Article courtesy of George Willis, NY Post, Picture courtesy of Getty Images
The ghosts of Eagles past have always haunted the Giants of late. It started with The Fumble back when Herman Edwards was a player and continued through Randall Cunningham and Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson running punts back for touchdowns.
More recently, the Eagles had owned the I-95 rivalry entering Sunday’s game at MetLife Stadium, having won four straight against the Giants and 13 out of the previous 16. So when Eli Manning’s third-down pass to tight end Will Tye was deflected by defensive lineman Connor Barwin and re-routed into the hands of Eagles linebacker Jordan Hicks, all those ghosts seemed to be taunting the Giants yet again.
“I hate cheap interceptions and that’s kind of as cheap as they come with the tipped ball at the line of scrimmage,” Manning said.
Suddenly, the Eagles had the ball at the Giants 34 with 1:48 remaining, needing a touchdown to steal the victory. It looked like another here-we-go again scenario in which the Giants find a way to blow the game. But these aren’t Tom Coughlin’s Giants.
A terrific defensive stand, one of several by the Giants, forced the Eagles to turn the ball over on downs, preserving the Giants’ 28-23 victory, snapping their losing streak to their NFC East rival.
“For the past two years I’ve been here, I haven’t won a single game against them,” wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. said. “Actually, I’ve gotten blown out most of the time. So it was good to get the win.”
Linebacker Jonathan Casillas said simply: “We don’t like Philly and Philly doesn’t like us. It’s always a hard-fought game.”
Time will tell what the Giants make of this season. At 5-3 they are still within arm’s reach of the division-leading Cowboys. The objective is to make the playoffs and in order to do that, rookie coach Ben McAdoo has to change the culture that has kept the Giants from reaching the postseason. One challenge was to stop blowing games in the fourth quarter, which was an epidemic last year. Another was finding a way to beat the Eagles. They were 2-for-2 on Sunday.
“Philadelphia, the last few years has had our number,” said Manning, who was 22 of 36 for 257 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. “We’ve played close games, but haven’t been able to win those close games. So to be able to pull it off today and get that win was nice.”
The Giants took advantage of two early turnovers to take a 14-0 lead, and even though Beckham might have been thinking blowout, those with more NFC East experience know nothing comes easy against Eagles. So it was no surprise when the game came down to a final stop.
“We’re finding ways to win and that’s what good teams have to do,” Manning said. “It’s not always perfect, but you have to find ways to win the tough games and that’s what we’re doing.”
Rookie Sterling Shepard was playing in his first Giants-Eagles game and said he felt the urgency.
“Coach always said it’s going to be a dogfight and this is a man’s league and everybody has to be ready for this one,” Shepard said. “That was the mindset at the beginning of the week and we stuck with it throughout the game.”
Linebacker Keenan Robinson was asked if he felt the Giants were growing as a team.
“Definitely,” he said. “We’ve won three in a row now. But at any given moment it can change. We have to make sure that we keep on pushing and striving to become the team we want to become. We just have to take care of what the present has to offer.”
The Giants no longer have to worry about the ghosts of Eagles past.
SEE ARTICLE AS IT APPEARS IN NY POST: http://nypost.com/2016/11/07/giants-settle-old-scores-with-victory-over-rival-eagles/