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NEW YORK -- The last time the New York Giants saw the Philadelphia Eagles, DeSean Jackson taunted Perry Fewell by flipping a ball at him and Eli Manning took what the Giants considered to be a cheap shot on an interception.
The Giants were seething -- and their toughness was questioned -- after that deflating 17-10 loss, yet another bitter defeat to the Eagles.
But Justin Tuck says the Giants have nothing to prove to the Eagles on Sunday night when two NFC East rivals reunite in Philadelphia. Certainly not after finishing last season as Super Bowl champions.
|Justin Tuck and the Giants get another look at Michael Vick on Sunday night.|
"When people ask me questions about other teams and things of that nature, I always say this: You go back to February and you see the last team that was standing," Tuck said at an appearance to launch the fifth year of his R.U.S.H. for Literacy charity. "You ask any of those guys where would they want to be on that date. They would say where we were. I don't think we have anything to prove."
The Giants have nothing to prove, with two rings since the 2007 season. But they definitely won't forget some of their bitter, painful defeats to the Eagles in what has been a lopsided rivalry of late.
The Giants have lost seven of the past eight games to the Eagles -- including a playoff game in the 2008 season -- and there certainly have been some unforgettable moments in the heated rivalry.
The Giants won't soon forget Manning getting blasted after throwing an interception last November. They can still feel the sting of the 38-31 loss to the Eagles in December 2010, when the Giants suffered an epic fourth-quarter meltdown for the ages.
And there are the memories of their wars with Donovan McNabb. Anybody remember McNabb picking up the phone on the sideline?
"We don't forget anything," Tuck said. "I'm sure they don't either. They don't forget the 12-sack game against McNabb, because they've tried their best to block the [stuff] out of us since then.
"And we don't forget McNabb going to the sideline picking up the phone, [Jackson] tossing the ball at Perry, all different things," Tuck added. "We'll handle that on Sunday night."
The Giants enter this divisional clash as the defending Super Bowl champs while the Eagles are still trying to meet Super Bowl expectations.
Both teams are 2-1 but the rivals feel like they are in different places. While the Giants come in playing explosive football for the past five quarters, the Eagles are coming off a 27-6 loss in Arizona and Eagles coach Andy Reid has had to discuss Michael Vick's job security.
Vick has taken a beating and has thrown six interceptions, fumbled five times and lost three of them while also having been sacked nine times. He has thrown for three touchdowns while rushing for another.
It would be understandable if Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi Umenyiora were drooling at the prospects of playing the Eagles after seeing how Arizona's defense harassed Vick.
But Tuck knows better after having seen Philadelphia constantly find a way to make the winning plays time after time.
"It is not like we are licking our chops," Tuck said of facing a beleaguered Eagles offensive line. "We know that Philadelphia is going to pose a huge challenge for us."
"Normally, they find a way to put it together against us," Tuck added, practically shaking his head. "We got a lot of film to look at to get together a game plan and hopefully slow down their weapons, just like other teams have so far this year."
The Giants' lone win against the Eagles since November 2008 came at Philadelphia last Sept. 25. After that victory, Tuck said he learned something about his team and its character and resiliency.
He hopes to see a similar effort again on Sunday night. Tuck knows one thing is certain -- the Giants will go into Philadelphia at least remembering how they felt the last time they saw the Eagles on their home field last November.
"We know this is going to be a smashmouth football team," Tuck said of the Eagles. "We know what to expect from them guys. I think they've done some things that doesn't sit well with us, but not necessarily anything dirty.
"They're not a dirty team or anything like that," Tuck added. "But I think both teams bring out the best and the fiery competitors that we are. ... That's football."
Tuck believes the Giants' toughness won't be an issue this time around either.
"That was a long time ago," Tuck said of the disheartening 17-10 loss. "That is not a question now."