New Jersey Has An Exceptional In-State Rivalry
A recent feature by Saturdays Down South detailed the best in-state rivalries in college sports. But of course, some of the biggest rivalries are in pro sports. And as you surely know, there is a classic battle between two NFL teams this weekend, when the Jets and the Giants square off in New Jersey at MetLife Stadium.
The Giants and Jets only play each other once every four years (not counting the pre-season). This means every eight years, one of them is the away team, in the visitor’s locker room in their own stadium. Their shared venue was Giants Stadium from 1976 until 2010, when MetLife opened.
For many years, the Jets were considered the little brother of the New York “football” Giants. The Gmen have won four Super Bowls since 1986, while the Jets have zero Lombardi Trophies. Their single Super Bowl victory came in 1969.
Sure, there are the Yankees and Mets battles. The Rangers, Islanders, and Devils face off quite often as well. With the Nets now based in Brooklyn, it’s a simple trot across the bridge to square off against the Knicks.
Something Is Different About Giants vs. Jets
The Giants and Jets rivalry feels different. Of course, pride is on the line, with home-turf bragging rights. But this clash of NFC East vs. AFC East is unlike any of the aforementioned in-state games. For each of the teams’ home games, the interior branding of the stadium is customized to blue or green depending upon whose day it is. The end zones can be swapped and even the team store closets can be flipped around. On Sunday, the Giants are the home team. According to Football Database, the Giants lead the all-time series 8 wins to the Jets 6 (since it began in 1970). The last matchup, in 2019, saw the Jets win 34-27. Furthermore, the Giants haven’t beaten the Jets since Christmas Eve 2011.
This season has been one of much frustration for both teams so far. While Aaron Rodgers is obviously out, the Jets coming off a bye week, have one of the best defenses in the league. The Giants expect to have both Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley back.
While New Jersey doesn’t have a UNC vs. Duke style rivalry, we do have the fortune of this one-of-a-kind NFL clash. On Sunday, we’ll see which fanbase has bragging rights for the next four years.