It's true that the Jets-Giants "rivalry" means more to some than to others. As Jets WR Plaxico Burress, the former Giant, has said, "This is what New York is all about." As Jets LB Bart Scott said about braggin' rights, "I could care less about that."
But to be sure, the game means a lot to the tristate area's pro football fans. Many go back to the very first meeting between the teams — in the preseason the year following the Jets' Super Bowl III triumph, when they gained long-sought "respect" from the Giants in the form of their 37-14 summer win at the Yale Bowl on Aug. 17, 1969.
Then came the first regular-season meeting, with the visiting Giants repaying that preseason conquest with a 22-10 verdict over the Jets at Shea Stadium in 1970. And Joe Namath's only regular-season game against the G-Men in 1974, when he engineered the 26-20 overtime triumph back in New Haven, Conn.
And for Jets fans disappointed in falling short of the 1988 playoffs, what could've been sweeter than knocking the Giants out of those same playoffs in the teams' regular-season finale with their comeback 27-21 victory.
But Saturday's Jets-Giants game means a lot to everybody, especially with all at stake. The winning team keeps alive its playoff hopes, the loser will probably not be going to the postseason. It's the Jets' home game at MetLife Stadium. It's another Giants "away" game at its home stadium. The Jets are calling for a "Green It" day. Giants blue will surely be well-represented at MetLife Stadium. The Jets have lost four in a row in this series. The Giants wouldn't mind 23 years later exacting a little more revenge for '88.
We'll assume that you're being here on newyorkjets.com means that for whatever reason, this game matters a lot to you. To help refresh your historical perspective, here are some facts, names, scoring plays and highlights from the previous 11 regular-season games in the rivalry between the New York market's two historic franchises.
GAME 1 — GIANTS 22, JETS 10
Sunday, Nov. 1, 1970, Shea Stadium, 63,903
The Giants provided payback for the Jets' decisive preseason victory in 1969. Trailing, 10-3, Big Blue got going when Jim Files and Fred Dryer tackled former teammate Chuck Mercein for a safety. That was followed by a pair of Fran Tarkenton TD passes as the Giants scored 16 third-quarter points in a 1:54 span and 19 unanswered second-half points in all.
Jets — George Nock 8 pass from Al Woodall (Jim Turner kick), 13:25
Giants — FG Pete Gogolak 25, 7:37
Jets — FG Turner 31, 11:39
Giants — Safety, Jim Files and Fred Dryer tackle Chuck Mercein in end zone, 4:03
Giants — Bob Tucker 9 pass from Fran Tarkenton (Gogolak kick), 3:26
Giants — Clifton McNeil 11 pass from Tarkenton (Gogolak kick), 2:09
Giants — FG Gogolak 37, 3:11
GAME 2 — JETS 26, GIANTS 20 (OT)
Sunday, Nov. 10, 1974, Yale Bowl, 64,327
Joe Namath's only game in the regular-season series was a come-from-behind gem. Namath's first rushing TD in five seasons tied it at 20 midway through the fourth quarter. Then he hit Emerson Boozer with a short pass to win it in overtime. Craig Morton had a pair of scoring passes in the middle periods for the Giants. Pat Leahy and Pete Gogolak each missed a game-winning FG try.
Jets — David Knight 19 pass from Joe Namath (Pat Leahy kick), 8:53
Giants — FG Pete Gogolak 26, 1:17
Giants — Bob Tucker 2 pass from Craig Morton (Gogolak kick), 10:23
Jets — FG Leahy 34, 2:07
Giants — FG Gogolak 22, 0:20
Jets — FG Leahy 22, 4:38
Giants — Bob Grim 12 pass from Morton (Gogolak kick), 0:12
Jets — Namath 3 run (Leahy kick), 8:00
Jets — Emerson Boozer 5 pass from Namath (no attempt), 8:07
GAME 3 — JETS 26, GIANTS 7
Sunday, Nov. 1, 1981, Meadowlands, 74,740
Richard Todd (13-for-30 passing) wasn't sharp except when throwing to WR Wesley Walker, who caught six balls for 142 yards and a second-quarter TD. Pat Leahy kicked four field goals and the Jets defense allowed 166 yards, the lowest defensive total allowed by either team in this series. S Darrol Ray sealed the deal with an INT-return TD for the Jets with 4:16 to play.
