New York Giants Joe Judge
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Head coach Joe Judge has the New York Giants focused on going 1-0 this week and ending their six-game losing streak in Philly.

Jason Leach

Normally when a team is 1-5, it’s multiple games behind the top spot in their own division.

But surprisingly, the (1-5) New York Giants are only a game back of the first-place Cowboys heading into their Thursday night showdown with the (1-4-1) Philadelphia Eagles. The Giants haven’t won in Philly since 2013, although the last four meetings have been close — they’ve only been outscored 99-82 and lost 23-17 in overtime during last year’s matchup.

The fact that the entire division has just five wins proves how putrid it is. Nonetheless, at least the Giants are still in contention in late October, which is something that couldn’t be said in the previous three seasons.

On Tuesday, Joe Judge was asked what his thoughts were heading into this huge divisional game with the NFC East currently wide open.

“I don’t think anyone in the division needs any motivation to play anyone else in the division,” Judge said. “This is a big Thursday night game. We’re going down to Philly. It’s going to be a great atmosphere, we’re going to have fans at the game. Obviously, we haven’t had a chance to play the Eagles yet this year. It’ll be a big atmosphere for us right there. To me, we’re just trying to go 1-0 this week. That’s our goal each and every week.”

“I’ve told the players from the very beginning of the season, it’s a long year. If you get too focused on looking down at the end stretch at this point right here, you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel,” he added. “We have to keep grinding week by week, but the focus stays on going 1-0 each week. No matter what happened last Sunday, we need to come in with the same mindset to improve as a team, to improve individually, which will lead to our collective rise, and then to be able to match up our opponent and just play well for 60 minutes on Thursday night.”

Thursday will be a homecoming for Judge — he was born in Philadelphia and is very familiar with the Giants-Eagles rivalry. Now, in his first game as a head coach in this biannual battle, he possesses a chance for the Giants to notch their biggest win in years.

Not only would a victory on Thursday night coupled with a Washington win over the Cowboys on Sunday put the Giants in a tie for first place, but it would also conclude Big Blue’s 14-game losing streak against the Eagles and Cowboys.

Judge was asked if he’s given any thought about the opportunity for the Giants to end the aforementioned losing streak.

“I don’t really think about that at all, actually,” he said. “Our goal right now is to prepare for this year’s Eagles team. This is a different team than it was in the past. We’re a more improved team than we were in Week 1 and we’re a more improved team than we were seven days ago.”

“Our only focus right now is getting ready for Philly,” Judge added. “There’s a lot of things that can be drawn out and compared to, we don’t focus on that. We’ve got enough to think about just getting ready for this offense, defense, and kicking game unit.”

One of the positives despite the Giants’ 1-5 start is, with the exception of the 49ers game, the team has been focused and playing hard for its coach. Now, Judge hopes Big Blue can make his return to Philly a successful one and earn him his first head-coaching road victory.

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