On Saturday night, the New York Giants found out they were not in Minneapolis playing against the Vikings anymore.
They were playing the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC divisional playoff at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
It wasn’t pretty. The 38-7 Eagles victory reflected that. The game was all over when the Eagles took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. By halftime, the game turned out to be an Irish wake after the home team took a 28-0 lead against their NFC East rivals, not to mention outgaining the road team on offense 258-64.
The Eagles sent a message to their hated rival on this night. The Giants have a long way to go until they could be in the Eagles’ league.
It was amusing to hear Giants fans and some members of the media in town saying they would beat the Eagles since it was their destiny. Some had the gall to compare this team to the 2007 Giants team that made a miraculous Super Bowl run. Some mentioned it’s hard for anyone to beat a team three times in a row in a single year. I rolled my eyes when a certain NFL sportswriter in town said the Giants would win because they play like a team while insinuating that the Eagles play like a bunch of individuals.
This was nonsense. There was no way the Eagles were losing to the Giants at their place. They have not lost to them at the Linc in over a decade. The home team would have fed from their fans to make sure that was not happening. Plus, the Eagles had better-skilled players on defense and offense, along with a strong size up front with their defensive and offensive lines.
Either it was a state of denial or just stupid thinking that the Giants would win on Saturday night. Either way, it does not speak well of Giants fans and the media.
The Eagles clearly weren’t worried about the Giants this past week. Why would they be? Prior to the divisional playoff game, they won nine straight against their turnpike rivals at the Linc. Since the last decade, the Eagles are 16-4 against Big Blue.
The Eagles salivated about the opportunity of playing the Giants after Julian Love, Saquon Barkley, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Andrew Thomas, Dexter Lawrence, Carter Coughlin and Evan Neal did plenty of talking about how they looked forward to playing the Eagles in the playoffs this past week.
The Giants came to Philadelphia and failed. They embarrassed themselves. They shouldn’t have been on the same field as the Eagles since they are not in the Eagles’ league.
As much of an ego boost the Giants and their fans received from an overachieving season that resulted in a playoff appearance and a playoff win, the reality is this once-proud franchise has a ways to go until they are back. It was mentioned in a column that they are not back just yet.
The Giants are going to be back when they start beating the Eagles and Dallas Cowboys year in and year out. This means owning them. They will be back when they win the NFC East annually. We can crown them as being legit again when they are a Super Bowl contender on a yearly basis.
Look, no one is saying the Giants had a bad season. But there has to be a standard for this franchise. Making the playoffs once in a few years is not enough.
Losing to the Eagles and Cowboys should not be tolerated. The organization needs to put focus on that. Too often, the Giants look down on the Eagles as if they are not a rival. Seriously, when has a Giant admitted he hates losing to the Eagles? It’s been a long time. It just seems like it doesn’t bother them. When was the last time a Giant got angry that his team lost to the Eagles?
This loss should be an eye-opening experience for the Giants. It offered a cruel reality that this franchise has a long way to go. It showed that the Giants have plenty of work to do before they can even be competitive against the Eagles.
This franchise can’t be arrogant enough to think this is okay anymore. Think the late Wellington Mara would tolerate losing to the Eagles ever?
There was never a reason for the Eagles to take the Giants seriously. They don’t have to anymore since they know they can beat them anytime, anyplace and anywhere. This idea now that the Eagles are shaking in their cleats thinking about the Giants was laughable.
The Eagles and their fans never had to worry Saturday night.
This has to change. This is unacceptable. This should bother the organization as much as it should bother the Giants fans.
The Eagles are not going to regress anytime soon. This is a roster that can own the NFC and the NFC East for the next 10 years. Eagles general manager Howie Roseman and his staff have built a powerhouse team.
The Giants have a hard road ahead of them. Who knows how many more seasons it will take for Giants head coach Brian Daboll and Giants general manager Joe Schoen to build a roster that can finally knock the Eagles off their perch in the NFC East?
Playing with no expectations was easy this year. Saturday night was a sobering reminder that the job is not finished yet.
In fact, it’s only at the beginning.