First shutout in 18 years extra sweet for Eagles

The Giants offensive line wasn't a sturdy barrier for Eli Manning against the Eagles Sunday. Credit: Getty Images The Giants offensive line wasn’t a sturdy barrier for Eli Manning against the Eagles Sunday. Credit: Getty Image

The last time the Eagles shutout an opponent many players on this team’s roster were in kindergarten, or even preschool.

It was 301 games ago and nearly 18 years since the Birds beat the Giants 24-0 on December 1, 1996. And the fact that the Eagles were able to dominate the Giants in all facets makes heading into next week’s bye week extra sweet.

“It felt good to get a shutout,” Connor Barwin, whose three sacks helped fuel an onslaught of Giants quarterback Eli Manning Sunday night. “It feels good to play good football for four quarters. Everybody stayed locked into it. [Defensive coordinator] Bill Davis called a great game. Obviously, that’s the kind of football we want to play every Sunday.”

For Davis, a committed defensive mastermind, it’s a rare feat the Eagles accomplished under the lights Sunday.

“I don’t think I ever did [shut out an NFL team],” Davis said. “As a defensive coordinator or conditions coach, those are hard to do. And it’s a team shutout, it takes everybody, it takes drive starts, it takes the pass rush, it takes the coverage, it takes stopping the run, and it’s fun.”

Obviously, setting out to shut out an NFL team, let alone the Giants — who had posted 105 points over their last three games — isn’t something a defense rationally expects to do.

But the longer that zero remained posted on the Lincoln Financial Field scoreboard, the more the defense wanted to preserve the Easter Egg.

“When we saw the zero up there going into the half, we knew we just had to keep it,” Trent Cole, who contributed a sack in the win said. “It’s great going into this bye week knowing that we accomplished something and we improved.”

The Eagles are tied for second in the NFL with 19 sacks this season after their eight-sack performance against the Giants in the 27-0 victory. Cole, Barwin and Vinny Curry have each recorded a sack in three straight games and all of a sudden, the Eagles pass rush is among the best and most feared in the entire NFL.

For Giants running back Andre Williams, it was his first taste of the Eagles-Giants rivalry. And it’s a pretty harsh way to be welcomed to the NFC East.

“I guess you could call it a rude introduction,” Williams, who gained 58 yards on 16 carries said. “I think we just didn’t execute like we wanted to. You’ve got to give it up to the Eagles defense. They played a great game and were getting in the backfield.”

The Eagles met for a team photo Monday but will have most of the week off with a bye in Week 7. They’ll return next weekend to prepare for their Week 8 opponent Arizona.

“We got the job done,” Jeremy Maclin said, “and got it done the way we wanted to get it done by dominating every aspect of the game. We couldn’t be in a better position.”