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Game 14: Eagles @ Giants, 4:15pm
16 years ago  ::  Dec 13, 2006 - 6:30AM #1
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New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Date: December 17, 2006
Kickoff: 4:15 PM (EST)
Site: Giants Stadium (80,242)
Surface: FieldTurf

FOX (Channel 5 in New York)
Play-by-Play: Joe Buck
Color Commentator: Troy Aikman
Sideline Reporter: Pam Oliver
Pre-game Show: The FOX pregame show features Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Jimmy Johnson, Pam Oliver, insider Jay Glazer and comedian Frank Caliendo.

WFAN will carry the game live. Bob Papa will handle play-by-play duties. Papa will be accompanied by former Giants defensive back D1ck Lynch⁈⁚s color commentary. Lynch⁈⁚s 39 years broadcasting for the Giants is a franchise record. Dave Jennings, the former Giants punter, will begin his fifth season in the broadcast booth, following 14 years of radio with the New York Jets. Fans throughout the Northeast can follow the call of the game on the following stations:
New York: WPYX-FM (106.5) Albany, WIZR-AM (930) Johnstown, WAAL-FM (99.1) Binghamton, WIRY-AM (1340) Plattsburgh
Pennsylvania: WEEX-AM (1230) Easton/Stroudsburg
Maine: WRKD (1450) Augusta
Sports USA Radio will carry Sunday⁈⁚s game nationally, with Howard David providing play-by-play, Tim Pernetti⁈⁚s analysis and Rich Cellini reporting from the sideline.

The Giants (7-6) will attempt to complete a series sweep of Philadelphia (7-6). If the 8-5 Dallas Cowboys lose Saturday night in Atlanta against the 7-6 Falcons, the Giants will win the NFC East if they defeat Philadelphia, New Orleans and Washington in their final three games. Should Dallas win, the Giants can stay in the lead in the race for the two Wild Card playoff berths by defeating the Eagles.

Last week the Giants ended their four-game losing streak when they defeated the Panthers, 27-13, in Charlotte.
Eli Manning threw three touchdown passes: a 28-yarder to Plaxico Burress and throws of two and three yards to Jeremy Shockey and David Tyree, respectively.

Tiki Barber led all rushers, with 20 carries for 112 yards. Shockey was the Giants⁈⁚ leading receiver with six catches for 49 yards. Manning completed 17 of 33 attempts for 172 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions and a quarterback rating of 97.0.

Antonio Pierce had 11 solo tackles and Mathias Kiwanuka and William Joseph each sacked Chris Weinke in the winning effort.

The Giants are now 1-2 against Carolina in the regular season, including 1-1 in Bank of America Stadium.

The Giants started the season with a 26-21 loss to Indianapolis at home. They went on to beat Philadelphia on the road in overtime, 30-24, then lost to Seattle, 42-30, at Qwest Field. The Giants defeated Washington, 19-3, at Giants Stadium, then traveled to Atlanta, where they beat the Falcons, 27-14. On Oct. 23, they defeated the Cowboys in Dallas, 36-22, on Monday Night Football. The Giants beat Tampa Bay, 16-3, and Houston, 14-10, in back-to-back games at Giants Stadium, before losing four straight: at home to Chicago, 38-20, at Jacksonville, 26-10, in Tennessee, 24-21 and vs. Dallas, 23-20.

Philadelphia won its season-opener at Houston, 24-10, before losing their home-opener to the Giants, 30-24, in overtime. The Eagles then went on a three-game winning streak, knocking off San Francisco on the road, 38-24, and Green Bay (31-9) and Dallas (38-24) at home. They lost their next three: at New Orleans (27-24), at Tampa Bay (23-21) and while hosting Jacksonville (13-6). Following their bye week, the Eagles defeated Washington at home, 27-3, then lost to Tennessee, 31-13, and at Indianapolis, 45-21, after starting quarterback Donovan McNabb suffered a season-ending knee injury. Last week, Philadelphia completed its sweep of the Redskins with a 21-19 victory in Washington.

The Series
The Giants lead the regular season series, 76-65-2, that began in 1933, and the postseason series, 2-0. On Sept. 17, the Giants beat the Eagles, 30-24, in an overtime contest in Philadelphia. In 2005, the Giants won both meetings (27-17 on Nov. 20 in Giants Stadium, and 26-23 in overtime on Dec. 11 in Lincoln Financial Field). That continued a tradition of series sweeps between the Giants and Eagles. In the 21 season series from 1985-2005, 19 have ended in sweeps. The teams split their season series in 1990 and 2002. Before the 2005 season, the Giants⁈⁚ last victory in the series was on Dec. 28, 2002, a 10-7 overtime triumph that clinched an NFC Wild Card playoff berth.

16 years ago  ::  Dec 13, 2006 - 12:38PM #2
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geez jonah cant you atleast wait until thursday night's games have been played first?!?!

