Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez threw 28 times in the first half. Point taken, said Aaron Ross.
"People have been criticizing our secondary," the cornerback said after the game. "So we expect teams to come out and pass on us each and every week."
Playing from behind, Sanchez didn't slow down after intermission and finished the game with 59 attempts. That's 15 more than his previous career benchmark of 44, which he has hit multiple times (most recently in Weeks One and Three of this season). He completed 30 of them for 258 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.
In a week when the defense as a whole was being questioned, the Giants came through in that department on Saturday. It all started with the week of practice from the starters to the practice squad.
"We had a lot of talking going on, we had the music going on at practice," said Corey Webster, who grabbed his sixth interception of the season. "So I think it was a little different. Everybody bought into it. It wasn't just a few people, or just a group of people. Everybody bought into it. That makes a big difference."
Up 10-7 at the half, the defense got to Sanchez later on, recording four of its five sacks in the final two quarters. And when Sanchez did find time to throw, his passes were often batted down.
The Giants had 13 passes defended, five of which came at the line of scrimmage by defensive linemen. Justin Tuck had two while Linval Joseph, Dave Tollefson and Rocky Bernard each had one apiece.
Ross, who had one himself, said it was all about the game plan.
"Just being in position to make the play," Ross said. "Coach put together a great game plan, and we executed it. That put us in position to make the plays…The front four was amazing today. They got after the quarterback, kind of got him rattled a little bit and he was throwing the ball up to us. So we had chances to make plays on the ball."
But perhaps the greatest exclamation point for a defense under so much scrutiny was Chris Canty's big play to further shore up the game.
With the Jets pinned back at their own eight-yard line, Canty had a one-one-on rush with left guard Matt Slauson and got to Sanchez in the end zone. The safety pushed the Giants' lead to 22-14 with the two-minute warning close by.
"It was a big play for our football team," Canty said. "I'm just glad to have an opportunity to be in that position to make the play for our team. At the end of the day, in the stretch run, we were able to make more plays than they did at the end of the football game. That was the difference."
"We felt like we put together a great game," Ross added. "And to capitalize with a safety, it spoke volumes of what type of game plan we had. So to end it like that, it's great."
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