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Giants-Jets preview: Bragging rights not all that is at stake Sunday

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Playoff berths in reach for both teams.

Al Bello/Getty Images

Can the New York Giants, in the midst of a season filled with missed opportunities, finally come up big when they host the New York Jets on Sunday at MetLife Stadium (1 p.m. ET/CBS)? Sure, the MetLife Bowl is a big bragging rights game as the teams share a city and a stadium. It is, however, far more significant than that.

Sunday's outcome has playoff implications for both the 5-6 Giants and 6-5 Jets, who are a two-point favorite. It may also have implications for the coaching career of Tom Coughlin. See our game/TV post for all the details on how to watch, listen or wager.

NFC East Standings

NFC East Overall W-L Pct GB Div W-L Home Road Streak
Washington 5-6 0.455 -- 2-1 5-1 0-5 W1
NY Giants 5-6 0.455 -- 2-3 3-2 2-4 L2
Philadelphia 4-7 0.364 1.0 2-2 2-3 2-4 L3
Dallas 3-8 0.273 2.0 2-2 1-5 2-3 L1

I watched the Christmas class "Rudolph" a few nights ago, and I was struck by something. The teams in the NFC East are much like those forlorn inhabitants of The Island of Misfit Toys. There is something wrong with all of them, but in the end they all find an opportunity to be happy.

In real life, only one NFC East team will end up happy. Despite all of their stumbles this season, and the fact that they do not currently own the tie-breaker edge over the Washington Redskins, the NFC East title carrot is still out there on the end of the stick for the Giants.

Will they "extend themselves," as Coughlin has asked, or go "all in" as Eli Manning has exhorted them to do over the next five games and grab that carrot? Or, will they go home hungry for a fourth straight year?

Other Week 13 games that impact the NFC East:

Keys to the game

In my five things to watch post earlier in the week the first item was about effort. How badly do the Giants really want to make the playoffs? Truthfully, every other question pales in comparison to the answer to this one. You would like to believe that professional athletes with a chance to win a division title would "extend themselves" without being asked. By the way, rest assured Coughlin didn't ask politely. That certainly didn't seem to be the case last Sunday in Washington. Will there be more effort and emotion from the Giants this week, and for the rest of the season?

Beyond that, can the Giants' offensive line do the job against the Jets' quality front seven? Can the Giants take advantage of a Jets secondary that will be without Darrelle Revis? Can the Giants run the ball at least a little? Defensively, can the control the Jets' wide receivers, in particular Brandon Marshall?

Game notes

This week's game is the 13th regular season meeting between the Giants and the New York Jets. The Giants lead the series, 8-4. In their last meeting on Dec. 24, 2011, the Giants earned a 29-14 victory in MetLife Stadium. ... The Giants have beaten the Jets five straight times ... The Giants need four victories to become the third team in NFL history with 700 victories ... Odell Beckham needs six receptions to set the all-time record for most receptions in the first two seasons of a career.

Remaining Giants schedule

Dec 14 -- @ Miami Dolphins, 8:30 p.m.

Dec. 20 -- vs. Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m.

Dec. 27 -- @ Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m.

Jan. 3 -- vs. Eagles, 1 p.m.

Jets vs Giants coverage

Gang Green Nation