NFC East doormat: Giants attempting to shed ugly label vs. Eagles

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants wish to do one thing Thursday they have not carried out typically lately — beat the division-rival Philadelphia Eagles (8:20 p.m. ET, Fox).

The Eagles (1-4-1) have gained seven straight within the collection. Injured Eagles tight finish Zach Ertz and a number of other teammates’ homes may as properly have Giants doormats to greet company. Ertz performed and scored a landing in six of these seven wins (he missed final 12 months’s season finale with an harm) and has been on Eagles groups which have gained 11 of the previous 12 in opposition to New York (1-5).

However the Eagles aren’t the one NFC East rival to dominate the Giants lately. The Dallas Cowboys have additionally gained seven straight, together with two weeks in the past when backup quarterback Andy Dalton led a game-winning drive.

That is 14 straight Giants losses to the Cowboys and Eagles courting to 2016, a skid matched solely within the Nineteen Seventies when the Giants had dropping streaks of 12 video games to Dallas and Philadelphia.

“It does not sit properly,” former Giants offensive lineman Chris Snee instructed ESPN of the present skid. “But it surely does not matter that it does not sit properly with me. It’s got to irk these gamers within the locker room.”

It might have been sufficient to make Snee’s former teammates Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul sick. Tuck wasn’t shy in regards to the “hate” he had for the Cowboys. Pierre-Paul as soon as ended a information convention by saying he nonetheless hates the Eagles, after attempting all through the 10-minute session to not say something of the kind.

It isn’t the identical for the present Giants, who do not know what it is prefer to win a significant division recreation. Broad receiver Sterling Shepard is the one participant on the roster to recollect the final win in opposition to the Cowboys on Dec. 11, 2016, when Odell Beckham Jr.‘s 61-yard catch-and-run on a Sunday evening proved to be the distinction.

To those Giants, Thursday is simply one other recreation, albeit one within the division. Most do not appear to know (or care) in regards to the Giants’ struggles in opposition to their NFC East rivals. Possibly it is the latest outcomes or, extra probably, the altering occasions with transient gamers.

“That was my first time listening to it,” veteran security Logan Ryan, in his first season with the Giants, mentioned of the 14 straight losses. “I do know we misplaced 11 of the final 12 or no matter it could be [to the Eagles]. That has no significance to this [game]. Streaks all come to an finish.

“I keep in mind after I bought to Tennessee, there was not one good streak ever. We misplaced this many to Indy and by no means beat [former Colts QB] Andrew Luck and by no means beat this [team], after which we’re within the AFC Championship. I actually do not care. It should come right down to me and [Eagles quarterback] Carson Wentz and the Giants and the Eagles and everybody else on the market who’s taking part in within the recreation. Salute to [former Eagles safety] Brian Dawkins, [former Giants pass-rusher Michael] Strahan and all these guys, however they don’t seem to be going to assist us.”

Ryan grew up in South Jersey amongst Eagles followers and nonetheless downplays this recreation. Giants coach Joe Decide, born and raised an Eagles fan within the Philadelphia suburbs, has downplayed it as properly — despite the fact that he begins most weeks with a dissertation to his gamers in regards to the historical past of Giants soccer.

“I do not actually take into consideration that in any respect, really,” Decide mentioned of needing to beat the Eagles or Cowboys. “Our purpose proper now could be to arrange for this 12 months’s Eagles staff. This can be a completely different staff than it was previously. We’re a extra improved staff than we had been in Week 1 and we’re [a more] improved staff than we had been seven days in the past.”

Particular video games

The Eagles and Giants have produced a few of soccer’s most memorable moments. There was the Miracle at the Meadowlands (Giants QB Joe Pisarcik’s fumble), the DeSean Jackson punt return (2010), the Chuck Bednarik-Frank Gifford hit (1960), the Jason Sehorn interception (2000 playoffs) and Osi Umenyiora’s report six sacks in a game (2007).

Backside line, these had been at all times particular video games that created memorable moments.

“The Eagles had been sort of at all times the thorn in our aspect,” Snee mentioned. “To me, these had been the video games that we bought up for … The proximity. The historical past. There was authentic dislike amongst the 2 groups. I do not know if that also exists or not. It stinks, as a result of it takes away from that rivalry.”

