Eli Manning was right two weeks ago. That game in Philadelphia didn’t settle anything in the NFC East. In fact, just a few hours after the Giants finished their rousing, 24-20 victory over Jacksonville on Sunday, the Eagles lost to Chicago to put the Giants (7-4) in the same spot they held before the Eagles beat them: Tied for first in the NFC East, with a new lease on playoff life.
“We never felt we were out of the mix,” Manning said. “That’s just football. There’s going to be a big game like last week that doesn’t go away, but it doesn’t mean you’re out of it. A game in Week 10 of the season is never a sign of the season for you.”
But Sunday’s game might have been, if not for defensive end Justin Tuck delivering an impassioned speech after a horrible first-half showing that included 145 rushing yards allowed. The defense came alive after that, held the Jags to a field goal and sacked David Garrard three straight times on the Jaguars' final drive to clinch the win.
“Basically, I just talked about how you allow somebody to come into your house and take over,” Tuck said. “I told them I was playing like [garbage]. I told them we were playing like [garbage] and we need to pick it up. Just try to create a spark, and it worked.”
And now, the Giants are right back in the picture, with divisional foe Washington this week and a second crack at Philly coming two weeks later.
“Our mindset was to be in the same position when we play the Eagles again, and the winner will be on top of the NFC East,” linebacker Michael Boley said.