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Philadelphia Eagles @
New York Giants

November 20, 2005 - Giants Stadium 1:00 PM ET

Teams looking to bounce back

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (Ticker) -- The Philadelphia Eagles were beginning to adjust to life without Terrell Owens. Now they may have to go without Donovan McNabb for a pivotal NFC East matchup against the New York Giants.

The Eagles likely will start backup quarterback Mike McMahon, who was a four-year starter at Rutgers University in New Jersey, on Sunday.

Philadelphia has won nine of the last 10 meetings, but will be hard-pressed to beat the Giants without McNabb and Owens.

McMahon spent the first four years of his career with the Detroit Lions before signing with the Eagles last March. He started seven games in his first two seasons with the Lions, but none in his last two years. McMahon threw for a career-high 293 yards and three touchdowns in a December 29, 2002 game against Minnesota.

Last November 28, the Eagles clinched their fourth straight NFC East title here with a 27-6 victory over the Giants, becoming just the third team since the NFL instituted a 16-game schedule in 1978 to clinch a division crown after 11 games.

However, the turmoil caused by Owens and McNabb's injuries have pushed the Eagles into last place this season. They have lost three straight games for the first time since 1999 and are 0-3 against division opponents.

The last loss was the most painful of all.

A five-time Pro Bowl quarterback who has been playing with a sports hernia, McNabb suffered a groin injury while being blocked to the ground by Bradie James during Roy Williams' 46-yard interception return for a touchdown with 2:43 left in Monday's 21-20 loss to Dallas. McNabb played one more series, but did not return after being sacked just before the two-minute warning by Greg Ellis.

McMahon completed two passes for 14 yards and scrambled for nine yards on Philadelphia's final drive, but David Akers was well short on a 60-yard field-goal attempt as time expired.

Most of the attention in Philadelphia is still on Owens, the superstar receiver who was banished for conduct detrimental to the team. He has a grievance hearing on Friday.

Philadelphia's wide receivers -- rookie Reggie Brown, Greg Lewis and Billy McMullen -- combined for just seven catches for 62 yards in the loss to Dallas. Owens had 47 receptions for 763 yards and six touchdowns in seven games this season.

Most of McNabb's passes Monday went to tight ends L.J. Smith and Chad Lewis and backs Brian Westbrook and Josh Parry, who combined for 14 catches for 121 yards.

With Owens out of the picture, Eagles coach Andy Reid finally went back to his running game. Entering with an NFL-worst 58.6 rushing yards per game, the Eagles more than tripled that with 181 yards on the ground. Westbrook produced 86 yards on 16 carries and Lamar Gordon added 57 yards on 13 carries.

Westbrook was especially effective in the Eagles' sweep of the Giants last season, rushing for 74 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown and catching five passes for 53 yards and another score in the win here.

In the 2004 season opener at Philadelphia, Westbrook rushed for 119 yards and added 42 yards receiving in a 31-17 victory over the Giants.

New York was 5-0 at Giants Stadium this season before losing last week to Minnesota, 24-21. Eli Manning was intercepted four times, one of which was returned 92 yards for a touchdown, and the Giants allowed two special teams scores in the loss.

Manning was confused and overmatched by the Eagles' blitz last November, completing just 6-of-21 passes for 148 yards with two interceptions while getting sacked five times.

Tight end Jeremy Shockey drew double teams and was held to two catches for 31 yards. Now with wide receiver Plaxico Burress on the team, Shockey has not been double-teamed as much this season.

Much like his counterpart Westbrook, Tiki Barber has enjoyed success against the Eagles. He rushed for 125 yards and a touchdown in the 2004 opener and gained 110 yards on 19 carries in the meeting here.

Last week, Barber rushed for 95 yards on 23 carries and caught eight passes for 111 yards in the loss to Minnesota.

The Giants' defense has not allowed a touchdown in three straight games, covering 46 possessions.

Matchup to watch: Giants right end Osi Umenyiora, who had nine tackles and two sacks last week, faces left tackle Tra Thomas.

Series: Giants lead, 75-65-2.

Next week: Philadelphia hosts Green Bay, November 27; NY Giants visit Seattle, November 27
 

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Discussion Starter #2
The Eagles announced today that Mike McMahon will start at quarterback in place of the injured Donovan McNabb, who suffered a groin injury in Monday night’s 21-20 loss to Dallas.

McMahon, who finished the game, had been third string behind McNabb and Koy Detmer. McMahon is 1-6 as an NFL starter. He last started a game on Dec. 29, 2002 when, as a member of the Detroit Lions, he completed 19 of 44 passes for 293 yards, with three touchdowns and three interceptions in a season-ending 38-36 loss to Minnesota.

This will be the third week in a row the Giants will face a backup quarter. They beat Cody Pickett and San Francisco, but lost to the more experienced Brad Johnson and the Vikings.

