The New York Giants (9-6-1) are locked into the sixth seed in the seven-team NFC playoff field, but the Philadelphia Eagles (13-3) still have everything to play for in the regular-season finale at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Eagles can clinch the NFC East and No. 1 seed in the conference with a win or losses by Cowboys (at Washington) and 49ers (at Arizona). Here are three ways the Giants can prevent that and head into the postseason on a winning streak:
In their first meeting less than a month ago, the Giants allowed 253 rushing yards and 11 runs of 10+ yards, both season highs as the Eagles jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the second quarter and took full control of the game. Miles Sanders accounted for two of Philadelphia's four rushing touchdowns as part of his career year. If the Giants are to play spoiler on Sunday, it starts on the ground. Meanwhile, they will see about the status of Jalen Hurts, who is the first quarterback in NFL history with 10+ rushing touchdowns and a 100+ passer rating.
Since the Week 14 loss, the Giants have gotten back on track and held opponents to 16.3 points per game as they secured a playoff berth.
"I think that the thing that's exciting to me is that we've come here, and we've built a playoff defense," defensive coordinator Wink Martindale said. "Nobody can argue that, and I think we're starting to really catch our stride. They understand the value of each snap as it gets closer towards the end of the year. The young ones and the vets."
Protect the QB
The Eagles lead the league with 68 sacks, tied for the fourth-most ever by a team in a single season. With at least five sacks – a mark they have hit in each of the past five games – the Eagles would surpass the 1984 Chicago Bears (72 sacks) for NFL record, albeit with one more game.
The Giants, meanwhile, have allowed zero sacks in two of their past three games.
"That's where the game starts – up front," coach Brian Daboll said. "The guys don't normally get their names in the paper or a bunch of articles written about them, but they do the dirty work that they need to do."
Special time of year
Thomas McGaughey began his first stint with the Giants in 2007, which ended with the team hoisting its third Lombardi Trophy. The special teams coordinator has been around long enough to know the importance of his phase of the game when everything is amplified come January.
"We always talk about the history of the organization, but for us, the most important thing is the game out in front of us," McGaughey said. "And it's special being in this place. We always point to the wall when we're in a meeting room. We talk about Lawrence Taylor and Carl Banks and those guys playing on special teams. It's always been a part of this organization – just big plays on teams. I just remember the '07 run when I was here; (Former wide receiver) Domenik Hixon (had) big kickoff returns in Green Bay. Really leading up to the postseason, he had an 86-yard kickoff return against New England. So, just a lot of big plays that were made by guys during the stretch – obviously L.T.'s kicks, Lawrence's (Tynes) kicks in Green Bay. And being in that environment and just over the years, the history of it. It's been pretty big."
View rare photos of the historic rivalry between the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles.