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Giants ambush Eagles for rare win over reeling NFC East rival to close frustrating year

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Beating the Eagles always feels good. Now Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll know what it feels like.

The Giants surprisingly smoked Nick Sirianni’s reeling birds, 27-10, Sunday at MetLife Stadium to close out their 2023 regular season with a record of 6-11.

They improved to 1-4 against the Eagles the past two seasons, and they were led by four men who might not be on the team next season.

Safety Xavier McKinney had two interceptions. Running back Saquon Barkley rushed for two touchdowns. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor threw for 297 yards by hitting several impressive downfield completions. And coordinator Wink Martindale’s defense dominated from start to finish.

If this was their final game as Giants, they went out on an impressive high.

Philadelphia (11-6), which lost for the fifth time in six games, had a chance to win the NFC East on Sunday with a win over the Giants and a Cowboys loss to the Commanders.

But the Eagles didn’t even have a chance to scoreboard-watch and gauge their chances in the first half. The Giants ambushed them and ran them off the field, much to the chagrin of a large number of Philly fans who made the trip up I-95.

Martindale’s blitzes overwhelmed Philly quarterback Jalen Hurts. Middle linebacker Bobby Okereke was everywhere. McKinney ball-hawked, picking off both Hurts and Eagles backup quarterback Marcus Mariota.

Taylor and second-year receiver Wan’Dale Robinson (five catches, 85 yards) connected for a couple of long early completions to help pace the Giants attack.

Okereke helped bust the game open with a fourth down pass breakup on Hurts in the early second quarter and the Giants up, 3-0.

That turnover on downs led to the first of Barkley’s two touchdowns. And because the Eagles refused to run the ball, the Giants kept getting the ball back quickly and scoring, opening up an alarming 24-0 lead by halftime.

The feel-good day was punctuated by Sterling Shepard catching three passes to move into fifth all-time in Giants receptions (372) in Shepard’s final game with the team and possibly in the NFL.

He passed Jeremy Shockey’s 371 and received an ovation from the crowd and his teammates when he set the mark.

Sunday’s win snapped a five-game Giants losing streak to the Eagles dating back to Nov. 28, 2021. The Giants only scored three points in the second half, but it didn’t matter.

The Giants now must face hard truths about their franchise as they turn to Black Monday, expected turnover on their coaching staff and questions about their direction entering the third year of Schoen’s and Daboll’s reign.