Coughlin said the Eagles can be just as dangerous with McMahon taking the snaps.

“I think whoever plays for this team is going to be a guy who is well prepared,” Coughlin said. “They are not going to change their game plan. They are averaging (354.3 yards) a game. They run an up-tempo offense. They have surrounded themselves with a big, strong offensive line with skilled players, outstanding runners.”

• Aside from the two players who have been declared out of the game – cornerback William Peterson (back) and defensive tackle William Joseph (elbow) -- four Giants did not practice today. They are tight end Jeremy Shockey (chest), wide receiver Tim Carter (ankle), linebacker Reggie Torbor (hernia) and safety Shaun Williams (hamstring). Those four players are listed as questionable.

Linebacker Carlos Emmons (pectoral muscle) and defensive end Justin Tuck (ankle), who missed three and two games, respectively, returned to practice. David Tyree (elbow), who has missed the last three games despite practicing regularly, and defensive tackle Kenderick Allen (who missed the Vikings game with a quad injury) also practiced and are listed as questionable.

Aside from McNabb, the Eagle most seriously hurt is tight end L.J. Smith, who missed practice and is questionable with knee and ankle injuries.

• The flags at the sports complex will fly at half-staff through Sunday's game against the Eagles.

• The Tisch family will hold a private funeral service for Mr. Tisch. A public memorial service will be held Friday, Dec. 9, 1at 11 a.m. at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center.
 

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Even though TO and McNabb aren't playing, we still need to play hard. Should be a fairly easy win though.
 

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We mainly have to worry about their running back, Brian Westbrook and tight end, LJ Smith. We cannot let Westbrook get into the open field, and we must have someone be covering LJ Smith. And our offense is going to have a tough task, with the Philadelphia Eagles defense. Jeremiah Trotter, Brian Dawkins and Jevon Kearse. It is going to be a good game but in the end I think we will come out on top, due to the injury of Donovan McNabb, the Philadelphia Eagles' leader. It is going to be a good game to be a part of and watch, we must not take them lightly. Must go full speed and make them work for their yardage. Go Big Blue!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)



Giants vs. Eagles
The Giants (6-3) square off against the Philadelphia Eagles (4-4 prior to Monday night’s game vs. Dallas) for the 141st time in regular season play. In 2005, the Giants have recorded victories against Arizona (42-19) and New Orleans (27-10, as visitors in Giants Stadium), a loss at San Diego (45-23), a victory against the St. Louis Rams (44-24), a loss at division rival Dallas (16-13 in overtime) coming off the bye week, a last second come-from-behind victory vs. Denver (24-23), a 36-0 shutout of division rival Washington at home, their first true road victory (24-6) at San Francisco, and a last-second loss vs. Minnesota (24-21) in Week 10. The Philadelphia Eagles lost the season opener at Atlanta (14-10), but then won three straight: vs. San Francisco (42-3), vs. Oakland (23-20), and at Kansas City (37-31). Since then, the Eagles have lost at division rival Dallas (33-10), won vs. San Diego (20-17), lost at Denver (49-21), and lost at division rival Washington (17-10).

TV/Radio Information
DATE: NOVEMBER 20, 2005
KICK-OFF: 1:00 PM (EST)
SITE: GIANTS STADIUM (80,242)
SURFACE: FIELDTURF

TV COVERAGE
FOX-TV (WNYW-TV, Channel 5 in New York)
Play-by-Play: Joe Buck
Color Commentator: Troy Aikman
Sideline Reporter: Pam Oliver


RADIO
WFAN (660 AM) will carry the game live. Bob Papa is in his 11th season of play-by-play duty. Former Giants defensive back Dick Lynch, number 22, provides the color commentary. Lynch enters his record-setting 38th season in the Giants broadcast booth along with former Giants punter Dave Jennings, who begins his fourth season on the mic after spending the previous 14 years handling radio commentary for New York’s other NFL entry. Fans throughout the northeast can catch the call of the game on the following stations: New York – WHEN-AM (620) Syracuse, WPYX-FM (106.5) Albany, WOFX-AM (980) Albany, WIZR-AM (930) Johnstown, WAAL-FM (99.1) Binghamton, WHBE-FM (96.7) East Hampton; Connecticut – WLAD-AM (800) Danbury; Pennsylvania – WEEX-AM (1230) Easton, WYNS-AM (1160) Easton; Maine – WFAU (1280) Augusta, WRKD (1450) Augusta.


