Oh, what two weeks can do.
The New York Giants and Jets have found themselves in the middle of some speculation throughout the web that they could end up facing each other in February. Granted, we are only two weeks into the season, both teams have fared well in their matchups thus far.
The first win for the Jets was not much of a surprise, as they knocked off the Houston Texans. What made that game important, however, was the fact that rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez won his first game in the NFL, silencing several “bust” critics for at least a week until his team faced the New England Patriots.
Well, Sanchez made sure nobody would be critical of him the following week, leading the Jets to their first home victory against the hated Patriots since 2000. Yes, you read that right.
In the other conference, the Giants took care of business in their first test of the season, snatching a divisional game from the Redskins at home. With question marks surrounding the team’s receivers, Eli Manning gunned a touchdown pass to second-year wideout Mario Manningham in the second quarter. The defense did a great job under new defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan, putting pressure on Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell from all directions.
While the Giants seemed a bit sloppy in the red zone during their 27-23 victory against Washington, they came out firing the following week in Dallas. In front of over 105,000 fans, Big Blue stormed into the new Cowboys’ Stadium and silenced them all. Defensive back Bruce Johnson made Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo look silly, picking off a pass and returning it for a touchdown. The Giants’ offense looked crisp in the passing game behind the solid offensive line, with wide receivers Mario Manningham and Steve Smith each catching 10 passes and finding the endzone. Following a 56-yard drive late in the fourth quarter, Lawrence Tynes came out and kicked the game-winning field goal in walk-off fashion to beat Dallas, 33-31.
For the Jets, they key to success for the season will have to fall on their rookie quarterback. Rookie mistakes are going to happen, it will just be a matter of how often. For Big Blue, the team needs to do a better job in the red zone. Too many times, the team is having to settle for field goals.
I know it is early, but it certainly is entertaining to toy with the thought of the two teams from the Meadowlands duking it out in the big game.