Shut up, Rex.

And enough with the B.S.

The New York Football Giants had all the cards stacked against them against impetuous coach Rex Ryan and his New York Jets. It was unclear how this Giants team would respond at a point of return, with their playoff lives in their hands, just a short week after laying a dud against the lowly Washington Redskins. Add in a full week of trash talking to an already hate-filled rivalry, which left myself wondering whether the Giants had fallen for the trap and played right into the over-exuberant hand of Ryan and the Jets.

The Giants responded, though, by playing up when the time called for it – playing a solid-if-unspectacular game – all the while putting the Jets’ season in jeopardy by defeating them ‘on the road’ 29-14.

With the win, the Giants improve to 8-7 heading into next week’s battle with Dallas.

Credit: Yahoo! News

The Giants came on to the field in the first quarter with their calling card in hand, getting off to an ugly start, highlighted by two straight three-and-outs and three total yards. Aside from their first drive of 10-plays, 53-yards, the Jets didn’t do much, either. Sometimes one is all you need, though, and the Jets led 7-0 after one.

The Giants finally lit the scoreboard in the second quarter with a 21-yard field goal, in typical Giants fashion: after having a first-and-goal from the Jets’ 2-yard line, and gaining zero yards. Two Giants drives later things got out of hand.

Backed up in his own end zone, throwing two consecutive incomplete passes, Eli Manning and his offense seemed on the verge of another frustrating three-and-out. Manning dropped back and hit breakout star Victor Cruz near the first down marker. After that it was all Cruz, who made a couple of moves and thanks to poor tackling (thank you Cromartie) he was off on a good ol’ fashioned foot race for a 99-yard touchdown, tying the NFL’s all-time record for the longest play from scrimmage. The Giants ended up getting six after just hoping to get out of the shadows of their own endzone and Cruz – who had three catches for 164 yards – broke Amani Toomer’s single-season mark for yards receiving and the team’s record for longest touchdown reception. Big Blue ended the first half on top, 10-7.

The third quarter began with seven drives, four by the Jets and three by the Giants, ending in punts before the Giants embarked on a 4-play 81-yard drive, capped off by Ahmad Bradshaw’s first TD-run of the day. The 14-yard dash featured Jets safety Brodney Pool giving the national audience a lesson on how not to tackle an NFL running back. The following Jet drive brought the game into its final quarter, and on the drive’s third play Mark Sanchez’s (30-59, 258, 1 TD, 2 INT) errant pass over the deep middle of the field was intercepted by Kenny Phillips at the 45, who returned the ball 31 yards to the Jets’ 14-yard line. The Giants couldn’t take advantage and drive in the dagger, so instead the settled for a field goal, increasing the score to 20-7.

The following Jets’ drive was, to put it lightly, a roller coaster. A 4th and 1 pass that fell incomplete reset the downs because of a pass interference call on Deon Grant. Two plays later, Plaxico Burress’ touchdown was nullified because of offensive pass interference. The very next play JPP completes the sack-fumble combo, as Justin Tuck recovers the fumble giving the Giants possession once again with a shot at putting the game away for good. But the Jets challenged the ruling and won, making the ruling an incomplete pass and giving the Jets another chance. On 3rd and 17 Sanchez hits Santonio Holmes for 15 yards, then on 4th and 2 Sanchez hooks up with Jeremy Kerley for 10, down to the Giants’ 8 -yard line.

Three plays later on third and goal from the 1 Sanchez and center Nick Mangold muff the center-quarterback exchange. The ball squirts into the endzone where the Giants recover for the touchback. Though after catching a giant break, Eli and the offense handed the ball right back to the Jets on the next play. A five play drive that featured another sack-fumble ruling challenged and reversed, Sanchez finally punched it in from one yard out with the vaunted QB sneak. 20-14, lots of time left.

Three straight series that featured nothing but punts led to first and ten, Jets ball, on their own 8 yard line. Sanchez dropped straight back and had nowhere to go but down in the endzone, as Chris Canty came up with the dagger Giants fans had been waiting for. After the ensuing free kick was an onside attempt recovered by the Giants, Bradshaw ran for his second TD of the day on the drive’s first play from scrimmage with 2:04 remaining.

One last interception by Sanchez kicked off the early Christmas celebrations for Big Blue.

Talk is cheap. Play the game.