THE SERIES
The Giants lead the regular season series that began in 1933, 73-65-2, and the postseason series, 2-0. In 2004, the Eagles won both meetings (31-17 on Sept. 12 in Lincoln Financial Field and 27-6 on Nov. 28 in Giants Stadium). That continued a long tradition of series sweeps between the two teams. In the 20 season series from 1985-2004, 18 have ended in sweeps. The teams split their season series in 1990 and 2002. The Giants swept in 1985, ’86, ’87, ’93, ’94, ’97, ’98, ’99, and 2000 (plus a playoff game). Philadelphia won both games in 1988, ’89, ’91, ’92, ’95, ’96, 2001, ’03, and ’04. The Giants’ last victory in the series was on Dec. 28, 2002, a 10-7 overtime triumph that clinched an NFC Wild Card playoff birth.
 

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Discussion Starter #6

The Giants will look to rebound from last week’s disappointing loss to the Minnesota Vikings when they host the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday in Giants Stadium. The Giants are 6-3 and tied with Dallas for the NFC East lead, one game ahead of Washington. Philadelphia, the four-time defending division champion and last year’s conference representative in the Super Bowl, has lost three games in a row to fall to 4-5.

Eagles Scouting Report


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants will look to rebound from last week’s disappointing loss to the Minnesota Vikings when they host the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday in Giants Stadium. The Giants are 6-3 and tied with Dallas for the NFC East lead, one game ahead of Washington. Philadelphia, the four-time defending division champion and last year’s conference representative in the Super Bowl, has lost three games in a row to fall to 4-5.

The Giants lead the regular season series, 73-65-2, but the Eagles have a four-game winning streak. Eighteen of the last 20 season series have ended in sweeps.

Offense
Philadelphia is seventh in the NFL in total offense (354.3 yards a game), though it has an unusual breakdown. The Eagles are first in the league in passing yardage (282.1) and 31st in rushing yardage (72.2). They are 16th in scoring (21.4 points a game).

The Eagles will be without their star quarterback, Donovan McNabb, who will miss the game because of a groin injury he suffered late in Monday night’s 21-20 loss to Dallas. He will be replaced by fifth-year pro Mike McMahon, who played his first four seasons in Detroit. McMahon started seven games for the Lions, three as a rookie in 2001 and four the following season. He is 1-6 as a starter. This will be his first start since Dec. 29, 2002 when he completed 19 of 44 passes for 293 yards, with three touchdowns and three interceptions, in a season-ending 38-36 loss to Minnesota. McMahon has thrown six passes this season, five of them against Dallas. His backup is veteran Koy Detmer.

Philadelphia has one of the NFL’s finest multi-purpose backs in Brian Westbrook, who leads the team in both rushing (444 yards) and receiving (48 catches, one more than the suspended Terrell Owens). He has scored six touchdowns. Westbrook can line up anywhere in the formation and the Eagles have done a very good job exploiting his talents and creating favorable matchups. Complementing Westbrook is backup Lamar Gordon, who picks up tough yards and enables the starter to get a breather. Reno Mahe is quick and instinctive and has a knack for making tacklers miss.

Without Owens, the Eagles are playing with a young group of wide receivers. Greg Lewis has 34 receptions and the speed to go deep. Rookie Reggie Brown has caught 17 passes while getting on-the-job training, including a 56-yard touchdown at Washington. Billy McMullen and Darnerien McCants are both big, strong inside receivers.

Tight end L.J. Smith is one of the best receivers at his position in the NFL. Athletic and fast, he has caught 42 passes and scored three touchdowns this season. Chad Lewis, a three-time Pro Bowler, played on Monday night for the first time since last year’s NFC Championship Game, when he suffered a Lis Franc foot sprain. He caught one pass for 17 yards. Rookie Stephen Spach has a foot injury, but long-snapper Mike Bartrum, who has good hands, has filled in capably.

The strength of the offense is the line, despite the loss for the remainder of the season of center Hank Fraley with a torn rotator cuff. Philadelphia has two outstanding tackles in Jon Runyan on the right side and Tra Thomas on the left. Between them, they have been selected to four Pro Bowls. Runyan is a rugged, feisty player who sets the tone for the entire line. Three-time Pro Bowler Thomas is a terrific pass blocker. Left guard Artis Hicks is a two-year starter and an improving young player. The right guard is 6-4, 340-pound Shawn Andrews, the 2004 first-round draft choice who broke his leg in last year’s season opener against the Giants. Big, strong, athletic and powerful, he is a Pro Bowler in the making. The new center is Jamaal Jackson, who suffered a triceps tear in the 2004 preseason, re-injured it this year and didn’t play in a game until Monday night. He was signed off the practice squad last week.

Defense
The Eagles are ranked 25th in the NFL in total defense (336.0 yards per game), including 15th against the run (111.3) and 24th against the pass (224.7). They are 23rd in scoring defense (22.8 points a game).

