Giants feeling confident heading into showdown with Eagles - Metro US

Giants feeling confident heading into showdown with Eagles

Nick Foles Eagles Nick Foles is not having as successful a season in 2014 as he did last year.
Credit: Getty Images

The Giants head into their prime-time matchup against the Eagles full of bravado.

Whether its cornerbacks Prince Amukamara and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie posing for a picture bragging that the Eagles (4-1) have never won a Super Bowl, or safety Antrel Rolle believing the NFC East is beginning to turn in their favor, Big Blue has reason to puff out their collective chests.

A three-game winning streak will do that for a team.

“We are encouraged by the momentum we’ve got,” said defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka. “We want to keep that stuff rolling so that we can keep ourselves in the right position.”

The Giants (3-2) have gotten themselves back in the divisional race on the strength of an offense that’s starting to jell and a resilient defense that bends but doesn’t break. The unit is also getting timely takeaways at the most opportunistic moments. The way they’re playing now is a far cry from the unit that got scorched in the season-opening loss in Detroit, as the team limped to an 0-2 start.

The defense has the look of the sturdy unit general manager Jerry Reese envisioned when he brought in all the new faces this past offseason. The Eagles present a problem for any defense with their spread offense and talent at all the vital positions: quarterback, running back, tight end and wideout.

Nick Foles is the triggerman for Philadelphia and regarded as a rising star in the league. But he’s come back to earth some this season, following last year’s breakout performance. Foles, who only threw two picks all of last season, already has five. And while his numbers are still respectable, it’s nothing like last year’s campaign.

“They are obviously a potent offense and able to hit the big play,” said Kiwanuka. “That is what we have to stop. We know what [Foles] is capable of. Some say he’s struggling some, but we know what he and that offense can do. They can stretch the field on the outside. But for us, we just need gap assignments and responsibilities. We need to make sure that everyone understands their job and understands our defense, because that is the biggest key.”

There’s been discussion that opposing defenses have keyed on All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy, which explains his down season to date.

“I am extremely excited for this opportunity. I am excited to go out there and see how far we have come along as a team. I’m confident in what we can do. Like I said, those guys are great opponents [and] they have been playing some pretty good football. It is going to be a great test for ourselves,” said Rolle, adding he thinks they can take advantage of some aggressive mistakes Foles has been making. “You can say that, but at the end of the day, the game still has to be played. You never know how someone is going to come into the game. You never know what his mindset is going to be or how his reads are going to be. His reads are not going to be the same each and every week [so] we just have to do our best job of going out there and playing as poised as we can as a defense and play technically sound.”

Big Blue notes …

The Giants listed the same players on Thursday’s injury list as the previous days: linebackers Jon Beason (foot/ankle) and Spencer Paysinger (hamstring), cornerback Rodgers-Cromartie (ankle/hamstring), running back Rashad Jennings (knee) and punter Steve Weatherford (ankle).

Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.

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