NEW YORK -- Nick Mangold was getting the oil in his car changed when two mechanics got into it near the water cooler.
Two teams, one stadium
While it's understandable that the New York/New Jersey greater metro area is in a frenzy over the possibility of a Jets- Giants matchup in Super Bowl XLIII, it also creates a scenario that forces the NFL and its network partners to discuss:
So well, in fact, that fans are starting to spread the news: They're dreaming about a New York-New York Super Bowl, something that's never happened in the previous 42 years of the NFL's big game.
Think it might be a bit premature to start planning Gang Green and Big Blue parties in Tampa? That may be true, but it's rare that both teams have been playing this well this late in a season.
Fair enough, but the last time the Jets and Giants appeared to be on a similar course to face each other was the 1986 season. That was the year the Jets started 10-1, lost their last five regular-season games and then beat Kansas City in the first round of the playoffs before dropping a heartbreaker in two overtimes at Cleveland.
The rest of the Giants' schedule isn't easy, but it's certainly manageable. They're at Washington on Sunday, followed by a home game against struggling Philadelphia, at Dallas, home vs. Carolina and then at Minnesota to finish the regular season.
The Jets are at home Sunday against struggling Denver, then they're at San Francisco, home for Buffalo, at Seattle and then home for Miami. An AFC East title, first-round bye and 12 wins aren't out of the question.
While the players might be trying to avoid the buzz, the fans certainly aren't. And forget the fact that both have their headquarters in New Jersey, with the Jets in Florham Park and the Giants in East Rutherford. The prospects of a Subway Super Bowl are enough to make fans in New York, New Jersey -- heck, even Connecticut -- excited.
"Usually, I don't get stopped out in public too often, but a couple of people in the mall just now were coming up to me," Revis said. "I was surprised because people usually don't just come out of the blue when you're just walking and come up to you and say, 'You guys are on a roll."'
Richardson had some trouble with his truck after the team returned from Nashville on Sunday night, and brought it to a service station to be repaired.
The Giants have consistently dominated opponents this season, with their loss at Cleveland six weeks ago their only hiccup. Manning has continued to play with the poise that helped him become a championship-caliber quarterback, and the Giants' three-headed running back tandem of Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward and Ahmad Bradshaw -- "Earth, Wind & Fire" -- leads the NFL in rushing.
"It's kind of the way this team has developed in terms of the talent we have and the ability of the guys to say, 'OK, we have to play at a higher level and the next guy that comes in has to do the job,"' Coughlin said.
"If you look at where this team was at this time last year, nobody was expecting us to go all the way to the Super Bowl," Kiwanuka said. "We understand how long a haul it really is."
The Jets are saying the same cautious phrases. After making lots of noise in the offseason by signing high-priced free agents and acquiring Favre, they appeared to be the epitome of a win-now team.
Well, winning is exactly what they've been doing, with Favre efficiently leading long scoring drive after long scoring drive while keeping the mistakes that plagued him earlier this season to a minimum.
"Brett and the offense are doing a great job," Revis said. "The offensive line, as well, they're opening holes for Thomas Jones and Leon to run. They're giving Brett time to throw. I think yesterday was the first game that I ever played in where I sat for most of the game."
The defense has also been dramatically improved by space-eating nose tackle Kris Jenkins, whose dominance has had a huge ripple effect. The Jets are ranked third in the league against the run, and haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher all season.
"The excitement is very high right now," Revis said. "Both teams are doing great, we're in the city of New York and everything is going good for us."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press