Complete coverage of Gang Green

The Good, Bad and Ugly of New York's Football Weekend

Jets and Giants both have statement wins on Sunday.

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    Happy wide receivers everywhere you look.

    It doesn't get much better than Sunday.

    Within a matter of hours, the Jets had won their third straight game by dominating a key divisional foe and the Giants had stunned the Patriots in the final minutes once again to improve their record to 6-2 on the season. 

    That meant both teams were in first place in their divisions at the halfway point of the season and trending in the right direction as the second half gets close.

    So, in the interest of best representing what went down on the field this weekend, we're going to deviate from the usual format a little bit. It just doesn't seem right to have equal representation for bad and ugly on a day that was so overwhelmingly good for our two football teams.

    GOOD: Eli Manning has been a lot more than good this season. He's been great, especially when the fourth quarter rolls around and he snatches victory out of thin air. Manning wasn't very good for most of Sunday's game, but it hardly seems to matter in the wake of two touchdowns in the final 3:03 to beat the Patriots.

    GOOD: The return of the Jets defense was something quite wonderful to see, because we had almost forgotten how good the unit could be when firing on all cylinders. You aren't going to be hearing too many people waxing rhapsodic about Ryan Fitzpatrick's magical rise from Harvard to the NFL this week because he looked about as overmatched as any Ivy League quarterback should at this level.

    BAD: Despite the overwhelming performance of the defense as a whole, it wasn't a great day for Darrelle Revis. These things are relative -- it would have been a fine day for 98 percent of NFL corners -- but Revis had a hard time with Stevie Johnson and was flagged for a penalty on Sunday afternoon.

    GOOD: The Jets have finally figured out how to use Plaxico Burress to maximize his effectiveness. You don't need fancy routes, you just need to get him the ball and let him use his superior size and strength turn short passes into postive plays.

    GOOD: Fans are inherently dishonest, so you can be sure a few of the people leading parades for Jake Ballard this morning are the same people who cursed Jerry Reese for letting Kevin Boss walk away during the preseason. Boss was never as good as Ballard, whose one-handed grab on the final drive might have been the biggest play of the game and one that bailed out a poor throw by Manning. 

    UGLY: Manning's interception in the end zone was a horrid reminder of the 2010 season. You have to either throw the ball away or take a sack with a seven-point lead in the fourth quarter because points are just too important. Manning got bailed out of some other bad throws by penalties on the Patriots, but the pick was the worst throw of all.

    GOOD: Michael Boley hasn't done much of anything since joining the team as a free agent in 2009, but his game Sunday might have made his entire contract a worthwhile investment. Ten tackles, a sack and forced fumble all showed up on the stat sheet, but he had plenty of other pressures and played at a very high level all afternoon.

    GOOD, BAD and UGLY: Mark Sanchez threw an end zone pick as ugly as Manning's and dropped a snap during a miserable first half, but his second half was all good as the Jets scored 24 points and cruised to an easy win. You may never erase all of the warts from Sanchez's game, but it is a positive sign that he can now overcome them (as he did against the Chargers) and play well instead of going into a fetal position.

    BAD: The sloppiness of the Giants nearly killed them Sunday. Manning's pick, Aaron Ross dropping a punt and Mario Manningham's unsportsmanlike celebration of his touchdown all handed lifelines to a Patriots team that was drowning. You'd think a team as used to coming back out of nowhere would know better than to offer such assistance.

    GOOD: The Giants offensive line has been pretty awful this season, but they played a great game on Sunday. Eli had plenty of time to throw and the holes were big enough for even Brandon Jacobs to gain yardage.

    GOOD: Santonio Holmes' numbers don't tell the total story of his contributions against Buffalo. Three catches don't reflect the two big pass interference penalties he drew in the end zone, a sign of how good things happen when you target the best player on your offense in key situations.

    GOOD: It is always nice to find moments of unity in our football lives and nothing works quite so well as seeing Brady, Bill Belichick and the Patriots brought low. If only Washington could find something similar to solve the real problems in the world.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

    Get the latest from NBC 4 New York anywhere, anytimeiPhone/iPad App | SMS AlertsTwitter | Facebook | Google+ | Instagram | RSS