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PRO FOOTBALL : This Time, Giants Are Champions Only of N.Y.

December 28, 1987| From Times Wire Services

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — A season of disappointment for New York football fans ended Sunday as the Giants beat the Jets, 20-7, in a battle of last-place teams at Giants Stadium.

In less than 12 months, the Giants (6-9) went from National Football League champions to last place in the NFC East, marking the first time a Super Bowl champion has finished last in its division the year after standing atop the league.

The defeat was the fourth straight for the Jets (6-9), who also lost their final five regular-season games in 1986.

But Jet Coach Joe Walton said he was told by team owner Leon Hess that he would be back next season as head coach.

"The only thing we can do is get back to work tomorrow," Walton said. "We have a a good organization and a lot of stability here."

Giant Coach Bill Parcells said he feels the same way about his team.

"I'm looking forward to the off-season and getting this team back to where it belongs," he said. "I think we're a .500 team, we're 6-6, that's what we finished (not counting strike games). We have to play 75% to win the division."

Phil Simms threw two touchdown passes, and Joe Morris rushed 26 times for a season-high 132 yards for the Giants, who won three of their last four games.

Simms completed 20 of 39 for 264 yards, including touchdowns of 12 yards to Mark Bavaro and 16 yards to rookie Odessa Turner.

Raul Allegre added field goals of 29 and 23 yards.

The Jets were limited to Johnny Hector's 14-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. It was the 11th rushing score of the season for Hector, tying Emerson Boozer's team record.

Jet quarterback Ken O'Brien completed 19 of 34 for 185 yards.

Giant tackle Brad Benson, a 10-year veteran, announced his retirement before the game.

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