The strength of the defense is in the back, where the secondary boasts a stable of Pro Bowlers. Strong safety Michael Lewis (who played in the Pro Bowl last season) and free safety Brian Dawkins (a four-time Pro Bowler) are among the very best in the league at their positions. Dawkins and linebacker Jeremiah Trotter are the leaders of the defense. Dawkins has range and ball skills and he is a strong, physical tackler. Lewis is a good player against the run who can cover wide receivers when necessary. Cornerback Lito Sheppard, another Pro Bowl player, has impressive cover skills. The right cornerback is Sheldon Brown, who probably should have been selected to a Pro Bowl, but hasn’t. He is a big, physical player who is also a good press cover corner. Brown has excellent ball skills and is a good tackler against the run. He, Lewis and Dawkins are all very good blitzers. The nickel corner is Roderick Hood. He plays right corner and Brown moves inside to cover the slot receiver. Matt Ware is the dime back.

Trotter, a three-time Pro Bowler, is an every-snap linebacker who leads the team with 94 tackles. A commanding inside presence, he is a physical, aggressive player with lateral movement. Trotter’s play was a big reason the Eagles went to the Super Bowl last year. The strongside backer is former Giant Dhani Jones, who always plays with a fast motor. On the weak side is Keith Adams, a quick player who has a knack for getting around big blockers. Mark Simoneau, the nickel linebacker, is fast and instinctive.

Left end Jevon Kearse is a rare athlete for his position who has developed an impressive bag of tricks to get to the quarterback. He has a team-high four sacks. Because right end N.D. Kalu is battling a shoulder injury, tackle Darwin Walker has moved outside. He is a strong, physical, aggressive player against the run and the pass. Sam Rayburn, an active and feisty player, has stepped in at Walker’s tackle spot. The other tackle is Hollis Thomas, a big inside presence against the run. Backup ends Juqua Thomas and rookie Trent Cole have good pass rush skills. First-round draft choice Mike Patterson is a very athletic defensive tackle.

Special Teams
David Akers is one of the NFL’s most consistent kickers. He missed four games with a hamstring injury but has made all three of his field goal attempts since returning (not counting a desperation 60-yarder Monday night). Jose Cortez, who beat the Giants with a 45-yard field goal in overtime when he was with Dallas, has been handling kickoff duties since joining the Eagles on Oct. 25. Akers could assume that duty this week. Rookie Reggie Hodges became the punter after Dirk Johnson suffered a severe groin strain at Denver on Oct. 30. Westbrook and Mahe were the punt returners last week. Hood is the leading kickoff returner, with a 23.1-yard average on 24 runbacks.
 

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Giants Preparing for Eagles
Don’t tell the Giants that the Philadelphia Eagles are weakened, demoralized and wounded. If the Eagles are showing some cracks in their sturdy facade, the Giants either don’t see them or won’t acknowledge them. To the Giants, Philadelphia is the same formidable foe it has always been. And recently, no opponent has treated the Giants as harshly as the Eagles. Philly has won four in a row and seven of eight in the series.
 

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“Until the season is over, they’re the team to beat.”
- RB Tiki Barber

Practice Report
That is the team the Giants expect to see Sunday in Giants Stadium. The fact that their third consecutive loss was a disheartening defeat to Dallas on Monday night is irrelevant. The fact that they are 4-5 and in last place in the division is inconsequential. The fact that quarterback Donovan McNabb is out with a groin injury and their best receiver, Terrell Owens, is suspended as part of an ongoing saga is incidental.

“We all know about hard losses,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. “But as I told our team, they are four-time division champions in the NFC East. They are four-time representatives in the NFC Championship Game. They are last year’s Super Bowl representative in the NFC. They are the champions until they are dethroned.”

“Until the season is over, they’re the team to beat,” running back Tiki Barber said. “Maybe they’re teetering a little bit, but they’re still the champions. We know that (head coach) Andy (Reid) is going to have those guys ready to play.”

Of course, the Giants have serious issues of their own to contend with. For the second time in three weeks, they have been in mourning while preparing for a division home game. Popular co-owner Bob Tisch passed away from cancer Tuesday at age 79. Tisch’s death followed by just 21 days the passing of Wellington Mara, also from cancer, at age 89. Five days after Mara died, the Giants went out and crushed Washington, 36-0.

“It’s different and difficult and we’ve never experienced anything like this, obviously,” Michael Strahan said of the owners’ deaths. “Unfortunately, we have to experience it now. But I think everyone is handling it well, just like we did the first time around, and I think everybody here has respect for the organization, for the families, and for this team and what they have meant to this team. So we’re going to go out there and just try to honor them by playing well and playing well enough to win.”

“They have a similar situation to what we have here,” Barber said of the Eagles. “Obviously, our distraction is much different than their distraction. It takes away from the focus on the game. It’s imperative for the coaching staffs of both of our teams to be able to snap both of our respective teams back into focus and to focus on the task at hand.

