While the Giants kept pace in the NFC East last night with a 21-3 victory against the Vikings in Detroit, they suffered two more injuries to an already depleted receiving corps.
Steve Smith had missed the previous four games with a partially-torn pectoral muscle, and failed to finish last night's game due to a hamstring injury. According to the Newark-Star Ledger, Smith was seen walking gingerly in the Giants locker room following the game. His status is certainly questionable for Sunday's game against the Eagles on a short week.
Mario Manningham, who filled in nicely in a starting role as both Smith and Hakeem Nicks nursed injuries over the past few weeks, also failed to finish the game with a hip flexor injury.
As the Eagles prepare for the game of the season in East Rutherford, N.J. on Sunday afternoon, those are two injuries that are worth keeping an eye on.
Of course, beating the Giants on Sunday would go a long way towards ultimately winning the NFC East in the weeks to come. Having already beaten the Giants in Philadelphia on November 21, a win Sunday would give the Eagles the head-to-head tiebreaker and essentially a two-game lead in the division with two games to play. From that point forth, any Eagles win or Giants loss would hand Philadelphia its first division title since 2006.
By that same token, a loss at the New Meadowlands Stadium would give the Giants a one-game advantage. If the Eagles can overcome that one-game deficit and tie the Giants by season's end, here's a look at how the tiebreakers shake out. Since the Eagles and Giants will have split the season series, the next tiebreaker would be the record within the division. That would also be a wash at 3-2 if the Giants win this Sunday. Each team has one division game remaining after Sunday, as the Eagles host the Cowboys and the Redskins host the Giants in Week 17.
In the event that the Eagles lose to the Giants on Sunday, their hopes of winning the division would likely hinge on the outcome of that Giants-Redskins game in Week 17.
That being said, the Eagles are currently in complete control of their destiny – and can keep that control with a win on Sunday.
-- Posted by Josh Goldman, 12:22 p.m., December 14