No one could have pictured this.
Offensive tackle Winston Justice heads to Giants Stadium this Sunday firmly entrenched as the starter with a recent contract extension. Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora will line up Sunday night, but just on third downs as a pass rush specialist.
Everyone knows what happened at Giants Stadium in 2007. Justice surrendered four sacks to Umenyiora as he totaled six for the game which sealed his trip to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl. The Eagles surrendered a total of 12 sacks to tie a league record.
Justice was subbing for left tackle Tra Thomas, who was injured. Later in 2007, Justice was moved back to right tackle, which is the position he played in college. When Shawn Andrews was placed on injured reserve with a back injury to start this season, Justice played so well at right tackle that no additional roster moves were made. Umenyiora has 5.0 sacks in 2009, but after the Broncos rushed for 138 yards in a 26-6 rout of the Giants on Thanksgiving night he was benched for Mathias Kiwanuka to solidify the run defense.
Justice already helped the Eagles to a 40-17 win over the Giants on Nov. 1. Justice battled Justin Tuck in that first meeting as Jason Peters wrangled with Umenyiora. The Giants used Umenyiora as a stand-up end on the left side last week in his first action off the bench which means he and Justice will likely clash again.
"I can't just single out that one game. The Giants game (from 2007) is in the past," Justice said. "I'm looking forward to the next Giants game. Winning against Atlanta was just as much a boost as it was against the Giants. There's really no difference."
The Eagles gashed the Giants in both the run game and the pass game in the first meeting. LeSean McCoy and Leonard Weaver combined for 157 of the team's 180 yards on the ground and Donovan McNabb passed for 240 yards and three touchdowns.
"We just executed. A lot of things went our way. That might happen this time. That might not happen this time," Justice said. "They're going to be ready because of what happened last time. They're going to be waiting for us. We know we have to go in with the mindset that we need to win this game."
The Eagles enter Sunday night's matchup tied for first place in the NFC East with the Dallas Cowboys, but just one game ahead of the Giants.
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 5:29 p.m., December 11