Eagles expect tougher Giants ‘D’ in rematch

The Philadelphia Eagles rolled up 391 yards of offense and 40

points in a rout of the New York Giants six weeks ago.

They’re not expecting a repeat in the rematch.

“They’re sixth in the league in defense,” Eagles offensive

coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said Thursday. “They’re a fine

defense. That kind of game happens every now and then. The past has

little to do with what’s going to happen this week.”

The Eagles offense was nearly flawless in a 40-17 win on Nov. 1

at Lincoln Financial Field, rushing for 180 yards and averaging

almost seven yards per carry. Donovan McNabb threw three touchdown

passes and completed more than 70 percent of his passes.

Several Giants defenders said they were embarrassed by their

performance.

Sunday night, the two teams meet again as the Giants try to get

even – for the last meeting and in the standings. New York (7-5) is

one game behind NFC East co-leaders Dallas and Philadelphia, both

8-4, and could, with a win over the Eagles and a Cowboys loss to

San Diego, emerge in a three-way tie for first place with three

games to play.

The Eagles have won three straight against the Giants, including

a win in last year’s NFC divisional playoffs.

In Philly’s November win, rookie LeSean McCoy ran for 82 yards

and a touchdown and fullback Leonard Weaver ran for 75 yards and a

touchdown. McNabb’s quarterback rating of 146.7 was the

fifth-highest of his career and the 40 points was the most the

Eagles have scored against the Giants since they posted 47 in

1992.

The Giants defense has since taken on a new look.

Jon Goff, a second-year player, has taken over at middle

linebacker for Antonio Pierce, out for the season with a neck

injury. Former Green Bay Packer Aaron Rouse is starting at strong

safety and cornerback Aaron Ross, back from a hamstring injury, and

is playing safety as much as cornerback. Pass rusher Osi Umenyiora

is coming off the bench.

“I think they have gotten a little bit better with some of the

moves they made,” Mornhinweg said. “And I’m sure they will have a

few things in for us.”

Philadelphia’s offense is still churning along: The Eagles are

coming off a 34-7 pasting of Atlanta.

McNabb is looking for a typical Eagles-Giants showdown, counting

the last game as an aberration.

“Every time we play them it’s a battle,” McNabb said. “One

game is always different than the next and I think that the way we

are going to approach this game is just making sure we eliminate

turnovers, move the ball, score touchdowns, and try to win.

“I think this particular week they are coming off a big win

(over Dallas) and we’re coming off a big win (over Atlanta) as

well. So what you have are two teams who are confident and looking

forward to playing and excited about the opportunity we have.”

NOTES: Wide receiver DeSean Jackson, expected back after missing

last week with a concussion, also will return to his role as punt

returner. Rookie Jeremy Maclin took his place last week. The Eagles

have not allowed a running back to gain more than 100 yards in 19

straight regular-season games and 22 straight including the

postseason. The last back to go over 100 yards against the Eagles

was the Giants’ Brandon Jacobs.