Battle of New York (1981)

Actual: Cloudy and cool.  A devastating pass rush, big plays from Richard Todd to Wesley Walker, the sure foot of Pat Leahy and an interception return by Darrol Ray helped the Jets defeat their cross-state neighbors. The Sack Exchange harassed Phil Simms all day and came up with nine sacks. Todd and Walker hooked up six times for 142 yards including a 39-yard TD pass that Walker hauled in over his head in the end zone to produce a 13-0 halftime lead. Darrol Ray came up with “two money plays”, 64-yard interception return for a TD which put the game out of reach and a TD saving knock down of a pass from Scott Brunner to Tom Mullady on a fake FG with only 1:15 left in the first half. The Jets held the Giants to a net offense of only 22 yards in the second half. The Giants only score came when Chuck Ramsey dropped an attempted punt snap on the 4-yard line and Beasley Reece picked it up an ran a few steps into the end zone. Joe Klecko and Mark Gastineau each recorded 3 sacks.

Replay: The Giants opened the game with a 47-yard drive capped off by a 50-yard field goal by Joe Danelo. The Jets went three and out on two of their three first quarter possessions. A Giants fumble thwarted a drive in Jets territory late in the first quarter.

The Jets had two second quarter trips to the Red Zone but could only muster three points. Phil Simms was sacked five times in the second quarter. Both team exchanged third quarter field goals resulting in a 6-6 tie going into the final quarter.

Neither team could sustain drives, the Jets only converted 6.7 percent of their third down attempts. The Giants were even worse with 5.5 percent conversion rate. The Jets forced five fumbles and recovered two of them. Greg Buttle and Johnny Lynn each picked off Phil Simms resulting in a plus three turnover ratio. The Giants played a penalty-free game. The game was decided on one play, on first down Joe Walton called for a play action pass. Richard Todd lofted a perfect spiral and Bobby Jones was on the receiving end of a 25-yard touchdown pass with 5:30 left in the game. The New York Sack Exchange registered eleven of the team’s twelve sacks. Joe Klecko had five and half sacks and Mark Gastineau finished with four and half.

Battle of New York (1981)


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