The rivalry between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants is one of the oldest and most storied in the NFL. For over 85 years, these two NFC East foes have battled for divisional supremacy and NFL glory.
With both teams originating in 1933, their rivalry predates the NFL itself. Over 200 games have been played between the Eagles and Giants, forging countless memorable moments and controversies. While there is mutual disdain between the passionate fanbases, there is also deep respect between the franchises.
This article will dive into the origins, key moments, top players, and cultural impact that have defined the iconic Eagles-Giants rivalry.
Origins of the Rivalry
The roots of the rivalry can be traced back to the birth of the two franchises in the 1930s.
Founding of the Philadelphia Eagles
- Founded in 1933 by Bert Bell and Lud Wray as an expansion team in the NFL
- Named after the insignia used by the New Deal’s National Recovery Act
-played first season in Franklin Field, moved to Veterans Stadium in 1971
Founding of the New York Giants
- One of the five original NFL teams founded in 1925 by Tim Mara
- Based in New York to compete for fans with baseball and college football teams
- First played in Polo Grounds, then Yankee Stadium and Yale Bowl
- Moved to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey in 1976
As two of the longest-tenured franchises in the NFL, the Eagles and Giants have a shared history that is integral to the league’s formation. Their regional proximity also fuels an innate competitiveness between the teams.
Notable Moments in the Rivalry
With over 200 games played, the Eagles-Giants rivalry is filled with unforgettable moments that have shaped its legacy.
Chuck Bednarik’s Tackle on Frank Gifford (1960)
- Occurred at Yankee Stadium on November 20, 1960
- Eagles LB Chuck Bednarik leveled Giants RB Frank Gifford with a brutal hit
- Gifford suffered a severe head injury and missed the next 18 months
- Considered one of the most iconic tackles in NFL history
- Embodies the fierce Eagles-Giants rivalry
Miracle at the Meadowlands (1978)
- Took place on November 19, 1978 at Giants Stadium
- Eagles were down 17-12 with seconds left, when Giants botched handoff
- Herman Edwards scooped up the fumble for a TD and Eagles win
- Seen as the birth of “Eagles law” – Eagles always beat Giants
DeSean Jackson Punt Return (2010)
- Happened on December 19, 2010 at MetLife Stadium
- Jackson fielded a punt with 14 seconds left and Giants up 31-10
- Jackson returned it 65 yards for a TD as time expired
- The Eagles’ 38-31 comeback win is known as the “Miracle at the New Meadowlands”
Odell Beckham Jr. One-Handed Catch (2014)
- Occurred on November 23, 2014 at MetLife Stadium
- Beckham leapt and snagged a 43-yard pass from Eli Manning with one hand
- The incredible catch propelled the Giants to a 31-28 win
- It is considered one of the greatest catches in NFL history
These moments have produced tremendous highlights and catalyzed the rivalry’s emotion and drama over the decades.
All-Time Rivalry Games
With over 200 total meetings, the Eagles and Giants have played some of the most important and memorable games in NFL history.
