Are you excited for the rematch between the 1-6 New York Giants and the 3-4 Philadelphia Eagles?
Nobody can blame Giants fans if they are still less-than energized for this juicy rivalry, as both teams are below .500. However, as they say when it comes to rivalries, you can toss out the records, and the Giants would love nothing more than to prevent the Eagles from getting back to .500. Also, no doubt the Giants would like to avenge their 36-21 loss to the Eagles three weeks ago.
With the Giants finally getting off the schneid on Monday night beating the Minnesota Vikings, 23-7, the Giants will now look to make it a two-game winning streak this week in Philadelphia.
So, let’s look at five things to watch for in the rematch.
What kind of impact can the Giants expect from a banged up Michael Vick?
Well, it’s all but certain that Michael Vick will come back from his two-week hiatus and play against the Giants on Sunday. After backup Nick Foles started off well (as Giants ‘ fans can attest to) he himself got banged up and suffered a concussion last week. Now the job is Vick’s again. For the most part, the Giants were doing a decent job of containing Vick the last time the teams played three weeks ago. So, there is some hope the suddenly resurgent Giants defense can harass, hit and knock down Vick in this contest. As long as they get Vick off his rhythm, the Giants should have a shot at slowing him down.
Can Eli Manning continue to play mistake-free football?
While it wasn’t pretty by any stretch, Eli Manning played a mistake-free game vs. Minnesota, while not throwing an interception (although he came close on occasions). If he can somehow limit the turnovers, Manning has the chance to excel this week. The Eagles allow 311.6 passing yards per game (31st in the NFL) and have given up 14 touchdowns via the air (tied for third worst in the league). So, while the chances are slim Manning plays mistake-free football, Manning could do well if he takes chances against the shoddy Eagles’ secondary. Once again, in the end the Giants will go as far as Manning takes them.
Can the Giants D carry over the momentum they had against the Vikings to Philadelphia?
For sure, the opponent (Minnesota) was very accommodating in making the Giants look like world beaters on defense, but that doesn’t mean we should diminish the effort they put forth on Monday night. The Giants had pep in their step on defense and constantly harassed Josh Freeman and made life in the pocket very uncomfortable for him. Now, Vick presents a whole new set of challenges, but for whatever reason, ever since the Giants added Jon Beason to the mix, the defense has had more energy and focus. Hopefully, we can see that again on Sunday in Philadelphia.
What can the Giants expect out of their running game?
With David Wilson out and Brandon Jacobs doubtful, the rushing load will once again go to Peyton Hillis and Michael Cox—with Hillis getting the bulk of the carries. Hillis, although not that elusive in the backfield, did give the run game a spark on Monday with his power-style rushing, racking up 36 yards rushing and recording a touchdown. Hillis is still getting his legs under him and as he gets more reps and practice time, he can be a contributor going forward. How he does against the Eagles front seven should be telling.
What kind of impact will the Eagles nine-game losing streak at home have on Sunday’s game?
This is an interesting sidebar to the game and something to take into consideration, as the psychological aspect to this streak is certainly in the minds of the Eagles’ players. With so many losses at home the team will want to finally appease its fanbase, and as a result you might see the Eagles pressing. In the end it may not mean much, but this is something that may be an underlying factor in the game.