By Mike Lupica, New York Daily News columnist
Win or lose against the Eagles on Sunday, which means even if they lose and finish 6-10, the Giants will likely leave the season thinking they are better than they are.
If they do win today, and finish 7-9 again, it will pass for their best victory in two seasons, just because of the Eagles’ record, even though the Eagles are out of the playoffs and playing out the string the way the Giants are. This is the season for which Eli Manning-to-Odell Beckham Jr. now provides such spectacular coverage, even though hardly anybody can cover Beckham himself.
Now they get a fading Mark Sanchez and an Eagles team fading along with him. If you don’t think this has been glorified garbage time over the past month for the Giants, think again.
By Bill Pennington, New York Times
When these teams last met in October, the Giants’ linebackers combined to make only 8 of 50 tackles. Philadelphia’s LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles ran wild through the Giants’ front four, which was bad enough. Then they also ran away from the Giants’ linebackers. Not surprisingly, Giants defensive backs made 25 tackles in that game.
The Eagles had 203 rushing yards, and the Giants’ defense is still having trouble with opposing teams’ rushing attacks — it ranks 30th in the N.F.L. against the run. But it will be a different set of linebackers on the field Sunday, and it will be interesting to see if they can stop the Eagles’ powerful running game. The rookie Devon Kennard has brought some speed and youthful enthusiasm to the linebacker corps, but he will miss the game with a toe injury.
The Giants were 2-for-14 on third-down conversions in their Oct. 12 loss to the Eagles. Ben McAdoo’s offense has been far more efficient lately. Sunday will be a chance to see just how much progress the Giants have made offensively in the last two months.