The New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles have played each other 163 times in the regular season dating back to 1933. The Giants hold a slight edge in the series, 82-78-2. The two teams have met four times in the postseason, with the Giants winning in 1981 and 2000 and the Eagles in 2006 and 2008.
The Eagles have taken five of the last six games, but that was when Chip Kelly was at the helm in Philadelphia and Tom Coughlin was New Yorks head coach.
Sunday's game will be the first showdown between two first-time head coaches: Ben McAdoo and Doug Pederson. Pederson was hired this past offseason after an exhaustive search that included both McAdoo and Coughlin.
The Giants quickly signed McAdoo, a Pennsylvania native, when rumors surfaced that the Eagles simply were not going through the motions with him. Philadelphia hired Pederson, who had served as the offensive coordinator under current Kansas City head coach and former Eagles head coach Andy Reid, right after.
"It was good to go through the process," McAdoo said of his interview with the Eagles. "I went through a few of them. It was beneficial to go through it, learn through it. I think they have good people down there in Philadelphia. It worked out the way it worked out."
And here we are. With both teams at 4-3, both teams appear satisified with their choices thus far. Pederson, like McAdoo, is making the jump from offensive coordinator to head coach, which takes a bit of getting used to, especially while the game is in progress.
"It is a big adjustment because once you get done with an offensive series, you want to go back and talk to your players and talk to the quarterback and O-line and everybody, but you have to remember that the defense is out there or special teams is out there, so you can't do that," Pederson said on a conference call with reporters Wednesday.
"So you rely on your offensive coaches that are on the sideline with you more and just communicate as best you can throughout the game and that is the one thing that [quarterback] Carson [Wentz] has done a great job that I feel like is that between series he is coming to me and we are talking and dialoguing and putting another series together for the next time that we go back out on the field. But it is a bit of an adjustment early on, but I have felt like we have handled it pretty well."
McAdoo is finding the jump challenging as well, but he also is settling in.
"There have been some things that have been challenging," McAdoo said, "but again, you put the blinders on, you go to work, you support the locker room and you hold each other accountable. ... You knew going in that there were going to be three dumpster fires every day and you deal with them as they come. A lot of things cross your desk that you don't want to deal with, but it is part of the job and you handle it and you move on. You stay consistent, you stay in the moment and you keep everyone's best interest in mind."
Pederson is aware of the Eagles' recent success against the Giants under Kelly and just chalks it up as a trend. He knows a lot has changed on both sidelines since last season.
"It has been a great matchup, a great rivalry," Pederson said. "There have been some great games, even when I was here before with Coach Reid, we have had some great games with the Giants and of course when I played here back in '99, it always seems to be a great matchup. I don't know. For whatever reason we have either played well or they have played well. I think it comes down to whoever protects the football the best in these games, eliminates the penalties and the mistakes and you capitalize on that and whoever can do that in these division type games obviously has the advantage and the opportunity to win."