It wasn't a good day to be a fan of either New York football team yesterday, as both the Jets and Giants went out in the first round. However, both teams were underdogs and did their fans proud.
I was at Professor Thom's yesterday, and there was a huge crowd, which was about 95% Patriots fans. The Jets gave the Pats a good game, even leading 10-7 in the second quarter at one point. It remained close until the Patriots scored two fourth quarter TDs to put it away, 37-16. Still I thought the Jets played well for a team that hasn't been in the playoffs for a while, and was 3-13 last season. They have a good future ahead of them.
We were all watching when Bill Belichick and Eric Mangini met at midfield after the game. The talk has been they have a rather frosty relationship, as the previous two meetings this season didn't exactly show a lot of love between the two men. (Mangini was, of course, an assistant under Belichick until this season.) There were a swarm of photographers around Mangini, and the bar let out a good laugh when Belichick pushed some guys out of the way to embrace Mangini. Rarely have I ever seen a more covered midfield meeting of head coaches than this one.
The Pats now play the Chargers in San Diego next Sunday afternoon.
I really didn't give the Giants much of a chance in Philadelphia yesterday. The Eagles were a hot team, winning their last 5 straight to the end the year. I thought they would win by 2 TDs. But the Giants jumped out ahead first, as they drove down the field on their opening drive and scored on a TD pass to Plaxico Burress. But the Eagles came right back and tied the game, and led 17-10 at halftime.
With the game 20-13 in the fourth, Eli Manning led another drive, ending with another Plaxico Burress TD with about 5 minutes to play to tie it up. But the Eagles would not be denied, and with 3 seconds to play, David Akers kicked a 37-yard FG to win it, and send the Eagles to a date with the New Orleans Saints next Saturday. The Giants had a number of opportunities to put the ball in the end zone, but had to settle for field goals, and it cost them. Tiki Barber ended his career in style, rushing for 137 yards.
The Jets and Giants fans can hold their heads up, as both teams gave it all they had on Sunday, but both came up short. They were both beaten by better teams, and that's nothing to be ashamed of.