“Mr. Tisch would want us to go out there and practice hard and play hard and for this not to be a distraction. It’s an emotional time right now. It’s something we’re going to have to deal with. We’re going to pay our respects and do everything that we have to do, but we’re going to concentrate on football and know we have a big task ahead of us.”

The Giants went into the Redskins game with the momentum from a dramatic last-second, 24-23 victory over Denver. They enter this one trying to rebound from their worst performance of the season in a 24-21 loss to Minnesota. The Giants dominated the game statistically, but four interceptions by Eli Manning and Vikings scores on an interception return, kickoff return and punt return doomed the Giants.

“Last week is over,” Strahan said. “We’re not worried about it.”

But there is cause for concern. Eli Manning has completed fewer than 50 percent of his passes in three of the last five games and 51 percent for the season. His four interceptions last week were a career high. And except for when he’s in command of the two-minute offense, Manning has not been as sharp as he was earlier in the season.

As always, Manning seems the least-stressed individual in the building.

“That’s not a concern to me,” Manning said in response to what a reporter called “the accuracy issue.” “I have to get back to work and it’s a matter of just having guys open and trying to hit them when they are open. I have missed some and that’s just part of football. You’re going to miss some. But when we have guys open and we have a chance for big plays, you have to try and make those.”

Coughlin has also remained calm while answering several questions about Manning’s recent troubles. He retains his complete faith and confidence in his second-year quarterback.

“Obviously, you’ve got to see where everybody is on the field on every play before you can go ahead and make some throws,” Coughlin said. “I think sometimes when a young quarterback sees something is covered over here and knows the clock is running and turns quickly to another direction, he has the tendency to throw the ball and not really account for everybody that’s out there, and I think that’s something that we’ve talked about and have worked on this week.”

Philadelphia has more pressing quarterback issues. McNabb, a five-time Pro Bowler and the leader of the Eagles, might require surgery that would sideline him for the remainder of the season. His replacement Sunday will be Mike McMahon, a fifth-year pro making his first start since Dec. 29, 2002, when he was with Detroit. McMahon is 1-6 as an NFL starter.

Both the Giants and Eagles have experience in this situation. McMahon will be the third backup quarterback in a row the Giants have faced, following San Francisco’s Cody Pickett and Minnesota’s Brad Johnson (who had started 100 previous games and won a Super Bowl three years ago with Tampa Bay).

The Giants have had trouble at times in the past with opposing reserve quarterbacks. Coughlin was the beneficiary in one such game. On Sept. 7, 1997, injuries to Mark Brunell and Rob Johnson forced Coughlin, the coach in Jacksonville, to play Steve Matthews. In his only career start, Matthews completed 23 of 35 passes for 252 yards and the Jaguars owned the ball for 39:39 in a 40-13 victory.

Two years ago, an Atlanta Falcons team quarterbacked by Kurt Kittner beat the Giants, 27-7. Last season, a 5-2 Giants team lost to the 2-5 Chicago Bears, whose quarterback was rookie Craig Krenzel.

McNabb missed the final six games of the 2002 season with a broken ankle. The Eagles won the first five of those games, then dropped the sixth, to the Giants. It is the only victory the Giants had over Philadelphia the previous four seasons.

“It’s cyclical,” Barber said. “When I first got here we beat them nine times in a row. It’s wasn’t even close. The year we went to the Super Bowl we had to play them in the playoffs and we knew we were going to beat them. The last three years it’s been the exact opposite. Every time we played them, they knew they were going to beat us. Now I think it’s leveling out in the NFC East. It’s become the division of old, where all the teams are players. It’s going to be a battle down to the wire for the playoffs.”

The battle resumes Sunday.

Notes

• Linebacker Carlos Emmons, who missed the previous three games with a pectoral muscle injury, practiced again today. But a determination on his availability for the Eagles game won’t be made until Sunday.

“I’m going to take all the medical advice I can get and we will do the best we can,” Coughlin said. “It will be up to the medical people, but we will do the best we can with that on Sunday in taking full consideration how he feels, too.

Emmons practiced all week, but isn’t certain he’ll be able to play.

“We’ll see – it’s still kind of sketchy,” he said. “I want to make sure I can handle everything out there.”

“He’s done well, but you can imagine all the situations that he will be in that he hasn’t been in,” Coughlin said. “So he can’t really speak to any degree of experience just yet on all the physical parts of the game.” If Emmons does play, he will, said Coughlin, “be braced up and then taped right on top of that” in attempt to prevent further injury.

If Emmons doesn’t play, the Giants will be short-staffed at linebacker. His replacement, Reggie Torbor, is out two to four weeks after undergoing minor surgery on a hernia.

“It wouldn’t be as much of an urgent situation if Reggie was playing, to be honest with you,” Emmons said.

