Philadelphia Eagles News

Spadaro: A Giant task at hand Sunday with so much on the line

Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro
Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro

There is a football game to be played on Sunday at 4:25 PM at Lincoln Financial Field and the Eagles understand the stakes: A win (or a tie) against the New York Giants gives them win No. 14 on the season, clinches the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs and with that the lone bye in the NFC during Wild Card Weekend, and gives Philadelphia home-field advantage throughout the conference postseason.

It's a one-game proposition.

"We gotta get it done," wide receiver A.J. Brown said, sitting at his locker at the NovaCare Complex, a stern look on his face. "We gotta try to get some momentum for the playoff push. It's not about pressure. There's still no pressure because once you're in, you're in and then it's a whole new season. We're trying to set us up for the new season, but trying to get some momentum. Build some confidence through the week so that we have confidence on Sunday. Get rid of the mistakes, play fast, play ball.

"Me personally, I am pissed off. I want to go out and handle business the right way. I'm definitely going to go out and play with an edge and try to get my guys in the (wide receivers) room to play with the same edge."

Philadelphia defeated the Giants 48-22 at MetLife Stadium on December 11 in one of the team's most complete victories of the season. Since then, the Giants gained a key road win at Washington, narrowly lost at the Minnesota Vikings, and then secured their postseason berth with a resounding 38-10 win over Indianapolis on Sunday. New York is in the playoffs for the first time since 2016 and has locked up the sixth seed in the NFC playoffs.

There are still plenty of unknowns about Sunday's game, starting with the Eagles' quarterback situation. Jalen Hurts has missed the last two games after suffering a shoulder injury in the December 18 win at Chicago and while he practiced on a limited basis last week, he was still inactive in the loss to New Orleans. Hurts was a limited participant in Wednesday's walkthrough practice at the NovaCare Complex, and there is no definitive word on his status for Sunday's contest.

The Giants have not announced how they're going to play it on Sunday – will their starters suit up against the Eagles? – but that doesn't matter to this locker room. It's about what the Eagles do, something they've said week after week.

"It's how we play and the things that we do and we haven't done enough the last two weeks to win," defensive tackle Fletcher Cox said. "We have to change that and get back to our winning ways no matter who we're playing. It's all about us."

Said linebacker Haason Reddick: "I just feel like we've got to go out there and get it done at the end of the day. Everybody knows the importance of this game. It's the last game of the season, No. 1. We know the importance of it. But it's also about taking the same approach you took the first 17 weeks of the season, making sure you don't do anything uncharacteristic, because we want this W to lock up the No. 1 seed. It's about being more detailed, more focused than the day before so that we can accomplish the goal. Each man has to do his job at the end of the day and doing what he's supposed to do to help the team win."

In an incredibly emotional week, one that has taxed emotions throughout the league, the Eagles know that a win gives them the goals they established before the season began. Knuckling down and beating the Giants is the mission.

To reach a franchise-best 14th win, the Eagles have to minimize the mistakes they've made the last two weeks that have harmed them so much.

"There's definitely a good feeling going into this game," cornerback James Bradberry said. "We've put the past behind us, so we're thinking nothing but positive thoughts and we know we've got to go out here and perform. It's definitely a big game for us and we're looking forward to getting out there and getting the win. All we can do is prepare throughout this week and go out and dominate and win a game."

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