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Giants building a home-field advantage at MetLife

J.R. Reed of the New York Giants reacts

J.R. Reed of the New York Giants reacts after a defensive play late in the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Don’t look now, but MetLife Stadium might be starting to become something it has rarely been in its decade or so of existence: Giants Stadium.

The team is starting to cobble together a bit of a home-field advantage in the building, having won three straight there for the first time since 2016. They already have matched their home win total from last season (three) with two more to play and topped their home win totals from 2017-19 (two each of those years). More importantly, the Giants are 4-0 at home against division opponents since Joe Judge became head coach in January 2020.

It’s gotten to the point that when co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch have their names mentioned — as they were during the Michael Strahan jersey retirement ceremony at halftime on Sunday — there was only a smattering of boos instead of the full-throated disdain that met Mara earlier this season when Eli Manning’s jersey was retired.

"I thought it was awesome, I really did," Judge said of the atmosphere for Sunday’s 13-7 win over the Eagles. "You wake up and all of a sudden the cold air is hitting your face. It feels a whole lot more like football season, you know? You’ve got people in the stands wearing their knit hats and heavy coats and stuff . . . It should be that way when you play an NFC East home game. That’s the way it should be."

Judge said besides the chill in the air, he felt the passion and enthusiasm of the fans.

"We’ve got to give the fans something to cheer about," he said. "I’m proud that we were able to go ahead and finish the game the right way and give the fans something to cheer about."

The Giants have two more home games, against Dallas on Dec. 19 and Washington on Jan. 9 in the regular-season finale.

They can’t top 2016, when they were 7-1 at home, but if they can win those last two MetLife games, they’ll post their second-best home record since they went 6-2 in 2012.

Notes & quotes: Safety Logan Ryan was cleared from COVID protocols and rejoined the team Monday after a week and a half in isolation. The Giants will need to make a roster move to activate him from COVID/reserve before Sunday’s game in Miami . . . Judge did not provide any update on cornerbacks Adoree’ Jackson (quadriceps) and Darnay Holmes (back) or linebacker Trent Harris (knee), all of whom left Sunday’s game with injuries. As for those who missed Sunday’s game — wide receivers Kadarius Toney (quadriceps) and Sterling Shepard (quadriceps) and tight end Kyle Rudolph (ankle) — Judge said they made progress last week and will "be part of the game plan [against the Dolphins] until we’re told otherwise."

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