For a football team that owns a 2-1 record, there certainly hasn't been a great deal of positive press about the Eagles over the past week, nor much chest thumping among the good citizens of Philadelphia. Last week's beatdown in Arizona took the wind right out of our sails, while erratic performances that have produced 12 turnovers and a pair of one-point victories have resulted in a whole lot of second guessing.
So it would be fair to say the Eagles are not a very convincing 2-1. Is this a first-place squad capable of a deep playoff run, or a mistake-riddled bunch that can't get out of their own way? I think it's still too early to tell.
That will no longer be the case after tonight. How the Birds respond to the wild inconsistencies of the frst three weeks -- in prime time, in their building, against a divisional foe, the reigning Super Bowl Champions -- should provide some much-needed context to the month of September, and indicate which direction the compass is pointing the rest of the way.
And hey, it's Eagles-Giants in Sunday Night Football. Who doesn't get pumped for that?
As if there wasn't enough riding on any one game out of 16 to begin with, there is no bigger rival than New York, and these clashes are always interesting. Of course, Philly has won seven of the last eight meetings (including playoffs) going back to 2008, so usually it's interesting in a good way. But as Nick wrote on Saturday, Michael Vick hasn't exactly been super efficient against the Giants defense coordinated by Perry Fewell, or against any defense so far this season for that matter.
Speaking of defense, for all the talk of the issues on offense, Juan Castillo's defense enters the fray flying under the radar, at least relatively speaking. Hard to judge how much they've improved based on the level of competition to this point, but his unit faces its stiffest test in Eli Manning, who threw for 500 yards two weeks ago in Tampa Bay, then carved up Carolina's secondary with a 77% completion rate last Thursday. Eli is sporting a pedestrian 85.0 passer rating in 16 games against Philly though.
The Giants do have three days extra rest coming into tonight's action, but the Linc crowd will be more fired up than usual with the celebration of Brian Dawkins' career. Maybe it translates into some additional energy for the home team.