LeSean McCoy was back at practice Thursday after sitting out Wednesday with a shoulder injury. McCoy has been great as a runner and has also helped with his blocking, a skill that will be needed as the Eagles face a ferocious Giants pass rush Sunday.
Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said the Giants have the best defensive line across the board that he has seen this season.
"This group as you know can really rush the passer and it's really across the board," Mornhinweg said. "They've got a good scheme, they've got a good blitz scheme as well."
The Giants are tied for 8th in the NFL with sacks, with 25, but they have gained notoriety for knocking quarterbacks out of games. Five opposing QBs have failed to finish games against the Giants. Asked the reason for that, Mornhinweg said simply, "yeah, they're rushing the passer."
The Eagles can do that too -- they have 26 sacks, one better than the Giants.
The Birds will hope to get at Eli Manning this week to help slow down an offense that is averaging 26.2 points per game - an impressive sixth in the league, though the Eagles O is second with an average of 28.6 points per contest.
Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said the Giants Hakeem Nicks may be one of the top five or 10 receivers in the NFL. Nicks is fourth in the NFL in receptions, with 56 for 735 yards. His nine receiving touchdowns are tied for most in the league.
New starting cornerback Dimitri Patterson is likely to see Nicks often on Sunday night, and said the defense feels it has to hold up its end to keep up with the Eagles explosive offense.
"You want both units to be successful, obviously. With the performance they had last week, we don't want to be the unit to not show up. We want to do our part," Patterson said.
McDermott said Patterson has benefited from a few years in the Eagles system, combined with the corners work ethic and athletic ability.
"It's just been a matter of getting him on the field on a consistent basis to display his talents, and he just continues to get better and better with each rep," McDermott said.
He'll have to be. McDermott said teams are throwing away from cornerback Asante Samuel more than he has ever seen in Philadelphia. "I can see why," McDermott said.