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That picture? Actually happened. Never forget.
Two other things happened this weekend: the Giants barely scraped by a winless team, and the team the Jets beat last weekend looked awful. These do not portend good things, my friends. I would go so far as to say they were bad things – especially for the Jets, but ESPECIALLY for the Giants.
Everyone is screwed.
The Giants won possibly the least convincing game against an 0-7 team in the history of the NFL. They made the announcers absolutely GUSH about Matt Moore – that’s right, Matt Moore. They gently caressed Reggie Bush into his second career 100-yard rushing game, which put the capper on what turned out to be a great Halloween weekend for Reggie.
Because his costume was really funny and all his friends liked it. Not for any other reason.
Ahmad Bradshaw battled a foot problem all day, and Brandon Jacobs had a stretch of plays that would probably lead to him being cut if this were Week 1. But, it is actually midway through the season, and the Giants are about to play 23 winning teams in a row and they all get to start with the ball on the Giants goal line and wear brass knuckles and the Giants have to wear flip flops every game and the refs were all born in the opposing team’s town.
The bright spot, the one shining moment in this train-wreck-with-a-happy-ending game was… Eli Manning? Seriously? Eli is having a moderately awesome season right now. Like, on pace for 4,500+ yards and 30 TDs and only 10 INTs awesome. Like, kind of a Pro Bowl season where he watches from the bench and looks dopey in Hawaii as Cam Newton shreds the AFC defense and Aaron Rodgers is at home having won the Super Bowl again.
There are two main contributing factors here. One, Eli has actually been this good for a while and last year’s interception fest was kind of an aberration. Interceptions are incredibly random, and all Giants fans realize that he had about 10 deflections-to-INTs last year that seriously inflated his numbers. Two, he is playing with possibly the best wide receiver corps he’s ever had. Remember, during the Super Bowl season, his top three receivers were in-his-prime Plaxico Burress, about-to-retire Amani Toomer, and super-douche-bag Jeremy Shockey (who was injured in the Big Game, of course). The next year, when the Giants won 12 games? Steve Smith lead the team with 57 receptions, and no wide receiver caught more than four TDs. This year’s combination of 23-year-old Hakeem Nicks, 25-year-old Victor Cruz and 25-year-old Mario Manningham has been very productive, and the emergence of Jake Ballard as a viable fat guy with great hands has been a huge boost. The loss of Steve Smith was negated by the emergence of Jersey kid Cruz, and the Giants pass offense is top 10 despite a 30th ranked run game.
So what does this all mean? Nothing, of course. The Giants will now proceed to lose every game for the rest of the season, starting with a pissed off Patriots team that does not lose in New England, in the winter, coming off a loss. Look it up. Or just trust me. This is going to be the worst Super Bowl rematch ever and I will be playing my Super Bowl 42 DVD on the picture-in-picture of my TV the whole game. I’m going to try to get the games to sync up while listening to Pink Floyd.
Meanwhile, in Jets Nation (or whatever), Mark Sanchez and the gang sat at home and watched their biggest win of the season start to look less huge in hindsight. The Chargers were really bad last night, and it was a combination of many factors including coaching, vicious home crowd, injuries, coaching and the fact that they have a terrible coach. Getting to Philip Rivers doesn’t look so sexy after watching the Chiefs score with him all night. He’s kind of a slut, honestly, just giving the ball up like that to anyone who wanted it. And on Halloween night, God be more cliche.
Now the Jets have to beat the Bills, HAVE TO, if they want any shot of making the playoffs. They are not winning the division again this year, and they will be lucky to sneak in to the playoffs with 10 wins. Eleven is probably the cutoff given how the AFC North and West have three winning teams each. The Jets are on the outside looking in right now, and they have to take a game each off their division rivals if they want to make another run at a crushing defeat in the AFC Championship. The Bills are coming off a fairly satisfying win against a Redskins team that never should have beaten the Giants in Week 1 (UGH), and they will be primed to take it to the Jets in Buffalo after their quick jaunt across the border last week.
The Bills haven’t beaten the Jets since… wow, just two seasons ago? Seriously? I really thought it was going to be one of those “not since Vinny Testaverde” type situations but no. The Jets really do lose some head-scratchers. With the Patriots coming up next weekend, this two-game stretch can vault the Jets into first place, or drop them completely out of contention. But no pressure.