The Giants and Jets still have a great deal of work to do in order to make the playoffs this season. But one of the rarest occurrences in New York football is on the table: A postseason where both teams participate.
The Giants and Jets have made the playoffs in the same year only five times. Will this be the sixth? Here is a look back as we enter the stretch run:
1981. The Jets started 0-3, but went 10-2-1 the rest of the way behind quarterback Richard Todd to snag a wild card bid and snap a 12-year playoff drought. The strong finish included a five-game win streak (that included a victory over the Giants) and wins in seven of their last eight games. But they were tripped up at home by the Bills in the wild card round of the playoffs.
The Giants earned a wild card bid as well in Lawrence Taylor’s rookie season, clinching the postseason with an overtime triumph over the Cowboys in the regular season finale. They then upset the Eagles in Philadelphia in the wild card round before falling to the eventual Super Bowl champion 49ers in the divisional round.
1985. The Jets went 11-5 and earned a wild card bid behindPro Bowl quarterback Ken O’Brien, only to get blown out by the Patriots in the playoffs. The Giants also won a wild card, going 10-6. They beat the 49ers in the wild card round before falling to a now-legendary championship Bears team in the divisional round.
1986. The Jets roared out to a 10-1 start, only to lose five straight to end the season. That allowed the Patriots to back in to an AFC East title. The Jets beat the Chiefs in the wild card round, then lost a double-overtime heartbreaker to the Browns in the divisional round.
All of that is largely forgotten, though, because the Giants won Super Bowl XXI that season. They rattled off nine straight wins down the stretch to finish the regular season at 14-2, then steamrolled their way through the postseason, capped by Phil Simms’ legendary performance against the Broncos in the big game.
2002. The Jets’ last division title. They rallied from a 1-4 start and won the AFC East at 9-7 behind Chad Pennington. It was also the only time the Patriots missed the playoffs during the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick era when Brady was healthy for an entire season. The Jets demolished the Colts, 41-0, in the wild card round before falling to the Raiders in the divisional round.
The Giants also rallied their way into the playoffs, catching fire down the stretch to win a wild card bid with an upset win over the Eagles in Week 17. They then jumped all over the 49ers in the wild card round, only to collapse in the infamous Trey Junkin game.
2006. The Jets didn’t look anything special until they won five of their final six regular season games (including a win in Foxborough) to win a wild card and set up a return trip to the Patriots. But the Pats won by three touchdowns. The Giants started 6-2, but faded in the second half. They eked into the playoffs at 8-8 after clinching a wild card in Week 17 behind a big Tiki Barber outing against Washington. They were then beaten by the Eagles in the divisional round on a last-second field goal.
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