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Has New York gone green? Giants don't believe they're behind Jets

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- It seems nearly impossible to go one day in the New York metro area without a story about coach Rex Ryan and his upstart Jets.

The glib Ryan is a quote machine. He opens his mouth, and it's a story.

The same can be said for his players, whether it's quarterback Mark Sanchez and his recent trip to the White House or cornerback Darrelle Revis and his contract.

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The city has turned green, and the Giants seemingly have become New York's other football team.

Giants halfback Brandon Jacobs doesn't buy that, though.

"We'll never be the other team for the simple reason we have a Super Bowl ring," Jacobs said Friday after an organized team activity. "We didn't stop the tour when we got there. We got past people we needed to get past. We beat teams that nobody beat and got what we wanted -- Super Bowl XLII champions.

"The last time I checked my watch, no one else has done that in New York. We are that team in New York. You can put us behind if you want to. That's fine. People got their opinions and like their team. But it is what it is."

The reality is the Jets, who haven't won the title since Super Bowl III, and the Giants, who are three-time champions, headed in different directions last season.

The Jets (11-8) reached the AFC Championship Game, despite having a first-year head coach, a rookie quarterback and a new defensive system. During the offseason, they bolstered their roster, signing halfback LaDainian Tomlinson and defensive end Jason Taylor and acquiring wide receiver Santonio Holmes and cornerback Antonio Cromartie in trades.

Two seasons after winning the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots, the Giants (8-8) fell apart, losing eight of their final 11 games, and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2004. The only major move that coach Tom Coughlin's team made during the offseason was the signing of Pro Bowl safety Antrel Rolle.

"They had a great year last year, and we didn't, so I guess they deserve it," Giants tight end Kevin Boss said of the Jets' popularity. "They made the AFC championship. Hopefully, the tide won't be turning for too long, and we'll be back next year."

Giants quarterback Eli Manning smiled when asked about the Jets' popularity.

"It's not our concern," Manning said. "We have to worry about the New York Giants. We know what we are capable of. We know we have a big season ahead of us. What the Jets do in their offseason doesn't affect us. We got to worry about our play and make sure we play at a high level."

Giants defensive end Justin Tuck said the Jets can have all the headlines they want.

"All I worry about is what we do on Sunday," Tuck said. "If I had it my way, there would be only one reporter here, asking Eli all the questions and I'd be home by now. So Rex and whoever can say whatever they want to say."

What matters most to Giants veteran center Shaun O'Hara is winning games.

"To be honest with you, I kind of root for them some times," O'Hara said. "Even last year, I was rooting for them. I know a lot of guys on the team. I'm not a hater. I don't get jealous. What would be great would be to have a Jets-GiantsSuper Bowl. That would be awesome, and it would be even better in 2014 (if New York wins the bid)."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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