Top 10 All-Time Meetings
- 1960 – Bednarik’s infamous hit on Gifford
- 1978 – Original Miracle at the Meadowlands
- 1981 NFC Championship – Eagles win 20-7, advance to first Super Bowl
- 1988 – Eagles coach Buddy Ryan recorded on camera putting a “bounty” on Giants kicker
- 1995 – Giants win in OT 15-10 after Eagles fans pelted field with snowballs
- 2001 NFC Divisional Playoffs – Eagles beat Giants 20-10 for first playoff win under Andy Reid
- 2008 NFC Divisional Playoffs – Giants upset top-seeded Eagles 23-11 en route to Super Bowl win
- 2010 – DeSean Jackson’s punt return caps Eagles comeback
- 2017 – Eagles beat Giants 34-29 to clinch NFC’s top playoff seed
- 2022 NFC Divisional Playoffs – Eagles easily beat Giants 38-7 in blowout
Most Memorable Contests
Beyond the top 10 games, there have been many other instant classic Eagles-Giants matchups:
- 1966 – Game ended in a rare tie after Giants missed late FG
- 1988 – “Body Bag Game” – Eagles KO’d several Giants players in a brutal 30-7 win
- 1995 – Rodney Peete led Eagles to dramatic 4th quarter comeback 24-22 win
- 2006 – David Akers’ FG at time expired gave Eagles dramatic 36-22 win
- 2009 – DeSean Jackson returned punt for TD as time expired but play was called back, Eagles lost 13-45
- 2010 – Michael Vick led Eagles to epic 38-31 fourth quarter comeback win at MetLife Stadium
- 2017 – Eagles beat Giants on 61-yard Jake Elliott FG as time expired for 27-24 win
Best Players in the Rivalry
The Eagles-Giants rivalry has featured some of the NFL’s greatest players competing in historic games:
- Frank Gifford, RB (1952-64) – Hall of Famer had 8 TD catches vs. Eagles
- Lawrence Taylor, LB (1981-93) – Dominant LB had 22 sacks in 20 games against Philly
- Michael Strahan, DE (1993-2007) – Posted 14.5 sacks in 19 rivalry games
- Eli Manning, QB (2004-19) – Won 2 Super Bowls; had 46 TDs vs. Eagles
- Odell Beckham Jr., WR (2014-18) – Iconic one-handed catch vs. Eagles as a rookie
- Chuck Bednarik, LB (1949-62) – 10 Pro Bowls; brutal hit on Frank Gifford
- Reggie White, DE (1985-92) – Hall of Famer had 18 sacks in 19 games vs. Giants
- Randall Cunningham, QB (1985-95) – Dual threat QB passed for 27 TDs vs. Giants
- Brian Dawkins, S (1996-2008) – Weapon for defense vs. Giants had 26 career takeaways
- DeSean Jackson, WR (2008-13, 2019-20) – Made “Miracle” punt return TD vs. Giants
The Eagles and Giants have had no shortage of star players make their mark in the rivalry’s most memorable games over the decades.
Regular Season Dominance
Despite Going into the 2022 season, the Eagles held a commanding 89-87-2 advantage in the all-time series against the Giants. They have dominated in recent years, winning 10 of the last 11 matchups.
However, the Giants had periods of sustained regular season success against the Eagles in the 1980s and early 2000s behind Phil Simms and Kerry Collins. They won 17 of the 24 games played between 1981-1991. The Michael Strahan and Tiki Barber-led Giants also went 15-3 against the Eagles from 1997 to 2002.
But over the past 20 seasons, Philadelphia has outright owned New York. Since 2000, the Eagles boast a commanding 35-11 record against the Giants. They have proven to be a nemesis that New York has struggled to overcome.
While the Eagles have dominated the regular season series, the Giants have fared better in the postseason against their bitter rivals:
Giants-Eagles Playoff Results:
- 1981 NFC Championship – Eagles 20, Giants 7
- 2000 NFC Divisional – Giants 20, Eagles 10
- 2006 NFC Wild Card – Eagles 23, Giants 20
- 2008 NFC Divisional – Giants 23, Eagles 11
- 2018 NFC Divisional – Eagles 34, Giants 29
- 2022 NFC Divisional – Eagles 38, Giants 7
Series Record – Giants lead 3-2
The Giants played spoiler in the playoffs to the Eagles’ best seasons of the 2000s. They upset the top-seeded Birds after the ’08 season to squash their Super Bowl hopes.
But the Eagles finally toppled the Giants in the postseason in 2018 on their way to winning Super Bowl LII. And in 2022, they dominated New York 38-7 in the playoffs.
The long history between the franchises has led to some bitter rivalries between Eagles and Giants coaches over the years:
- Steve Owen vs. Greasy Neale – Giants and Eagles coaches from the 1940s who disliked each other intensely
- Buddy Ryan vs. Bill Parcells – Infamous “Bounty Bowl” and brutal hits embodied their fierce rivalry
- Chip Kelly vs Tom Coughlin – Matchup in 2013-14 marked by trash talk and accusations of dirty play
- Doug Pederson vs. Pat Shurmur – Shurmur complained about Eagles’ effort vs. Giants in 2017
- Nick Sirianni vs. Brian Daboll – The latest matchup as first-year coaches in 2022-23
These coaching feuds have contributed to the contemptuous feelings between the organizations.
