EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Rex Ryan was brash and confident all week, insisting his Jets were the kings of New York.
The Giants shut him up in a big way, taking the city bragging rights and setting up an even more important showdown with the Cowboys next weekend with a 29-14 victory Saturday.
"I hate to use that cliche, but this is a huge one," Giants left tackle David Diehl said. "This is about the city, the city of New York and what team wants to be responsible. (The Jets) have talked all week and said what they wanted to say. From Day 1 they're our big brother and other stuff. We went out there and played our game and showed whose stadium this is (MetLife Stadium is the home field of the Jets and Giants ."
Ryan said the Jets were the better team the past two years, based on their consecutive trips to the AFC Championship Game and the Giants missing the postseason. Giants coach Tom Coughlin responded by saying, "Talk is cheap. Play the game."
It was the Giants who did.
"They were the better team (Saturday), and they're the better team this year," a humbled Ryan said. "Clearly, I was wrong."
The Giants kept their postseason hopes alive, helped by Victor Cruz setting two franchise receiving records and Ahmad Bradshaw running for two touchdowns. Though neither team looked much like playoff material, the Giants are in position to win the NFC East with a victory at home next Sunday against Dallas.
Said Giants owner John Mara said, "Given everything that was at stake and all the noise that has been coming out of Florham Park (where the Jets train in New Jersey), yeah, it means a little more."
The Jets' playoff hopes took a devastating hit, and at 8-7 they need to win at Miami next week and get help. They have to hope for Cincinnati and Tennessee to lose, and have either Oakland or Denver lose.
"We don't deserve to control our own destiny," Jets linebacker Bart Scott said. "We haven't played good enough football to do that. We need to try to finish strong, but if you don't make it to the playoffs, you've got nobody to blame but yourself."
Cruz, who had three catches for 164 yards, broke Amani Toomer's season mark for yards receiving and the team record for longest touchdown reception, a 99-yarder that gave the Giants the lead for good in the second quarter. "It's just amazing," Cruz said, "and to beat the Jets in the process is added incentive."