Here are some numbers to roll around in your head while you wait for the Eagles and Giants to kick off:
Rate of success on third downs against the Giants' defense, lowest in the league. For the Eagles to keep Eli Manning and the dangerous New York running backs off the field, Michael Vick and his offense must convert their third downs and grind out some long drives. The Birds' rate of success on third downs is 41.48 percent, ninth-best in the league. They converted on just 4 of 11 against Dallas (36 percent) and still won. But that may not get it done against the Giants unless the Birds come up with plenty of big plays on second down. Hear that, DeSean Jackson?
The Eagles have won the last five meetings against the Giants, and you can take that two ways. First, the Giants are due to break that streak, and this New York team is good enough to do it. Or the Eagles are chock full of confidence after holding off Manning and Co. on Nov. 21, and should just keep on rolling. That's your call. What is a fact is that four of the Giants' last six victories over the Eagles have come in Philadelphia, and this game is in New Jersey. What do you make of that?
Eagles' all-time overtime record against the Giants. Better hope this game does not need extra time or the Birds could be in trouble. The Eagles have lost four straight OT games against the Giants, their lone win being a 23-17 win at the Giants in 1988. Eagles coach Andy Reid is 0-4 against the Giants in overtime. So root for the Birds to get a big lead early if you're a fan or schedule some other time to finish your holiday shopping. You may be occupied on Sunday.
Receptions this season for the Eagles' LeSean McCoy, first among NFL running backs and ninth overall. With the Giants likely to blanket Jackson with all sorts of exotic coverage - keep your eye on the Eagles' first play from scrimmage - getting the ball to McCoy and the other wideouts will be key for Vick. And with the way the Giants' defensive line can get after quarterbacks, look for Vick to check down to McCoy plenty. McCoy caught five passes against the Giants in the last game and three against Dallas last Sunday.
No player has ever done this, but Vick can. With three games to play, he needs 487 passing yards (163 per game), three passing touchdowns (one per game) and 17 rushing yards (6 yards per game) to become the first player to compile 3,000 passing yards, 20 passing touchdowns, 500 rushing yards, and seven rushing touchdowns in a season. He already has seven rushing touchdowns, and based on his past performances he should have no trouble reaching the other total. MVP indeed.
- Gary Miles