16 years ago  ::  Dec 13, 2006 - 6:20PM #3
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Buckle up, folks. This is going to be the biggest game of the year for the Giants.
16 years ago  ::  Dec 13, 2006 - 11:44PM #4
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I'll be there. On the plus side, to my recollection, the Giants have never lost to an NFC East opponent when I've gone. I'm not about to see the streak break. cool

The Giants are the better team; the results had better illustrate that.
16 years ago  ::  Dec 14, 2006 - 12:44AM #5
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16 years ago  ::  Dec 14, 2006 - 2:48AM #6
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dude i have that poster right next to me on my wall.
16 years ago  ::  Dec 14, 2006 - 5:29PM #7
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At a Giant advantage

Loss sticks in Birds' brains

Plaxico Burress' TD grab in overtime will haunt Eagles on Sunday in rematch with Giants.
The toughest fans in the league were mooning the Giants bus on the way into The Linc in September. A few hours later, they were stunned and silenced when Plaxico Burress beat Sheldon Brown on a jump ball from Eli Manning and scored the winning touchdown in overtime.

The 30-24 victory in the second week of the season completed one of the greatest Giants comebacks ever - they trailed, 24-7, in the fourth quarter in an extremely hostile environment - and gives them a big psychological edge going into Sunday's crucial rematch against the Eagles.

"There aren't too many better places to get a win than in Philly," Burress said yesterday.

Twelve games later, the season is on the line for the Giants and Eagles. They are both 7-6, one game behind the Cowboys in the NFC East and tied with the Falcons in the wild-card race. If the Cowboys lose to the Falcons on Saturday night in Atlanta, then the winner of the Giants-Eagles game takes over first place in the NFC East.

"Being the fact that we beat them last time in the fashion we did, you got to expect that they are going to be fired up," Burress said.

As the Eagles watch the tape of the first game against the Giants, they will get sick to their stomachs. The Giants certainly know it's not easy to forget horrific losses. They blew a 21-0 fourth-quarter lead to the Titans and lost in the final seconds 17 days ago.

The mental edge goes to the Giants in this game. They've won three straight against Philly and got into the Eagles' heads with their improbable victory earlier in the season. If the Eagles get off to a quick lead on Sunday, they won't be able to help but look over their shoulders, fearing what happened the last time will happen again: Manning ripped them apart in the no-huddle offense. Football players are drilled not to look ahead. It's impossible not to look back.

"I don't know whether it gives us an advantage or not, but it has to be on their mind," linebacker Brandon Short said. "It was the last time we played, we beat them (in Philly) and we came back from a huge deficit. So, of course, they are thinking about it."

Now the Eagles are without Donovan McNabb, who passed for 256 yards in the first half of the first game. This will be the third time in the last four games the Giants will face the Eagles without McNabb. If the Giants learned one thing from the first game it's that Manning, who was sacked eight times in that game, was extremely effective against the Eagles once Tom Coughlin shifted him into the no-huddle with a fast pace. He was 11-for-17 for 150 yards in the fourth quarter and then 8-for-8 for 83 yards in overtime.

Even though Jeff Garcia is 2-1 as the starter since McNabb suffered a season-ending knee injury and has eight TD passes and no INTs in his starts, the Giants are much better off seeing him than McNabb. Sure, Garcia led that comeback against the Giants in the playoffs when he was with the 49ers, but that was four years ago. Garcia is just 11-21 in his starts since that game. He lost to the Giants in 2004 when he was with the Browns. He will be 37 in two months.

The Eagles have won their last two games by a total of five points. They scored the final 10 points to beat the Panthers and survived only when Jake Delhomme was picked off in the end zone by Lito Sheppard in the final minute. Last week, they nearly blew a 21-6 halftime lead in Washington, and hung on to win, 21-19.

All of a sudden, Garcia is being portrayed as Johnny Unitas. The Eagles are not a better team with him than with McNabb. He is a former Pro Bowl player in the journeyman phase of his career. Still, he is not Chris Weinke, either.

Philly went on to beat the 49ers, Packers and Cowboys in the three games after losing to the Giants. But the Giants game is not easy to forget.

"It was tough," Eagles coach Andy Reid said. "We had the lead and they came back and got it."

Reid was asked if his team could have flashbacks if it has a second-half lead and the Giants start making a comeback. "We're coming off a game which was similar to that - we had a big lead and their team came back and our guys do what they can do," he said. "I'm not worried about that, no. I think they learn from it and they move on."

Even though the Giants have had an extraordinary number of injuries, if they don't make the playoffs, it will not be an acceptable excuse. Last week, they played the Panthers without Delhomme and starting corners Ken Lucas and Chris Gamble. Now they get the Eagles without McNabb and defensive end Jevon Kearse, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in overtime of the first Giants game.

The Giants want the Eagles to remember that first game. The Eagles would like to forget it. "I think it was certainly a great game for us to win," Coughlin said. "But that was then. Now is now."

Just as a reminder, maybe the Giants should play some highlights on the scoreboard before Sunday's kickoff.

Originally published on December 14, 2006

16 years ago  ::  Dec 14, 2006 - 5:31PM #8
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Birds' run defense puzzles Coughlin

Eagles Notes

It's no secret that the Eagles have struggled with their run defense, having allowed 200 or more yards in four of their last six games. They have dropped to 29th in the NFL, allowing 142.5 yards a game.

