/Facing Giants, Jets Focus on Playoffs, Not Rivalry

Facing Giants, Jets Focus on Playoffs, Not Rivalry

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Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for four touchdowns against the Dolphins on Sunday.

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Ben Solomon for The New York Times

Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick asked center Nick Mangold a crucial question on Monday. He wanted to know what a regular-season game against the Giants was like — if it felt different. So Mangold told him.

“It’s an away game for us, even though it’s at our own stadium,” Mangold said. “The tickets are like every other away team. They’re usually in the upper deck, and we park in the different parking lot.”

No mention of actual football or rivalry between the Jets and Giants. The teams play each other every four years, and no matter how many players shuffle in and out, they tend to view the game the same way. It is critical not because of any heightened intensity or deep, longstanding enmity but because it counts, unlike the annual preseason matchup.

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