Odell Beckham Jr. has known only one end of the Giants-Eagles rivalry: The short end.
He knows of heartbreak, of disappointment, of frustration, of anguish, and he’s tired of it.
“It’s time for that to all turnaround,” Beckham said on Friday following practice.
The Giants have lost eight of nine games to the Eagles, including four in a row, and haven’t won in Philadelphia since 2013. They played their worst game of the year against the defending Super Bowl champions on Oct. 11, suffering a 34-13 drubbing at MetLife Stadium. Of their seven defeats, it was the one setback in which Pat Shurmur’s 3-7 team was never a threat, trailing by three scores at halftime.
Beckham, whose stated goal of running the table a few weeks ago has become a rallying cry for the Giants, is planning on that changing on Sunday.
“It’s time — time’s now,” he said. “I just know that it’s on our minds. It’s on my mind for sure.
“It can’t go on forever.”
Beckham wasn’t even sure when the last time the Giants defeated the Eagles — it was a 28-23 victory Nov. 6, 2016 — but he does remember the loss that has stuck with him the most. It was the second 2016 meeting in the next-to-last regular season game, a 24-19 setback that forced the Giants to visit the Packers on wild-card weekend. They were blown out, one-and-done in the postseason.
There has been variety in the defeats — routs like the first meeting this season, nail-biters such as Jake Elliott’s game-winning, 61-yard field goal at the horn in Philadelphia last year, and shootouts. The constant has been the Eagles coming out on top.
“I don’t know if it’s something specific,” Beckham said, discounting any kind of mental edge the Eagles may have. “I don’t know what it is. They’ve just come out with the wins.”
But the Giants seem to be entering this meeting with momentum, coming off consecutive victories for the first time since December 2016. The offense, keyed by a finally stable offensive line, has begun to get into gear, scoring 65 points in the two wins. The defense has forced six turnovers.
The Eagles, meanwhile, find themselves in turmoil, losers of three of their past four games to fall to 4-6. In the wake of last Sunday’s ugly 48-7 loss to the Saints, safety and team leader Malcolm Jenkins questioned some of his teammates, saying “The demeanor of the team really bothered me” and “I didn’t feel like as a team we had a lot of fight.” Coach Doug Pederson suggested struggling franchise quarterback Carson Wentz was pressing.
The secondary is an infirmary, already without starting safety Rodney McLeod and starting cornerback Ronald Darby for the rest of the season, and possibly without cornerbacks Rasul Douglas, Sidney Jones, Jalen Mills and Avonte Maddox on Sunday as well.
“We’ve just got to come out and we got to bring it to them the way that we’ve been doing the past couple weeks,” Beckham said.
He later added: “We got to come out and bring our best game.”
After all, a win Sunday is the only way keep his stated goal of finishing 9-7 alive. Beckham watched some of the Redskins-Cowboys game on Thanksgiving before his food coma set in. He didn’t have a rooting interest, even though Dallas’ win helped the Giants, moving them within 2 ¹/₂ games of first place. All that matters is how they perform the rest of the year.
“I don’t care who beat who yesterday. If we don’t handle our business, none of it matters,” Beckham said. “If we don’t handle our business, it doesn’t matter what anybody else is doing. Our focus is us and beating the Eagles this week.
“We got to win all six games that we have left. That’s [got] to be the goal. It wasn’t a joke when I said it. I really believed it.”