Giants would exorcise countless demons with playoff upset of Eagles – The Denver Post

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The Fumble. Herm Edwards. DeSean Jackson and Matt Dodge. Brian Dawkins. Brian Westbrook. Donovan McNabb and David Akers. Nate Sudfeld.

No true Giants fan could reach this second paragraph without their blood boiling over their hated NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles.

“This division is an unbelievable division with a lot of history and certainly huge competition between these teams,” head coach Brian Daboll said Monday. “I’ve been in college where there’s some pretty big rivalries, but this one is near the top here.”

“We’re excited,” quarterback Daniel Jones said Sunday.

It’s impossible not to be.

The Giants, with the pent-up frustration of a franchise that has run through four head coaches in six years, have an opportunity to exorcise a thousand demons if they can upset the NFC’s No. 1-seed Eagles Saturday night on their home Lincoln Financial Field.

They hate the Eagles. And recently, they have become their little I-95 brother. Enough is enough.

“They’re a great team,” edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux said Sunday. “They’ve done it all. They have the players. But it’s the playoffs, so we’re going to have to come with everything.”

The Giants have four Super Bowls. The Eagles only have one. But Philadelphia has won more recently in 2017, with Nick Foles butting into Eli Manning’s crowning achievements of defeating Tom Brady in a championship game.

And the Birds have battered Big Blue in recent years, winning 11 of their last 13 meetings. The Giants haven’t won at Lincoln Financial Field since 2013.

That is where they will play in the NFC Divisional Round on Saturday at 8:15 p.m. ET (FOX).

“Of course it’s Philly, so it’s going to be another hostile environment,” Saquon Barkley said. “They got us the first two times.”

They did, and the first time, they poured it on. They embarrassed the Giants, 48-22, on Dec. 11 at MetLife Stadium. Eagles coach Nick Sirianni left Jalen Hurts in deep into a blowout.

Giants players admitted their team was inferior that day like they never have before after a loss to an NFC East rival. Barkley said “we got our ass whooped” and Jones said “we could see today we aren’t where we need to be yet.”

That was a month ago. And even though the Giants’ backups gave the Eagles’ first-stringers a game in Week 18, in a 22-16 defeat in South Philadelphia on Jan. 8, they are well aware that MVP candidate Hurts and the well-rested Birds will be out for blood.

“They have the threat of Jalen Hurts with the quarterback run, and they’ve got big playmakers on the outside with a great run game,” said Giants corner Nick McCloud, who has played 132 defensive snaps in this season’s two meetings. “That’s every level of offense for the makeup of a great offense. It’s a great offense. It’s a great team. They’re the number one seed for a reason.”

Former Giants head coach Joe Judge is responsible for the only two Giants wins over the Eagles in their last 13 meetings: one in 2020 and one in 2021, both at home.

The all-time playoff series is tied at two apiece.

The Giants beat the Eagles, 27-21, at Veterans Stadium in an NFC Wild Card in 1981. Then they took down Philly, 20-10, at Giants Stadium in the 2000 divisional round.

The Eagles, however, have won the last two: 23-20 in a 2006 NFC Wild Card game at Lincoln Financial Field on a 38-yard Akers field goal; then a 23-11 Eagles win at Giants Stadium in the 2008 divisional round.

The Birds also tanked their final game of the 2020 regular season against Washington, keeping Judge’s rookie year Giants team out of the playoffs.

And then Eagles GM Howie Roseman pantsed the Giants in the 2021 NFL Draft by trading over them to draft wide receiver DeVonta Smith.

That prompted the Giants to trade back and take Kadarius Toney, then use their newly acquired 2022 first-rounder on tackle Evan Neal.

This version of the rivalry will have new names and faces. Former Giants corner James Bradberry, released in the offseason by the new Giants’ regime, will be out for revenge.

Giant killing Eagles running back Boston Scott will be sniffing for a touchdown.

But Jones, Barkley, Dexter Lawrence, Andrew Thomas and the Giants don’t consider this a repeat of previous failures. They’re determined to ensure this result will be different.

“This is a pretty big one,” Daboll said.

He can say that again.

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