The New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles have both struggled in the early going this season, but their meeting on Thursday night offers a chance to turn things around. As hard as it may be to believe, both the Giants (1-5) and the Eagles (1-4-1) remain in contention to win the NFC East, currently led by the Cowboys (2-4). Either way, these two teams don’t need any motivation to get up for playing each other. This rivalry began in 1933 (Eagles lead 88-86-2) and remains one of the NFL's most intense. It also has produced some of the biggest moments in league history. Here are the five most memorable.
5. Michael Strahan's Overtime Pick-Six
Giants 23, Eagles 17
Oct. 31, 1999 – Philadelphia
Both teams were tied 17-17 at the end of regulation and New York got the ball first and was forced to punt. The Giants then stopped Philadelphia on two running plays. On third down, Eagles quarterback and current head coach Doug Pederson threw a pass that was blocked and then intercepted by Michael Strahan, who returned it 44 yards for the touchdown and the win.
4. The Walk-off Punt Return
Eagles 38, Giants 31
Dec. 19, 2010 – East Rutherford, N.J.
New York had taken a commanding 31-10 fourth-quarter lead, but Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score to tie the game at 31-31. Then the Giants punted as the clock wound down and DeSean Jackson bobbled the ball before returning it 65 yards for a touchdown as time expired, marking the first time in NFL history that this occurred. The play is also known as "The Miracle at the Meadowlands II."
3. Randall Cunningham Evades Carl Banks
Eagles 24, Giants 13
Oct. 10, 1988 – Philadelphia
Randall Cunningham created many highlights during his career, but his most memorable came on "Monday Night Football" against the Giants. Down 3-0, he led the Eagles inside the Giants' 5-yard line. On third down, he took the snap and rolled right, and outside linebacker Carl Banks hit him for what should have been a sack. Instead, Cunningham kept his footing and completed a touchdown pass to tight end Jimmie Giles. He finished the night completing 31 of 41 passes for 369 yards and three touchdowns.
2. Chuck Bednarik Knocks Out Frank Gifford
Eagles 17, Giants 10
Nov. 20, 1960 – New York City
The Eagles held a 17-10 lead in the final seconds, but the Giants still had a chance with one final drive. Frank Gifford caught a pass and was trying to get to the sidelines when Chuck Bednarik stopped him with a vicious hit that caused a fumble that Philadelphia recovered. The blow also caused deep brain and spinal concussions that prompted Gifford to retire. He returned in 1962, but switched from running back to flanker. The photo of Bednarik celebrating over Gifford is one of the most famous in NFL history, but he always insisted that he was celebrating the win and not the injury.
1. The Miracle at the Meadowlands
Eagles 19, Giants 17
Nov. 19, 1978 – East Rutherford, N.J.
Could it be anything else? The Giants led 17-12 and had the ball with seconds to go and no Eagles timeouts. The NFL did not allow quarterbacks to kneel and run out the clock, so head coach John McVay called a running play. As CBS commentators Don Criqui and Sonny Jurgensen walked through the credits, quarterback Joe Pisarcik botched the handoff to Larry Csonka and Eagles cornerback Herman Edwards scooped the ball and raced 26 yards into the end zone for the win. The victory propelled Philadelphia into the postseason for the first time in 18 years.
— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports' Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.
(Screengrab courtesy of NFL Films' YouTube channel)