This could have been so juicy. Instead, it is as dried out as 4-day-old Thanksgiving turkey.
This could have been dripping with more than the usual venom that ordinarily oozes out of the Giants-Eagles rivalry. Instead, the Giants are so dismal that they manage to suck the life out of so many intriguing scenarios, turning a game that should be filled with revenge vibes into just another Sunday for Giants’ fans to hope their team can get in and out without too much indignity emanating from MetLife Stadium.
Remember the way the 2020 season ended? The Giants did their part by beating the Cowboys, knowing their 6-10 record might be good enough to actually win the NFC East. All the Giants needed for this to happen was an Eagles victory over Washington later that day.
The Giants had a real chance, until Eagles coach Doug Pederson decided to take his foot off the accelerator and not give his team its best shot to win. He benched quarterback Jalen Hurts for seldom-used Nate Sudfeld, the Eagles imploded, Washington won the division, and the Giants were exasperated and angry. So angry, in fact, that coach Joe Judge the next day, after first admitting the Giants needed to take care of their own business, ripped into the Eagles without mentioning them by name.
“To disrespect the game by going out there and not competing for 60 minutes and doing everything you can to help those players win, we will never do that as long as I’m the head coach of the New York Giants,’’ Judge said at the time.
Freddie Kitchens, who is expected to call plays against the Eagles, works with Daniel Jones at practice Wednesday.
Pederson was fired a few days after this fiasco. Judge, on cue, would not go down memory lane with any of this when asked about it this past week. He has so much more to concern himself with as his team takes a nosedive.
It is incredible how the hope the Giants created by winning two of three games dissipated as soon as they came off their bye week. They were outclassed at Tampa Bay, 30-10, and so pathetic with the ball that a day after the game Judge fired offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. Freddie Kitchens, the senior offensive assistant (and former Browns head coach) is expected to take over and call the plays, though Judge played coy as far as revealing Garrett’s replacement, talking about a collaborative effort.
No one is expecting any miracles.
“It’s too late to say this is a fresh start, you know what I mean?’’ receiver Kenny Golladay said. “I guess you could say, ‘Get on track,’ as far as us getting on track, scratching, erasing that last game that just happened. Let’s get on track, I would say that. Not a fresh start, let’s just get on track.’’
The Eagles (5-6) are on a roll, winners of two straight games and three of their past four, to plow into NFC wild-card contention. They have a shot at overtaking the Cowboys (7-4) in the NFC East, which would be something, considering this is supposed to be a rebuilding season in Philadelphia. The Giants (3-7) are going nowhere and once again will not put all their top offensive playmakers on the field, with rookie Kadarius Toney listed as doubtful, and Sterling Shepard and tight end Kyle Rudolph out.
The Giants averaged 18.9 points a game this season with Garrett calling the shots—- after averaging 17.5 points in 2020. There is only so much that can change in a few days.
“It doesn’t always have to be some fancy play or some play that’s directly designed to get me in space or to get our wide receiver one-on-one,” Saquon Barkley said. “They can scheme up as much as they want and they could draw it up beautiful, but if all of us on the field are not playing as a whole unit, playing as a collective group, it doesn’t matter.”Internet Explorer Channel Network