The Giants haven't faced many difficult tests en route to a 7-1 record this season. That should change this weekend in Philadelphia. The Eagles have won three straight games by an average of more than 15 points. They possess the league's fifth stingiest defense in terms of yardage, and put up the fifth most points per game to boot. Of course, the Giants are ranked higher in each category, but the game is in Philly, it's in prime time and the Eagles need a win to stay within spitting distance of the G-Men in the second half.
How will all of that pressure affect Eli Manning? While the Giants keep winning, Eli's play has faltered a bit of late. He hasn't reached 200 yards passing since the Week 5 game against Seattle, and has shown some signs of the erratic, inaccurate play that marked his early years. Just last week, he balanced three touchdowns with three turnovers against the Cowboys last Sunday. The Cowboys are an aggressive defense, but the Eagles are an even taller order and he'll have a slimmer margin for error.
All of that is prelude for good news, though. Eli's never lost a regular season game in Philadelphia, though the Giants lost a Wild Card game there following the 2006 season. What's more, Manning plays exceptionally well in these games. He had two of his five highest passer ratings during games at Lincoln Financial Field. He also set his career high with 371 yards passing in the 2006 contest, and has one other 300-yard game in his three previous visits.
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A win in this game would give the Giants a three-and-a-half game lead on the Redskins in the NFC West. That's a commanding position with seven games left to play, but not a given with the Eagles playing so well. Manning can be the difference maker Sunday, and history says he's got a pretty good chance at pulling it off.