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Andre Williams, battered and tattered, gets the last chatter

New York Giants running back Andre Williams stretches

New York Giants running back Andre Williams stretches on the field during warmup before action against the New York Jets in an NFL preseason football game at MetLife Stadium on Friday, August 22, 2014. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Andre Williams celebrated his game-winning touchdown by quietly placing the football on the turf and holding his index finger up to his lips. But who was he shushing? The Jets? Himself?

"It was for both, I guess," the rookie who was embroiled in the kind of pseudo-manufactured trash talking that can only take place when two NFL teams compete for a trophy named after a cartoon dog.

Williams gave the spark to the Jets' kindling this week when he said that he thought the Giants were the real New York team.

"I was pretty surprised about how that turned out, but that's the nature of things," Williams said of the verbal imbroglio he unwittingly kick-started. "I just have to watch out and be quiet sometimes, I guess."

It was clear throughout the game that the Jets wanted to send him a message, pounding him hard throughout most of his third-quarter carries. By the fourth quarter, though, Williams, a burly 5-11 and 230 pounds, seemed to wear the Jets down. He ripped off a 33-yard run on the first play of the drive, then ran through the left side of the offensive line from the 1 to make it 28-24 with 6:12 left. The Giants won, 35-24.

Williams finished with 49 yards on 11 carries.

Rex Ryan, who dissed Williams during the week for his poor performance against Clemson last year, shook hands with Williams after this game.

"He told me I had a great game and I said thank you and I let him know that I do have the utmost respect for him and his team," Williams said. Which is different from how a previous Giants running back famously greeted Ryan during the postgame handshakes in 2011. (Brandon Jacobs after the Christmas Eve game yelled "Shut up, fat boy!" to the coach back then.)

That's not to say there wasn't any yapping going on during the game.

"There was a lot of talk going on on the field between the players," Williams said. "I got my moment of peace getting in the end zone."

New York Sports