The Giants' inability to get past the Eagles has ruined nearly every season in recent memory sans two. Had the Giants beaten Philly in Week 4 (they lost, 19-17) they would be sitting at 9-6 with their playoff destiny still in their pocket. But, no....they can't beat the Eagles even in years when Philly is down.
Michael Vick will be back to perplex the Blue defense, which has done a good job perplexing itself the past two weeks. If he comes in here and the beats the Giants, it's going to be hard for New York to bring all the players and coaches in that locker room back in 2013.
Philadelphia will be once again attempting to derail the Giants' hopes to advance either to the playoffs, or in the playoffs. They knocked the Giants out of the playoffs in the 2006 wildcard round and again in the divisionals two years later.
In 2009 and 2010, the Giants missed the playoffs by one game. They were swept both seasons by the Eagles. Had the Giants been able to at least split with Andy Reid's crew, they would have made the playoffs both years.
Sunday, they have two opponents to overcome, themselves and Philly. The Giants have played so poorly the past two weeks, it's hard to imagine them beating anyone right now. They are losing badly in the trenches on both sides of the ball, and those failures have now spread out to the skill positions.
The "Is Eli Elite?" argument has died a hard death. The Giants have been outplayed and outcoached the past few weeks and their team leaders - Manning and Justin Tuck - have not been able to drag this team forward. Tuck, to be truthful, looks like a player at the end of his career. It has been hard to watch for those who know what a stand up guy and great competitor he is...
Manning has been disappointing to say the least. I know people will point to everything around him falling down, and to some degree I'll agree with that, but if you're an elite QB, you make it work no matter what.
Look at Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay. He lost his top two WRs (Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson), top RB and some starters along the OL and didn't miss a beat. Tom Brady has not had his two TEs playing together practically all year and is still scoring 35 a game. Not to mention all the rookie QBs who are playing well. Most of them look more polished than Eli right now...
From Paul Schwartz of The Post:
"Eli Manning was being hailed in some circles as an NFL MVP candidate in the first half of the season, but even then it was a serious stretch and he’s put together some god-awful performances when it counted most. We all know Eli is worth more than his numbers, but when you’re ranked 17th among all quarterbacks in the league in passer rating, just behind Carson Palmer and just ahead of Sam Bradford, you haven’t had much of a season."
The Eagles are getting a little healthier and to their credit have not mailed the season in on Reid. This will be Reid's last hurrah as Eagles' coach and there will be a slew of emotion flowing through that locker room. They will be seeking to take the Giants down with them on Sunday. It would not a shock if the Giants, confused and abused, go along for the ride as they usually do with Philly.