Giants vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch
The Giants head to Philadelphia to take on their biggest rivals on national TV. This is the Giants’ third national, prime-time game and the biggest of them all. Don’t be fooled by the Eagles’ dud at Arizona or two ugly wins — this rivalry is always close.
What to watch for …
1. Will Michael Vick last the entire game?
The quarterback has gotten off to a bumpy start (nine sacks and nine turnovers), despite leading the team to two straight game-winning drives in Philadelphia’s first two games. But the magic faded quickly last week when the Cardinals blitzed the Eagles endlessly, sacking Vick five times, including an end-to-end scoop and score for the Cards after a safety blitz, just as the halftime gun sounded. The Giants aren’t as blitz-happy as the Cardinals, but their front-four pass rush is as effective as any blitzing scheme in the league. How well the sieve-like Eagles’ offensive line handles the pressure will determine if the oft-injured Vick finishes the game.
2. Who will cover the Eagles’ fleet of wideouts?
Philadelphia’s receiving corps is as fast as any in the league, and unlike last week, they will be at full strength. That can’t be said for a Giants’ secondary that has been ravaged with injuries as usual. Prince Amukamara may get the start but he’s been battling a high-ankle sprain since the season opener. Rookie Jayron Hosley, who has made the starts in his absence, is battling through hamstring issues and will not play. Michael Coe has also been nursing a hamstring injury for weeks and even when on the field, hasn’t been an impact player. And regular starter Corey Webster broke his hand in Carolina last week and will be wearing a cast in the game. It could be a long Sunday night for the beleaguered Giants’ secondary if they’re not able to keep up with the high-flying receivers.
3. Who wins the Osi Umenyiora-LeSean McCoy under card?
This may be the most entertaining subplot of the game. They have spent the better part of two years battling on the field and in social-media trash talk. This is a unique confrontation, as McCoy and the Eagles have gotten the better of the Giants in recent seasons, yet it’s been Umenyiora and Co. who have been hoisting the Lombardi Trophy at year’s end in two of the last four seasons. Both will have an impact on the outcome, as McCoy is Philadelphia’s biggest offensive threat, while Umenyiora — despite being a part-time situational pass rusher — continues to be one of the league’s most feared sack artists. McCoy will also be responsible for chip-blocking free rushers, which means these two will literally collide numerous times throughout the game.
Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.