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Giants-Eagles first look: 4 storylines for Sunday’s game

Victory could make Giants a serious player in race for NFC East title

New York Giants v Washington Football Team Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

The 2-7 New York Giants host the 3-4-1 Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. The Giants will seek to even the score after the Eagles won the team’s Week 7 matchup, 22-21

“Throw the record away, it’s irrelevant. It’s going to be a big game for us no matter who we play, especially with Philadelphia coming in. The record is completely irrelevant this game,” coach Joe Judge said. Look we’re just trying to go 1-0 every week. I’m not posting in front of my team what the record is for the season to be completely honest here right now. That’s the last thing we should care about.

“We have to worry about day by day and week by week making constant improvement as a team and moving in the right direction. I see that, I’m pleased with that. I love the way these guys come to work. I love the way they fight for each other on Sundays. But I don’t care what the record is on any year. The fact that we’re playing Philadelphia is a division game, it’s obviously a big game for us.”

Here are a few of the storylines to focus on this week.

Playoffs? Really?

It seems utterly silly to even consider the playoffs with the Giants at 2-7. Yet, if the Giants defeat the Eagles on Sunday they will have three victories with six games to play, and no team in the putrid NFC East will have more.

So, whether it should be or not, Sunday’s game is one with playoff implications.

This isn’t Washington

The Giants have beaten the Washington Football Team twice this season, five straight times overall and seven of the last nine times the teams have met. The Giants have now lost to the Eagles eight straight times and the Dallas Cowboys seven straight times.

If the Giants are ever going to be taken seriously and ever going to be able to point to tangible evidence of the improvement coach Joe Judge keeps saying he sees they are going to have to start beating the Eagles and Cowboys. Especially in a year when it’s readily apparent neither of those teams is really all that good.

NFC East standings

Eagles 3-4-1
Washington 2-6
Dallas 2-7
Giants 2-7

Eagles are getting healthier

Leading rusher Miles Sanders and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery are expected to return to practice for the Eagles this week. Sanders (kn ee) has played in only five games. Jeffery (calf) has not played yet this season.

Turnovers

Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz and New York quarterback Daniel Jones have at often times this season been models of how not to play the quarterback position. Wentz has thrown a league-leading 12 interceptions, and is tied with Jones for second-most fumbles by a quarterback (7). He has lost four, giving him a league-leading 16 turnovers. Jones has 9 interceptions and 4 lost fumbles for a total of 13 turnovers.

Whichever quarterback can play a clean game on Sunday will go a long way toward determining who wins the game.

Another test for Giants’ offensive line

Offensive line coach Marc Colombo this week praised the “huge leaps” he believes his group has made in recent weeks.

The Giants get another big test this week. Football Outsiders ranks the Eagles’ defensive front No. 4 in the NFL against the run and No. 5 in rushing the passer. Brandon Graham, Josh Sweat, Fletcher Cox, Derek Barnett, Vinny Curry and the rest of the Philadelphia front comprise a group capable of dominating a game.