• Another gametime decision will be made regarding the availability of wide receiver David Tyree, who has missed three games with an elbow injury. Tyree has practiced regularly but hasn’t been able to suit up on game day.

Tyree is arguably the Giants’ best special teams player. Those units had a rough day last week, surrendering touchdowns on a kickoff return and punt return. Coughlin was asked if there was a point when he wished he had Tyree in the game.

“Yeah, the two balls that went by me and I got windburn on,” he said. “The more quality football players you have, the better your opportunities in all phases.”

• Safety Shaun Williams did not practice because of his sore hamstring and has been declared out of the game, joining cornerback William Peterson (back), defensive tackle William Joseph (elbow) and Torbor.

• The Giants’ average starting point after receiving a kickoff is the 29.7-yard line, the best figure in the NFC. Philadelphia’s opponents have an average starting point following a kickoff at the 32.2-yard line, the worst average in the league.

• The Giants, with 599 regular season and postseason victories, will try again to become the third team with 600 wins. Chicago has (666) and Green Bay has 638.

• Manning has a touchdown pass in 10 consecutive games, the longest current streak in the NFL.

• Barber needs 145 rushing yards to reach 1,000 in a season for the fifth time, which would tie Rodney Hampton’s career record.

• Punter Jeff Feagles will play in his 282nd consecutive game, tying the NFL record set by Jim Marshall from 1960-79.

• In two division games this season, Jeremy Shockey has eight catches for 158 yards, a 19.8-yard average.
 

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Get back on that horse


The Giants were embarrassed by the Vikings in Week 10, but with the talent that the team has on offense, Vic Carucci likes New York over Philly in his burning questions.

Can the Philadelphia Eagles stop their slide against the reeling New York Giants?

No.

As bad as the Giants -- and especially Eli Manning -- looked against Minnesota (and it was much worse than the three-point difference would indicate), they are in far better shape than their divisional rivals.

The Eagles could be playing the rest of the season without quarterback Donovan McNabb, who is faced with a decision about whether to undergo surgery for a sports hernia. Mike McMahon gets the start against the Giants, and although he is capable of making some plays, he also is prone to committing some killer mistakes. The Eagles will try and help McMahon by running the ball with greater frequency, as they did in their Week 10 loss to Dallas, but they aren't likely to abandon their throw-first mentality.

Expect the Giants also to lean heavily on their running game, especially against an Eagles defense that at times suffers from being overaggressive. Tiki Barber, one of the best cutback runners in the NFL, should often challenge Philadelphia middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter's alertness and change-of-direction skills by starting outside and then cutting back sharply inside. In addition, Barber will likely make his share of plays as a receiver because he should often be matched up one-on-one with linebackers as the Eagles safeties focus on helping in the coverage of Plaxico Burress and Jeremy Shockey.
 

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Thank you Lynx for providing the Eagles Game Thread link.
 

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Philadelphia at N.Y. Giants

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (Nov. 16, 2005) -- The Philadelphia Eagles were willing to sacrifice Terrell Owens ' game-breaking ability for the sake of team harmony, preferring to rely on the talent of quarterback Donovan McNabb to make up for the receiver's absence.

Now, in perhaps their most crucial game of the season, the Eagles won't be able to count on either player.

Reeling from a stunning defeat and the loss of McNabb to injury, the Eagles travel to the Meadowlands to take on a New York Giants team that's also looking to bounce back from an ugly performance last week.

The Eagles announced that McNabb will miss the contest with a groin injury. The setback was especially painful considering it occurred when he was trying to tackle Dallas safety Roy Williams, who had intercepted McNabb's pass with 2:43 left and returned it 46 yards for the winning touchdown in the Cowboys' 21-20 victory.

McNabb went to his knees and buried his face in the grass after throwing the interception.

"It never should of happened," said McNabb, who has also been playing with a sports hernia. "I was trying to get the ball to Reggie (Brown) and Roy just did an excellent job coming from underneath."

The play capped a Philadelphia collapse in the final 3:04, as Drew Bledsoe connected with Terry Glenn on a 20-yard TD pass to cut the Eagles' lead to 20-14. Williams picked off McNabb two plays after the ensuing kickoff.

In last place and trying to avoid falling hopelessly far behind first-place New York and Dallas in the division, the Eagles still can't put the distraction of the Owens saga behind them as they try to prepare for Sunday.

The NFL players' union has filed a grievance on the behalf of Owens, who was suspended by Philadelphia last week for conduct detrimental to the team, and the hearing before an arbitrator is set for Nov. 18.

Owens made a public apology last week to the team and McNabb, with whom he has feuded throughout the season, but the Eagles have no intention of letting the star receiver suit up again this year. The union, though, is seeking to have the team cut Owens if he's not going to be reinstated after his four-game suspension is over.

Veteran Mike McMahon, who had been the third-string quarterback, will get the start over backup Koy Detmer for the Eagles. McNabb's status beyond this week is uncertain.