On Sunday they visit the New York Giants, who rank eighth in the NFL in rushing, with 132.8 yards per game.

There has been a dramatic change in the Eagles' run defense since the team lost to the Giants, 30-24, in overtime during the second week of the season. The Giants were held to 86 yards on 26 carries, and Tiki Barber was limited to 51 yards on 21 carries.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin couldn't offer a definite explanation for the Eagles' recent lack of success.

"I think there was some obvious formation usage last week and in the Indianapolis game," Coughlin said yesterday in a conference call with reporters, referring to games in which the Eagles allowed 447 rushing yards. "I don't know if there is any one thing you can point to, to say why they have given up the yardage, but... despite the numbers, they have won the last two games."

When asked whether there are any problems with the run defense that are specific to the Giants, Coughlin replied, "Not that I am willing to share."

16 years ago  ::  Dec 14, 2006 - 5:33PM #9
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O-line holds key for Eagles against Giants

PHILADELPHIA ⁈” That the Eagles' playoff chances would be well served by beating the New York Giants on Sunday is self-evident. That the Eagles' defense cannot be counted on to stop Eli Manning and Tiki Barber and Jeremy Shockey and Plaxico Burress should, by now, be equally obvious.

After all, if the previous six weeks are any indication, Barber should rush for, oh, 400 yards, give or take a 7-yard draw play here or there, and Manning should complete all his third-down throws. The Eagles are 29th in the NFL against the run, 16th in stopping third-down conversions, and aside from a timely Lito Sheppard interception or Brian Dawkins blitz, everyone should be long past trusting this defense to deliver a victory. If there's an everlasting image from the Eagles' defense this season, it's the sight of one of their linemen flat on his back ⁈” Darwin Walker makes a fine nominee for this role ⁈” like a turtle that's been flipped onto his shell.

No, should the Eagles win Sunday, they will have done so because they controlled the ball and kept their defense on the sideline for long stretches. Or, because they scored so many points that they rendered Trent Cole's foot-to-groin impulse-control problem irrelevant.

Which brings us to the Eagles' offensive line.

Of course.

Nobody talks about them ⁈” the tackles, Jon Runyan and William Thomas; the guards, Shawn Andrews and Todd Herremans; the center, Jamaal Jackson ⁈” but that is as it should be. Silence is an offensive line's applause, as it is for a baseball umpire who always makes the right call. It is only when a quarterback must be scraped up off the turf that an offensive line gets noticed, and this one has been excellent all season.

It is why the Eagles average 4.9 yards per rushing attempt, the fourth-highest mark in the league. Why Donovan McNabb and Jeff Garcia have been sacked only 24 times this season. Why Brian Westbrook is closing in on 1,000 rushing yards and why Garcia at 36 is again playing like a Pro Bowl quarterback. And it is the greatest advantage the Eagles have over the Giants now, the reason to believe they can, at least, keep themselves within a game of the first-place Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East.

⁈Å"The offensive line is always a huge factor,⁈  Thomas said. ⁈Å"We're the wheels on the bus.⁈ 

Without Michael Strahan, still sidelined with a Lis Franc sprain, the Giants' defense just might make for a gentle speed bump. That has to the Eagles' hope. That has to be their plan. Just as they couldn't in Week 2 ⁈” when McNabb and the Eagles turned the first half of New York's 30-24 overtime victory into a scene from a street football game ⁈” the Giants still can't stop the pass, surrendering 233 yards a game. They couldn't cover anyone then, and they can't now. Carolina's Chris Weinke ⁈” whose record as an NFL starter is 1-16, who at Florida State was the only college senior with an AARP card (and that was 2000) ⁈” just threw for more than 400 yards against them last week. Keep Garcia clean, clear a path for Westbrook, strike a balance, and the Eagles will move the football, even amid the volatile winds of a December day at the Meadowlands.

Look, especially with McNabb out, the Eagles are hardly equipped to slug out a 17-14 victory over a division foe. No big running back, a pushover defense ⁈” they just can't do it. What they can do, though, is control the game's pace by leaning on their line. They'll still throw the ball often. They haven't scaled back their pass attempts since Garcia took over. But the line can let Garcia take those quick drops, let him get rid of the football to receivers running intermediate routes, let him and Westbrook chew up yards and time.

⁈Å"They know that the ball is going to be out fairly quickly, but I don't want them to relax in the sense of only having to block for a certain amount of time,⁈  said Garcia, who has been sacked once for negative yardage in his three starts.

⁈Å"Not to knock anybody in San Francisco, because I did play with some good players and I played with a group that at times was pretty cohesive. But as far as a talent level and from a jealousy standpoint, looking from the outside in, in years previous, I think they are one of the best offensive lines that I've had the opportunity to play behind.⁈ 

On Sunday, with a defense like the Eagles' to protect, with the playoffs and a shot at a division title still at stake, they'll have to be.

16 years ago  ::  Dec 15, 2006 - 11:43PM #10
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Trade Plax after the season already.

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