The New York Giants face the Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday in the latest game in one of the best rivalries in the NFL. It’s a game that Odell Beckham Jr. is looking forward to, and more importantly, looking forward to winning.
On the Giants - Eagles rivalry
The NFL is full of rivalries, but some of the best reside in the NFC East. And even in a down year for the division, the games are always hard-fought. While the Giants had the edge in this particular rivalry early in Eli Manning’s career, the Eagles have had the edge of late. It’s a state of affairs that grates on Beckham.
“I’m not a doctor, neurologist, or whatever, but I just know that it’s on our minds,” he said. “It’s on my mind for sure. For the new guys who are just coming here, like (G) Jamon (Brown), and people who haven’t gone down to Philly and played in the Giants vs. Philly. It’s a fun experience. The fans are very nice, very welcoming (laughter). It’s going to be a battle. We’re both battling. They’re battling to get, in our division, first place, and we’re battling to win our last six games, and whatever happens after that is what happens. We just got to come out and we got to bring it to them the way that we’ve been doing the past couple weeks.”
He added, “I don’t like losing, period. It doesn’t matter who it is. The nature of it – Philly, Giants. It can’t go on forever.”
And if Beckham has its way, “forever” will come to an end Sunday afternoon, saying. “It’s time,” he said. “Time’s now. We got six more games, two down, six left so that’s what we’re focusing on.”
On his goal of winning eight in a row
However, a reporter noted that the Giants weren’t featured on a graphic of the remaining schedules in the NFC East... A fact of which Odell approved.
“Yeah, I wouldn’t want it any other way.” Beckham said, “I’ve been doubted all my life. We’re being doubted, but we’re standing strong together and we just keep it pushing. It makes it for a better story when they leave us out of it and then it’s like, wait a minute, we’re right back in it, so none of what I’m saying matters, none of what we’re asking matters if we don’t go out and win Sunday. It’s all about going out there and winning, so that’s the goal. That’s what we plan on doing.”
The plan? Beckham enunciated that during the Giants’ bye week: Win the final eight games and earn a shot at the playoffs.
Win all of the remaining games, but don’t tell Beckham that he said that they needed to “run the table”.
“Exact words weren’t run the table,” he said, “but it was win eight games in a row and that’s the goal. Regardless, I don’t care who beat who yesterday, if we don’t handle our business, none of it matters. We need the Cowboys, the Redskins, and the Eagles to lose all their games for the rest of the season and we need to win all of ours for the rest of the season, but at the end of the day, if we don’t handle our business, it doesn’t matter what anybody else is doing. Our focus is us and beating the Eagles this week.”
What has changed for the Giants?
The Giants are in to the “easier” part of their schedule following their bye week, but their opponents haven’t been the only things to change in the second half of the year.
“We’ve just been putting it together in all three phases, Beckham said. “To keep it real, we only won the game by four points and three points. Some of the losses we had were by three points and four points, so it’s just finding ways. Like I said, we’ve been in these close games before, we know what it’s like when it’s down to the nitty-gritty. We know what it’s like when it’s down the nitty-gritty, so we just found a way to pull them up.”
The Giants’ wins have been tight, and they haven’t been especially pretty, but they have been wins with positive signs from the team.
“We’re not starting drives inside our own 20, Corey’s (Coleman) doing a good job of giving us field position, 40, 50 yards kick returns putting us – it’s different play calling when you’re there and you’re not backed up. We’re doing that, we’re running the ball well. The O-Line’s really been a difference. They’ve just come out and done a phenomenal job the past two weeks in run blocking, protecting for Eli, Eli’s making throws and like I said, it’s just all three phases. Defense coming up with four turnovers, everybody’s playing at a high level.”