One Boston has cracked the Giants in a way that New England never could.
Eagles running back Boston Scott’s five-year NFL career easily is split into two groups: Eight games torturing the Giants and 52 games as just another backup against the rest of the NFL. There is no easy explanation as to why a 5-foot-6, 203-pound third-stringer has 34 percent of his rushing yards, 43 percent of his receiving yards and 59 percent of his touchdowns against the Giants under three different play-callers.
“Opportunity, I guess,” Scott said Wednesday.
The franchise that took down Tom Brady’s Patriots in two Super Bowls is reluctant to accept the premise that Scott has its number.
“If it predates my time here, I can’t answer that,” said first-year Giants defensive coordinator Wink Martindale, whose unit allowed touchdowns to Scott in both regular-season meetings last month. “He’s a good running back. They’ve got a stable of good running backs. Just because he scored, I don’t think he’s a Giant-killer.”
The Eagles disagree entering the divisional playoff matchup Saturday.
“I know they always call him the ‘Giant-killer,’ ” defensive end Brandon Graham said. “On the sidelines against the Giants, whenever he gets the ball, we’re talking about it.’’
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is 11-0 against the Broncos … and 53-16 against the rest of the league. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has thrown 64 touchdown passes against the Bears … and 411 against the rest of the league. NFL rushing king Emmitt Smith ran for the most career yards of any Giants opponent (2,027) … but still has 16,328 (which would be good for No. 2 all time) against all other teams combined.
Scott creates issues for just one opponent. Just imagine a Red Sox batter named Philadelphia Brandon who only hit home runs against the Yankees.
Five of Scott’s nine highest single-game rushing totals are against the Giants. Is there something about him that gives the defense trouble?
“No,” safety Xavier McKinney said flatly, as if the mere suggestion is insulting.
Special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey has been on the opposing sideline for all eight of Scott’s games against the Giants. He had his hands full on Dec. 17 when Scott set a career-high with 117 kickoff return yards on three attempts.
“He’s not small, he’s just short,” McGaughey said. “He’s a strong runner, really good contact balance. You hit him and he just … spins around, puts his hand on the ground because he’s low to the ground already and he can run. He runs physical. He has really good short-area quickness. A lot of times, because he’s shorter, he’s behind the players and all of a sudden he just darts out and he comes up on you pretty quick. He’s a pain to deal with.”
Scott is friendly with training partner Landon Collins, Justin Ellis and Richie James across rivalry lines.
“Giants slayer, killer, whatever they call it,’’ Eagles center Jason Kelce said. “I don’t know why he’s played well against the Giants. I sure hope he keeps it up this week. We’ve joked about it in the locker room. It’s very funny that Boston with his stature, and [167-pound kicker] Jake Elliott with his stature have had some of their biggest moments against the Giants.”
— Additional reporting by Mark Cannizzaro in Philadelphia
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