Time for Giants to flip the script on rival Eagles for as soon as

There will be a raucous flock of Eagles fans at MetLife Stadium on Sunday itching to dance on the Giants’ grave, and the perfect snapshot for what they will be expecting, for what has befallen the Giants, is the iconic 1960 photo of Chuck Bednarik exulting over a prone, concussed Frank Gifford.

You can rest assured that in the midst of a season when John Mara’s blood is boiling over, the last thing he wanted to hear, especially because Gifford was once the franchise’s Golden Boy and in his eyes “The Ultimate Giant,” was rookie Eagles coach Nick Sirianni mentioning to the New York media exactly how he has embraced the rivalry:

“There’s an iconic picture in my office that I really value of Chuck Bednarik and his hit on Gifford, and that’s just one picture that I have right there, and I know Eagles fans think of that play and think of that hit a little differently than Giants fans.”

It is not lost on the Giants or their fans, as proud as they are of their four Super Bowl championships, that the Eagles have never stopped revealing themselves as Turnpike Tormentors who delight in shattering adversary dreams and ending seasons.

The wound from former Eagles coach Doug Pederson handing the NFC East title to Washington and simultaneously eliminating the 6-10 Giants on the last night of the 2020 regular season by yanking Jalen Hurts in favor of Nate Sudfeld remains in the recesses of Joe Judge’s mind and in his players’ minds as well, even as they publicly acknowledge that they had and have no one to blame but themselves.

“This is why we don’t like the Eagles,” Eli Manning tweeted.

Web Search Engine
Giants, Eagles
Nick Sirianni said there is an ‘iconic photo’ of Chuck Bednarik’s hit over Frank Gifford in his office.
John G. Zimmerman

With the teams heading in opposite directions, after all the seasons the Eagles have ruined for the Giants, here comes this payback chance for the Giants to exact a sweet revenge and ruin the Eagles’ season by sending it spiraling into the wrong direction.

Hurts and the 5-6 Eagles show up believing they can run the ball down the Giants’ throats, and they are in the thick of the NFC wild-card race largely because they are averaging 34.5 ppg since Week 8. And when they traded up on draft night with the Cowboys for precocious rookie WR DeVonta Smith, they stole him away from the Giants.

The 3-7 Giants may have picked the wrong day to retire Michael Strahan’s No. 92 jersey with Eagles fans odds-on favorites to assail him for past football atrocities against them. Daniel Jones tries to get off the canvas with Freddie Kitchens calling the plays by being reminded that Kenny Golladay wasn’t signed to a four-year, $72 million free-agent deal to be an afterthought.

The most infamous moment in Giants history was The Fumble, aka The Miracle at the Meadowlands on Nov. 19, 1978, when Eagles cornerback Herman Edwards returned a botched Joe Pisarcik handoff to Larry Csonka and returned it 26 yards for a franchise-quaking, last-minute win. Three weeks later, a plane flew over Giants Stadium with the sign: “15 Years of Lousy Football. … We’ve Had Enough.”

At least it precipitated the hiring of GM George Young in 1979.

“Some people claim it was the best thing that ever happened to us,” Mara said once. “For those of us who were there and experienced that, it’s pretty hard to accept that.”

Giants, Eagles
Joe Judge, Nick Sirianni
Corey Sipkin, Getty

It was hard for Mara’s brother Stephen to accept teasing from an Eagles fan. The Post reported that Stephen Mara tackled and choked the guy on the floor of the NYSE two days after a 36-22 Giants defeat at the end of the 2006 season.

“This guy and I have gone back and forth for years about the Giants and the Eagles,” Stephen Mara said in a statement. “He came to work with every intention of pushing my buttons, and he did, and I reacted. I reached out to him to apologize for my part in this unfortunate incident.” After which Giants legend Mark Bavaro said: “Get him a helmet! … I’m proud of him. He’s a good Giant.”

There was that walk-off 65-yard punt return by DeSean Jackson on Dec. 19, 2010, when the Giants blew a 31-10 lead and Matt Dodge failed to kick the ball out of bounds — the Miracle at The New Meadowlands.

“I’ve never been around anything like this in my life,” Tom Coughlin said afterward. “It’s about as empty as you get to feel in this business.”

There was a playful Donovan McNabb picking up the telephone to the coach’s box on the Giants sideline and pretending to make a call late in the fourth quarter of a 23-11 Eagles divisional playoff win at the Meadowlands that eliminated the defending Super Bowl XLII champions.

The Giants would put up a color photo of that incident in their training facility.

There was Brian Westbrook with a game-winning 84-yard punt return TD with 1:16 remaining at the Meadowlands on Oct. 19, 2003.

“It was just like Joe Pisarcik fumbling that ball and Herman Edwards running it back,” Eagles specials teams ace Ike Reese said.

Giants, Eagles
DeSean Jackson runs by Matt Dodge during the ‘Miracle at the New Meadowlands’
Getty Images

There was the 23-20 overtime loss at the Linc on a 38-yard David Akers field goal as time expired on Jan. 7, 2007, that was Tiki Barber’s last game and nearly proved to be Coughlin’s last game as Giants coach. He survived with a one-year extension and won his first Super Bowl the next season.

“I think he knows we need to do better, that our expectations are much higher,” John Mara said. “I think we have enough talent on this roster to do better.”

There was the 35-30 loss to the Eagles on Jan. 3, 2016, at MetLife Stadium in what did become Coughlin’s last game … in front of his family and 11 grandchildren wearing “Coughlin’s Crew” sweatshirts.

“Five games that ended up in the final 30 seconds either one way or the other and this is probably the exact same circumstance,” a noncommittal Coughlin said.

Birds’ Eye View, from Eagles public relations: Philadelphia has won 20 of its past 25 games (.800 winning percentage) versus the Giants, including a 10-3 (.769) record on the road dating back to 2008.

The Giants have fallen and they can’t get up. Ten years of lousy football, Giants fans have had enough. On this Sunday, against this opponent, they better get up.


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button