In fact, according to Dan Graziano of ESPN.com, the Giants are willing to acknowledge that, at this point, the Eagles are in their heads.
"Yeah, I hate the Eagles, and you can put that in print," Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas told Graziano. "They're the one single thing that has kept us out of the playoffs the last two years. They knocked us out of the playoffs in my rookie year, when we were defending champs. We keep coming close, but we haven't been able to beat them, and it bothers us a lot."
It all began in 2008, when the Eagles took the at-the-time 11-1 Giants down a peg. Then, a few weeks later, they went on the road and eliminated the Giants in the wildcard round of the playoffs. After two more victories in 2009, the Eagles had their back to the wall in the first meeting between the two teams in 2010. But trailing 17-16 with less than five minutes remaining, LeSean McCoy took a fourth-down pitch left 50 yards to the house to snuff out the rival Giants.
Then, of course, came the Miracle at the New Meadowlands.
"It's just so tough, because this year we gave one away at their house, and then we definitely gift-wrapped them a Christmas gift at our house," Thomas said. "And we know. We talk about it a lot. We know that's the only team that's stopping us from getting to the playoffs and getting to the Super Bowl.
"Until we beat them, we can't get back to being a dominant team and a dominant defense."
The Eagles, more than anyone else, have contributed to late-season swoons for the Giants during the series winning streak. So perhaps it's good news for the Giants that the two teams are scheduled to meet sooner this year than in years past. First, the Giants will be the visitors for the Eagles' home opener in Week 3. The return trip is set for eight weeks later on a Sunday night at the New Meadowlands. But it's likely to be a long time before the Giants get over these demons.