards allowed, first in yards allowed per play, and second in total yards allowed per game. And even though he's now the head coach of Buffalo -- which the Giants defeated in Week 4 -- the Jets are just as dominant on defense under first-year head coach Todd Bowles, who like Ryan was a defensive coordinator before getting the job. The Jets currently have the No. 3 defense in yards allowed and are No. 1 against the run.
7. FITZPATRICK UNDER CENTER
Last week Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick became the first player in NFL history to throw at least four touchdown passes in a single game for four different teams (Bills, Titans, Texans, and Jets). The journeyman is on pace for a career year with 20 touchdown passes already and has been sacked just 11 times, the fewest among regular starting quarterbacks in the NFL. 8. MATCHING UP WITH MARSHALL & DECKER; IVORY TOO
The Giants' cornerback tandem of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Prince Amukamara will be part of a key matchup on Sunday against Jets receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, who combine for 1,631 yards and 17 touchdowns this season. Meanwhile, the Jets are 5-0 when running back Chris Ivory has at least 20 carries. 9. O-LINE FACES TOUGH TEST
While the Giants hope to get two starting offensive linemen back in Richburg and Pugh, the team had to place Geoff Schwartz on injured reserve this week with a fractured lower leg. Meanwhile, Newhouse remains questionable, and that could open the door for rookie Bobby Hart, who was thrust into his first NFL action last week. Whoever is in there will have a tough test against the Jets' No. 1 run defense, which also has 25 sacks this season. 10. DECEMBER DOESN'T GET ANY EASIER
The Giants have one of the toughest remaining schedules in the league with their opponents owning a combined record of 33-22, including the undefeated Panthers. Three of the five games are against top-10 defenses in yards and scoring: Jets, Panthers, and Vikings.
Playmakers on Jets first-team offense, defense, and special teams, presented by Nike