PHILADELPHIA — Two one-win teams battled Thursday for a chance at first place in their division, so let’s accept the premise nothing in the NFC East makes sense in 2020.
It was the perfect time and place for the Giants to exorcise a demon by getting a win at Lincoln Financial Field.
But old habits die hard — especially when the habit is losing.
There would have been no faster way for coach Joe Judge to endear himself to Giants fans — no matter what else happens this season — than by proving he can beat the Eagles. Beating Washington last week just doesn’t carry the same weight.
But the Eagles prevailed for the eighth straight time in this rivalry, 22-21 with a fourth-quarter comeback — as the Giants blew a double-digit lead at the Linc for the third straight season.
“Definitely that streak is too long,” said tight end Evan Engram, whose dropped pass poured gasoline on the fire. “Today was one that we had — we just didn’t finish.”
Judge, quarterback Daniel Jones and a handful of other starters wore blue and white into the house of horrors for the first time and left with the same fate as their predecessors. Ben McAdoo and Pat Shurmur couldn’t win in Philadelphia, and Odell Beckham Jr. declared “it’s time for all that to turn around” two years ago — but he’s gone, too, and it hasn’t turned around.
The Giants haven’t won here since 2013.
“We had chances to close out the game and we did not execute,” safety Jabrill Peppers said after allowing the game-winning touchdown pass. “That’s all it is. It’s no psychological thing or anything like that. We know this is a game we should’ve won.”
They now can add Thursday — the one when they squandered a chance to put themselves in position for a first-place tie in the division (should the Cowboys lose Sunday at Washington) despite a disastrous 0-5 start — to the decade-long list of agony.
There was last year, when the Giants blew a 14-point lead and lost in overtime.
Or 2018, when the Giants blew a 16-point lead as Saquon Barkley disappeared from the second-half play-calling.
Or 2017, when the Giants scored 24 fourth-quarter points and still lost on a 61-yard field goal at the end of regulation.
Or 2016, when the Giants were delayed from clinching a playoff spot.
Or 2014, when the Eagles pitched their first shutout in 18 years.
Or 2012 or 2010 or … you get the point.
How much longer can it continue?
Now that 2020 again is a lost cause, the first step toward changing the narrative in the Judge and Jones era will be winning at the Linc next season.
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