In what should seem very familiar, the New York Giants are heading into Philadelphia having won three in a row after losing their first two games.
They began with precisely the same results in 2014 only to endure a blowout loss to the Eagles that started a lengthy skid.
New York will try to write a different script in its return to Philadelphia on Monday night while the Eagles seek to build on their best performance of the season.
The Giants (3-2) used an eight-play, 82-yard drive in the final 1:45 for a 30-27 win over San Francisco on Sunday with Larry Donnell catching Eli Manning’s 12-yard touchdown pass with 21 seconds left.
Manning finished with a season-best 441 yards and three TDs despite starting receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Rueben Randle dealing with hamstring issues during the game. Beckham got back on the field for the final drive.
”It ranks up there as far as comebacks,” coach Tom Coughlin said. ”They are resilient, tough-minded, they find themselves as a scrappy bunch.
"I told them in the locker room it took every guy, people were playing and pushed into roles that maybe they hadn’t been in before. That’s a real sign of a team."
Beckham and Randle’s statuses are unclear for this week’s game, and linebacker Jon Beason missed most of last weekend’s contest because of a concussion. Tight end Daniel Fells remains hospitalized for a serious MRSA infection and reportedly had a sixth surgery on his foot Wednesday in the hopes of avoiding an amputation.
The Giants are also missing wide receiver Victor Cruz, who hasn’t played since tearing a tendon in his knee in Week 6 in Philadelphia last season and is currently dealing with a calf injury.
Just like this year, New York is facing the Eagles on the road after a stirring win. The Giants scored 20 unanswered points in a 30-20 victory over Atlanta before last season’s meeting.
Their momentum was abruptly halted with a 27-0 thumping that was the first of seven consecutive defeats that put them out of the playoffs for a third consecutive year.
"It wasn’t a good feeling. … We went there and laid an egg," defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins told the team’s official website. "Hopefully it’ll be different this year."
One major difference is that Philadelphia is 2-3 this year after winning five of its first six games in 2014. The Eagles, though, are coming off a decisive 39-17 victory over New Orleans on Sunday.
The scoring output was 15 more than in any other game and they gained 519 yards after averaging 294.0 in their first four weeks.
"Obviously, it’s not going to be like this every week," said quarterback Sam Bradford, whose 333 yards were three short of matching his season high from the opener in Atlanta on Sept. 14. ”But to know that when we’re clicking and we’re rolling that we can go out and do that, it’s just going to give us confidence now to go out there and do it more often."
Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur credited his line, which didn’t give up a sack for the second time this year and paved the way for a season-best 186 rushing yards.
DeMarco Murray had 83 after gaining a combined 47 in his first three games, and Ryan Mathews rushed for 73 on eight carries. The Eagles will face the league’s second-best rushing defense (80.6 yards allowed per game) but that success is largely in part because of opponents exploiting a league-worst pass defense.
The Giants are allowing 304.2 yards per game through the air but held their past two opponents to less than 300 while facing two of the league’s least prolific passers in Tyrod Taylor and Colin Kaepernick.
Bradford is 15th in the league with 256.2 yards per game, but his 83.7 quarterback rating is 30th. He has eight touchdowns to six interceptions, which have him tied for fifth most.
He hasn’t faced the Giants since throwing for 331 yards in his only matchup in September 2011, a 28-16 loss for St. Louis. Murray had a combined 249 yards in his two games against the Giants in 2014 while with Dallas en route to a league-leading 1,845.
Philadelphia recorded a 34-26 win in New York on Dec. 28 and has won 11 of the past 14 meetings, including one in the playoffs. The Eagles have claimed four of the past six home matchups.