Playmakers on Jets first-team offense, defense, and special teams, presented by Nike
1. PLAYOFF HUNTS TRUMP GIANTS-JETS RIVALRY TALK
The Giants and Jets don't just share a stadium; they share a common goal of making it to the postseason. That's the bottom line leading up to the 2015 installment of Giants vs. Jets, which comes around just once every four years in the regular season. The Giants, who are coming off back-to-back- losses, have slipped into a tie with the Redskins atop the NFC East at 5-6. The Jets, who sit four games behind the AFC East-leading Patriots at 6-5, are one of seven teams within a game of .500 vying for a Wild Card spot in the AFC.
"This is the next game and an important one, not just because it's Giants versus Jets and both teams share a stadium in the same city and everything, but it's important because of what it means for our playoff hunt," Giants quarterback Eli Manning said. "It'll be a great test for us, they're a good defense, their offense is playing well and scoring points, and we have to play well."
2. RESHUFFLING THE OFFENSIVE LINE
Check out players who have played on both the Giants and the Jets
Already down two, the Giants lost a third starting offensive lineman on Sunday. Guard Geoff Schwartz suffered a fracture in his lower leg that will end his season. Meanwhile, the offense hopes to get a boost if center Weston Richburg (ankle) and/or left guard Justin Pugh (concussion) return.
"I'm hoping that's going to be the case, at least with one of them, but I don't have any evidence of that just yet," Coughlin said Monday on a conference call with reporters. "And I'm going to have to wait, obviously, for the (concussion) protocol to be completed, and for some successful rendering of the various examinations. With Richburg, it's going to be, how much improvement is there? He tried it once, it wasn't very good and so we did the best we could to keep him off his feet and continue to treat, etc., etc. So I'm hoping there's an advantage to that, and I really won't know anything until I hear to what extent he's able to do anything. So we'll see."
The Giants' lineup to end the Redskins game was left tackle Ereck Flowers (rookie), left guard John Jerry, center Dallas Reynolds, right guard Bobby Hart (rookie), and right tackle Marshall Newhouse.
3. ODELL VS. DARRELLE?
People would pay the price of admission just to see reigning AP Offensive Rookie of the Year Odell Beckham Jr. and All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis go head-to-head, but the matchup could be on hold. Revis, who missed the Jets' victory over the Dolphins in Week 12, is still in the concussion protocol. Coach Todd Bowles said he is making "slight progress" and that they'll see how much more he does throughout the week.
"We'll see what their game plan is and see how it plays out," Manning said. "For me, it's not about Odell versus Revis, it's about our offense versus the Jets defense, and us moving the ball, finding completions, and not trying to win individual battles."
4. NICKS' PROGRESSION
In his first game back with the team that drafted him in 2009, wide receiver Hakeem Nicks was targeted twice and caught one pass for four yards, the number of yards he needs to tie Ike Hilliard for eighth place on the franchise's all-time receiving list. Referring to the No. 88 on his jersey, Nicks after the game said, "It felt real good putting the eights back on my chest."
"I don't think we wanted to put too much on him too fast," Manning said. "It's one of those deals where it's just hard to come in in one week and learn a whole offense as a receiver. It's just learn plays, knowing what to do, the check, everything that goes with it. We have to smart about not putting him in there for too much or putting too much on his plate and make sure he knows what he's doing so he can play fast and not second-guess if he's doing the right thing or not. I thought he had a good first week of picking up the offense. I think as you go into the second week you get more and more comfortable."
5. TALE OF THE TAPE
Offensively, the Jets rank 14th in total yards (one spot ahead of the Giants), 20th in passing (242.4 yards per game), 14th in rushing (114.3) and seventh in scoring (24.7). Starting for his sixth NFL team in 11 seasons, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is completing 58.5 percent of his passes with 20 touchdowns to 11 interceptions. Wide receivers Brandon Marshall (71 receptions, 931 yards, 9 touchdowns) and Eric Decker (51 receptions, 700 yards, 8 touchdowns) are his top two targets, while Chris Ivory (185 carries, 766 yards, 6 touchdowns) leads the way on the ground.
Defensively, the Jets are third in total yards (323.9), 12th against the pass (239.5), first against the run (84.4) and ninth in scoring (20.7). The Jets have 25 sacks, eight of which belong to defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson. Linebacker David Harris leads the team with 75 tackles, and cornerback Marcus Williams is tied for first in the NFL with five interceptions.
On special teams, the Jets allow 11.2 yards per punt return, which are the fourth-most in the league. That's partly due to an 89-yard return touchdown by Philadelphia's Darren Sproles in Week 3. The Jets also had a punt blocked by Washington in Week 6. It was recovered in the end zone for a touchdown. Randy Bullock has made all three of his field goal attempts since Nick Folk was placed on injured reserve last month. Ryan Quigley is 30th in the NFL with a net average of 37.1 yards per punt.