Giants and Eagles play for pride

( - All that remains for the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants is playing for pride.

The storied NFC East foes will close out their respective, and disappointing, seasons Sunday from MetLife Stadium.

Philadelphia was picked by many in the offseason to make a strong push into the playoffs, but three straight losses have made that impossible. The Eagles suffered a 27-24 loss in Washington on Saturday, then a Dallas Cowboys win over the Indianapolis Colts Sunday sealed their postseason fate.

Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez threw for 374 yards and two touchdowns, but fumbled once and his interception by Redskins defensive back Bashaud Breeland set up the game-winning field goal. Sanchez took over for starter Nick Foles in a Nov. 2 win at Houston and the Eagles are 4-4 since.

Sanchez has thrown 10 interceptions and lost three of seven fumbles.

"It's tough to swallow," Sanchez said after the game. "You want to get a win, especially with some of the outstanding performances we had. It's really too bad when that happens and we lose."

Sanchez, of course, will be going back to the stadium he called home while with the New York Jets and has 14 wins at the Meadowlands.

The Eagles, who have lost three in a row and will miss the playoffs for a third time in the past four seasons, had 495 yards of offense and tight end Zach Ertz set a franchise record with 15 catches for 115 yards.

Now all that's left is trying for 10 wins in back-to-back seasons under head coach Chip Kelly.

"One game left. We got to get ready and focused for the New York Giants. We got to win that game," Kelly said.

Philadelphia hasn't lost four in a row since an eight-game slide during the 2012 campaign, the last under Andy Reid.

Meanwhile, the Giants have picked it up with three straight wins following a seven-game slide and will miss postseason action for a third year in a row after winning Super Bowl XLVI.

The Giants temporarily saved the job of head coach Tom Coughlin with Sunday's 37-27 victory at St. Louis, as Eli Manning threw for 391 yards with three touchdown passes and no interceptions with a rating of 148.8. Manning has thrown six TD passes to zero picks in his last two games.

"I'm going to give Eli a lot of credit. He has played well of late," Rams coach Jeff Fisher said.

Manning is aiming for his first 4,000-yard season since 2011 (4,933) and needs 19 yards Sunday versus Philadelphia to reach that mark. Manning is three touchdown passes shy of setting a personal record (31 in 2010).

Rookie running back Andre Williams posted 110 yards on 26 carries against the Rams and has eclipsed the century mark twice this season. He leads the team with 678 rushing yards, while Rashad Jennings was inactive with a nagging ankle injury.

"Offense was clicking from the start," Manning said. "(We) moved the ball well, ran the ball well ... (and) were pretty effective against a good defense."

The Giants will face a tough defensive line versus the Eagles and are looking for revenge of a 27-0 loss in south Philly on Oct. 12. Manning passed for just 151 yards and the Eagles racked up eight sacks, three by linebacker Connor Barwin. A healthy Foles threw for 248 yards with two TDs and two INTs, while LeSean McCoy ran for 149 yards on 22 carries.

New York is 82-75-2 in the regular season against the Eagles (2-2 playoffs), but has lost nine of the past 10 meetings between the NFC East foes, including the postseason. Coughlin is 11-12 (0-2 playoffs) in games versus the Eagles in the regular season.


Giants rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. had only 28 yards on two receptions in the first meeting with Philadelphia. He has been on a major tear since and leads the Giants with 1,120 yards and 11 TDs.

Beckham blew up for his third straight 100-yard game Sunday in St. Louis, posting 148 yards and two TDs on eight receptions. Beckham recorded an 80-yard score at the end of the third quarter.

"It was a play that we had called and they ended up giving us the perfect coverage for it. I got up on the safety and just made a move outside, then came back inside," Beckham said of the 80-yard score. "It was great to have the offensive line give him (Eli Manning) time to take shots down the field."

Beckham has eclipsed the 100-yard receiving mark six times in the last eight weeks with eight touchdown receptions over that stretch.

His 79 receptions are a franchise rookie record. Tight end Jeremy Shockey caught 74 passes in 2002. The former LSU standout extended his Giants and NFL rookie records with his eighth consecutive game with at least 90 receiving yards. Next week, he can tie the league record of nine, set by Dallas Cowboys Hall of Famer Michael Irvin in 1995.

Look for Beckham to sink his teeth into a downtrodden Philadelphia defensive backfield. The future looks bleak for the Eagles and their defensive backs with Dez Bryant, Beckham and DeSean Jackson in the division. Jackson had 126 yards on four catches against his former team Saturday.

Redskins receiver Pierre Garcon broke a Cary Williams tackle that helped set up Kai Forbath's 26-yard game-winning field goal, but no one was considering rolling a safety over the top on his side.

"That's how they play," Jackson replied when asking about Philadelphia's defensive plan to leave Bradley Fletcher on an island. "They're very naive and they play how they play. They could care less who is out there or who is at wide receiver, they're going to play their defense the way they play it."

Jackson continued on Philly's defense, or lack there of.

"That's the Philadelphia Eagle defense," Jackson said. "I've been there a lot of years and witnessed a lot of players -- wide receivers, tight ends -- get off on some huge games on them, and I'm just happy to be on this side and be able to send them home with a loss."

Fletcher has struggled the past few weeks and defensive coordinator Bill Davis thinks his cornerback has lost some confidence. Nolan Carroll replaced Fletcher in the base defense toward the end of the game. It's unknown if Carroll will start Sunday.

"Two weeks in a row, he's had two bad weeks," Davis said of Fletcher, who was torched for three TDs by Bryant two weeks ago. "I was hoping he'd get out of that slump and he didn't. They went at him deep and they made the plays on him so I made a switch.

"I think Fletch is a good corner, he's just lacking confidence right now. They're making some plays on him, he's in a slump, so we gave Nolan a shot out there and let Fletch take a step back."

Beckham is up next for the Philadelphia defense and he is playing as well as any receiver in the NFL. Beckham said how well the offensive line played in St. Louis and gave Manning enough time in the pocket. The Eagles are second in the NFL with 49.0 sacks and Barwin leads the NFC with 14 1/2.


Turnovers finally caught up to the Eagles and spotty playcalling hindered their chances at reaching the playoffs for a second straight year.

The Eagles are extremely disappointed and will most likely make some changes in the offseason.

"It's very frustrating for us to be 9-3 and control our own destiny and then be in this situation. We didn't envision this," Ertz said before the Eagles were officially eliminated from postseason contention.

Eagles linebacker Brandon Graham wasn't at a loss for words.

"Three losses in a row, you don't want that, especially with the type of team that we have," Graham said. "We work hard every day. That's the part that sucks, because we know how much we put in. For us to beat ourselves, that's the worst way to go out."

New York is looking to go out with four straight wins to close the books on the 2014 campaign. That will happen thanks to another big game by Beckham and a defense taking advantage of more Philly turnovers.

Sports Network predicted outcome: Giants 30, Eagles 24