Jets — FG Pat Leahy 37, 10:39
Jets — FG Leahy 33, 5:53
Jets — Wesley Walker 39 pass from Richard Todd (Leahy kick), 2:16
Jets — FG Leahy 42, 10:40
Giants — Beasley Reece 4 fumble return (Joe Danelo kick), 3:13
Jets — FG Leahy 38, 12:46
Jets — Darrol Ray 64 interception return (Leahy kick), 4:16
GAME 4 — GIANTS 20, JETS 10
Sunday, Dec. 2, 1984, Meadowlands, 74,975
This was the first time the Giants were visitors in their own stadium, and they responded efficiently as touchdown runs by Rob Carpenter and Joe Morris helped them open a 17-0 lead and coast home. The Jets did themselves in with two lost fumbles by Marion Barber and a late interception thrown by Ken O'Brien, who still passed for 351 yards.
Giants — Rob Carpenter 1 run (Ali Haji-Sheikh kick), 3:44
Giants — FG Haji-Sheikh 48, 0:04
Giants — Joe Morris 8 run (Haji-Sheikh kick), 7:00
Jets — FG Leahy 43, 3:52
Giants — FG Haji-Sheikh 30, 14:57
Jets — Lam Jones 32 pass from Ken O'Brien (Pat Leahy kick), 13:43
GAME 5 — GIANTS 20, Jets 7
Saturday, Dec. 27, 1987, Meadowlands, 68,318
In the final game of each team's 15-game replacement season, the Jets struck first on Johnny Hector's TD run. But WR Al Toon suffered a concussion and the Green & White misfired on a fake field goal. Then the Giants took control with two Phil Simms touchdown passes in a 17-point second quarter.
Jets — Johnny Hector 14 run (Pat Leahy kick), 2:51
Giants — FG Raul Allegre 29, 14:16
Giants — Mark Bavaro 12 pass from Phil Simms (Allegre kick), 5:09
Giants — Odessa Turner 16 pass from Simms (Allegre kick), 0:08
Giants — FG Allegre 23, 2:38
GAME 6 — JETS 27, GIANTS 21
Sunday, Dec. 18, 1988, Meadowlands, 69,770
The Jets had nothing to play for, the Giants a playoff berth. But after Phil Simms hit his third TD pass — and his second to WR Stephen Baker — to give Big Blue its first lead of the game, 21-20, the Green & White stormed back on Bobby Humphery's kickoff return to midfield and a TD drive capped by Ken O'Brien's third-down audible and scoring pass to Al Toon with 37 seconds to play.
Jets — FG Pat Leahy 41, 4:31
Jets — Mickey Shuler 5 pass from Ken O'Brien (Leahy kick), 1:22
Jets — FG Leahy 20, 5:58
Giants — Stephen Baker 5 pass from Phil Simms (Paul McFadden kick), 0:10
Jets — Freeman McNeil 6 run (Leahy kick), 13:01
Giants — Baker 9 pass from Simms (McFadden kick), 0:20
Giants — Lionel Manuel 9 pass from Simms (McFadden kick), 4:54
Jets — Al Toon 5 pass from O'Brien (Leahy kick), 0:37
GAME 7 — JETS 10, GIANTS 6
Sunday, Oct. 31, 1993, Meadowlands, 71,659
The Jets got the go-ahead points in their rainy upset on FB Brad Baxter's third-quarter TD run crowning an 18-play drive. Then they kept Phil Simms and the Giants offense out of the end zone on four plays from the Jets 11, with Ronnie Lott and James Hasty batting away the final pass with 17 seconds to play.
Giants — FG David Treadwell 28, 0:29
Jets — FG Cary Blanchard 21, 9:05
Giants — FG Treadwell 23, 1:37
Jets — Brad Baxter 2 run (Blanchard kick), 2:04
GAME 8 — GIANTS 13, JETS 6
Sunday, Sept. 22, 1996, Meadowlands, 58,339
Another rainy, low-scoring affair. This time the Giants prevailed, getting the game's only TD on Dave Brown's second-quarter pass to Chris Calloway, then adding two short Brad Daluiso field goals in the fourth quarter. The Jets' only points came on a pair of Nick Lowery field goals.
