The Eagles and Giants will square off in the swamps of New Jersey to decide first place in the NFC East. The rivalry game pits the Eagles, who lead the league in yards of offense, against New York’s potent two-headed rushing attack.
In the previous five match-ups between the two teams, it has been all Eagles. Back in 2008, the Eagles knocked off an 11-1 Giants team that had just lost Plaxico Burress, winning 20-14. The loss was the start of a "Giant" tail spin, which ended when the Eagles beat them again in the first round of the playoffs, 23-11. The Eagles swept the Giants in 2009, scoring 40 points or more in both of those games. And this past November, with a new quarterback under center, the Eagles bested Tom Coughlin’s crew again, winning 27-17 at the Linc.
The Giants will be on their home turf, bringing an energized rushing game that has dominated their last three opponents. Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw have combined to pile up 545 yards against the Jaguars, Redskins, and the Vikings.
That running game has helped offset the struggles of Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who leads the league with 19 interceptions. Manning will also be without the services of Steve Smith, his favorite possession receiver, who is gone for the season with a knee injury.
The Eagles have been winning with a bevy of big-play makers. Nobody in the league has been able to cover DeSean Jackson, who, even hobbled, managed to turn a short sideline catch into a 91-yard go-ahead touchdown last week against the Cowboys.
Jackson is hobbled by a foot injury he sustained in that game, and Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said they want to play him physically to try to slow the flashy wide-out down.
In the last meeting between these two teams, it was LeSean McCoy that proved to be a Giant killer, taking a fourth down pitch 50 yards to seal the Philly victory. Despite a lean frame, McCoy has proven to be one of the most explosive backs in the game.
But everything in Philadelphia’s offense has been carried on the arm and legs of No. 7, Michael Vick. The top pick in the 2001 draft, Vick leads the NFC with a 104.3 quarterback rating, which is second only to Tom Brady. On a team of young stars, the resurrected Vick, 30, has also given the team leadership in the locker room.
The Eagles have had the Giants number over the past two years, and Vick will look to continue the streak.