Move over, Discovery Channel. It’s Shark Week: New York Giants edition.
The Colts are bringing an offensive line that allowed seven sacks last week into MetLife Stadium to face the NFL’s most blitz-happy defense.
“There’s definitely blood in the water,” defensive coordinator Wink Martindale said.
The Giants are thirstier than ever, especially with a playoff berth hanging in the balance Sunday and a chance to atone for a 17-yard completion to Justin Jefferson that let the Vikings convert a third-and-11 and get positioned for a 61-yard walk-off field goal last week.
Martindale’s decision to send five pass-rushers on the play was much scrutinized, but he credited the Vikings for “a great play-call,” Jefferson as “a heck of a receiver” and the bad luck of “getting a half-court shot hit at the buzzer.”
“It’s one of those things that if you have an ‘NY’ on your helmet — or the throwback ‘Giants’ on your helmet — we’re going to attack,” Martindale said. “We’re going to try to win the game. … I’d do it all over again just trying to win the game, because that’s who we are. I think the fans of New York appreciate that mentality.”
Martindale called for those fans to make a difference Sunday by carrying the New Year’s Eve partying 13-plus hours past when the ball drops in Times Square.
“Everybody’s talked about how we want playoff football around here. Here’s what we need: We need playoff fans to show up for this game and be as loud as they can be,” Martindale said. “I know it’s New Year’s Day, so if you have one going on New Year’s Eve, keep it going. And take it all the way through the game. If not, get plenty of rest and be ready to be loud on Sunday. I can’t wait for it. It’s going to be exciting times here for our great fans and for our guys on defense.”
It also could be Martindale’s final home game with the Giants if he gets his long-awaited shot to be a NFL head coach in the offseason. Colts interim head coach Jeff Saturday — a former player beloved by owner Jim Irsay who was working as an ESPN analyst and high school football coach when he was tapped to replace the fired Frank Reich — jumped the line, but Martindale took the politically correct path when asked if that was disrespectful to dues-payers.
“If you sat there and got mad, you’d be [riding] that roller coaster of everything else that happens in this league,” Martindale said. “There’s nothing that’ll surprise you the longer that you’re in it, and Jeff has done a good job. I try to be the best at my job I can be, and if it happens it happens.
“I think it changes your personality if you start thinking that way. You sound like that little kid [whining], ‘Why did he get the new baseball glove, and I didn’t?’ So, I just look at it as, ‘Let’s go play some defense and get ready to get in the playoffs.’ ”
If the outcome lies in Martindale’s hands again, expect the aggressive Giants to try biting again.
“We’re going to win a lot more than we’re going to lose in those situations,” he said.