Not all clichés are true, particularly in sports activities.
Cheaters by no means prosper? Good issues come to those that wait? It’s troublesome to beat the identical NFL crew thrice in a season? That’s not what the numbers say.
The NFC’s No. 1 seed Eagles swept the annual home-and-home from the No. 6 Giants and can host the third assembly Saturday within the divisional spherical of the playoffs. Attempt as some may to spin that right into a Giants’ benefit, historical past exhibits that the two-time regular-season winner has received the playoff rematch in 15 of the 24 earlier conditions like this one for the reason that NFL merger in 1970, in keeping with the Elias Sports activities Bureau.
Giants head coach Brian Daboll predictably stated Monday that there isn’t a affect from the primary two video games on the third, however forgive a starved fan base for recalling one of many 9 occasions revenge was achieved — when the 2007 Giants upset the No. 1-seeded and division-rival Cowboys on this spherical.
“The onerous half about this example is being the favourite and anyone that everyone expects to win,” former Giants receiver Amani Toomer, an analyst for MSG Community, advised The Put up. “If you happen to’ve labored onerous to get to the mountaintop, it’s onerous to remain.”
Eagles quarterback Jalen HurtsGetty Photographs
Sixteen years in the past, the Giants tried to place much more strain on the Cowboys main into the sport.
“It’s like an All-Professional Group versus an All-Joe Group,” linebacker Antonio Pierce quipped in regards to the expertise discrepancy.
“We’re not taking place there to see Jessica Simpson,” defensive finish Justin Tuck stated, feeding the narrative of a distracted Tony Romo vacationing with Simpson throughout the bye week.
Simply three days in the past, the 49ers beat the Seahawks for a 3rd time this season. The Giants-Eagles state of affairs is slightly completely different as a result of the second sport within the regular-season finale was a mismatch of Eagles starters taking part in to clinch the NFC East and prime seed in opposition to Giants backups with starters resting for the playoffs — and but that consequence (22-16) was a lot nearer than when the 2 “A-teams” squared off (48-22).
Why? Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts didn’t look proper getting back from a two-game absence with a shoulder damage. He had a bye final week.
“Everyone was like, ‘Jalen’s again, we’ll be again to the identical crew,’ after which they performed the Giants they usually weren’t,” Toomer stated. “At the back of their thoughts, there may be doubt. Early in these video games, you need to punch them within the mouth.”
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It was Toomer who landed the primary figurative haymaker — a tackle-breaking 52-yard landing catch — on the opening drive versus the Cowboys.
“One thing massive has to occur early,” Toomer stated, “however the factor in regards to the Giants is the in-game changes are normally what’s making this crew win so, if they’ll simply hold it shut early within the sport … the Giants are taking part in their finest soccer of the yr and the Eagles aren’t so that provides them an opportunity.”
Toomer has been on the opposite facet of the coin. The 2000 Giants accomplished a three-game sweep of the Eagles within the playoffs.
Lawrence Cager of the Giants catches a cross in entrance of James Bradberry of the Philadelphia Eagles of their common season finale. Getty Photographs
“Human nature is, ‘We already beat them twice, let’s simply roll out the footballs and beat them once more,’ ” Toomer stated. “It’s not that method. It occurs quite a bit as a result of normally the crew that received twice is the higher crew, however I keep in mind that [third meeting] not being a straightforward sport.”
It’s unlikely Daboll’s locker room will comply with Pierce’s technique to construct up the Eagles for a letdown.
“You’ve gotten matchups that you simply went in opposition to over the past two occasions you performed,” Daboll stated. “One sport has nothing to do with the following sport aside from you are taking issues from it. You study from it, however it’s going to be how we execute on Saturday and the way we put together all through the week.”