Game Day Preview: Eagles / Giants

The Eagles and Giants split their two regular season games this season with each team winning on the road. Now, they meet at The Linc in the first round of the playoffs.

New York Giants (8-8) at Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)

GAME SNAPSHOT
KICKOFF: Sunday, 4:30 ET
GAMEDATE: 1/7/07
SURFACE: Grass
TV: FOX, Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver
SERIES: 149th meeting. The Giants lead the series, 79-67-2. The teams split the season series, though the Eagles dominated both games. They blew a 24-7 fourth-quarter lead to lose to the Giants in overtime in Week 2, and they rushed for 161 yards in a 36-22 win three weeks ago.
2006 RANKINGS: Giants: offense 14th (7th rush, 19th pass); defense 25th (14th rush, 28th pass). Eagles: offense 2nd (11th rush, 3rd pass); defense 15th (26th rush, 9th pass)

FAST FACTS:
Giants: 28th postseason appearance ties Dallas for the most in NFL history. ... Barber's five career 200-yard rushing games is second in league history behind O.J. Simpson's six.

Eagles: Coach Andy Reid has a franchise-record seven postseason victories. ... Westbrook is second in the NFL with 2,022 yards after the catch since 2003, behind only Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson (2,325).

Giant Notes:

  • TE Jeremy Shockey (sprained ankle) practiced Thursday and head coach Tom Coughlin said he doesn't have to see much more in the way of another hard practice Friday. "No, not necessarily," he said. "Jeremy worked in when he could and the swelling is way down." You may count on Shockey as an active participant.
  • CB Sam Madison expects a close and intellectual game. "It's going to be cat-and-mouse," he said. "They say they want to take away our running game, but you know they have to worry about (Jeremy) Shockey and (wide receiver) Plaxico Burress. It's all just talk. We'll see what happens when the game is over."
  • OL David Diehl is expected to play left tackle again this week. He moved from LG last Saturday night vs. the Redskins because the veteran Bob Whitfield, who had been filling in for regular starter Luke Petitgout, grew increasingly more ineffective. In his four years with the Giants as a fifth-round pick via Illinois, the 6-4, 315-pound Diehl has started every game and played every OL position except center.
  • QB Eli Manning completed 10 of 18 passes in last season's playoff game at home vs. Carolina, but had three intercepted in the second half to pave the way for the Panthers' 23-0 victory. "I'm looking forward to the opportunity to even that up," Manning said. "I look at this as a great experience. Both our games with the Eagles came down to the last few minutes this season. It should be close and exciting."
  • WR Plaxico Burress, who caught the winning touchdown pass in overtime in the first game vs. the Eagles, called it one of the most exciting plays in his career. "Now getting into the playoffs again is an honor, and playing Philadelphia adds to the adrenalin," he said.
  • Notes From The ‘Nest:

  • QB Koy Detmer, who was signed this week and will hold for kicker David Akers Sunday against the Giants, likely will be the team's No. 2 quarterback in the game. But if starter Jeff Garcia gets hurt, A.J. Feeley would replace him.
  • QB A.J. Feeley will be listed as the team's emergency quarterback Sunday against the Giants, behind starter Jeff Garcia and Koy Detmer. But if Garcia gets hurt, Feeley would replace him.
  • CB William James is expected to play Sunday against the Giants, but defensive coordinator Jim Johnson doesn't know yet how much he'll play. James has missed the last two games with a calf strain. Johnson would like to use James on the Giants' Plaxico Burress, particularly in the red zone, but not if he's not 100 percent.
  • RB Correll Buckhalter, who injured his calf against the Falcons last week, has been practicing this week and is expected to play Sunday against the Giants.
  • DE Juqua Thomas was upgraded from questionable to probable. He suffered a calf strain last week against the Falcons, but expects to play against the Giants Sunday.
  • PREDICTION: Eagles 24-20


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