PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The New York Giants couldn’t deliver the knockout blow in consecutive games against the Philadelphia Eagles and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
They have another chance against Philadelphia on Sunday.
The Giants (2-7) held off Washington last week following two close losses and will go for two straight wins when they host the first-place Eagles (3-4-1) in a meaningful game for two teams with five combined wins. The NFC East is so weak that all four teams have a shot to win it.
New York had an 11-point lead against the Eagles with 6:17 remaining in a Thursday night game on Oct. 22 before Carson Wentz led a pair of touchdown drives. Wentz’s 18-yard TD pass to Boston Scott with 40 seconds left lifted Philly to victory.
A week later, the Giants took a 17-15 lead into the fourth quarter against the Buccaneers before Tom Brady led a rally. Daniel Jones tossed a TD pass to Golden Tate in the final minute, but New York failed to tie it on the 2-point conversion.
“We have to finish as a team and play a complete game,” Giants coach Joe Judge said. “You can’t fall asleep on Philly. They’re an explosive team, they do a great job in situations. We already knew this team is a very good team on third down, in the red area, in two-minute drives. They do a great job in terms of scheming you up in the game plan element. Doug does a great job in terms of starting the game out fast, creating explosive plays and really finding things that you struggle with and looking to expose them.”
The Eagles are coming off a bye and are looking for their third straight win to even their record for the first time this season. They’ve won eight in a row over New York. Philly could have a few injured players returning on an offense that has used 21 different starters.
Running back Miles Sanders and right tackle Lane Johnson are expected to be available, and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery could make his season debut.
“The bye week came at a really good time for us,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. “It allowed some guys that have been injured to get healthy and see where they’re at this week. So, we’re encouraged."
COMMITTED TO CARSON
Wentz has 16 turnovers and is on pace for the worst season of his five-year career, but he hasn’t had a full complement of starters surrounding him for any game this season. Wentz is too talented not to get on track.
“Carson’s our guy,” Pederson said. “ Carson is the guy that is going to carry us and lead this football team.”
Jones played mistake-free in the win at Washington after 13 turnovers in the first eight games, including a pair of interceptions that cost the Giants against the Bucs. He has relied on his legs, including an 80-yard run against the Eagles last month, to open up the offense without running back Saquon Barkley.
“I think Daniel is a developing player,” Judge said. “I think he’s shown a lot of promise, he’s making a lot of gains this year, he’s done a lot of really, really good things for us, and that he gives us a chance to be competitive within games. I see him improving on a weekly basis, and I love having that guy in the huddle right now being our signal-caller. I know the team around him does as well.”
The Eagles are third in the NFL with 28 sacks. The Giants have allowed 28 sacks, a number that would be higher if Jones wasn’t so mobile. Philadelphia’s Brandon Graham has seven sacks, three away from setting a career high in his 11th season in the NFL.
“I know BG was tagged early as not being a successful draft pick,” Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said. “He was able to persevere through that and has gone on to have a very successful career, maybe having the best season in his career at age 32. All that doesn’t happen by accident. It happens because he has a passion for the game and he’s enthusiastic, and he has the experience of seeing tough times and has that perspective. I think that’s an important lesson for all our guys.”
The Giants have averaged 130.7 yards rushing in the past six games. Wayne Gallman had 68 yards and veteran Alfred Morris had 67 against Washington. The Eagles are 24th against the run but the numbers are deceiving. They’ve done well against running backs, but have struggled stopping receivers and quarterbacks on jet sweeps, end-arounds and scrambles.
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