Wake-Up Call: No Hype, Lots Of Meaning
You may have noticed that all is quiet on the trash-talking front between the Eagles and Giants this week. Suppose that has something to do with the fact that it’s Week 5 and the two teams have just one win between them. Not much room for bravado when you’re licking your wounds.
Plus, a key pot-stirrer has been removed from the equation.
“It sucks because Osi’s not there, so it makes it a little bit different,” said LeSean McCoy of his longtime rival Osi Umenyiora, now in Atlanta. “But it’s a divisional game and it’s a must-win game for both teams. They have tons of good players over there — an o-4 team I don’t really see on tape, and if you look at their offense they’re explosive also. It’s definitely going to be a good game. I think both teams have the mindset where we both need to win.”
McCoy has never had any issue getting up for this game. He has more yards against the Giants (694) than any other team, averaging 5.5 yards per clip. The 25-year-old has eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark in four of his eight meetings against New York. The Eagles hold a 6-2 record over the Giants since he came into the league.
“I think the guys on offense always kind of get that feeling when it’s Giants Week, when it’s a division game. Especially myself — I consider myself one of the Giants’ favorite running backs,” he said.
There are a lot of new faces on the Eagles this year that will taste the rivalry for the first time this week, including the nine rookies currently on the active roster. The disdain for Blue should come naturally, especially considering what’s at stake. With the Eagles at 1-3 and the Giants at 0-4, neither can afford to dig a deeper hole if they plan on salvaging this season. It should be a spirited bout at MetLife Stadium.
“It’s something big for us to go out here and get a win, kind of get back on track, get that winning spirit going around here a little bit,” said McCoy. “The past couple weeks haven’t been too nice. Everyone is looking for that next win.”
If the Eagles can pull it off, their situation will start looking considerably less bleak. In the next five weeks they have the Giants (0-4) twice, and also play the Bucs (0-4), Cowboys (2-2) and Raiders (1-3). A team trying to get off the mat can’t ask for anything more than that.
The Giants, meanwhile, are probably looking at their two games against these Eagles as their opportunity to get healthy as well.
And so, the rivalry is renewed on Sunday, granted with a little less hype leading into it. But who knows, maybe McCoy can find a new Giant this weekend to take Umenyiora’s place.
“Nah, nobody can take Osi’s spot,” McCoy said with a big smile. “There’s something special about him.”
WHAT YOU MISSED
The national media is officially off the Chip Kelly bandwagon.
Rookie Lane Johnson is still “fighting ghosts” on the field.
Kelly says that Cedric Thornton is the defense’s top performer at the moment.
In his latest All-22 post, Sheil looks at what’s holding back the passing attack.
And Kapadia hands out grades for the defense at the quarter-mark of the season. (Their parents will not be thrilled.)
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Tom Coughlin is asking the Giants fans for help on Sunday. From the New York Post.
“I’m hoping that our fans are as boisterous and supportive as they’ve ever been — maybe even more,” Coughlin said Wednesday. “I just hope everyone rallies around our team right now. The players need it, we all need it, we all need to feel that great support and the 12th Man. Playing at home in your division there’s certainly every reason in the world to be excited about that, 1:00 game.
“I’m hoping that they help us, the fans help us win.”
Phil Sheridan is looking for Kelly to make some adjustments:
Against San Diego in Week 2, the Eagles were able to score 30 points by exploiting the Chargers’ curious decision to cover DeSean Jackson with one overmatched cornerback. Since then, two defensive teams have focused attention on Jackson, conceded a certain amount of rushing yardage and then clamped down in the red zone.
In a passing-oriented league, Kelly has been content to be a run-oriented offense because that is exactly what defenses prefer.
That was essentially the philosophy of the late Jim Johnson, whose mantra during his tenure with the Eagles was that yards allowed don’t matter unless they translate to points. Johnson’s goal was to hold opponents to 17 points or less, believing that gave the Eagles offense every chance to win.
Kelly addresses the media today at 11:35 before practice.