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)


Battle of New York (1974)

Actual: The Jets traveled to New Haven to face the NY Giants for only the second  time in regular season play. Enthusiasm among diehard fans was high, well over 60,000 people turned out at the Yale Bowl in New Haven – but the game meant something to the players as well. Before the game, the Jet’s players requested a players-only meeting, which the coaches obliged. Having been regarded since their inception as News York’s redheaded stepchildren of football, beating the fair-haired Giants always meant something to the Jets. The Jets took an early 7-0 lead when Namath hit Knight running right-to-left across the middle for a 19-yard TD. Late in the second quarter, Morton picked his way downfield with passes to Tucker, Gillette, Bob Grim, and Joe Dawkins, enabling the Giants to retake the lead, 13-10, on a 22-yard field goal 20 seconds before halftime.

At the end of the third quarter, Morton tossed a 12-yard  TD pass to Grim in the deep right corner of the endzone. The Giants were now up 20-13. Midway through the fourth quarter, the Jets had a first and goal from the six-yard line. After a couple of Boozer runs reached the 3-yard line, Namath called an off-tackle to the right (“20 WHAM”).  When Namath took the snap, he turned to hand the ball to Boozer, however to the surprise of Boozer, he never received the ball. Broadway Joe did a naked  bootleg – looking every bit like a 75-year old man – hobbled into the endzone to tie the score at 20-20.

Nineteen seventy-four was the first season in which the NFL would play overtime during the regular season. The Giants won the flip and marched to the Jets 25-yard line when Gogolak attempted the game-winning 43-yard field goal. The kick had the height and distance but the referee ruled it wide of the left upright.  Namath connected with Richard Caster for 42-yards on the next play. Five plays later, Namath went play-action and threw the perfect pass to Boozer as he crossed the goal line. It was over, the Jets had just won the very first regular season game to be decided in overtime.

Replay:  The Giants opened the game with a 7-play, 76-yard drive ending with a Doug Kotar two-yard touchdown. Joe Dawkins went off tackle for 10 yards and gashed the interior for 15-yards to key the drive. Craig Morton connected with Joe Dawkins on a wheel route for an 18-yard touchdown to close out the first quarter with a 14-0 lead.

Namath heated up in the second quarter leading the Jets to scoring drives on three of their four offensive series. He tossed touchdown passes of 13 and 18-yards to pull to with one score. He ended the second quarter with a 55-yard touchdown bomb to Richard Caster to enter the locker room at halftime knotted at 21.

Lou Piccone fumbled the opening kick return of the second half resulting in a short field for the Giants. The Jets defense tightened but Pete Gogolak kicked a 25-yard field goal.

The Giants entered the fourth quarter with a 24 – 21 lead. Joe Namath orchestrated a 4:30 drive capped off by an 11-yard touchdown pass to Jerome Barkum in the back of the endzone to take their first lead of the game. Craig Morton went four of four for 46 yards and the Giant retook the lead with an 11-yard scamper by Joe Dawkins with 6:02 remaining. Two plays later, Namath connected with David Knight for a 49-yard completion and followed it up 23-yard strike to Jerome Barkum resulting in a first and goal from the one. John Riggins tried to punch it in on first and second down to no avail. Namath called a “20 Wham” off tackle play to Riggins and broke the huddle. What happened next with go down in football lore, Joe Namath decided to fool everyone in the stadium with a naked bootleg to the left and walked in for the go-ahead score. The Giants were not finished though, aided by penalties they reached the Jets 11-yard line with four seconds remaining. Craig Morton dropped back to pass but was forced to scramble by Mark Lomas and was tackled after a three-yard gain to end the game.

Battle of New York (1974)

Battle of New York (1993 Vintage)

Actual: NY Jets 10, NY Giants 6 – at Giants Stadium, attendance 71,659.  Brad Baxter ran for 2 yards for a touchdown late in the third quarter and the Jets held on to beat the Giants. The Giants led 6-3 at halftime, but the Jets put together an 18-play, 79-yard touchdown drive that consumed 11:15 of the third quarter. Along the way, they converted 3 third-down opportunities and a fourth-down try. Baxter’s score came with 2:04 left in the quarter and was the first touchdown run against the Giants’ defense all season. The Jets, who snapped a three-game losing streak, had failed to hold second-half leads in all three of the defeats.  The Giants threatened to extend that string, moving from their 33-yard line to a first-and-goal at the Jets’ 6 with 1:05 to go. But on fourth down from the 11, Phil Simms’s end-zone pass fell incomplete. The loss dropped the Giants into a tie for first place in the NFC East.

Replay: NY Jets 23, NY Giants 20 – at Giants Stadium, attendance 71,659.  Brad Baxter ran for 5 yards for a touchdown with two-minutes remaining and the Jets held on to beat the Giants. The Giants led 17-10 at halftime, but the Jets pulled within four points at the end of the third quarter. Both teams exchanged field goals midway through the fourth quarter until Boomer Esiason completed a 25-yard pass to Terance Mathis to convert a fourth down and 10. In addition, the Giants were flagged for grabbing the face mask resulting in first and goal from the five-yard line setting up the go-ahead score. The Giants could only reach their own 36-yard line before turning the ball over on downs. Boomer Esiason earned a 104.9 quarterback rating by completing 66.7 percent of his pass attempts for 362 yards and one touchdown. Rob Moore finished with eight receptions for 123 yards and one touchdown.  Battle of New York (1993)

Jets-Giants (93)

“The Unveiling”

At the conclusion of my 1969 AFL/ NFL replay, I will replay the 2010 NFL season using the official APBA set and the Master game booklet.  The replay will consist of 256 regular season games, ten playoff games and Super Bowl XLV. I will be using all of the innovations outlined in my “Method of Play” to increase playability and statistical accuracy.

To kickoff this season, I’ve replayed the exhibition game between the New York Jets versus the New York Giants.  This game should have been dubbed the “Unveiling”. It was the unveiling of the “New Meadowlands Stadium”, the New York Jets “Ring of Honor”, Victor Cruz, key free agents, and Eli Manning’s head after his helmet got ripped off.


Jets-Giants Preseason