JEFF MCLANE Season record, 2-0
Season record, 2-0
If the Eagles had won last week -- which they should have -- the home opener against the Giants could have been a let down. But now that they're coming off a steal-defeat-from-the-claws-of-victory loss there's very little reason to believe the Eagles will fall to 1-2 -- except for the fact that this is an NFC East divisional contest. That used to mean something against the Giants, but the Eagles have had their way against Tom Coughlin's crew, winning six straight. Michael Vick will play Sunday, which is either a good or bad thing depending upon your point of view. Good if you want to the Eagles to beat a lowly, injury-riddled New York squad. Bad if you want the franchise quarterback susceptible to back-to-back concussions against a sure-to-be-blitzing Giants defense.
Everything points to the Eagles winning in a cakewalk -- speed, health, location, Eli Manning-- but the Giants are a proud team coming off last season's decimating choke job at the New Meadowlands when Vick and DeSean Jackson ran around, past and over them. So I see the Giants slowing the game down with a clock-churning, run-oriented offense that should give Juan Castillo's reshuffled linebackers fits. Ultimately, talent wins out, though, and LeSean McCoy further cements his name among the top running backs in the NFL. Eagles, 27-21.
What goes right: The still work-in-progress offensive line, led by tackles Jason Peters and Todd Herremans, keeps Vick intact with the help of additional blockers like tight end Brent Celek.
What goes wrong: The Jamar-Chaney-to-middle-linebacker move doesn't solve all of the Eagles' run-stopping issues.
Season record, 2-0
The Eagles could very well be 2-0 while the Giants have looked unimpressive the first two weeks of the season. Now, with the Eagles unveiling their new cast to a packed Linc for the first time, they face a Giants team decimated by injury, particularly in the secondary and at wide receiver. The Vick-DeSean-Jeremy Maclin-McCoy show gets to face a weakened defense. Only the Giants' pass rush gives New York much reason for hope, but the Eagles offensive line has been better than expected. On offense Brandon Jacobs and Hakeem Nicks don't seem like enough to keep up with the Eagles' arsenal. The Eagles keep their streak over the Giants rolling. Eagles, 28-13.
What goes right:The Eagles defense gets back on track, flustering the fluster-able Manning as their cornerbacks blanket a makeshift receiver corps.
What goes wrong: Vick's turnover streak continues as one of the Giants' athletic pass rushers gets to him.