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Giants-Eagles first look: Surprisingly, it’s the Giants on the upswing

As the Giants visit the defending champs, New York has the momentum

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

When the Philadelphia Eagles shellacked the New York Giants 34-13 in Week 6 you had to figure that was pretty much a tipping point for both teams.

The Giants, reeling from having lost to the Carolina Panthers four days earlier on a 63-yard field goal, were 1-5. The meaningful part of their season appeared to be over.

The Eagles, with quarterback Carson Wentz having recovered from the knee injury that turned Nick Foles into a Super Bowl hero, really played like the defending Super Bowl champions they are for the first time. It wasn’t hard to imagine that the Eagles, then 3-3, would use that game as a springboard to jump ahead, take control of the NFC East and roll to the playoffs with an opportunity to defend their title.

That, though, is not how things have played out.

The Eagles (4-6) have won just once in four tries since that Thursday night at MetLife Stadium. They were humiliated 48-7 Sunday by the New Orleans Saints. They appear to be a team that is reeling, questioning itself, going backwards. Defensive back Malcolm Jenkins is calling out his teammates, questioning their willingness to fight. On Big Blue View radio, Michael Kist of BGN Radio told me that the Eagles didn’t appear ready for the 2018 season — and that they don’t appear to have recovered.

The Giants (3-7) have won two straight games. They are the team that appears to be figuring things out and getting better. Surprisingly, they are the team that appears to be on the upswing heading into Sunday’s 1 p.m. ET matchup at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Giants are 6-point underdogs. Let’s look at some of the other numbers that matter.

NFC East standings

The Giants’ victory Sunday gives them a chance — not a good one, but a chance — in an up-for-grabs NFC East. Here are the current standings:

Washington Redskins 6-4 (.600)
Dallas Cowboys 5-5 (.500)
Philadelphia Eagles 4-6 (.400)
Giants 3-7 (.300)

The Giants are 0-3 in the division, but still have games with each of the teams ahead of them. Beginning, of course, this Sunday in Philadelphia.

Here is the remaining schedule for all four teams.

Washington: @DAL, @PHI, NYG, @JAX, @TEN, PHI
Dallas: WAS, NO, PHI, @IND, TB, @NYG
Philadelphia: NYG, WAS, @DAL, @LAR, HOU, @WAS
Giants: @PHI, CHI, @WAS, TEN, @IND, DAL

Numbers to know

83-82-2: The all-time series record between the Giants and Eagles, with the Giants holding a one-game advantage.

540: Saquon Barkley caught two passes for 10 yards in Week 11, which increased his receiving yardage total for the season to 540, a Giants record for a rookie running back. David Meggett previously held the record with 531 yards in 1989.

94.4: Eli Manning’s 94.4 completion percentage in Week 11 tied Pro Football Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton (94.4 percent on November 13, 1977) and Craig Morton (94.4 percent on September 27, 1981) for the third-highest in a single game in NFL history (minimum 15 attempts). Only Alex Smith (94.7 percent on October 29, 2012) and Ryan Tannehill (94.7 percent on October 25, 2015) have recorded higher completion percentages in a single game (minimum 15 attempts).

155.8: The career-best passer rating (for a game in which he threw more than 10 passes) Manning compiled against Tampa Bay.

2,000: Barkley (1,268) needs 732 scrimmage yards over the final six games to become the third rookie in NFL history to record 2,000 in a season (Eric Dickerson - 2,212, L.A. Rams, 1983 - 1,808 rush, 404 receiving & Edgerrin James - 2,139, Indianapolis Colts, 1999 - 1,553 rush, 586 receiving).

100: Barkley and Eric Dickerson (1983) are the only two players to get 100 or more total yards from scrimmage in nine of their first 10 NFL games.