As the Eagles and Giants prepare to square off at Lincoln Financial Field, the HGL writers tackle key questions surrounding the first 2012 meeting of these divisional rivals.
Eli Manning vs. Michael Vick: Who has the edge?
Laurie says: When Eagles’ quarterback Michael Vick leads the offense against the Giants this Sunday, he will be facing off against the number nine ranked passing leader in the NFL. No matter. New York’s Eli Manning and Vick may be 31 points apart in their passer ratings — with Manning in the lead — but there is much more to this QB story. When it comes to actual passing yards, the differences between the two shrink: Vick ranks fourth with 905 and Manning is second with 1,011. But the real measurement of who is the best of the two rival quarterbacks is an intangible element that can only be seen in scores and wins. It’s the reason Vick has the fourth most passing yards in the NFL despite coming up seventh in sacks. It’s why Vick may take fans on a stomach-churning ride but two out of three games have ended in victory. The numbers tell only a small part of what Vick can do as a quarterback. This weekend, Vick himself will spin out the rest of the story on the field.
Hollie says: This game will come down to which quarterback can better handle the other team’s defense. The Eagles pass rush with Jason Babin is formidable, but Vick could be in for a nightmare of a day against JPP and the rest of the Giants D. Also, if the Giants offensive line can play half as well as they did against Carolina, then Manning should have plenty of time to find Nicks, Cruz and his new favorite target Ramses Barden. Of course, all bets are off if Vick leaves/gets knocked out of the game and Nick Foles takes over.
Offense vs. Defense: Which side will have a greater impact?
Alexis says: Without so much as a thought, I know the Philadelphia Eagles offense will have the greatest impact in the game against the New York Giants. If the offensive line does all that they can to protect QB Mike Vick, they will stay in the game. If Vick is able to limit the turnovers and read the blitz, the Eagles will effectively dominate. The return of WR Jeremy Maclin is anxiously welcomed, but the continued absence of LT King Dunlap may continue to cause problems unless Demetress Bell steps up. The defense needs to continue to play as hard as they have in previous weeks and key in on the fourth quarter domination that Eli often displays.
Monique says: The Giants defense will be the key for these “road warriors” to win this game. DeSean Jackson has been known to have big games against the Giants, so the cornerbacks need to cover him and make sure he gets limited catches. Another big offensive threat against the Giants can be All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy. His beef with Osi Umenyiora should create a good on-field battle, which hopefully Umenyiora comes out of on top. Mike Vick has had 6 interceptions in the last three games. The defense must continue throughout the game to put pressure on him to create turnovers.
Eagles vs. Giants: What’s the final score?
Adrienne says: Tied atop the NFC East at 2-1, both teams have plenty to prove Sunday. There’s blood in the water in Philly after Andy Reid’s less than ringing post-game endorsement of his “right now” QB. Another lackluster performance from Michael Vick could spell trouble. Having lost three of their last four outings against Philadelphia, the Giants have reason to play hard as well. Facts are that New York has put up a combined 77 points their last two games, compared to the Eagles 30. Should Big Blue get out ahead of the Birds, Manning will undoubtedly start piling on the points and no amount of last minute, no-huddle hustle on Vick’s part will be able to salvage the game for Philadelphia. All things considered, I painfully predict a Giants win over the Eagles, 34 to 25. You’re welcome, Nick Foles, you’re welcome.
Hollie says: The Giants will win the turnover battle and, thus, win the game 24 to 17. Both teams are certainly capable of more on offense, but not against each other. Eagles-Giants games are always close and low scoring. This game won’t be any different and will likely be a nail-bitter from start to finish. Luckily, Giants fans only have to worry about the Eagles and not the replacement refs in this important divisional game.