A bitter NFC East rivalry will be highlighted in Week 4 of the 2012 Sunday Night Football schedule.
The New York Giants don’t have to travel far to take on the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The game’s outcome, on the other hand, will go a long way in deciding which franchise represents the division in the playoffs.
Watch Philly face off against New York on Sunday, September 30th at 8:20 p.m. EDT on NBC or NFL RedZone.
The Eagles and Giants’ first showdown of the season is sure to be a shootout. Philadelphia’s offensive attack is ranked fifth in the NFL in yards per game, and New York’s is ranked third.
For Philly to come out on top, though, Michael Vick must match Eli Manning’s efficiency. While Manning hasn’t thrown for that many more yards than Vick in 2012, the Eagles QB’s other numbers pale in comparison to the reigning Super Bowl champ’s.
Vick has already thrown six interceptions this season. His pitiful passer rating of 66.2 doesn’t even take into account his three lost fumbles. But despite his whopping nine turnovers in three games, Philadelphia is somehow, someway, still 2-1.
And for that, Vick can thank his defense.
The stop unit was a damning weakness in 2011. So much so that its improvement this season has been jaw-dropping. The Eagles are ranked fifth in yards surrendered per game, while the Giants—whose defense is usually a major strength—who've been middle-of-the-pack this year.
Nnamdi Asomugha and company’s ability to stand strong after what are sure to be multiple turnovers by Vick will play a key role in Sunday night’s outcome. As will Andy Reid’s lust for the forward pass.
LeSean McCoy is one of the most talented halfbacks in the NFL, but he only carried the ball 13 times last week.
If Reid’s play-calling is as lacking as it was against the Arizona Cardinals, Philadelphia will lose to the Giants by a similar margin. But if he feeds McCoy like he would want to be fed, it’ll be a memorable matchup.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.