(Sports Network) – Eli Manning (2688 passing yards, 17 TD, 8 INT) has been tremendous for the majority of this season, with the composed veteran having connected on a career-best 63.1 percent of his throws while drastically reducing his turnover totals from a year ago, and the Giants have needed him to be as well with a running game that’s been mostly stagnant this year. New York has managed a mere 89.2 rushing yards per game, the fourth-lowest total in the league, and won’t have valuable back Ahmad Bradshaw for a third straight week due to a cracked bone in his foot. Though replacement Brandon Jacobs (253 rushing yards, 11 receptions, 4 total TD) has two 1,000-yard seasons under his belt and contributed an 80-yard touchdown catch against the Eagles in September, the powerful 264-pounder is averaging a pedestrian 3.2 yards per carry and doesn’t offer the versatility of Bradshaw, who racked up 139 yards from scrimmage (86 rushing, 59 receiving) in the first matchup between these participants. The Giants are in far better shape at the wide receiver spots, where Hakeem Nicks (40 receptions, 616 yards, 4 TD), Victor Cruz (40 receptions, 672 yards, 4 TD) and Mario Manningham (33 receptions, 3 TD) comprise a formidable young trio, and oversized tight end Jake Ballard (26 receptions, 3 TD) has made an impact as well to an offense that’s fifth overall in passing yards (285.0 ypg). Cruz had two long touchdown catches from Manning in the Week 3 triumph and ended that game with 110 yards on only three grabs.
Philadelphia will try to combat the Giants’ potent aerial assault with a talented secondary headlined by well-regarded cornerbacks Asante Samuel (28 tackles, 2 INT, 7 PD) and marquee free-agent addition Nnamdi Asomugha (22 tackles, 3 INT) as well as an impressive collection of pass rushers of their own. End Jason Babin (23 tackles) has proven to be well worth the big contract he received during the Eagles’ offseason spending spree, having registered nine sacks in nine games, while counterpart Trent Cole (21 tackles, 5 sacks) is a two-time Pro Bowler and among the game’s most prolific pressure-producers and tackle Cullen Jenkins (24 tackles, 5 sacks) is putting forth a fine first season with his new team. Though the Eagles were burned for several big pass plays when they last faced the Giants, defending the run has been a bigger issue for most of this year, with coordinator Juan Castillo’s unit allowing an uninspiring 4.8 yards per carry to date. They’ve improved in that department as the season has gone along, however, having permitted just 94.8 rushing yards over the last four games as young players such as second-year middle linebacker Jamar Chaney (60 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT) and rookie weakside starter Brian Rolle (30 tackles) have grown into their expanded roles.