Jets — FG Nick Lowery 46, 6:09
Giants — Chris Calloway 17 pass from Dave Brown (Brad Daluiso kick), 4:38
Jets — FG Lowery 39, 7:26
Giants — FG Daluiso 20, 13:04
Giants — FG Daluiso 20, 4:35
GAME 9 — GIANTS 41, JETS 28
Sunday, Dec. 5, 1999, Meadowlands, 78,200
Kerry Collins-to-Amani Toomer was the winning aerial combination with six completions for 181 yards and three touchdowns. After the second TD pass, the Giants opened a 27-point lead, the largest in the 11-game rivalry. Their points (41) and yards (490) were also the most in the series. Ray Lucas tried to rally the visitors with three fourth-quarter scoring passes, two to Wayne Chrebet.
Giants — FG Cary Blanchard 41, 10:58
Giants — Joe Montgomery 4 run (Blanchard kick), 8:23
Giants — Amani Toomer 61 pass from Kerry Collins (Blanchard kick), 5:28
Jets — Keyshawn Johnson 13 pass from Ray Lucas (John Hall kick), 10:08
Giants — Collins 1 run (Blanchard kick), 5:09
Giants — FG Blanchard 31, 0:10
Giants — Toomer 9 pass from Collins (Blanchard kick), 6:01
Jets — Eric Green 10 pass from Lucas (Hall kick), 14:47
Jets — Wayne Chrebet 10 pass from Lucas (Hall kick), 4:14
Giants — Toomer 80 pass from Collins (Blanchard kick), 3:46
Jets — Chrebet 5 pass from Lucas (Hall kick), 0:05
GAME 10 — GIANTS 31, JETS 28
Sunday, Nov. 2, 2003, Meadowlands, 78,132
Chad Pennington, playing the Giants for the first time since he broke his hand in the teams' preseason game that summer, threw four TD strikes, three to Santana Moss and the last to TE Anthony Becht with 29 seconds left in regulation to send it to overtime. Both sides then missed FG opportunities before Brett Conway won it for the Giants with a 29-yard FG with 4 seconds left in the extra period.
Jets — Santana Moss 8 pass from Chad Pennington (Doug Brien kick), 7:48
Giants — FG Brett Conway 39, 13:47
Giants — Amani Toomer 39 pass from Kerry Collins (Conway kick), 11:53
Giants — FG Conway 36, 0:22
Jets — Moss 25 pass from Pennington (Brien kick), 9:06
Giants — Ike Hilliard 6 pass from Collins (Conway kick), 3:10
Giants — Dorsey Levens 3 run (Collins run), 9:58
Jets — Moss 11 pass from Pennington (Brien kick), 5:59
Jets — Becht 9 pass from Pennington (Brien kick), 0:29
Giants — FG Conway 29, 0:04
GAME 11 — GIANTS 35, JETS 24
Sunday, Oct. 7, 2007, Meadowlands, 78,809
The Jets defense ruled early as S Kerry Rhodes scored off a Brandon Jacobs fumble and LB Jonathan Vilma's interception set up Mike Nugent's field goal to end the first half with the Jets up, 17-7. But Big Blue responded with a Jacobs TD, two Eli Manning scoring passes and rookie CB Aaron Ross' INT-return TD to win going away. Plaxico Burress had five catches for 124 yards and the go-ahead 53-yard TD.
Jets — Kerry Rhodes 11 fumble return (Mike Nugent kick), 8:36
Giants — Derrick Ward 8 run (Lawrence Tynes kick), 10:54
Jets — Brad Smith 16 pass from Chad Pennington (Nugent kick), 0:33
Jets — FG Nugent 47, 0:00
Giants — Brandon Jacobs 19 run (Tynes kick), 11:17
Jets — Leon Washington 98 kickoff return (Nugent kick), 11:03
Giants — Jeremy Shockey 13 pass from Eli Manning (Tynes kick), 0:33
Giants — Plaxico Burress 53 pass from Manning (Tynes kick), 7:52
Giants — Aaron Ross 43 interception return (Tynes kick), 3:15