The Eagles will rely on the journeyman McMahon to lead them past a Giants team that is also coming off a stunning home loss, and is saddened by the second death of a co-owner this season. Bob Tisch passed away Nov. 15 from brain cancer at age 79, exactly three weeks after 89-year-old Wellington Mara died.

"It's just incredible that we've lost two pillars, two great men, two pillars of the community in a span of 21 days," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "It is a personal loss for me because I considered Bob to be a good friend."


Eli Manning must eliminate his mistakes to face the Eagles.
Coughlin's team responded to Mara's death with an inspired 36-0 victory over Washington that week, and followed it up by topping San Francisco 24-6 the following Sunday. With a chance to maintain sole possession of first place last week, though, the Giants turned in a poor performance and lost 24-21 at home to the lowly Minnesota Vikings.

Willie Ponder's fumble on the opening kickoff set the tone for a sloppy effort, as New York allowed Minnesota to become the first NFL team to return a punt, kickoff and interception for touchdowns in the same game.

The Giants' defense, which hasn't allowed a touchdown in more than 13 quarters, permitted Vikings backup Brad Johnson to engineer the winning drive that culminated in Paul Edinger's 48-yard field goal with 10 seconds left. New York had tied it on the previous possession, as Tiki Barber ran for a 3-yard touchdown and 2-point conversion run with 1:21 left.

Perhaps the biggest concern for New York was a poor game by quarterback Eli Manning, who was confused all afternoon by the Vikings' shifting coverages and threw four interceptions.

"I thought I was seeing some things and I made some bad decisions," Manning said. "We just have to go back and concentrate on this next week. We have a big game next week against Philadelphia. We just have to worry about that, try to learn about this game, watch some film tomorrow, see the mistakes, fix things, and figure out how to get better."

Manning and the Giants need to get better in a hurry, as their schedule for the rest of the season is considerably tougher. After this week, New York plays at first-place Seattle, hosts Dallas, plays at Philadelphia, hosts Kansas City and travels to Washington and Oakland.

Philadelphia has beaten New York four straight times.

STANDINGS: Eagles -- 4th place, NFC East. Giants -- 1st place (tied), NFC East.

EAGLES LEADERS: Offense -- McNabb, 2,507 passing yards and 16 passing TDs; Brian Westbrook, 414 rushing yards, 2 rushing TDs and 48 receptions; Owens, 763 receiving yards and 6 receiving TDs. Defense -- Jevon Kearse, 4 sacks; Lito Sheppard, 3 INTs.

GIANTS LEADERS: Offense -- Manning, 2,102 passing yards and 15 passing TDs; Barber, 855 rushing yards and 6 rushing TDs; Plaxico Burress, 48 receptions and 706 receiving yards; Burress and Jeremy Shockey, 5 receiving TDs. Defense -- Osi Umenyiora, 8 sacks; Brent Alexander, Antonio Pierce and Shaun Williams, 2 INTs.

EAGLES TEAM RANK: Rushing Offense -- 72.2 yards per game (31st in NFL); Passing Offense -- 282.1 ypg (1st); Total Offense -- 354.3 ypg (7th). Rushing Defense -- 111.3 ypg (15th); Passing Defense -- 224.7 ypg (24th); Total Defense -- 336.0 ypg (25th).

GIANTS TEAM RANK: Rushing Offense -- 125.6 ypg (9th); Passing Offense -- 222.0 ypg (13th); Total Offense -- 347.6 ypg (11th). Rushing Defense -- 88.7 ypg (6th); Passing Defense -- 230.3 ypg (25th); Total Defense -- 319.0 ypg (17th).

LAST MEETING: Nov. 28; Eagles, 27-6. At East Rutherford, N.J., Westbrook scored two TDs as Philadelphia clinched the NFC East.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Eagles -- Philadelphia has won 12 of its last 16 division road games. ... The team is 18-7 against the NFC East in November and December under coach Andy Reid. ... Westbrook has gained 100 yards from scrimmage in each of his last three games against the Giants, and has averaged 5.4 yards per carry in six career games against New York. Giants -- Manning has a TD pass in 10 consecutive games, the longest current streak in the NFL. ... Barber has rushed for 100 yards in each of his last three games against Philadelphia. He has 1,197 yards in 16 games against the Eagles. ... Strahan has 18 1/2 sacks vs. the Eagles, his most against any club.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Eagles -- 1-4 on the road; Giants -- 4-1 at home.
 

