NFL Week 8: Jets Win Battle For NY in OT Thriller

It was a rainy Sunday in East Rutherford, but that did not stop Jets and Giants fans from flooding MetLife. The stadium was at max capacity as the two teams from the Meadowlands faced off, with both teams coming off of a win. The Giants were the home team but you never would have known based on the mix of blue and green in the crowd.

The two teams, who share a home field, only meet once every four years and the Jets had won their past two contests against the Giants entering the game, looking to make it a third. The Giants, on the other hand, were hoping to keep themselves in the win column after a narrow victory over the Commanders last week.

Jets Defeat Giants 13-10 in Battle for New York

Entering the game, many had anticipated that it would be a defensive battle with both teams having stellar defenses and their starting quarterbacks out. That belief was justified after just a minute into the game, when Giants linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux forced Zach Wilson to fumble, putting the Giants in excellent field position. The Giants capitalized on their defensive takeaway and scored a field goal, as the Jets defense managed to minimize the damage.

For the next 6 drives, the Jets and Giants took turns punting the ball away, with the two teams combining for 43 yards in the 10-minute span. The Jets were the team to break the cycle and find the endzone on a 50-yard receiving touchdown from Breece Hall on the first play of the drive, putting the Jets up 7-3 as the first quarter came to a close.

Now feeling a sense of urgency, the Giants offense also began to drive down the field, finding themselves at the Jets 29-yard line to attempt a 47 yard field goal, which Giants kicker Graham Gano ended up missing, keeping their deficit at 4.

Following that drive, there were 6 more punts with both teams failing to put any more points on the board. Amid all the punts, Giants quarterback Tyrod Taylor got injured and was out for the game, meaning the Giants would have to rely on their third string quarterback and Jersey native Tommy DeVito to lead them to victory. DeVito, who attended Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, was put in a great position when another Zach Wilson fumble put the Giants in Jets territory. Unfortunately, he was unable to take advantage of that and the Giants had to punt the ball away again. The half ended with two more punts, as the Jets took a 7-3 lead entering halftime.

The second half started hot for the Giants who had a 55-yard touchdown drive, with every yard coming from the ground. The drive ultimately ended in a Tommy DeVito rushing touchdown, the first of his young career.

There were 8 more punts after the touchdown drive until the Jets were in a position where they could no longer punt the ball. On 4th and 10, Zach Wilson was sacked by Kayvon Thibodeaux for a loss of 15 yards, putting the Giants at the Jets 25 to start their drive. The Jets defense forced a 35 yard field goal and the rainy conditions once again impacted Graham Gano, causing him to miss yet again.

The Jets had 24 seconds to gain around 30 yards to reach field goal range, but a Greg Zuerlein field goal would still be difficult to guarantee. Zach Wilson started the drive with a 29 yard pass to his number one receiver Garrett Wilson. Now, with just 17 seconds left Wilson completed another 29 yard pass, this time to Allen Lazard. The Jets rushed to the line of scrimmage and managed to spike the ball with a second left on the clock. With the game on the line, Greg Zuerlein put the ball through the uprights on a 35 yard field goal and forced overtime.

The Giants won the coin toss, electing to receive the ball, hoping to replicate their drive at the start of the 3rd quarter and walk away with a win. An offensive holding penalty quickly ruined those hopes, as it was now 1st and 20 and the Giants had struggled to gain first downs all game. A pass for no gain made it 2nd & 20, then it was 3rd & 21 after a -1 yard pass. With one last shot, DeVito threw an incomplete pass, meaning the Jets were now just a field goal away from completing this unlikely comeback.

The drive could not have started better for the Jets who were already starting with the ball at their own 39 yard line, but a run for no gain and an incomplete pass ruined their momentum. On 3rd and 10, with victory just a few first downs away, Zach Wilson delivered one of the most clutch passes of his career, an 11 yard pass to Garrett Wilson to keep the drive going. After a 5 yard run and an incomplete pass, the Jets found themselves needing a third down conversion once again. Wilson took a shot deep down the field to Malik Taylor, but it was incomplete. That didn’t mean the drive was over, however, as a defensive pass interference call on Giants cornerback Adoree’ Jackson gave the Jets the ball at the 15 yard line. Deciding to play it safe, the Jets opted to let Greg Zuerlein kick a 33 yard field goal which he narrowly made, giving the Jets their third straight victory.

What This Means Heading Into Week 9

By no means was this a game that the Jets should have won, while it was a sloppy win, they all count the same in the standings. This is a huge win for the Jets who are currently in the playoff hunt and will be facing another playoff contender in the Los Angeles Chargers next week. The Jets offense will definitely need to pick it up to ensure a win, but if their defense can remain dominant, the Jets could find themselves in the playoff picture next week.

Though we are a little less than halfway through the NFL season, this loss has essentially sealed the Giants’ fate, as it does not seem like they will be contending for a playoff spot this year, instead looking to improve themselves through the draft. They are now 2-6 in a division with the Eagles who have the NFL’s best record at 7-1. While not mathematically eliminated, the Giants will need to make serious improvements to secure a wild card spot. The good news for the Giants is that QB Daniel Jones has been medically cleared to play next week against the Raiders, so they will no longer have to worry about playing with backups.