Whether or not it was the hate of former Eagles coach Buddy Ryan and his ways, or Strahan’s rivalry with Eagles offensive sort out Jon Runyan, there at all times gave the impression to be a storyline in a collection Philadelphia leads 87-85-2.

The Cowboys had a distinct dynamic, dominating the collection 69-46-2. However the identical dislike was there, and the Giants had their moments earlier than this latest skid.

The Giants had been those who spoiled the opening of Jones’ home, AT&T Stadium, during the 2009 season.

“First win in new stadium,” Giants quarterback Eli Manning scribbled on the wall afterward. It nonetheless wasn’t the Giants’ most memorable victory within the Manning period in opposition to the Cowboys.

“I do not suppose [the opening of AT&T Stadium] trumps the ’07 playoffs,” Snee mentioned. “It was the playoffs. The conceitedness. There was loads of conceitedness with that [top-seeded] Cowboys staff.”

This wasn’t something new. As legendary Giants linebacker Harry Carson defined, the Cowboys had that large gaudy star on their helmet. They got here to the opening of Giants Stadium in 1976 and “checked out us because the staff they performed at homecoming.”

The Giants, at the moment, did not have the complete respect of the Cowboys. It might take years earlier than it was earned. It is much like the place the Giants are actually, with the NFL’s worst report because the begin of the 2017 season (13-41).

It took till 1980, when Phil Simms turned the quarterback, that the Giants had been capable of beat the Cowboys and finish a 12-game skid from 1974 to 1980. It took till the ’81 season for New York to beat the Eagles after 12 straight losses.

When these Giants do attain that time (they hope with Daniel Jones at quarterback), will probably be a big step. Getting again to being a severe contender begins with successful your personal division.

“It was particular,” Carson mentioned of beating the Eagles and Cowboys within the early ’80s. “Again then, everybody wished to play the Giants. … In school, you need to play in opposition to that staff that may be a doormat.

“That’s what the Giants had been at the moment. They had been kind of like a doormat of the division. … And [rivals] kind of chalked it up as an computerized win. Once we bought to the purpose the place you could not simply chalk it up … you develop extra respect for each other. But in addition you noticed these groups play with a deeper respect for you.”

Beginning a streak of their very own

Profitable 4 straight and 11 of 15 in opposition to Washington is all that has stored the Giants from complete NFC East incompetence. That respect Carson talked about is what Decide and the Giants are attempting to earn.

Thursday evening is a chance to begin a streak of their very own. On Sunday the Giants won their first game under Judge, and the Eagles are decimated by accidents. Ertz is among the many starters who will miss the sport, and Philadelphia’s offensive line is hobbled. However Wentz has crushed the Giants taking part in with a makeshift supporting forged earlier than. Look no additional than Week 17 final season with the playoffs at stake and no Ertz.

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Stephania Bell expects Darius Slayton to be restricted in follow and questionable for the Giants’ recreation in opposition to the Eagles on Thursday.

Can he do it once more? It is perhaps as much as the Giants (many who endured these two December losses to the Eagles final season) to resolve they’ve had sufficient of being third-class residents within the NFC East.

“You come to some extent whenever you get your face smashed in. Somebody places an orange in your face and rubs it throughout your face. Sooner or later, you get bored with that,” Carson mentioned. “You need to rub that orange or lemon again of their face. So whenever you come to some extent the place you’re feeling there’s a change within the angle and the locker room and also you’re taking part in in opposition to the Cowboys [or Eagles], you actually need to shove that s— again of their face.

“However, once more, it is these guys which are lucky sufficient to be round for years and be capable to expertise what they’ve gone via after which a 12 months or two later be capable to play properly and redeem themselves.”

Jones is among the guys the group expects to have round for years. He missed the primary matchup final 12 months however performed within the season finale, so he skilled his first style of dropping to Philadelphia.

Possibly that was sufficient for him and the remainder of this core group of Giants? Sooner or later, this Massive Blue nightmare has to finish.

“Once they’ve had sufficient, they’re going to resolve,” Snee mentioned. “So it is as much as them. New guys, outdated guys within the locker room, it does not matter. Whenever you’re bored with being a punching bag, you may step up and do one thing about it.”

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