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Injuries

Out: QB Donovan McNabb (Rib)

Probable: OLB Keith Adams (Shoulder), K David Akers (Hamstring), FS Brian Dawkins (Eye), FB Lamar Gordon (Ankle), CB Roderick Hood (Heel), G Jamaal Jackson (Knee), DE Ndukwe Kalu (Shoulder),
TE Chad Lewis (Foot), SS Michael Lewis (Rib), LB Dedrick Roper (Ankle), T Jon Runyan (Shoulder), TE L.J. Smith (Knee), TE Stephen Spach (Foot), and MLB Jeremiah Trotter (Knee)



Injuries

Out: DT William Joseph (Elbow), CB William Peterson (Back), OLB Reggie Torbor (Hernia), SS Shaun Williams (Hamstring)

Questionable: DT Kenderick Allen (Quadricep), OLB Carlos Emmons (Pectoral), WR David Tyree (Elbow)

Probable: WR Tim Carter (Ankle), TE Jeremy Shockey (Chest), DE Justin Tuck (Ankle)

Jeremy Shockey will be playing come Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.
 

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EAGLES HAVE LANDED IN N.J
On the Philadelphia Eagles' Official Website....


ON THE ROAD TO JERSEY
"The Giants are going to be hungry, to steal the line from Brian Dawkins, after their loss to Minnesota.
This game is the hottest ticket in town. People are paying hundreds of dollars for nosebleed seats. "Today? The Eagles are driving to play a Giants team that is a good one, and we all know that an Eagles loss would be extremely damaging.

It is going to be a huge, emotional game for both teams. Go G-Men!! :eek8:
 

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The Philadelphia Eagles won the coin toss and elect to recieve the football. Mike McMahon is starting for the Philadelphia Eagles in place of Donovan McNabb. He does a QB sneak for yardage/for 3 yards. Mike McMahon incomplete pass to Brian Westbrook. Our defense is looking good and it is now 3rd and 7 and they force Philadelphia to take a timeout.
 

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Mike McMahon continues to try and run but he gains some yardage but then is hit really hard by Antonio Pierce. Forces 4th down and the Philadelphia Eagles punt it away. The New York Giants' offense takes the field for its first offensive series. Screen pass from Eli Manning to Tiki Barber for another NYG first down. Tiki Barber rushes and is stopped for no gain. Eli Manning complete over the middle to Plaxico Burress for 4 yards and is stopped by Jeremiah Trotter. Pass incomplete behind the back of Amani Toomer almost picked off for an interception and that forces 4th down. Giants are forced to punt it away, holding penalty called on the NYG, replay 4th down and they punt it again, cover the punt. Mike McMahon and the Philadelphia Eagles will take the field for the Eagles. NYG back on defense. Lets Go Big Blue!!
 

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Philadelphia Eagles back on offense; New York Giants now on defense. Lets Go G-Men!! 1 yard gain for Philadelphia, 2nd and 9. Mike McMahon incomplete to Brian Westbrook, Westbrook could not hold onto the football. Greg Lewis with a catch for a first down. Then a 4-yard gain, another 4-yard pickup. 3rd and 2. First Down Philadelphia, 2nd and 10 on the incomplete pass. 1-yard gain, now 3rd and 9. Michael Strahan tips Mike McMahon's pass to Brian Westbrook and breaks it up. 4th and 9 and our defense forces the Philadelphia Eagles to punt once again. Giants go back on offense and Philadelphia goes back on defense.
 

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Eli Manning and the New York Giants go back on offense. Eli Manning to Tiki Barber for a gain of 6. Tiki Barber rushes it up the middle for 2 yards. They give the ball again to Tiki Barber, Jeremiah Trotter blitzes and forces two players to block him and Michael Lewis takes Tiki Barber down. Punt for the New York Giants and the score still remains 0-0. Philadelphia to go back on offense and New York Giants to go back on defense. Both offenses can get nothing going. Lets Go Giants!!
 

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Mike McMahon tries to set up a screen pass to Brian Westbrook throws it right into the helmet of Osi Umenyiora. Another incomplete pass which forces 3rd and 10. Pass rush on Mike McMahon forces him to throw the ball away, almost intercepted by the New York Giants which forces them to 4th down. Michael Strahan almost had the interception, 4:06 left in the 1st quarter still no score, 0-0.
 

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Eli Manning goes back on offense. Gain of 5 yards for the New York Giants offense. Offsides for a 5-yard penalty on the Philadelphia defense, which results in a New York Giants 1st down. Keith Adams of Philadelphia rips the helmet off of Jeremy Shockey and they called no penalty on that. Eli Manning airs it out there are two flags on the play. Automatic first down for the NYG, Eli Manning gets hit again and McKenzie catches the ball and takes it. Eli Manning to Amani Toomer very close to the first down marker, a measurement is taken. 1st down and Amani Toomer's 500th career reception. Eli Manning to Amani Toomer for a couple of yards, and the 1st quarter has come to an end. At the end of the 1st quarter there is no score between the two teams, 0-0. Giants are threatening to put points on the scoreboard.
 
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