The New York Jets play the New York Giants on Christmas Eve in what could decide the playoff fate of both teams. The Jets come in at 8-6, the leading candidate for the sixth seed in the AFC. The Giants enter the game 7-7 and out of the playoffs, but if they win their final two games, they would beat Dallas in the tiebreaker and win the NFC East.
Naturally, a game with so many implications between two teams that share a city, a fan base and even a stadium will heighten the emotions of some players and coaches. This has resulted in some good old fashion trash talk this week. Although Jet head coach Rex Ryan has been boasting about the last two seasons (the Jets appeared in two AFC championship games and the Giants haven't made the playoffs), a lot of the talk has come from the Giants.
At this point, both teams control their own destiny. Some Giants players decided to take shots at perhaps the best player on the Jets. Giants receivers Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz suggested that they are going to move the ball easily against All-Pro cornerback Darelle Recvis.
"Teams aren't really scared (of him) anymore, Cruz said according to the NY Daily News
. "He's got to earn his money this year. Teams aren't really backing down. I feel like we're going to do the same thing. We're going to go out. Until he physically stops us we're going to throw the ball on him."
An interesting thing to say about one of the best players at his position. Revis has made the last three Pro Bowls and the last two All-Pro teams. He also won the 2009 defensive player of the year award.
The Jets star cornerback has four interceptions this season which is a lot considering he intercepted zero passes last year. He has also scored a touchdown on one of his interception returns.
Revis refused to get into the trash talk but did say he didn't know who he was. It was unclear, however, if "he" referred to Nicks or Cruz.
New York has come to expect trash talk from Ryan and the Jets, but this is uncustomary for the other New York team. Giants head coach Tom Coughlin preaches "talk is cheap play the game". In addition, when the Giants do decide to talk, one has to wonder why they would call out, of all people, Darrelle Revis. Does anyone really believe the Giants are going to go out of their way to attack Revis?
As much as Revis might be saying he's shrugging this off, it still has to bother him. As if he needed more motivation than a playoff spot and city bragging rights, the Giants gave him more incentive with their comments.
Coughlin's right, "talk is cheap", but it certainly makes the "play of the game" more exciting.