First place in the NFC East is on the line as the Philadelphia Eagles host the New York Giants at Lincoln Financial Field at 8:20 tonight, with both teams coming in at 6-3 on the year. At least one Eagle thinks this will be the marquee matchup of the entire regular season between what he called two of the top five teams in the league.
”It’s going to be the biggest game in the NFL this year, this is the biggest game right here,” said defensive end Trent Cole. “Who’s going to be the king of the hill?”
While the Eagles come off a dominant 59-28 win over the Redskins, the Giants look to bounce back from a 33-20 loss to the now 2-7 Cowboys. As a result, “resilient” was picked as the word of the week by the Giants.
“We have been through some low points already this year and in years past,” said quarterback Eli Manning. In the beginning of the season, we got off to a tough start and it’s just the way it is in New York. You lose one game, and everyone has doubts. We can’t let that affect us and let that slip into our minds.”
Meanwhile, the talk inside Philadelphia’s locker room has been all about preparing for this week’s game and not spending too much time looking back on the career day Michael Vick had on Monday night in Washington, D.C.
“After the game, we just realized we had to go on to the next one,” Vick said. “You can enjoy the win for a day or two but after that, you’ve got to refocus and you’ve got to understand what’s most important and that’s the next game.”
While the recent past has both teams coming into this one from different directions, the full body of work this season shows two top flight teams set to square off. The Giants have the number one defense in the league, allowing just 270 yards per game while the Eagles are second in the league with 28.6 points per game on offense.
The Giants aren’t far behind in sixth with 26.2 points a contest, while the Eagles defense has grabbed a league high 16 interceptions to contribute to the number one turnover margin in the NFL at +12.
New York will have the unenviable task of trying to defend against Michael Vick, who completed 20-of-28 passes last week for 333 yards and four touchdowns through the air while running eight times for 80 yards and two scores. Vick leads the league with a 115.1 passer rating and has tossed 11 touchdowns without throwing an interception this year.
“I like what we bring to the table versus what they bring to the table,” said Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell. “I think we have to come ready to play solid, fundamental football and if we do that, I like our chances.”
The Giants defense has injured five quarterbacks so far this season, and there’s been talk that the best way to slow Vick down might be to knock him out of the game.
“Listen, we don’t get too much into that,” said Eagles head coach Andy Reid. “We just do our job and do it to the best of our ability and then let everybody else do the talking and that’s okay. There’s freedom of speech in this country, and like I said before, that’s a good thing. We’ll be ready.”