Cultural Impact of the Rivalry
Beyond the field, the Giants-Eagles rivalry permeates the culture of sports fans in New York and Philadelphia.
Passionate Fan Bases
Eagles and Giants fans are known for their intense passion and loyalty to their teams. Games featuring the divisional rivals capture the interest of both massive fan bases. The outspoken, diehard fans have fueled the rivalry’s fame.
With Philadelphia and the Meadowlands just 90 miles apart, the NFL clashes mirror the regional rivalry between the metropolitan areas. Fans take pride in their local team defending their territory against a close neighbor.
The national popularity of New York and Philadelphia as large media markets has amplified the notoriety of their football rivalry. Games between the Eagles and Giants receive primetime billing.
Generational Familial Bonds
A family’s loyalty to either the Eagles or Giants often passes from generation to generation. Parents indoctrinate their children as fans of their team to carry on the rivalry.
The cultural footprint of the rivalry makes Eagles-Giants matchups a centerpiece on the NFL calendar every year.
Moments of Respect Between the Rival Teams
For all the animus and trash talk, there have also been poignant moments of respect shown between the Eagles and Giants over the years:
- Pre-game tribute for Reggie White after passing away in 2004
- Donovan McNabb and Michael Strahan exchanging jerseys after 2002 playoff game
- Eli Manning and Michael Vick praising each other after 2010 comeback win
- Giants and Eagles captains meet mid-field pre-game after 9/11 attacks
- Eagles wish Jason Peters well after Giants sign him late in 2021 season
The rivalry between the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants is simply one of the best in pro sports. It extends from the early days of the NFL into the modern era.
Generations of fans will never forget the Miracles at the Meadowlands, Chuck Bednarik’s iconic hit, DeSean Jackson’s walk-off punt return, and other indelible moments. While there is mutual contempt between the franchises, there is also tremendous respect.
Games featuring the Eagles and Giants capture national attention and the hearts of the most diehard, devoted NFL fans. This classic rivalry only grows with each season as new chapters are added to its cherished history. After over 200 total games, the legacy of the Eagles vs. Giants continues to leave an indelible mark on football.
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Frequently Asked Questions
When did the rivalry between the Eagles and Giants begin?
The rivalry began in 1933 when the Eagles and Giants were founded as two of the first NFL teams. Their regional proximity and long-shared history as cornerstone NFL franchises fueled the rivalry.
Which team has more regular season wins head-to-head?
Going into 2022, the Philadelphia Eagles led the all-time series 89-87-2, including winning 10 of the past 11 matchups. However, the Giants have had sustained runs of dominance as well.
Who won the 2022 NFC Divisional playoff game?
The Eagles crushed the Giants 38-7 in the 2022 playoffs, their biggest rivalry win since 1948. It was the most lopsided postseason victory by either team in the history of the rivalry.
How many playoff games have the teams played against each other?
The Eagles and Giants have met six times in the playoffs, with the Giants holding a 3-2 edge in those games. But the Eagles won the last postseason matchup in 2022.
When was the “Body Bag Game”?
The infamous “Body Bag Game” was a 1990 Monday Night Football contest where the Eagles physically dominated the Giants, knocking out several key players in a 30-7 win.
Which Eagles player made the “Miracle at the Meadowlands” play?
In 1978, cornerback Herman Edwards had a last-second fumble return touchdown that became known as the original “Miracle at the Meadowlands” in the Eagles’ 19-17 win.
Who was featured in the most famous Eagles-Giants on-field incident?
In 1960, Eagles linebacker Chuck Bednarik leveled Giants star Frank Gifford in one of football’s most iconic tackles. Gifford suffered a severe injury and missed a year and a half.
The Eagles-Giants rivalry will forever be remembered as one of the greatest in sports. Their classic games and historical moments continue to live on each season they meet. It is a special rivalry that captures the passion, pride, and respect between two storied NFL franchises.