Philadelphia Eagles News

Season Preview: A Giant Finale

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The 2015 schedule for the Philadelphia Eagles has been announced. The schedule features six nationally televised games and a second consecutive Thanksgiving Day game ...

The Eagles swept the Giants in 2014, winning a pair of memorable games. The first game came on a brisk Sunday night in early October. You may remember it as Black Sunday. For the first time ever, the Eagles wore black jerseys and black pants, and the all-black everything look helped add to the already electric atmosphere. Connor Barwin announced the Eagles' uniform plans early in the week, and from there, the Black Sunday train was in motion and there was no stopping it.

All of the hype and anticipation before the game transferred to an unbelievable in-game atmosphere that the Eagles thrived off of. Nick Foles threw a pair of touchdowns, Darren Sproles added a touchdown on the ground and the Eagles' defense completely shut down Eli Manning and company. Manning completed just 13-of-23 passes for 151 yards and running back Andre Williams rushed for just 59 yards. After announcing the uniform plans, Barwin made his presence during the game as well, collecting three sacks while forcing a fumble. The 27-0 shutout was the Eagles' first shutout in 18 seasons.

The Eagles and Giants met again in the regular season finale. With NFC East pride on the line, this game was a much closer contest, but the Eagles were once again victorious. The 34-26 win was highlighted by a 44-yard touchdown reception by Jordan Matthews and a Trey Burton return touchdown off a blocked punt. Burton's return was the Eagles' league-leading 11th return touchdown of the year and seventh on special teams.

The Giants are coming off of back-to-back losing seasons for the first time since Eli Manning was drafted in 2004. Their 2014 record of 6-10 was salvaged by a three-game winning streak in the last quarter of the season. After starting 3-2, the Giants dropped seven games in a row, and while outsiders may be quick to point the finger of blame at the quarterback position, that wasn't the case. In fact, Manning had one of his best seasons in 2014, completing a career-high 63.1 percent of his passes for 4,410 yards and 30 touchdowns (compared to just 14 interceptions).

Manning played most of 2014 without Victor Cruz, who suffered a season-ending knee injury against the Eagles in the Black Sunday affair, but luckily for Eli, he had a new receiver at his disposal who had one of the best rookie seasons in recent memory.

Earlier this offseason, Chip Kelly explained that he thought Odell Beckham Jr. was the best player in the 2014 NFL Draft. Not just the best wide receiver, but best the player period. And he may have been right. The 12th overall pick, Beckham played in just 12 games due to a hamstring injury, but once he got on the field, he was almost unstoppable. The LSU product caught 91 passes for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns. His one-handed grab against the Cowboys in late November has been immortalized, and his 12-catch, 185-yard game against the Eagles in the regular season finale proved to be his best game to date. How do the Eagles slow down Beckham in 2015? We'll have to wait and see, but the speedy receiver will most likely see a lot of Byron Maxwell.

The Giants have lost a couple of defensive pieces. Safety Antrel Rolle has been a fixture in the Giants' secondary, playing all 16 games in each of his five seasons in New York. Free agency moved Rolle to Chicago, leaving a hole. The Giants also lost defensive back Walter Thurmond to free agency and are likely to see him line up against them when they play the Eagles this season. Thurmond transitioned from cornerback to safety this spring and is in the mix to start opposite Malcolm Jenkins.

For the second straight season, the Eagles will head to the Meadowlands to the end the year. Hopefully, there will be a lot more on the line this time around. This will be the third time in the last four seasons that the Eagles have played the regular season finale in MetLife Stadium.

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