In a game both teams desperately needed to win, the New York Giants made the big plays and came away with a 29-14 victory over the New York Jets Saturday at MetLife Stadium.
With the victory the Giants (8-7) guaranteed that they will play for the NFC East title next Sunday at home against the Dallas Cowboys. The victory by the Giants eliminated the Philadelphia Eagles from the playoffs and makes the outcome of the Eagles-Cowboys game meaningless.
The Jets (8-7) have now lost control of their playoff destiny. The Cincinnati Bengals (9-6) defeated the Arizona Cardinals 23-16, Saturday. If the Bengals win their season-finale next Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens the Jets cannot make the playoffs.
The Jets have to defeat the Miami Dolphins on New Year’s Day and hope that the Bengals fall to the Ravens.
The Giants scored the game’s final nine points. Leading 20-14 the Giants got a safety when Chris Canty sacked Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez in the end zone for a 22-14 lead with 2:24 left.
After rthe Giants recovered an onside kick by the Jets Ahmad Bradshaw sealed the victory by running 19 yards off right tackle for a touchdown and a 29-14 lead with 2:13 remaining.
This was largely an ugly offensive game. Giants quarterback Eli Manning completed only nine-of-27 passes for 225 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Manning, though, did connect with Victor Cruz on a game-changing 99-yard touchdown late in the first half to give the Giants a 10-7 lead.
Sanchez completed 30-of-59 passes for 258 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions for the Jets.