*EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey -- In the battle for New York City, Long Island and most of New Jersey, the Jets (7-5) came out on top over the Giants (5-7) in an overtime thriller, 23-20, keeping their playoff hopes alive. *
Here's what we learned ...
- The Giants do not make rash decisions, but with reports that Tom Coughlin was already "coaching for his job" heading into this game, how long do they need to complete an evaluation? Don't expect owner John Mara and general manager Jerry Reese to deviate from the process, but don't expect the sores from this game to heal any time soon.
- Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan got a lot of well-deserved credit for at least temporarily re-stocking the team's secondary this offseason and spending some of the money John Idzik left him behind. But where would this offense be without the Brandon Marshall trade? It was seen, at the time, as a move to push a malcontent wide receiver out of one place and into another. Did anyone think that Marshall would literally pace the Jets' offense all season? The team is entirely dependent on him, and through some less-than-ideal circumstances, Marshall has been a warrior. Without a clutch grab to set up a field goal and a beautiful grab on an end-zone fade, the game wouldn't go to overtime. He finished with double-digit catches and more than 130 receiving yards Sunday.
- Having their star player, Odell Beckham, get flagged for kicking the football toward the end of Sunday's game had to be frustrating for the Giants. It might be a difficult argument to make at the moment, but I would guess they'll still sign up for his competitiveness and deal with the fallout. Was it bone-headed? Yes. Was Beckham also getting prodded and jabbed all afternoon with little relief from the officials? Yes. And on top of everything, he still made the first down on the following play. It will thankfully not become the controversy it could have been. In the meantime, Beckham passed Marques Colston for the most receptions by a player through two seasons in NFL history.
- Rex Ryan and the Jets used to be the New York team most lampooned for their suspect clock management and timeout issues, but I challenge someone to find a reason why Coughlin should have gone for it on fourth-and-two with the Giants already ahead 10 points midway through the fourth quarter. Coughlin already botched a challenge call earlier in the game and, in a Dallas-esque fashion, gave the green light to another noodling play call which resulted in an Eli Manning interception. Thankfully, it only cost the team a field goal. But if that wasn't bad enough, the Giants got the ball while leading by a touchdown with 4:24 remaining. The Jets got the ball back with 2:48 to play after a three-and-out.
- For this reason, the NFC East is maddening. As it stands right now, we'll either be left with the Giants or Redskins representing the division in the playoffs. The Giants have made takes like this look ridiculous in the past, but for a team that keeps drawing comparisons to their recent Super Bowl predecessors, there really aren't a ton of similarities. Outside of Manning and Beckham, who was phenomenal again on Sunday; what does this team really have?
- Jason Pierre-Paul was a monster for at least part of the game, which was encouraging to see. It wasn't until Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey started dailing up some wide screens and halfback outs that Fitzpatrick had some peace and quiet in the backfield. That, of course, didn't last long either and credit goes where it's deserved to defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who momentarily resurrected the worst sacking team in the NFL on Sunday.