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

Two terrible losses have a lot in common

By Josh Alper
|  Monday, Nov 21, 2011  |  Updated 8:56 AM EDT
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Looking Back: New York Jets 2011-12 Season

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Which loss was worse? 

On the one hand, you have a team who lost a game in the fourth quarter because they couldn't stop a quarterback who throws the ball like a college kid from the 1970's when the wishbone ruled college football. On the other hand, well, you've got the exact same thing.

One of our local outfits watched their offense play a pathetic game that left their defense with a chance to blow the game in the final minutes. The other one did the same thing, now that you think about it.

Special teams blunders? Check and check.

And, should this tasteless cake need any icing, both teams are led by men who seem to spend a lot more time blustering about the kind of team they coach than actually making sure that said team shows up on game day.

Rex Ryan gets hit with this charge all the time, but Tom Coughlin deserves some arrows for yet another Giants team showing up flatter than a pancake in a big game.

In the end, we can't say which loss was worse because they both feel like the kind of games that we're going to be pointing to as the reason why playoff football isn't something we'll get to enjoy this season. That's why you won't see much good in the good, bad and ugly this week.

GOOD: Sorry to be glib, but it's a bit hard to come up with other positives about the Giants and Jets right now.

BAD: Losing to Tim Tebow was bad because the Jets defense knew what was coming and couldn't stop it. Losing to Vince Young is a little less embarrassing, unless you remember that he threw three interceptions and spent most of the first half throwing the ball with the accuracy of your average Wikipedia page.

UGLY: Tom Coughlin called his running game "pathetic" and said his offensive line was "completely outplayed." He was being far too kind on both fronts.

BAD: We get that Tebow is a tough guy to tackle, but the Jets defensive backs didn't even try on the final drive of Thursday night's game. Darrelle Revis pulled up to avoid contact and Antonio Cromartie is still dragging a Broncos receiver with him so that he could ensure no collision with Tebow on the final touchdown run.

UGLY: The interception Mark Sanchez threw to hand the Broncos their first touchdown of the game was worse than any pass Tebow threw all night. The problems were plentiful for the Jets, but the game was winnable outside of that throw.

BAD: Eli Manning was let down by his line and by his receivers, but the golden boy made his share of poor plays on Sunday night, including an interception almost as inexplicable as the one Sanchez threw. He needs to be more aware on the fumble that ended the game as well, even if it came about because of Kareem McKenzie's mistake.

UGLY: Has there ever been anybody worse at their job than Tom Quinn? The Giants special teams coordinator has to have pictures of Coughlin and a farm animal, because only someone who knows they will never get fired would actually kick to DeSean Jackson the way Quinn did on Sunday night.

GOOD: Speaking of Jackson, the Giants got quite a boost when a 50-yard catch by Jackson was wiped out because they committed a penalty that the Eagles would have declined. Jackson was foolish for flipping the ball at the Giants sideline to pick up a taunting penalty, but the NFL rule that makes that dead ball play offset with something that happens during the play (which, again, would have been declined) is about the stupidest rule outside of the ones the league employs to make sure that no Victor Cruz fumble ever remains a fumble.

BAD: Special teams has long been a way the Jets turned games in their favor. It has cost them terribly in the last two losses and this year's team simply isn't good enough to not play well in the kicking game.

UGLY: Watching Steve Smith slide into the end zone for the first Eagles touchdown. Cruz is a dynamic receiver and no one should miss Smith, but that didn't make the twist of the knife hurt any less in the first half.

GOOD: The Giants got no help from the rest of the NFL, but the Jets got a boost with losses by the Bills, Chargers, Bengals and Titans. The Wild Card race is going to be tight and there's realistically only one spot on the line, but the Jets didn't lose any more ground on Sunday.

BAD: If the Redskins could have just figured out a way to finish off the Cowboys, Sunday night wouldn't have been quite so bad. They couldn't, though, and only the most unrealistic Giants fans would ignore the possibility that they could be two games behind the Cowboys when they face off in two weeks.

UGLY: Whatever wasn't singled out for discussion above can safely be placed into this category. These were two ugly, ugly games from the Giants and Jets and they will either serve as wake-up calls or the moment when we knew that the season was lost.

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.

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