New York Giants head coach Joe Judge is going home on Thursday night. The Philadelphia area native will bring his Giants(1-5) into Lincoln Financial Field to battle the Eagles(1-4-1).
.This is not Judge’s first time coaching at the Linc. He coached in Philly as an assistant coach with the Patriots last season, but this time, Judge comes into Philadelphia as the head man.
Judge, who got his first victory as a head coach against Washington on Sunday, knows a lot about Philly fans and knows a lot about the rivalry between the Eagles and Giants, which he discussed on Monday.
“I’ll probably buy a helmet too because my in-laws are already buying batteries,” Judge playfully said on Monday. “To be honest with you, it’s not my first time going back to Philly as an opposing coach. It’s a great city. It has great, passionate fans. It’s an excellent team. It’s obviously a great rivalry. I grew up watching these games. They were always tough games, blue-collar type games, when the Eagles and the Giants were playing when I was growing up watching the games. Again, you’re so focused on the opponent; the emotion doesn’t really get tied into it. We just know we have a heck of a team we have to match up against.
This is a massive game for the Giants. At 1-5, New York has an excellent opportunity to make their move in the NFC East. Depending on what happens with the Cowboys on Monday night against Arizona, New York could be 1/2 game behind Dallas for first place in the NFC East with a win over Philadelphia.
One thing that could help the Giants on Thursday night is that Philadelphia will be without two of their best players on offense in Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz and RB Miles Sanders due to injury. However, according to Judge, Philly still has some capable players on the offensive side of the ball.
“I think they have enough weapons on all fronts to really prepare for with these guys,” Judge said. “Look, you don’t want to see any players get hurt, to be honest with you. You want to play teams when they’re at their best. That’s what competition is all about. We’re expecting (Alshon) Jeffery and (DeSean) Jackson to be back, and they’re going to give you a lot of trouble, along with all the other receivers they have already. They know how to use their receivers, their backs, and their tight ends all very well, so it doesn’t matter who’s in there. They’re all very capable.”
It should be interesting to see what Giants’ team shows up on Thursday. Still, in the end, a win against Philadelphia would give Judge a happy homecoming, and more importantly, could jumpstart New York’s season.