8:20 PM ET, November 20, 2011
MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
The New York Giants won't have the chance to knock Vick out of a game as they did earlier this season, but they could land a knockout blow to their archrivals' season.
The Eagles visit the NFC East-leading Giants on Sunday night, with Philadelphia full of question marks as it tries to avoid dropping four games out of the division lead.
Philadelphia (3-6) continued its dismal season with a 21-17 home loss last Sunday to lowly Arizona. Vick did not practice all week after suffering two broken lower ribs on the game's second play and finishing with a 32.5 passer rating -- his worst with the Eagles.
Vick was finally ruled out Saturday despite being listed as questionable on the previous day's injury report.
That leaves Vince Young to make his first start in an Eagles uniform, and he'll face a New York defense which has a league-high 30 sacks.
Young, whose only pass attempt this year was an interception, last started on Nov. 21 last season in what turned out to be his final game for Tennessee.
After Vick had career highs of 21 passing touchdowns and nine on the ground last season and the Eagles added numerous big-name acquisitions, Philadelphia was considered a clear favorite to repeat as NFC East champions.
Instead, the Eagles have been abysmal in the clutch, losing five games they led in the fourth quarter.
That included a 29-16 home defeat to New York (6-3) on Sept. 25 that snapped Philadelphia's six-game win streak in the series. Mike Kafka was forced to finish the contest -- Young was out with an injury -- after Vick exited with a broken right hand.
"I think it just proved that, first of all, we can go on the road and win when nobody gave us a chance to win and it started the idea of us finishing and playing well in the fourth quarter," coach Tom Coughlin said.
Counterpart Andy Reid is dealing with other issues besides Vick's injury. The coach said DeSean Jackson will return after he was deactivated last Sunday because he missed a meeting, but fellow receiver Jeremy Maclin (shoulder, hamstring) will not play.
"As a professional and as a man, you just really have to handle things," said Jackson, who held out for 11 days in training camp over his contract. "I can admit to some things that I've done, that I need to better, which I think everybody at a period of time in their life figures out what it is."
The Eagles are 4-0 at New York since Jackson joined the team. He has scored on punt returns in each of their last two visits, including last season's 65-yard TD on the final play of Philadelphia's thrilling 38-31 win as the Giants blew a three-touchdown lead over the final 7:28.
New York is finishing stronger this season behind Eli Manning, who owns the league's second-best fourth-quarter rating at 116.5. Manning is fifth in the league in TD passes (17) and quarterback rating (97.0) and has turned in consecutive four-touchdown efforts against Philadelphia.
His attempt to lead the Giants to another comeback win fell short last Sunday, however, as his fourth-down pass deep in San Francisco territory was batted down in the final minute of a 27-20 defeat. Manning rallied New York from fourth-quarter deficits the previous two weeks.
"You don't want to rely on having to win the game in the fourth quarter and having to have drives at the end," Manning said. "It is a great quality that we have and I think our confidence is where it needs to be if we get in those situations, but we have to get off to faster starts and take advantage of our opportunities early in the game."
New York is dealing with a minor distraction after gunshots erupted at the trendy Juliet Supper Club in Manhattan early Tuesday morning when wide receiver Victor Cruz was celebrating his 25th birthday with a group of Giants. The incident didn't sit well with Coughlin, who saw his team's 2008 season go south when Plaxico Burress shot himself late in the season in a nightclub.
"I don't know what good happens at 2:30 or 3 in the morning," Coughlin said. "I've never been able to figure that one out."
The Giants will seek to slow down LeSean McCoy, who has scored from scrimmage in nine straight games and leads the NFL with 12 total TDs. McCoy's 906 rushing yards are the most in the NFC, and he gained 128 in the last meeting with New York.
Containing him could be all the more difficult if starting linebacker Michael Boley doesn't play. The team's defensive signal caller and second-leading tackler suffered a hamstring strain against San Francisco.
New York running back Ahmad Bradshaw will miss a third straight game with a broken bone in his right foot. Brandon Jacobs has started in his place for the Giants, whose rushing attack is the NFC's second worst at 89.2 yards per game.
Eagles-Giants: 9 observations
After breaking down film of both teams, Scouts Inc. offers 9 things to watch in this week's Eagles-Giants matchup.
1. Establish LeSean McCoy early in the game: The Philadelphia offense is built around McCoy (5.5 ypa, 10 rushing touchdowns), while the Giants have been inconsistent (122 ypg) defending the run. Look for coach Andy Reid to design a game plan that gets McCoy 20-25 touches, both in the running game and as a receiver out of the backfield, to control the tempo.
Recent Blog Posts
|Avg Points Allowed||21.3||22.8|
Team Averages & NFL Ranks
|TEAM OFFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|TEAM DEFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|Pass Yds Allowed||PHI|
|Rush Yds Allowed||PHI|
Head to Head Matchups (Since 2001)
|Philadelphia leads 16-8|
|Sep 25, 2011||PHI 16, NYG 29|
|Dec 19, 2010||PHI 38, @NYG 31|
|Nov 21, 2010||PHI 27, NYG 17|
|Dec 13, 2009||PHI 45, @NYG 38|
|Nov 1, 2009||PHI 40, NYG 17|
|Jan 11, 2009||PHI 23, @NYG 11|
|Dec 7, 2008||PHI 20, @NYG 14|
|Nov 9, 2008||PHI 31, NYG 36|
|Dec 9, 2007||PHI 13, NYG 16|
|Sep 30, 2007||PHI 3, @NYG 16|
|Jan 7, 2007||PHI 23, NYG 20|
|Dec 17, 2006||PHI 36, @NYG 22|
|Sep 17, 2006||PHI 24, NYG 30|
|Dec 11, 2005||PHI 23, NYG 26|
|Nov 20, 2005||PHI 17, @NYG 27|
|Nov 28, 2004||PHI 27, @NYG 6|
|Sep 12, 2004||PHI 31, NYG 17|
|Nov 16, 2003||PHI 28, NYG 10|
|Oct 19, 2003||PHI 14, @NYG 10|
|Dec 28, 2002||PHI 7, @NYG 10|
|Oct 28, 2002||PHI 17, NYG 3|
|Dec 30, 2001||PHI 24, NYG 21|
|Oct 22, 2001||PHI 10, @NYG 9|