The New York Giants and New York Jets have coexisted since 1960, sometimes uneasily, sometimes eyeing each other with disdain, but there has also been a long period of detente. And now, they are in some ways partners, as they both occupy the same stadium. But Rex Ryan has thrown down the gauntlet, declaring war on the Giants (well, not so much war, but he did claim that the Jets now rule New York and should no longer be considered the little brother). Though the two teams now play a preseason game every year, and there have been a few memorable highlights (or lowlights) thrown in such as the Victor Cruz three-touchdown game in 2010 that also featured a bloodied Eli Manning, Chad Pennington breaking his hand and Jason Sehorn tearing up his knee, there was a time when they rarely ever saw each other. Here's a look back at the 11 regular-season games the two teams have played (with the Giants winning seven), along with the first-ever meeting between the two, which was an exhibition game, though none were played with stakes as high for both teams as this week's meeting.
THE FIRST TIME
Aug. 17, 1969 (Preseason), Jets 37-Giants 14: The two teams met for the very first time in an exhibition game at the Yale Bowl seven months after the Jets' stunning Super Bowl III upset. The NFL and AFL still didn't care of each other (nor did the Giants and Jets), and the newer league was still viewed as inferior. Like the leagues, the pair of New York teams couldn't have been more different, with Gang Green playing the rebellious, counterculture, long-haired hippies to the Giants' crew-cutted, all-American boy-next-door types. Both teams played their starters for most of the day, but the game itself was almost over as soon as it began. The Jets jumped out to a 24-0 lead in the blink of an eye, and went on to win in a romp. Joe Namath was efficient as could be, going 14-for-16, with 188 yards and three touchdowns passes. Not only did the Giants lose to the young upstarts but it was the final nail in the coffin for coach Allie Sherman, who was fired before the first regular-season game. And it was ex-Giant Don Maynard who led the crowd in a chorus of "Good-bye, Allie" from the sidelines as the game came to an end.
THE 1970s (SIR FRANCIS & BROADWAY JOE)
Nov. 1, 1970, Giants 22-Jets 10: They played the first game that counted in the standings in the initial year of the NFL-AFL merger. The Jets were without Namath, Matt Snell and Emerson Boozer, but they had a 10-3 lead in the third quarter nonetheless, with Al Woodall behind center. But that lead would quickly disappear as the Giants recorded a safety, Fran Tarkenton threw touchdown passes to Bob Tucker and Clifton McNeil and Pete Gogolak booted a field goal, as the Giants ran away with the victory.
Nov. 10, 1974, Jets 26-Giants 20: The second regular-season matchup between the Giants and Jets was a historic one. This was the first year that the NFL instituted overtime to non-playoff games. Earlier in the season, the Steelers and Broncos went to OT but neither team could score so the game ended in a tie. This game, played at the Yale Bowl, which was the temporary home of the Giants, was a back-and-forth affair. But as the clock ticked down in the fourth quarter, the Jets culminated a long scoring drive when Namath faked a handoff to Boozer and hobbled around the left end untouched for the tying points. Gogolak missed a field goal in the extra period, and when Namath tossed a touchdown pass to Boozer, the Jets won the first-ever regular-season overtime game in NFL history.
THE 1980s (SIMMS, THE SACK EXCHANGE & THE KNOCKOUT)
Nov. 1, 1981, Jets 26-Giants 7: Richard Todd battled a young Phil Simms in the Jets' commanding victory over the Giants. Wesley Walker was the offensive star, catching six passes for 142 yards, with one touchdown. And Darrol Ray sealed the game with a 64-yard interception return. This was the year of the Sack Exchange, and Simms was sacked nine times by the Jets' D. This was the first season that both teams qualified for the playoffs in the same year, though.
Dec. 2, 1984, Giants 20-Jets 10: Simms (18-for-28, 252 yards) would get his revenge three years later, turning the tables on the Jets with an easy win of his own, this time facing Ken O'Brien. This one was also a sack-fest, with Leonard Marshall, Jim Burt, Mark Gastineau, Joe Klecko, et al. piling up seven total sacks in the game.
Dec. 27, 1987, Giants 20-Jets 7: Joe Morris rambled for 132 yards, Mark Bavaro hauled in six passes for 109 yards and caught one of Simms' two touchdown passes as the Giants won this one with just as much ease as the last meeting.
Dec. 18, 1988, Jets 27-Giants 21: This was the last day of the season, and the Jets were already eliminated from postseason contention while the Giants needed a win to get in. Things didn't look good for Big Blue when the Jets held a 20-7 lead in the third quarter, but Simms led a furious comeback with touchdown tosses to Stephen Baker and Lionel Manuel to go ahead, 21-20, but Al Toon caught his league-leading 93rd pass of the year in the end zone with time winding down to give the Jets the win and break the Giants' hearts.
THE 1990s (KOTITE, FIELD GOALS & A WILD WEST SHOW)
Oct. 31, 1993, Jets 10-Giants 6: The Jets won a snoozy field-goal fest, with Brad Baxter scoring the only touchdown.
Sept. 22, 1996, Giants 13-Jets 6: The Giants won a snoozy field-goal fest, with Chris Calloway scoring the only touchdown. The Rich Kotite era would come to an end exactly three months later with the Jets' 15th loss of the season.
Dec. 5, 1999, Giants 41-Jets 28: Jets' backup quarterback Ray Lucas threw four touchdown passes, but Kerry Collins tossed three of his own, all to Amani Toomer (who piled up 181 yards), as the Giants won an offensive fireworks show.
THE AUGHTS (ALL GIANTS)
Nov. 2, 2003, Giants 31-Jets 28: The second overtime game in the series, but this time it was the Giants who came out on top. Chad Pennington threw two late touchdowns to tie the game, but Brett Conway kicked a field goal with four seconds left in OT to win it for the Giants.
Oct. 7, 2007, Giants 35-Jets 24: The fourth consecutive victory for the Giants over the Jets saw Big Blue overcome a 24-14 deficit and win by 11. Eli Manning threw touchdown passes to Jeremy Shockey and Plaxico Burress to take the lead, and Aaron Ross put the game away with a pick six. The Giants won 11 of their next 15 games and capped off their season by hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.