There still is a long way to go, but chances are when the teams of the NFC East look back on the season and try to figure out where the division title was won, this Week 6 game between the Giants and the Eagles will be one of those that mattered.
That's not to say the winner Monday night will win it all. Lots can happen. But the Giants and Eagles came into this week as the only functioning teams in the group, accounting for five of the division's six wins in the last three weeks.
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"Obviously, I've been in this division for the past four years; I know how important every division game is,'' said Eagles running back DeMarco Murray, who began his career with the Cowboys. "I think, for me, I know how important the game is. I'm sure everyone else knows how important it is.''
Tom Coughlin does.
"I think the significance of your divisional games is well known and well stated,'' he said. "I think the excitement of playing within the division is always there. At this point in the season, with the teams all bunched up like they are, this is a big game.''
It's actually a big two-game stretch for the Giants. On Sunday, they will host the Cowboys, who will come in with more starting quarterbacks this season than wins. If the Giants can win both, they can separate themselves in a division in which they already own first place.
"We've got a lead right now,'' Giants linebacker Jon Beason said. "It's a long race, but you don't want to give that lead back. We've worked hard to kind of climb out of being irrelevant to somewhat relevant. We don't want to look back, so this game means everything to us, as it does for Philadelphia.''
It may mean everything, but the Giants won't have everyone. They will play the next month without Prince Amukamara, one of their starting cornerbacks and one of their top tacklers against the run, because of a pectoral injury. They'll spend at least another game without their most gifted linebacker, Devon Kennard, out with a hamstring injury.
That says nothing about Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring), who may very well be a game-time decision. Even if he does suit up, there's no telling how Beckham Beckham can be.
And hovering over the Giants' confidence as they head to Lincoln Financial Field is the memory of last year's visit with an identical 3-2 record and an identical three-game winning streak. They lost the game, 27-0, lost Victor Cruz for the season, and lost the next six games as their season collapsed.
The winner Monday night will be in first place. But while Coughlin reminds the Giants each week of the standings, Eagles coach Chip Kelly does things differently (surprise, surprise).
"We've never talked long term, the division, conference, any of that stuff,'' Kelly said. "Our focus is just whoever our opponent is that week, and we've got a really good opponent this week in the Giants. We don't talk about what the outcome of a win or loss is about. We just talk about preparing for playing a really good team.
"They're not giving out awards after Week 5 or Week 6.''
No, they're not. But when they do get around to trophy day, chances are that those weeks will have been significant ones.
Notes & quotes: The Giants signed CB Brandon McGee from the practice squad, adding depth to a position thinned by the loss of Amukamara. TE Jerome Cunningham was waived.