EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. —The television screens inside the New York Giants’ interview room and locker room read “0:00” late Saturday afternoon. The display was misleading from the perspective of the Giants, who reset the clock on their season with one week to play.
But for the New York Jets, time has almost certainly run out.
Victor Cruz’s 99-yard touchdown gave the Giants the lead for good, and the Giants’ defense dominated the second half Saturday in a 29-14 victory over the Jets at MetLife Stadium.
The win was just the second in the past seven games for the Giants (8-7), but it created a winner-take-all duel for the NFC East crown against the Dallas Cowboys in next week’s season finale.
“It started last week: We knew that if we won two games, we would be the winner of the NFC East and be in the playoffs,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said.
There’s little doubt, though, that the Giants will savor this win and relish the fact that they all but knocked the Jets out of the playoff hunt.
Jets coach Rex Ryan declared he wanted to take over the city by beating the Giants. But the Giants didn’t take anything personally until they arrived Saturday morning and saw the Jets had covered, with a black partition, the mural alongside the wall leading to the Giants locker room that honors the franchise’s four Super Bowl appearances and three wins.
“He can shut up,” Giants running back Brandon Jacobs said of Ryan, with whom he had a heated postgame exchange.
The Jets (8-7) fell behind the Cincinnati Bengals (9-6) in the race for the final AFC wild-card spot. They now need a win over Miami and losses by Cincinnati, Tennessee and Oakland or Denver next week to reach the postseason.