- Last Updated: 11:04 AM, August 18, 2012
- Posted: 1:14 AM, August 18, 2012
When the Jets and Giants played last Christmas Eve, Giants coach Tom Coughlin walked away from the game with a limp, but it was Jets coach Rex Ryan who was left with the scar.
Ryan did not suffer the physical injury Coughlin did when a player crashed into his leg on the sideline, but the Jets coach was left red-faced. He had boasted all week about the Jets being the “big brother” in town. When the game was over and the Giants had won, 29-14, Ryan’s promises looked emptier than ever.
“[There are] a lot of things you’d like to erase in your memory, but that unfortunately will stay in there,” Ryan said. “As most coaches, you remember almost all the losses. But that one stung, no question about it.”
The two teams meet again tonight at MetLife Stadium. This time, there is nothing on the line. It’s the second week of the preseason. The starters won’t even see the third quarter.
The Jets said all the right things this week about the Giants. The only trash talking from either side came from San Francisco where former Giants running back Brandon Jacobs ripped the Jets.
The Jets said last year’s game won’t be in their minds tonight. You believe them because these preseason games really are like dressed-up practices. But you also better believe the Jets thought about that loss long and hard this offseason.
“That was real life,” linebacker Bart Scott said. “Some have said, and there’s some truth to it, that it kind of flip-flopped our seasons. It was a big game. It gave them the momentum they needed and it kind of sent us on a downward spiral.”
A week later, the Jets’ season ended in a mess of infighting and finger-pointing in Miami. A few weeks after that offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, who called more than 60 passes that night against the Giants, was shown the door after six seasons with the Jets.
No play came to symbolize the disappointing 8-8 season for the Jets more than the 99-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Victor Cruz they allowed just before halftime.
“Why would I want to watch that? No. Would you watch that?” Scott said this week when asked if he watched the replay of that play.
“That was a big loss. We had the game in hand until that kind of broke the game open. They made the plays and we didn’t. They carried that momentum and won the Super Bowl. More power to them, congratulations to them, and one day we hope we can have that same feeling.”
The Giants enter tonight’s game as the Super Bowl champs without many question marks. The Jets are one big question mark. How will Tim Tebow fit? Whom will Mark Sanchez throw to? Can the running game work? Is the defense faster?
Chances are, the answers won’t come tonight.
The Jets actually won the preseason meeting between these two teams last year, the first time a trophy was awarded for the “MetLife Bowl.” The trophy has Snoopy on top of it.
Last year, Ryan posed with the Snoopy trophy, but six months later Coughlin posed with the Lombardi Trophy.
“We’re competing against the world champions, so we’ll see how it goes,” Ryan said. “I know there’s that Snoopy trophy, but I’d rather have that other trophy that they won. [We’ll] trade the Snoopy for it.”