Eagles/Giants Preview: Part One

After a big opener against the Colts, the Giants come into The Linc at 0-1. The Eagles had a much happier opening and are looking to put the Giants two games back in the NFC East.

New York Giants (0-1) at Philadelphia Eagles (1-0)

GAME SNAPSHOT
KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 ET
SURFACE: Grass
TV: FOX, Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver
SERIES: 147th meeting. Giants lead the series, 78-66-2. After winning 7 of 8 against the Giants, the Eagles lost both '05 meetings, including a 26-23 overtime defeat at Lincoln Financial Field last December. Neither quarterback Donovan McNabb nor running back Brian Westbrook played in that game.
2006 RANKINGS: Giants: offense 2nd (3rd rush, 7th pass); defense 23rd (4th rush, 28th pass). Eagles: offense 1st (8th rush, 1st pass); defense 7th (6th rush, 14th pass)

KEYS TO THE GAME: Eagles QB Donovan McNabb won't have as much time to throw as he enjoyed in Houston. Giants DEs Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora comprise the league's best pass-rushing tandem, and the Eagles will counter with quick passes to running backs and tight ends. The Giants' offense moved the ball consistently against Indianapolis, and will continue to use RB Brandon Jacobs to spell Tiki Barber. The running game produced 186 yards against the Colts, which will be an especially big factor on the road. But QB Eli Manning will also take shots against the Eagles' secondary, which will have CB Rod Hood starting in place of injured Lito Sheppard.

FAST FACTS:
Giants: Barber needs 103 rushing yards to become 21st player in NFL history with 9,000... Have lost seven consecutive games against McNabb.

Eagles: Starting offensive linemen average 332 pounds... McNabb, who missed both meetings last season, needs 253 passing yards to become third player in franchise history with 20,000.

PERSONNEL NEWS:
Giants:

  • RG Chris Snee (ankle) practiced only during individual drills but did not participate in team drills. He is still listed as questionable, with reserve Rich Seubert penciled in as his replacement. The irony is that if he starts (he did once last year vs. Kansas City) it will be against the team that caused his horrific compound fracture of his right leg that cost him his starting job, snuffed a young-guard-on-the-rise career and made him miss the better part of two full seasons.
  • SLB LaVar Arrington, who did not play well vs. Indianapolis and who has become slightly defensive about that accusation, is listed as probable with a continuing concern about his post-surgical knee. "Somebody wrote that my game was a quiet as a church mouse," he laughed, "and I don't even know what that means."
  • DE Michael Strahan, who has 129.5 career sacks, has dropped Eagles' QB Donovan McNabb the most of all his victims (11.5 times) and has more sacks against Philadelphia (20.5). "You don't live and die for sacks," he says.

    "Winning is what counts, and if I play well enough to help us do that, my game is successful."

  • WR Sinorice Moss, the second-round draft pick this year, might have a chance at seeing some action Sunday. He missed the entire pre-season schedule with a strained quad and was on the inactive list for the opener. "He has practiced well and he keeps getting better each day," said head coach Tom Coughlin. "He has to kind of put the Xs and Os together but he seems a little better at it." Moss, timed in 4.37 for the 40, would be a welcome addition to the Giants' already dynamic passing game.
  • LT Luke Petitgout, the veteran who has been generally criticized by fans and players alike, had a near-perfect game against Pro Bowl DE Dwight Freeney last week. He did not allow a sack or a pressure all night and limited the fast Freeney to one assisted tackle. On the other hand, Petitgout had 15 penalties last season (12 for false start) and had another vs. the Colts.
  • Eagles:

  • RB Brian Westbrook was added to the injury report Thursday after leaving practice early with knee inflammation. He is listed as probable for Sunday's game against the Giants.
  • RB Correll Buckhalter likely will see his workload increase Sunday in the wake of news that starter Brian Westbrook has inflammation in one of his knees. Buckhalter had eight carries for 50 yards last week.
  • RB Ryan Moats, who didn't have a carry in Sunday's win over Houston, may get some carries this week against the Giants because of a knee injury to starter Brian Westbrook.
  • CB Lito Sheppard has been ruled out of this week's game against the Giants with a severe ankle injury. He likely will be sidelined for at least a month.
  • RB/PR Reno Mahe continued to be listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Giants. Mahe did practice Thursday.

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