There is perhaps no sportier rivalry than that between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles. The two teams have played in the same division every year since the Eagles joined the NFL in 1933, and their head-to-head record is still close to even. The Eagles lead the series 90-88-2.
The rivalry has been skewed of late: The Giants were 4-16 against the Eagles in the 2010s. But for the first time in what feels like forever, both teams are legitimate playoff contenders. They will meet in week 14 and 18 in matchups that will likely determine the winner of the NFC East.
In honor of their renewed rivalry, we take a look at the most memorable Giants-Eagles games. The Giants have played the Eagles more times than any team other than Washington, so there’s plenty to choose from. Here are five of the most memorable.
5. 1981 Wild Card Round
location: Veterans Stadium, PA
score: giants 27, eagles 21
The New York Giants were finally winners again. 1981 was the team’s first appearance in the playoffs in 17 years and the real beginning of the Phil Simms era. The Eagles have been in the postseason four straight years.
Simms was out with a shoulder injury, but the Giants still went 20-0 in the first quarter after two touchdown passes from Scott Brunner and a fumble recovery from Mark Haynes. The defense held out during a late Eagles rally, and New York recorded its first postseason win since 1958.
4th Division Round 2000
location: Giants Stadium, NJ
score: giants 20, eagles 10
For New York, this was the pinnacle of the modern Giants-Eagles rivalry. The Giants entered the second round of the playoffs with a 12-4 record, an NFC East title and eight straight wins against Philadelphia. The Eagles were 11-5 in Donovan McNabb’s first year as a starter. It was the first time the two teams had met in the playoffs since 1981.
The Giants went into halftime 17-3 after a touchdown on the opening kickoff and a pick six. McNabb completed just 20 of his 41 passes for 181 yards.
The win allowed New York to advance to the NFC Championship Game, where they defeated the Minnesota Vikings before losing to the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XXXVII.
3. Chuck Bednarik KOs Frank Gifford
location: Yankee Stadium, NY
score: eagle 17, giant 10
Arguably the most famous photo in football history, Chuck Bednarik looks down at Frank Gifford, one arm in the air, seconds after he scored a goal that changed both players’ career narratives.
The Eagles scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to take a 17-10 lead, leaving the Giants only one chance to march down the field and level the game. Frank Gifford caught a pass from George Shaw and ran to the sidelines to try and stop the clock. Before he could, Chuck Bednarik delivered a concussive hit that had Gifford fumbling and secured an Eagles win. Gifford was unconscious as soon as he hit the ground.
Philadelphia went on to win the NFL title. Gifford’s concussion sidelined him for the rest of the year and the entire 1961 season.
2. DeSean Jackson’s punt return
location: MetLife Stadium, NJ
score: eagle 38, giant 31
This one still stings. The Giants and Eagles met in Week 15 of the 2010 season in a game that had serious playoff implications. With eight minutes remaining, New York led by 21 points. Out of nowhere, Michael Vick threw three touchdown passes and the Eagles defense kept New York scoreless to level the game. The Giants then went in a three and had to punt with 14 seconds left.
Matt Dodge potted the ball to DeSean Jackson instead of running wide, Jackson swallowed the punt, retrieved the ball and ran 70 yards for a game-winning touchdown. Jackson ran parallel to the end zone for a few seconds before scoring and throwing the ball into the stands.
The loss resulted in the Giants emerging from the playoffs despite a 10-6 record. The Eagles, also with a 10-6 record, won the NFC East after a head-to-head tiebreak. They lost to the Packers in the wild card round.
1. The Miracle in the Meadowlands
location: Giants Stadium, NJ
score: eagle 19, giant 17
This list would be a lot more digestible if it weren’t filled with agonizing Giants losses, but “The Miracle at the Meadowlands” — sometimes called simply “The Fumble” — is the most famous of them all.
The Giants had possession with a 17-12 lead and less than two minutes left. The Eagles had no more time off. The fans headed for the exits and the TV commentators started reading the credits.
In third and first place with 30 seconds remaining, the Giants had one final game to play. Kneeling the quarterback wasn’t legal yet, but teams sometimes killed games by rolling the quarterback to the floor. Instead, OC Bob Gibson called for a running game.
Quarterback Joe Pisarcik lost control of the ball before he could pass it. Herman Edwards quickly found the fumble again and returned it 26 yards for a touchdown. win eagle.
The loss was the defining moment for the Giants’ mediocrity in the 1970s. Gibson was fired the next day, and the majority of the staff and front office were also fired by the end of the season. George Young took over as GM, drafted Phil Simms and the turnaround began.