Who’s winning the battle of the front pages?

Well, they’re not exactly identical. The Post goes assertive: bigger wood, punchier text, starker layout. The Daily News goes informative: a long, narrative subhead and a blurry, newsier photo that shows the explosive vest. Each tab is being true to itself.

In other front-page elements, the News makes room for the Murder Inc. trial and the Post does its most tasteful and judicious Post Poker promo to date–good moves for both. Again, there’s no clear loser here.

So to break the tie, let’s flip ’em over:

Aren’t headlines supposed to have some relationship to the photos? The Post‘s “crying shame” subhead appears to refer to the News‘ picture of Tiki Barber with his face buried in a towel; the News‘ “PURPLE DAZE” is riffing off the Vikings’ uniforms, which are nowhere to be seen. Couldn’t anybody find a shot of Eli Manning chasing Darren Sharper disconsolately downfield on that 92-yard interception runback?

Still, the News wins the overtime coin toss, because its subhead tells the game story better (though the Giants defense might quibble with “collapse on all fronts”). Then, with the Post giving up yards and yards of territory to its Jets-pin promotion, the News marches downfield and lines up for a field goal. It’s up…and–“BUMBLING JETS CRUSHED”–it’s good! Right down the pipe! The Daily News is the sudden-death winner!

Winner: Daily News

Overall standings: Daily News 10, New York Post 7 WOOD WAR XVII