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Better Know the Enemy: Philadelphia Eagles


Every week during the season, we’ll scout out the Giants' next opponent. This week, that opponent is the Philadelphia Eagles.

You never wish injuries on any player, even the most hated opponent, so there's no happiness about the broken hand that will keep Eagles quarterback Nick Foles off the field on Sunday. 

But it is nice to get one last game between the Giants and the Andy Reid/Michael Vick Eagles before they go away for good. Reid's going to be fired once the regular season ends and Vick's almost certain to follow him out the door as the Eagles start trying to put their team back together again after the indignities of this season. 

When they leave, a robust chapter of the Giants-Eagles chapter will go with it. At various points during Reid's long tenure, the Giants held the upper hand in the rivalry but all of the biggest wins belong to Reid. 

The Eagles knocked the Giants out of the playoffs after the 2006 and 2008 seasons and DeSean Jackson's epic punt return as time expired in 2010 left the Giants without a playoff berth even though they finished with a 10-6 record. Vick starred in that last game as well and he played his best game of this season in the first meeting of the year between the teams to lead the Eagles to another win that could very well keep the Giants out of the playoffs once again.

Or it could be an Eagles win this week that does the trick. While Vick and the rest of the Eagles have had a dreadful season, there's something about rivalry games that brings out the best in teams.

There's even more about finding a new job that brings out the best in players and Vick is in just that position with his time just about up in Philly. A big win is a good way to do that, particularly one that completes the Giants' total collapse from 6-2 to 8-8. 

That's a lot on the line for the Giants and one imagines they'd rather see just about any other team across the field from them even if they are clearly superior to this Eagles team in terms of talent. If there's any spirit left in the Philly bones, it will come out in hopes of sending Reid out a winner. 

Here's the rest of the lay of the land on the Eagles heading into the final game of their season. And, without a lot of help, the final game of the Giants' year as well. 

Another Old Frenemy: LeSean McCoy returned to action last week after a long absence with a concussion, just in time to get his feet under him before trying to embarrass the Giants defense again. McCoy destroyed the Giants in the first matchup, an early warning sign of the problems with the Giants defense that were ignored because the team was convinced they would just flip a switch and start winning games. 

Future Isn't Now: It's hard to say what the Eagles will look like next year, but defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and linebacker Mychal Kendricks will be part of whatever tableau they create. They aren't likely to play in this game after suffering concussions against Washington, however. 

One More Goodbye?: When cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha signed in Philly, some thought he was the final piece of a championship team. He's turned out to be the poster boy for the misguided moves of the last two years, though, and his salary could be too rich for an Eagles team moving in a very different direction. 

Offensive Line: Whoever takes over for Reid is going to have to do something about an offensive line that's been a sieve this season before and after injuries to many of the team's starters. Their play has been, well, offensive and no quarterback can thrive taking the abuse Vick took this season. 

Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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