Every four years, the Jets play the Giants in a game that counts. This season's Christmas Eve showdown carries an extra punch. Neither team absolutely needs a win to make the playoffs, but the path to the postseason will be much easier for Saturday's victor.

The Giants will be out with a loss and a Cowboys win over the Eagles on Saturday. But if they win, they'll be guaranteed to be in with a win next Sunday against Dallas at home. The Jets are almost assured of a playoff berth if they win their final two games, but a loss opens the door for the likes of Cincinnati.

The Jets are the official home team. They get the better parking, the better hotel and the better bench. They're also slight favorites despite getting destroyed at Philadelphia last week. The Giants, after saving their season in Dallas, fell flat against the Redskins. To say that neither team carries momentum into this game is an understatement. The Giants' defense is in shambles and without Mark Herzlich and end Osi Umenyiora. The Jets' offense is no guarantee to exploit that weakness though. Besides, Gang Green's defense is no great shakes itself—it gave up 45 points last week.

The teams have been chattering nonstop all week, but that's all fodder for the local papers. When the game starts, two evenly matched and flawed teams will make all that irrelevant. The loser will be on the precipice of elimination, too.