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Key Matchups: Eagles-Giants

It's going to be one of the premier games of the NFL season. The Eagles host the Giants on Sunday night football and the winner will leave Lincoln Financial Field in possession of first place in the NFC East. Here are some of the key matchups to keep an eye on ...

DE Trent Cole vs. OT Shawn AndrewsIt's only fitting that injuries to the Giants offensive line have forced Shawn Andrews into the starting lineup. Andrews was the Eagles' first-round pick in 2004 and developed into one of the most dominant guards in all of football as he earned Pro Bowl honors in back-to-back seasons. However, injuries kept him off the field for his last two years in Philly and the Eagles finally decided to cut ties with him. Trent Cole, meanwhile, is having another Pro Bowl season of his own with 7.0 sacks through the first nine games.

WR DeSean Jackson vs. FS Antrel RolleIt might have been DeSean Jackson's performances against the Giants last season that forced New York to drastically alter its secondary - more specifically, the safety position - in the offseason. Jackson had a 54-yard touchdown reception in the first meeting and a 60-yard touchdown catch in the second. That doesn't include his 72-yard punt return for a score in the second matchup. Nonetheless, the Giants signed high-priced free agents Antrel Rolle and Deon Grant to fortify the secondary.

CB Dimitri Patterson vs. WR Hakeem NicksFor years, the Giants gave the Eagles defense fits with Plaxico Burress at wide receiver. The Giants used a first-round draft pick on Hakeem Nicks in 2009 with the intent that eventually he would become that type of a weapon. Well, the time is now as Nicks is in the midst of a breakout campaign in his sophomore season. Nicks is fourth in the league in receptions, sixth in receiving yards and tied for first in touchdowns with nine. Dimitri Patterson has more than held his own in each of the last two weeks. He was responsible for keeping tabs on Reggie Wayne of the Colts and on Monday night he picked off Donovan McNabb twice and returned one of those interceptions for a touchdown.

RB LeSean McCoy vs. LB Jonathan GoffLeSean McCoy is sixth in the NFC with 615 rushing yards and 10th in the conference in receptions which means that Jonathan Goff, the Giants' new middle linebacker this season, will have his hands full. Goff was inserted into the lineup because he brings more speed and range than his predecessor Antonio Pierce, who became a liability in the middle of the defense. McCoy's versatility will test Goff's skills. Note that Goff did record his first career interception last year against the Eagles. And even though the Giants were humbled last week by the Cowboys, they still do own the top ranking among all defenses in the NFL in terms of yards.

-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 11:00 a.m., November 17

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