The Eagles and Giants played a fierce game earlier in the season with the Giants rallying for a win. This time, both teams are 7-6 and hoping for at least a wild card and possibly, a shot at winning the division.
Philadelphia Eagles (7-6) at New York Giants (7-6)
KICKOFF: Sunday, 4:15 ET
TV: FOX, Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver
SERIES: 144th meeting. The Giants lead the regular-season series 76-65-2, and are trying to sweep the season series. The Giants won on Sept. 17 in Philadelphia, 30-24.
2006 RANKINGS: Eagles: offense 3rd (12th rush, 3rd pass); defense 17th (29th rush, 7th pass). Giants: offense 12th (8th rush, 17th pass); defense 20th (8th rush, 29th pass)
Eagles: Garcia is the first player in franchise history to have a 100-plus passer rating in each of his first three starts for the team... S Brian Dawkins, who joined the team in 1996) is the longest tenured pro athlete in Philadelphia.
Giants: Barber has joined Marcus Allen and Marshall Faulk as the only NFL players to amass more than 10,000 rushing and 5,000 receiving yards. ... DT Fred Robbins leads the team with 5.5 sacks. No tackle has led the Giants in sacks since Keith Hamilton had 10.0 in 2000.
G/C Grey Ruegamer almost had the chance of his career. He filled in as the H-back for G Rich Seubert, who was pressed into service at center last week, and QB Eli Manning actually threw to him when he ran a sideline pattern in the end zone from the 3-yard line. "I was clear," he said. "I was staring at six (points), but then my glory evaporated when Eli threw a dunk into the ground."
WLB/SLB Carlos Emmons, once a teammate of MLB Jeremiah Trotter when both were with the Eagles (Trotter still is), on his former teammate's reputation as an intense player: "Sometimes Jeremiah starts to attack the offensive linemen before the ball is snapped."
K Jay Feely has a question for the NFL Rules Committee. "I know that they have that penalty for kickoffs going out of bounds because they want to see those exciting returns," he says, "but why haven't they legislated against us (kickers) from driving the ball into and beyond the end zone?" Good point, no?
Coach Tom Coughlin says that as QB Eli Manning's confidence level rises, he will be asked to try new things. For instance, a quarterback sneak that produced a first down last week in Carolina was the first Manning has tried all season. "He can make some things happen with his feet," Coughlin said. "But it's a knack. It has to be learned."
Quarterbacks coach Kevin McBride has been singled out by Boston College in its search for a coach, and head coach Tom Coughlin confirmed that the school has asked the Giants for permission to talk with him.
Notes From The ‘Nest…
CB William James is expected to be matched up a lot with the Giants' 6-foot-5 wideout, Plaxico Burress, on Sunday. At 6 feet, James is taller than starters Lito Sheppard and Sheldon Brown, who both are under 5-10.
RB Brian Westbrook could see some duty as a punt returner Sunday, special teams coach John Harbaugh said, but Reno Mahe will be the primary punt and kickoff return specialist.
LB Shawn Barber didn't practice Thursday and continued to be listed as questionable with a neck stinger. His absence would be a big blow to the defense's nickel and dime packages.
C Jamaal Jackson practiced Thursday and doesn't seem to be favoring the ankle he tweaked in the Washington game. He's listed as probable and will play.
TE L.J. Smith isn't being used as much on deeper routes now that Jeff Garcia has replaced injured Donovan McNabb at quarterback. Smith has 14 catches in the last four games, but for only 81 yards.
PREDICTION: Eagles 31-27