This past offseason was defiantly an adventure for both of New York›s football teams. The Jets were left wondering what went wrong after being left out of the playoffs. While for the Giants, it was a very sunny winter after winning their second in Super Bowl in the last four years.
After reaching the AFC Championship game for two straight seasons, the NY Jets who ranked 5th in defense, found themselves missing the playoffs as 2011 came to a close. It was supposed to be the year that Gang Green would finally break through and make its first Super Bowl appearance in over 40 years. But instead, head coach Rex Ryan saw his team get beat up by their stadium rivals the NY Giants in week 16, and finish with an 8-8 record. The Jets needed improvements in many areas and they started by acquiring running QB Tim Tebow whose coming off a very exciting season form Denver Broncos. The Jets also re-signed their current QB Mark Sanchez to an extension and brought back kicker Nick Folk. Gang Green made a coaching move as well when they named former Dolphins head coach Tony Sprano their new offensive coordinator.
As for the other NY football team, the Giants, what a season it was! After the lock-out was over prior to the 2011 season, Big Blue management found themselves answering many questions about their current players contract issues. Many doubted that the team will be successful or make any noise with the cloud hanging above them as the Jets were expected to win the fans bragging rights. But head coach Tom Coughlin had other ideas as he made doubters into believers as the season went on. Big Blue had an up and down first half of the season highlighted by a 24-20 comeback win against the Patriots. The big victory in New England was followed up with a four-game skid, capped off by game that just slipped away from them to the undefeated Packers on national TV.
The Green Bay defeat was sort of a wakeup call as the Giants went on to win three of their next four games, including beat-downs of the Jets and Cowboys in consecutive weeks to clinch a playoff spot. From there it was wins against the Falcons, the defending champion Packers, and one of the NFL›s top teams the 49ers in OT, to make it to the Super Bowl. The Giants faced a familiar face in the big game; it was the same Patriots team who were 16-0 when the Giants beat them four years prior for the title. Trailing 10-9 at the half and 17-14 after three quarters. QB Eli Manning orchestrated a comeback for the ages to lift the Giants to yet another Super Bowl win over the Patriots, by a score of 21-17.
This past weekend, the Giants and Jets met up at MetLife Stadium for their annual preseason matchup. The game was pretty much all Giants, all night. Kicker Lawrence Tynes kicked 3 field goals as Manning went 7 for 14 for 62 yards and one interception. The Jets circus of Tebow and Sanchez were a combined 14 for 25 good for 128 yards and one interception. The highlight of the evening came from rookie cornerback Jayron Hosley who intercepted Mark Sanchez and returned it for a 77 yard touchdown in a 26-3 drubbing of the Jets.