Jets’ big picture completely changes with Giants takedown

New York Post Sports 1 week ago

The Giants looked at the Jets and said: Whatever you can do, we can do worse.

In the Battle of the Bad or the Game of the Weak or whatever you wanted to call it, the Jets were less bad than the Giants and walked away with a 34-27 win on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

The game featured some horrendous secondary play, some terrible gaffes by the offensive lines and some questionable coaching decisions, but overall it was an entertaining game between the stadium co-tenants that featured two lead changes in the second half and some memorable plays from both teams.

The Jets held Giants star running back Saquon Barkley to 1 yard on 13 carries and came up with some critical fourth-quarter stops to win the game after taking the lead early in the fourth.

For one week at least, the noise around Adam Gase’s job should quiet and the Jets can enjoy a win that brings their season record to 2-7.

“We need every win from now on because we still have a chance,” said quarterback Sam Darnold, who did not turn the ball over for the first time since Week 1. “If we get on a roll here and win out, we’ve got a chance at the playoffs. Guys in the locker room know this and we’re really excited to continue to get back to work. That’s what it’s about.”

The playoffs are a pipe dream, but the Jets could get on a little run here with games against the dismal Redskins (1-8), Bengals (0-9) and Dolphins (2-7) coming up with a meeting with a 5-4 Raiders team sandwiched in there.

For the Giants, their sixth straight loss drops them to 2-8 entering their bye week and will amplify the calls for coach Pat Shurmur or defensive coordinator James Bettcher to be fired.

“My concern is putting a team on the field that’s going to win a football game — that’s my concern,” Shurmur said when asked about his job security. “It’s always a one-week concern getting ready to play the next opponent and put a winning performance on the field. That’s my concern.”

Both young quarterbacks had good moments in the game. Giants rookie Daniel Jones threw four touchdowns, but also had the ball stripped from him by Jets star Jamal Adams, who returned the fumble for a touchdown. Jones completed 26 of 40 passes for 308 yards.

Darnold started off strong, leading the Jets to scores on their first two drives. He went 7-for-7 on the game-opening drive and ran for a 2-yard touchdown. Darnold completed a 23-yard touchdown to Jamison Crowder on the next drive to put the Jets up 14-0. Darnold finished with 230 passing yards on 19 of 30 passing.

The Jets outgained the Giants 121-2 in the first quarter and then the game completely flipped. The Jets managed just 4 yards in the second quarter as the offense vanished. The Giants had 105 yards in the quarter, and Darius Slayton caught two touchdowns from Jones. A botched snap by Zak DeOssie on the extra point kept the Jets in front 14-13 at halftime.

Adams pulled off the play of the day 47 seconds into the second half when he blitzed, beat Barkley and then grabbed the ball out of Jones hands, racing 25 yards for the touchdown and a 21-13 lead. He predicted the turnover on the sideline before the play.

“Elite,” linebacker Brandon Copeland said. “I’ve seen Von Miller do that. To see a safety do something like that, that’s special.”

It was a monster game for Adams, who had nine tackles, a critical fourth-down stop, two sacks, two forced fumbles and the fumble return for the touchdown.

The Jets bottled up Barkley all day and sacked Jones six times, but they still had lapses.

The Giants took advantage of the Jets’ banged-up secondary with two third-quarter Golden Tate touchdowns, the first a 61-yard jaunt through the defense and the second on a 15-yarder through the middle of the defense that gave the Giants their first lead of the game. Jones hit Bennie Fowler for the two-point conversion and a 27-21 lead.

A Sam Ficken field goal cut the Jets’ deficit to 27-24. Then, they took the lead back on a 1-yard touchdown run by Le’Veon Bell that was set up by a 33-yard pass interference penalty on Giants rookie DeAndre Baker that put the ball at the 1.

The Jets defense came up with big stops on four fourth-quarter drives and Ficken drilled a 35-yarder to make it 34-27.

“I think this is the Jets’ stadium,’’ Adams said. “It’s definitely fun to compete against those guys, and obviously it’s bragging rights for the city, it’s bragging rights for a lot of thing. I’m pretty sure the city is lit up in green. It’s definitely a good feeling.’’

The win relieved some pressure on the Jets, who had lost three straight and looked terrible over the past month.

“I think we needed it,” tackle Kelvin Beachum said. “It’s been gloomy in Florham Park. Anytime you can find a way to get a win at home it’s special for the fans, it’s great for the franchise and understand the ramifications of getting the win here in the city with two New York teams playing each other.”

For the Giants, the pressure grows. They hold the title of New York’s biggest losers.

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