NFL: Five Potential Game-Changing Matchups in the Eagles-Giants Game

Bryn SwartzSenior Writer IIIDecember 18, 2010

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 12:  Quarterback Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles walks off the field in the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on December 12, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

1. Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw vs. Jamar Chaney

In the last meeting between the Eagles and the Giants, running backs Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw were shut down, rushing 17 times for 39 yards, including a 17-yard run. If the Eagles can shut down the Giants' running game again, they will almost certainly win, but to do so, they need rookie seventh round draft pick Jamar Chaney to step up and have at least a decent game. Chaney is replacing former All-Pro Stewart Bradley at middle linebacker (Bradley dislocated his elbow) and displays great speed. He will be an integral part of the Eagles' defense tomorrow.


2. LeSean McCoy vs. Giants defense

McCoy killed the Giants the last time the two teams met, rushing for 111 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. He ripped off a game-winning 50-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, as well as a 40-yard burst. McCoy averages 8.6 yards per rush in the fourth quarter of one-possession games this season. If he can pick up yardage consistently all game, or rip off a big run or two, the Eagles will be able to control the clock and score points.


3. Eli Manning vs. Eagles defense in the fourth quarter

In the last meeting between the Eagles and the Giants, Manning threw two interceptions and lost a fumble in the final few minutes of the fourth quarter. The Eagles have won the last five meetings between these two teams, and Manning has turned the ball over five times in the final five minutes of the games. That's five turnovers in 25 of the biggest minutes of the season. If the Eagles force a late Manning turnover, they will probably win.


4. King Dunlap vs. Justin Tuck

Justin Tuck collected three sacks the last time these two teams met. He has 8.5 on the season. Lucky for him, he is facing rookie King Dunlap, assuming Winston Justice does not play. Dunlap has shown potential this season and has great size, but he will be overmatched and likely overpowered by Tuck. This one could be a disaster.


5. Michael Vick vs. Giants defense

The Giants want to hurt Michael Vick and knock him out for the game, and even the rest of the season. Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell stopped Vick last time and is looking to do so again. Vick knows that every time he runs or extends a play, he is exposing himself to a potential monster hit by a Giants defender. If the Giants injure Michael Vick, the Eagles' Super Bowl aspirations will go right down the drain.  


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