Eli Manning has faced the Eagles 14 times in his career, but never has he gone against an Eagles defense as young as this group. One would tend to believe that a defense with so many first-year starters might be prone to making mistakes. Manning, however, sees quite the opposite in defensive coordinator Sean McDermott's aggressive defense.
"I think they're very talented," Manning said. "They're being well-coached and I don't see too many mistakes being made. They're playing fast and they're very physical. Everybody has to be sharp, that's what we have to do."
One of those first-year starters for the Eagles defense is cornerback Dimitri Patterson. The five-year veteran will make his third-career start against Manning and the Giants on Sunday night. Patterson will be matched up against the powerful Hakeem Nicks for at least part of the night.
Nicks is having a phenomenal season for the Giants. He has 735 yards receiving and nine touchdowns, and has become one of the league's greatest threats in the red zone. While Manning would like to get the less-experienced Patterson in single coverage against Nicks, it's something he says the Eagles rarely do.
"It doesn't look like they're in one-on-one coverage a ton," Manning said. "They don't leave a (cornerback) by himself a whole lot. So we have to be able to mix up the pass and the rush and make good decisions as to where we have to go with the ball."
Like the rest of the country, Manning watched Michael Vick's historic game Monday night against Washington. Manning couldn't help but be impressed. Manning said that when Vick was in Atlanta, he had unquestioned athletic ability but wasn't quite as proficient in the passing game. There's no doubt that Vick has now become just as dangerous with his arm as he is with his legs.
"He definitely seems to be playing great football," Manning said. "Obviously, last week he had a great game against Washington. But all year he's found ways to win games. He's always been explosive and been a great playmaker, but he has a great feel for this Philadelphia offense."
Come Sunday night, Manning will have every chance to see Vick up close and personal.
-- Posted by Josh Goldman, 6:00 p.m., November 20