FACT OR FICTION?1) GIANTS VS. JETS is a bigger rivalry then Yankees vs. Mets
John Schmeelk: Fiction: While this game might be more important than any past Yankees/Mets regular season game, the Giants and Jets simply don't play enough for there to be as big a of a rivalry. In my opinion, Mets fans tend to dislike the Yankees (due to all their championships) more than either Jets or Giants fans dislike their crosstown rival. Michael Eisen: Fact: At least this week, and that's what counts. The Yankees and Mets have never played each other in a regular season game as important as Saturday's Giants-Jets clash. A game in June or July is not going to determine whether a team wins it's division or goes to the playoffs. But this game will have far-reaching ramifications for both teams.
Dan Salomone: Fiction. It's tough to compare that tradition to the 11 meager meetings of the Giants and Jets in 40 years, none of which showcased two winning teams. With that said, this single game has the potential to be bigger than any regular season contest between the Yankees and Mets (or any of the New York rivalries for that matter) given the playoff implications, the height of NFL popularity, and how late it is in the season. The fact that it's a shared stadium on Christmas Eve adds another element.
FACT OR FICTION?
2) The Jets will blitz more than only other team the Giants have faced this year
Schmeelk: Fiction: The Jets aren't blitzing nearly as much as they have in years past. The Packers, Cowboys, and Redskins all blitz more than the Jets. The Jets will, however, show a larger variety of defensive packages and formations than any team the Giants have played this year.
Eisen: Fiction: Most opponents have heavily blitzed the Giants this season. I'm sure the Jets will step right into that line, but whether they'll blitz more than any other team is difficult to say. So I'll say no.
Salomone: Fiction:It will be a lot, though, just like they've seen over the past few weeks. Kevin Gilbride said that New Orleans blitzed four out of every five plays and Green Bay was three out of five. He also said he was surprised when Philadelphia didn't blitz much at all. So it's all about the approach of the Jets, who will always have a commitment to the defense.
FACT OR FICTION?
3) The winner of this game will go on to make the playoffs.
Schmeelk: Fact: I'm just playing the percentages here. Whichever team wins controls their own destiny, so there's a good chance they will make the playoffs. I'll give you a bonus answer here: Whichever team loses, will not make the playoffs.
Eisen: Fact: Yes. I expect the Giants to win, of course, and go on to claim the NFC east title.
Salomone: Fact. Essentially must-win scenarios for both sides, the Jets and Giants can rectify their poor showings last week with a win on Sunday. Both sides have suffered the pains of being in and out of the playoff picture so many times that I can't imagine the winner not being able to capitalize in Week 17 on will alone.
FACT OR FICTION?
4) Crowd Noise will be a factor in this game
Schmeelk: Fact: This is a virtual playoff game between two teams that share the same stadium. To think the Jets fans won't be loud, raucous, and a factor would be foolish. Giants fans were a factor during the Green Bay game, and I expect Jets fans to do the same on Saturday.
Eisen: Fiction: For two reasons. Although it's a Jets home game, there will be plenty of Giants fans in the stands. And even if it is an overwhelmingly Jets crowd, the Giants are accustomed to succeeding in loud, hostile environments (see New England and Dallas). I can't imagine they would let a Jets crowd get to them in their own stadium.
Salomone: Fact. But whose noise will it be? Again, the atmosphere with everything going on will be electric for an early game. The Jets have reveled in playing in front of their home crowd, posting a 6-1 record at MetLife Stadium. Meanwhile, if it's as hostile as a true road game, the Giants have had success going that route as well.
FACT OR FICTION?
5) Jason Pierre-Paul will have two or more sacks in this game
Schmeelk: Fiction: Considering Jason Pierre Paul's impact the last two games, the Jets will likely do everything they can to slow him down. They have a very athletic tackle with long arms in D'Brickashaw Ferguson that will provide a huge challenge for JPP in one on one situations. Don't be surprised if they line up a TE on that side or chip with a back as well. The attention on JPP should open up opportunities for other Giants to get to Sanchez.
Eisen: Fact: The Giants need a strong pass rush and the defensive coaches will devise a plan to unleash JPP after Mark Sanchez.
Salomone: Fact. If you ask me that before any game, I'll say fact. Jason Babin got to Mark Sanchez three times alone last week. The Jets are middle of the pack in sacks allowed (33.0), but when they do give up multiple sacks in a game, it's usually to the same player. Eight different defenders recorded more than one sack in a game against the Jets this year, including Andre Carter's four in the Dallas game in Week 10. That's not to mention JPP's year and knack for big games.
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