"It’s just one win," Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin said after the game. "We need to come out and have a great week of preparation for the Giants on Monday night."
Beating the Saints was the first step in the right direction for the Eagles. A loss would have been disastrous, dropping them to 1-4 with an 0-4 record against NFC teams and an 0-2 record in division games.
The win didn’t save the season, but it put the Eagles in a position to do so.
"If you go rest on this game and then go lay another egg next week, then this week’s win was meaningless," Barwin said. "We need to be happy with the way we played, look at what we did wrong, and try to improve next week.
"We try to find a way to win against whoever we’re playing. We need to get wins and play better football. We believe in the system. We know we’ve played well at certain times. We just need to put it all together, and today you saw what happens when we put it all together."
The Giants are a compelling matchup for this team right now. New York is 3-2 and in first place in the NFC East. Beating them would put the Eagles in a first-place tie, at least, with 10 games left. It would all but erase the memory of those first four games.
The Eagles couldn’t ask for a better opponent. They have two-game losing streaks to Dallas and Washington, the other two teams in the NFC East. Against the Giants, the Eagles have had a lot of success.
In 2013, the Eagles were 1-3 when they traveled to the Meadowlands for Chip Kelly’s first game coaching against the Giants. Michael Vick started the game at quarterback, but he pulled a hamstring and was replaced by Nick Foles.
Three weeks later, in Philadelphia, Foles was out with a concussion. Vick started, but aggravated his hamstring injury. Matt Barkley wound up playing most of the game at quarterback. The Eagles lost, 15-7.
Last season, the Eagles beat the Giants twice by a combined score of 61-26. At Lincoln Financial Field, the Eagles overwhelmed the Giants, 27-0. It was the Eagles’ first shutout since 1996. The Giants also lost wide receiver Victor Cruz, who tore a patellar tendon in his knee.
On the last day of the 2014 season, the Eagles beat the Giants, 34-26 at MetLife Stadium. The game was meaningless for both teams. The Eagles came into the game with a three-game losing streak, including losses to Dallas and Washington.
So the Eagles are facing a Giants team they have beaten in three of four meetings under Kelly. But New York is also a team that has been playing very well so far this season. The Giants have the NFL’s second-best run defense. They are one spot behind Atlanta, one of the teams that beat the Eagles already this season.
With Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr. and Rueben Randle, New York’s passing attack is ranked No. 7 in the NFL. That should be a test for an Eagles secondary that has had good weeks and bad weeks this season.
With a win, the Eagles would avoid a 2-4 start and get themselves into the thick of the NFC East race. That’s true only because they were able to beat the Saints on Sunday. That win didn’t save the Eagles’ season, but it was a start.