NFL Wire News

Giants out of playoffs but seek fourth straight win


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Sunday’s game between the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles might not mean anything in terms of playoff implications, but don’t tell the Giants that their efforts in practice this week are about to go to waste.

The Giants, who are riding a four-game winning streak, are not only hoping to close the season out on a positive note, they’re also looking to extract a little revenge against their arch-division rivals for the 27-0 thrashing in Week 6 that started a seven-game losing streak.

“I am looking forward to the game; I am looking forward to getting out there and getting that second chance at them,” said right tackle Justin Pugh, who played his worst game of the season against the Eagles in that Week 6 embarrassment.

“I am going to prepare like I have the last three weeks since I have been back from my (quad) injury and get ready to go out there and win a game.”

A lot has changed for both teams since the two met earlier in the season. The Eagles lost starting quarterback Nick Foles and have been trying to ride the season out with former New York Jets starter Mark Sanchez.

That hasn’t quite worked out the way they hoped, however. As the starting quarterback, Sanchez is 3-4, and is currently in the midst of a three-game losing streak, including back-to-back losses to fellow NFC East opponents Dallas and Washington.

The Giants, meanwhile, have a four-game winning streak going and have really surged of late thanks in part to the tremendous success of rookie receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and the reappearance of a running game that over the last three games has produced a 100-yard rusher in two of those contests despite being without starter Rashad Jennings.

Defensively, the Giants have also looked better, again despite missing several key starters who were part of that first game, such as middle linebackers Jacquian Williams and Jon Beason, cornerback Prince Amukamara and defensive ends Robert Ayers and Mathias Kiwanuka.

Over their three-game winning streak, the Giants have allowed just 47 points, and have clamped down on the running game, which they failed to do in yielding 203 yards on the ground to the Eagles in the first meeting.

In their last three games, the Giants have given up an average of 103.6 rushing yards to opponents, and have not allowed an individual rusher to come close to the 100-yard mark.

Yet despite the rise in their performance and the decline in the Eagles’, the Giants still insist that Philadelphia is capable of giving any team a hard time.

“They are very good team,” Pugh insisted. “I think in the NFC East this year, you’ve seen all of the teams have weapons, have skill, and they do a lot of different things. Their defense is very good; you have to give them credit for the way they played.”

The way the Eagles have played, though hasn’t been good enough, though they somehow always bring their best against the Giants, regardless of what’s on the line.

That’s just fine, though with the Giants, who are looking to settle some unfinished business with the Eagles on Sunday.

“We definitely have something to prove,” Pugh said. “We have to go out there, put points up and take pressure of our defense. I think that is something we are looking forward to getting accomplished this week. We’ve got to put in a good week of practice and I think that will show on Sunday.”

SERIES HISTORY: 160th regular-season meeting. Giants lead series, 82-75-2. With a win, the Giants will have split the regular-season series with the Eagles the last two seasons. The Giants and Eagles are 2-2 in postseason games.

NOTES: Among those missing practice Wednesday was linebacker Devon Kennard (toe). … Among those limited in practice were running back Andre Williams (shoulder), running back Rashad Jennings (ankle), linebacker Paul Hazel (hamstring) and linebacker Jameel McClain (knee). … Guard Rishaw Johnson was signed by the Washington Redskins off the Giants’ practice squad and linebacker Uani’ (Devin) Unga, who played his college ball at BYU, was signed to the Giants practice squad.

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