New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles: Preview & Prediction
The NFC East will have its first intra-divisional game since opening night when the Philadelphia Eagles host the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football. We've already seen both teams at their best and worst early in 2012, so there's no telling what we're going to get from either squad.
Still, let's attempt to prognosticate anyway by breaking it down one more time.
What New York must do to win, offensive edition
Keep Philly's strong defensive front at bay by throwing a lot of quick passes against a strong yet shallow secondary.
What New York must to do win, defensive edition
Stay home and let the pass rush do its thing against a bad offensive line and a quarterback who has been prone to mistakes all season.
What Philadelphia must do to win, offensive edition
Establish balance on offense in order to keep the pressure off of Michael Vick. Look for DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy on safe intermediate routes.
What Philadelphia must do to win, defensive edition
Double-team Victor Cruz and let your hefty defensive line handle Eli Manning. Juan Castillo knows it's not worth blitzing Manning.
Five most important non-quarterbacks, Giants edition
Victor Cruz, Jason Pierre-Paul, Andre Brown, Prince Amukamara and Rueben Randle
Cruz has a chance to have a massive game lining up in the slot against Brandon Boykin. Pierre-Paul leads the pass rush that is New York's bread and butter. Brown is the main wild card in the matchup. In his first NFL start, Amukamara will be responsible for either DeSean Jackson or Jeremy Maclin. Randle has a chance to step up as the third receiver with Hakeem Nicks unlikely to play and Domenik Hixon still less than 100 percent.
Five most important non-quarterbacks, Eagles edition
Brandon Boykin, Demetress Bell, Todd Herremans, LeSean McCoy and Trent Cole
Boykin will have to deal with Cruz in the slot, which won't be easy for the rookie. The Eagles need him to step up. They need Bell and Herremans to hold on for dear life against New York's superb pass rush, and a good game from McCoy wouldn't hurt. Then there's Cole, who's almost always the most important man on this defense.
Injury analysis, Giants edition
Nicks is doubtful, which could make things a lot easier on the Philly secondary and puts a little pressure on Randle. With Jayron Hosley out and Michael Coe's status up in the air, Amukamara will be in tough with Jackson or Maclin. They might also be without Antrel Rolle, who's questionable with a knee injury. That hurts because Rolle can usually contribute as a nickel cover guy.
Keith Rivers is also out, while Ahmad Bradshaw and Corey Webster won't be 100 percent. The Giants are in bad shape, health-wise.
Injury analysis, Eagles edition
Who will win Sunday night?
Not having King Dunlap and Akeem Jordan shouldn't kill Philly. They have tested backups in place. Unless Maclin has a setback, they're in relatively good shape on the injury front, especially on defense.
B/R NFC East Blog prediction
I'm torn, but I just can't pick against the Giants right now. They have overcome so much and are on another roll. Plus, I don't trust Vick or that offense in general right now, and the New York pass rush looks primed to explode.
Giants 30, Eagles 24
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