The Philadelphia Eagles (1-2)are looking to sustain their momentum, beginning with their 56-21 shellacking of the Detroit Lions last weekend, as they face the New York Giants (1-2) at the Meadowlands tonight, with the winner going to .500 and try to keep up with the NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys.
The face of the Eagles is yes – you guessed it – quarterback Donovan McNabb. He exploded against the Lions last week (21-for-26, 381 yards and 4 touchdowns) and will look to do more of the same tonight. His outspokenness aside, he has some weapons to complement his passing. Running back Brian Westbrook, who is for all intents and purposes dinged-up but will probably suit up, is up to his usual tricks (51-292-2 TD’s; 19 catches for 223 yards, 1 TD) and will look to do the same in this game. The receiving corps has gotten a pleasant surprise in former St. Louis Ram wide receiver Kevin Curtis (17-302-3 TD’s) and of course the aforementioned Westbrook. While the Eagles’ defense is above-average, their Achilles heel is their pass defense (256 yards allowed – ranked #26). So one would expect the Eagles pass D to step it up a notch.
The Giants have some firepower of their own, led by their often-aligned QB Eli Manning (65-for-106, 755 yards, complemented by their surprising RB, Derrick Ward (54-273). Speaking of which, RB Brandon Jacobs will be returning soon so this is a situation worth checking out over the upcoming weeks. WR Plaxico Burress is having an All-Pro season far (15-262-5 TD’s); however, he has an ankle issue that has been dogging him for some time. But nonetheless, expect him to play tonight. But the defense of the Giants is what’s killing them – subpar all over the board (ranked #25 – yardage allowed, 17th in rushing yardage allowed, 29th in passing yardage allowed and 30th in points allowed). So you can safely assume the Giants have their work cut out for them this week.
The Eagles this week have a tailor-made opponent in the Giants in where they can expose the Giants’ pass defense and probably the run defense, as well. Only a meltdown on offense will make this game closer than it should be. The Giants will probably need to pass early and often as I don’t see the running game being effective vs. the Eagles’ run D. But at the end of the day (or night cause of the starting time of the game), the Eagles’ offense will simply ambush the Giants secondary; expect big numbers from McNabb, Westbrook and Curtis as the Eagles ambush the Giants in their backyard.