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Game Preview: Week 4 Vs. Giants




2011 Record: 9-7, 1st Place in NFC East and Super Bowl Champions

Overall Series Record: 75-83-2

Record In Philadelphia: 41-37-1

Last Meeting In Philadelphia: Sept. 25, 2011 - Giants, 29-16

Game Recap: The Eagles held a 16-14 fourth-quarter lead when quarterback Michael Vick was knocked out of the game for the second straight week, this time due to a hand injury. With Vick out of the game, Eli Manning threw two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter for the come-from-behind win in the Eagles' home opener.

Key Offseason Moves
In: TE Martellus Bennett, S Chris Horton, OT Sean Locklear, LB Keith Rivers, CB Terrell Thomas, P Steve Weatherford, RB David Wilson, WR Rueben Randle, CB Jayron Hosley, DT Rocky Bernard

Out: RB Brandon Jacobs, WR Mario Manningham, CB Aaron Ross, TE Jake Ballard

Lincoln Financial Field will be absolutely electric in this prime-time matchup as Brian Dawkins will be on hand as his No. 20 will be officially retired.

This game already earned the status of being a must-watch game prior to the Eagles' announcement in April that Dawkins' number would be retired. The Giants come in as defending Super Bowl champions. But the energy that Dawkins will bring into the building on this night will make it one of the most memorable moments in the stadium's history.

In addition to this contest being the first NFC East clash of the year for the Eagles, it is the first of five prime-time and six nationally televised games for the Eagles in 2012.

This is how close the Eagles were to keeping the Giants out of the playoffs last year. In their meeting at Lincoln Financial Field in 2011, the Eagles held a 16-14 lead in the fourth quarter before quarterback Michael Vick was knocked out of the game due to a hand injury. With Vick sidelined, Giants quarterback Eli Manning rallied the Giants to two touchdowns and the win.

While it was not the deciding factor in missing the playoffs, the Eagles finished just one game behind the Giants for the NFC East title. The Eagles dominated the division with a 5-1 record against NFC East squads in 2011.

There is no love lost between these two clubs. The Giants have lost some of the pieces from their offense last season, but still have quarterback Eli Manning as the triggerman. The one-two punch of Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz at wide receiver is one of the best in the league. How will Cruz do after his breakout 2011 campaign knowing that teams are gameplanning to take him out of the equation? A familiar face is no longer in the backfield in Brandon Jacobs, who signed this offseason with the 49ers. Jacobs was replaced with first-round draft pick David Wilson, a running back out of Virginia Tech, to complement starter Ahmad Bradshaw.

The Giants tried to upgrade the tight end position by signing a former division rival in Martellus Bennett, who started his career in Dallas. An athletic, but underachieving player in Dallas, the Giants are hoping that he can give them a presence to dominate the middle of the field. However, Bennett arrived for the Giants' Organized Team Activities tipping the scales at 291 pounds, which is 26 pounds above his listed weight. Jake Ballard, a starter for the Giants at tight end last season, suffered a knee injury in the Super Bowl that will likely keep him sidelined for much for 2012. The Giants waived him thinking that no other team would claim him and sure enough, he was by the Patriots - the team that lost to the Giants in the Super Bowl.

Nonetheless, the defense remains the Giants' calling card and the pass rush remains fierce with Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora. The Giants acquired Keith Rivers in a trade with Bengals, but appears to be the backup on the weak side to Michael Boley and in the middle to Chase Blackburn. The Giants re-signed talented cornerback Terrell Thomas, who missed all of last season with an ACL injury. Last year's first-round pick Prince Amukamara should be more involved with Aaron Ross signing with Jacksonville. Thomas is expected to start opposite Corey Webster.

Vick may not have finished the home game against the Giants nor did he play in the contest at the Giants in 2011. It was Vince Young who beat the Giants. Vick will certainly look to make an impression that he - not Manning - is the best quarterback in the division.

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