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Talk is cheap, play the game


While the Jets have an official "Green It" campaign to weed out as many Giants fans as possible, Rex Ryan concedes there will still be pockets of blue come Sunday afternoon in MetLife Stadium.  But there's only one thing that matters to the home team's head coach.

"Obviously, there is going to be a lot of Giants fans in the stadium, so we expect that," Ryan said during his Monday conference call with the media. "At the end of it, all that matters is that the Jets fans leave the game happy and the Giants fans leave the game sad. This is one of the premier matchups in the league. Quite honestly, this is bragging rights."

Ryan said he hopes Jets fans will keep their tickets, but he does understand that it's Christmas and it might be tough for people to not sell if the price is right.

"Sure, there is a lot of talk going back and forth, most of it driven by me, but you know what, I'll stand by everything I've ever said," Rex continued. "I didn't come here to be anybody's little brother. I came here to win, to be looked at that way and to take over, not just this city and everything else even though it's the city to take over, but also this league. I haven't accomplished that yet. Saturday, I think, would go a long way in doing that."

Despite all the "second fiddle" talk and verbal volleying, the game boils down to two teams coming off disappointing showings  while still vying for playoff spots in their respective conferences.

Sunday will be the 12th and most meaningful bout between the two franchises since 1970. The Giants have won the last four to take the series lead, 7-4.  The Giants will win the NFC East with victories over the Jets and Dallas; the Jets will most likely make the AFC postseason field with wins in their last two games.

Even Tom Coughlin admitted the hype can be good for his ailing team.

"Let's face it, you have a city that is certainly divided," he said. "Half the city, or you would think half would be in favor of one team, half the other. Certainly you're going to sense it. The excitement, in terms of that, I would hope would be even more stimulation to make this an extremely important game, more than it is. I don't think you need any more, quite frankly, to understand how important the game is to both teams. If you played it in the parking lot, for what's at stake and both teams will realize this. It is this time of the year. It is December in the NFL."

What does his quarterback have to say?

"It is a big game because of the circumstances," Eli Manning said. "Both teams are fighting for playoff position and both teams are coming off losses so those are the reasons that it is a big game. There may be other factors that come into that but none should be bigger than the reason that both teams are trying to get into the playoffs."

Keeping in line, Ryan definitely says their respective playoff situations add to the weekend.

"I think so because let's face it, whoever wins the game and can sit back and see the guy out there and say, 'Hey, you have a good team,'" Ryan said. "But in the back of their mind, and I hope we're saying it, that, 'Yeah, you have a good team, but we beat you.' And that's as simple as that and that answers any argument you want, there's the solution to it. And you know what, if they beat us, I'll be the first one to tip my hat to them."

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