NFC East rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants play each other twice in each regular season. The teams’ home stadiums are about 100 miles apart, so the games are always highly anticipated by their rabid fanbases.
Still, that fervor was taken to another level this week ahead of Saturday night’s NFL division playoff round. The teams face only the fourth time of the postseason and both have Super Bowl ambitions.
The Eagles (14-3) are the No. 1 in the NFC and have defeated the Giants twice this season. They won 48-22 away on December 11 and won 22-16 at home on January 11. 8 in the regular season finale. They’ve defeated the Giants 11 times in their last 13 matchups.
Philadelphia received a bye last week, which helped considering quarterback Jalen Hurts was recovering from a right shoulder sprain that forced him to miss two games (both losses) and handed him a hand in the last game of the regular season . Hurts is expected to begin Saturday night. He threw for 3,701 touchdowns and 22 touchdowns and rushed for 760 yards and 13 touchdowns during the regular season.
The Giants, meanwhile, are 10-7-1 and the No. 6 in the conference. They upset No. 3 Minnesota last weekend, 31-24, when quarterback Daniel Jones became the first quarterback to throw at least 300 yards and rush for at least 70 yards in an NFL playoff game. That was New York’s second playoff game and first playoff win since 2011.
The Giants are 7.5-point underdogs according to BetMGM, but the franchise is hoping they can do like the outstanding teams of 2007 and 2011, who finished 10-6 and 9-7, respectively, and won the Super Bowl.
Here’s a look at the four times the Giants and Eagles have played each other in the postseason:
December 27, 1981 – Giants defeat Eagles 27-21 in Philadelphia
This was the Giants’ first playoff appearance since 1963, three years before the NFL announced it was merging with the rival American Football League. The Eagles, on the other hand, lost in the Super Bowl last year.
In the 1981 season opener, the Eagles defeated the Giants 24-10, beginning a six-game winning streak. But the Giants retaliated on November 22, beating the Eagles 20-10, beginning a four-game losing streak for Philadelphia. The Eagles won their regular season finale, earning home field advantage for the wildcard playoff game.
Still, the Eagles were trailing 20-0 before the end of the first quarter and 7-27 at halftime. Philadelphia running back Wilber Montgomery ran for two touchdowns in the second half, but the Giants held on to their first playoff win since 1958. Giants quarterback Scott Brunner threw for three touchdowns while running back Rob Carpenter had 33 carries for 161 yards.
“This is the biggest day of my football career,” Carpenter, who the Giants acquired in a trade with the Houston Oilers earlier in the season, later told reporters. “There was the day I was born, the day I got married, and then today.”
January 7, 2001 – Giants defeat Eagles 20-10 in New York
The Giants defeated the Eagles twice during the regular season, finishing 12-4, winning the NFC East and making the playoffs ranked No. 1. The Eagles, meanwhile, led 11-5 and defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 21: 3 in a wild card playoff game to start a matchup with the Giants.
On the opening kickoff, Giants returnee Ron Dixon rushed 97 yards for a touchdown, and the Giants never gave up their lead.
The Giants pressured Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb all day, sacking him six times and forcing him to lose a fumble. McNabb finished 20-of-41 for 181 yards and a touchdown, a 10-yarder with 1:56 remaining to reduce the Eagles’ deficit to 20-10. He also threw an interception late in the first half that Giants defenseman Jason Sehorn returned for a 32-yard touchdown.
The next weekend, the Giants defeated the Minnesota Vikings 41-0, intercepting three passes and holding a prolific Vikings offense for 54 rushing yards and 78 passing yards. But in the Super Bowl, the Baltimore Ravens defeated the Giants 34-7 when New York quarterback Kerry Collins threw four interceptions.
January 7, 2007 – Eagles defeat Giants, 23-20, in Philadelphia
The Eagles won the NFC East for the fifth time in six years and reached the playoffs on a five-game winning streak, a stretch that left starting quarterback Donovan McNabb out with a right knee injury. The Giants, meanwhile, started the year 6-2 but ended 8-8 and secured sixth and final playoff spot.
The game of the division rounds was tight throughout. The Eagles took a 20-10 lead late in the third quarter with David Akers’ 48-yard field goal, the longest make in team playoff history, but the Giants responded with 10 points in the fourth quarter.
After Giants quarterback Eli Manning’s touchdown pass tied the game 5:08, the Eagles got the ball back on their 34-yard line. On the final drive, quarterback Jeff Garcia completed his two passes while Brian Westbrook ran six backs to put the Eagles at the New York 20 with 1:05 left. The Eagles then ran down the clock and opted to let Akers decide the game.
Akers then delivered and kicked in a 38-yard field goal with three seconds remaining. However, the next week, the Eagles lost 27-24 to the New Orleans Saints, ending their season.
January 11, 2009 – Eagles defeat Giants 23-11 in New York
The Giants were the reigning Super Bowl champions and had won the NFC East by a 12-4 record, despite entering the playoffs with three losses in their last four games, including a 20-14 loss to the Eagles on December 7th.
The Eagles, meanwhile, went 9-6-1 and were the No. 6 in the NFC to narrowly make the playoffs. Despite this, they defeated the Vikings 26-14 in the wildcard playoff round and set up a matchup with the Giants.
The matchup took place in windy conditions and was unorthodox in that the teams scored just two touchdowns but had six field goals and a safety. At the end of the first half, Akers made a field goal to give the Eagles a 10-8 lead, but Giants kicker Jay Carney countered with a 36-yard field goal on first possession of the second half.
From there, the Giants didn’t score another goal, while the Eagles scored on two field goals from Akers and a 1-yard touchdown pass from McNabb to tight end Brent Celek.
The win secured the Eagles’ fifth appearance in an NFC championship game in eight years. But the Eagles lost 32-25 to the Arizona Cardinals, who ended up losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl.