Eagles pass rusher Brandon Graham, with three sacks of Daniel Jones and a 48-22 demolition of the Giants in his back pocket, called out to Saquon Barkley in the hallway after Sunday’s blowout.
“Hey, Saquon!” Graham said good-naturedly as they shook hands. “I told ya’ll I was gonna get your ass!”
Graham and Barkley are friends. Those weren’t fighting words. But why would they be? A fight requires two parties to throw blows.
And Giants players have never admitted as willingly as they did on Sunday that their bitter NFC East rivals were far superior.
“We got our ass whooped,” Barkley said.
“Philadelphia is a really good team, and we could see today we aren’t where we need to be yet,” quarterback Daniel Jones said.
One Philly fan hung a bedsheet over the railing near the Eagles’ tunnel that said it even better:
“12-1. Giants thought they had a shot. We knew they did not.”
MVP candidate Jalen Hurts racked up 294 total yards and three TDs. The Eagles ran for 253 yards led by running back Miles Sanders’ 144 yards and two TDs.
The game ended with Giant killer Boston Scott scoring a rushing TD in garbage time and tons of Eagles fans cheering in the bottom 10 rows of an empty stadium.
FOX turned the game off on the West Coast and cut to the Cowboys and Texans. Backup quarterbacks Gardner Minshew and Tyrod Taylor both played.
The Giants (7-5-1) now limp into next Sunday night’s visit to the Washington Commander (7-5-1) with a playoff berth essentially on the line.
“We gotta win this f—in’ game,” edge rusher Jihad Ward said. “This is a must win.”
But the Giants have hit their lowest point with the stakes at their highest.
Brian Daboll’s team is 0-3-1 in its last four games and 1-4-1 in its last six. The Giants remain winless in the NFC East at 0-3-1, including three blowout losses to the Cowboys (two) and the Eagles.
“We got beat handily,” Daboll said.
They have never finished a season winless in their division, per Elias Sports Bureau. They have two more chances to win an NFC East game: next Sunday at Washington or in Week 18 at the Eagles.
Barkley, who was limited to 20 snaps, 11 touches and 48 yards after receiving a late-week MRI on his neck, at least promised he’d play more against the Commanders.
“I look forward to the next opportunity, and I’m probably pretty sure I’ll have … a bigger role for the next game,” Barkley said.
Barkley revealed that he had sustained a stinger in Wednesday’s practice, even though Daboll had said on Friday that Barkley was not injured in practice and chalked up his injury to “just a long season.”
He said it happened on “just a regular play.”
“Caught the ball, tagging off, kinda spun out of it and something just flared in my neck,” Barkley said. “But hey, everything happens for a reason. I’m just happy that I’m healthy. I was able to go today. I would have loved to play more.”
He played his final snap on Daniel Jones’ 1-yard TD run with 5:42 left in the third quarter. But he was adamant that he was not on a pitch count and that he could have handled more. He actually got a bit stirred up when talking about being taken out of the game.
“Coach told me we were gonna go with [Gary Brightwell and [Matt] Breida. I just tried to be a good teammate and be supportive,” Barkley said. “I really don’t know what’s the balance. If I don’t play enough, I gotta answer those questions. If I play too much, I gotta answer those questions. I’m not really directly coming at you but I mean, I don’t know, what do you guys really want from me to answer on that? It was part of the game plan.
“Obviously I would have loved to have played a lot more,” he added. “The reason why I didn’t play as much was not because of my neck. The Eagles played great. We got our ass whooped. And we just got to do better as a team. It starts with the leaders and it starts with myself.”
The good news for the Giants is they don’t play the Eagles next Sunday. The bad news is they suddenly have no answers on how to win.
“It’s December football,” Ward said. “It’s about who the f— want[s] it more. No one’s gonna sit there and hand it to you. How bad do you want it?”