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Previewing The Giants

The Eagles' 2012 season comes to a close on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium, though chances are the Giants will join them in their offseason misery. While the Eagles' disappointing season has been unraveling slowly throughout the year, the Giants have had a precipitous fall from grace that's left them as nothing more than a playoff longshot. After losing three of their last four games, and five of their last seven, the 8-7 Giants have already been eliminated from division title contention. Their only hope for snatching the sixth and final NFC playoff spot lies in defeating the Eagles on Sunday and hoping for losses from three other NFC teams: the Minnesota Vikings, the Chicago Bears and the Dallas Cowboys.

Meanwhile, the Eagles will attempt to spoil the Giants' chances before "Big Blue" can even get to the rooting stage. Of course, they'll be doing it without rookie quarterback Nick Foles, whose season was ended after completing last Sunday's 27-20 loss to the Washington Redskins with a broken throwing hand. In his place, Michael Vick is likely to return to the starting lineup for the first time since Week 10, when he suffered the concussion that first paved the way for Foles. Returning to face the Giants will serve as an interesting subplot for Vick, whose greatest moment as quarterback for the Eagles probably came when he led the Miracle at the New Meadowlands in 2010, when the Eagles rallied from 21 points down in the fourth quarter to steal a victory.

Regardless of the outcome, Sunday will mark the close of a frustrating 2012 campaign as the team looks to turn the page a brighter future. Whatever changes the offseason brings, there does appear to be a nucleus of young players who should contribute to that future, including, but not limited to, guys like LeSean McCoy, Bryce Brown, DeSean Jackson, Nick Foles, Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry, Brandon Boykin and Mychal Kendricks.

Last Time They Met:September 30, 2012 – Eagles 19, Giants 17

On an emotional Sunday night that included the pre-game entrance of the returning Brian Dawkins, the Eagles pulled out a tight victory to close out the first quarter of the season 3-1. LeSean McCoy rushed for 123 yards on 23 carries and the Eagles took a two-point on a 26-yard Alex Henery field goal with 1:49 remaining. The Giants would drive into field goal range before an offensive pass interference call forced them to attempt a 54-yard field goal as time expired. The kick fell yards short, giving the Eagles the win, though they would not win again for another two months.

Tale Of The Tape (2012 Stats)
Eagles Giants
Record 4-11 8-7
Points Scored Per Game 18.2 (27th in NFL) 25.8 (9)
Total Yards Per Game 356.5 (12) 352.7 (14)
Rushing Yards Per Game 117.6 (11) 111.8 (17)
Passing Yards Per Game 238.9 (14) 240.9 (12)
Points Allowed Per Game 26.8 (26) 22.5 (18)
Total Yards Allowed Per Game 339.6 (14) 387.8 (30)
Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game 122.4 (22) 130.4 (25)
Passing Yards Allowed Per Game 217.2 (11) 257.4 (28)
Turnover Ratio -23 (31) +13 (5)

Players To Watch

QB Michael Vick

With Nick Foles out for Sunday's game, head coach Andy Reid indicated Monday that Michael Vick is likely to get the start against the Giants. Vick hasn't played since he was concussed in Week 10's game against the Cowboys, but in his nine and a half games he threw for 2,165 yards, 11 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. He was also a threat in the running game, picking up 307 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

In the Eagles' Week 4 matchup against the Giants this year, Vick had his most efficient performances of the season. He was 19-of-30 for 241 yards and a touchdown and also added 49 yards on the ground. Though he hasn't played in several weeks, the ultra-competitive Vick will relish the opportunity to send the Giants into the new year with their eighth loss.

DE Jason Pierre-Paul

Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul burst onto the scene last season, compiling 86 combined tackles, 16.5 sacks and an All-Pro selection. But this year, "JPP" has fallen back down to earth. Through 15 games, Pierre-Paul leads the Giants with 6.5 sacks, but hasn't registered a sack since Week 9.

The Eagles were able to shut down Pierre-Paul in their first meeting, limiting him to only two tackles in the game. The Eagles' offensive line will have its hands full with JPP, but if this season is any indicator, it's a challenge they should be able to handle.

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