The New York Football Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles resume a rivalry Monday night that began in 1933, back when college football was the nation’s gridiron preference and Coughlin was in his first year as coach of Big Blue.
OK, so Coughlin hasn’t really been coach of the Giants since 1933 -- I double-checked -- but he has been around long enough to witness many memorable contests between his team and that squad of miscreants who ply their trade in the City of Brotherly Love.
What, you were expecting a preview replete with hand-holding and choral music? Forget it. Eagles fans in attendance at this Monday night game will be really worked up -- mostly because they don’t work and will have been drinking in the parking lot all day.
Fact? Debatable. But let’s focus on the Fact and Fiction associated with this game that are not debatable.
Fact: The Eagles are the only NFC East team to never win a Super Bowl.
Fiction: That can all change Monday night.
Fact: Philadelphia is going to be wearing all-black jerseys in the game and they have asked fans to wear the same color as they go for a “black out.”
Fiction: The all-black jerseys are something other than a lame merchandising cash grab and fans are more than sheeple for wearing black clothing.
Fact: Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) is a game-time decision.
Fiction: I’m totally taking the Giants and the 4.5 points in this game.
Fact: The Giants’ best acquisition for this season was arguably punter Brad Wing.
Fiction: His jersey is currently on back order at the NFL Shop.
Fact: The Giants have the seventh-best passing offense in the league with 282.4 yards passing per game.
Fiction: That average figures to drop against a porous Eagles pass defense (25th in the league; 279.6 ypg).
Fact: The Giants have the 26th-best rushing offense in the league with 91.2 yards per game.
Fiction: That average figures to improve against a respectable Eagles run defense (96.9 ypg).
Fact: The Giants will be playing without their top cornerback, Prince Amukamara, who is expected to miss two to four weeks with a torn pectoral muscle.
Fiction: The Eagles have no idea he’s not playing.
Fact: The Eagles have a three-headed monster at running back with Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles and DeMarco Murray.
Fiction: You’re in good shape if you need any of these guys to get you more than 10 points in fantasy football Monday night.
Fact: The Eagles’ leading receiver is Vanderbilt alum Jordan Matthews.
Fiction: I’m surprised more Vanderbilt alums don’t make good in the NFL.
Fact: With one victory, Tom Coughlin will have 100 wins as coach of the Giants.
Fiction: Chip Kelly will reach 40 wins with the Eagles before heading back to college or getting ridden out of Philadelphia on a rail.
Fact: The Giants (3-2) could very well be 5-0 if they didn’t implode in the fourth quarter of their first two games against Dallas and Atlanta.
Fiction: With his magical fourth-quarter play calling, Giants offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo is a shoo-in to be the next head coach of the team.
Fact: With the Cowboys crippled by injuries and Washington owned by Mr. Burns, the Giants and Eagles are the best teams in the NFC East right now.
Fiction: There is a worse division in football than the NFC East.
Fact: Philadelphia is riding a one-game win streak after blowing out New Orleans last week.
Fiction: The Saints are a good team.
Fact: The Giants have lost 11 of their last 14 to the Eagles.
Fiction: That has any bearing on this game
Fact: This game features reigning NFC Defensive Player of the Week (Eagles defensive end Fletcher Cox) and reigning NFC Offensive Player of the Week (Eli Manning).
Fiction: You can imagine a realistic scenario in which both of them repeat the honors this week.
Fact: The Eagles have allowed 18 pass plays of more than 20 yards.
Fiction: That's more than the Giants (18).
Fact: Giants have allowed only four sacks through the first five games, second-best coming in behind the Jets.
Fiction: The Eagles’ defense -- Fletcher Cox (four sacks), Connor Barwin (two sacks) – is no threat to sack Manning.
Fact: Philadelphia has the most fumble recoveries (seven) of any NFL team.
Fiction: Every Giants’ fan didn’t just think, “Oh (bleep), Larry Donnell is due for a fumble.”