This game will prove to be a pivotal divisional game for both the Giants and Eagles. Many expect New York to come out the victors in this heated rivalry, but the Eagles beg to differ. Philadelphia has won seven of the last eight match ups against the Giants. Tonight the Eagles will have home field advantage, which should play a factor in the final outcome. Most importantly, the Eagles should pick apart an injury laden Giants secondary.
Antrel Rolle has been questionable all week for the Giants. The free safety will play tonight despite having an injured knee. How effective will Rolle be? Only time will tell, but don't look for him to make any big plays. One can admire Rolle's tenacity and passion, but he won't be effective if his knee is not fully healed. The Eagles should capitalize on this with some seam routes that will force Rolle to make plays. If Rolle is not playing to his full capability, look for McCoy to capitalize on the opportunity in open field situations. He can make a one cut move if he gets past the second level that will force Rolle to shift in ways that his knee won't allow him to.
The Giants also lack experience and health at the corner positions. Corey Webster is playing despite suffering a broken hand. Hands are key for success at cornerback. He will have difficulty jamming receivers correctly, batting down passess, and finding a feel for the receivers on routes (tackling should not be too difficult...if done correctly he should use his body and wrap up the defender, not grab for cloth on the jersey). Michael Coe is suffering from hamstring issues that will stifle his play and Jayron Hosley is out with a hamstring injury. Jeremy Maclin returns this week for the Eagles and is looking to make an immediate impact. Expect Vick to target Maclin early on and challenge the Giant corners.
This is a very winnable game for Philadelphia. I believe that Michael Vick will earn his starting role tonight and restore faith in the Eagles organization and fans. He had a rough few outings, but proved to still "get the job done" (a cliche that I usually don't like to use). The Eagles have faced a better caliber of opponents to this point. Philadelphia can set the tone for the rest of the season with a win tonight. It will be a solid conference win that can propel the Eagles to future success. It also can prove to be a huge momentum and morale booster as well. Look for the Eagles to torch the injury plagued Giants secondary and set up space for McCoy to break off a few big runs.