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this week's game

Once Again, a Giants Game We’ve All Been Waiting For

The last Eagles game circled on the Giants' calendar, the 27–17 Sunday-night loss in Week 11, didn't go so well, nor, really, have any of the last five games between the two teams, all Philly victories. But since that November 21 game in Philadelphia, the Giants have won three straight to remain in both the playoff picture and the NFC East race. Now comes the hard part: another critical game against the Eagles (one that comes just a week before a critical game against Green Bay).

So what did the Giants do right against Philly last time? Well, they kept Michael Vick from having a monster game, especially compared to his mind-boggling performance six days earlier against Washington. Holding him to a rushing touchdown and 258 passing yards is hardly shutting him down, but they mostly kept him from throwing on the run by forcing him to his right, and he rushed for just 34 yards. (He also recorded his lowest passer rating of the season.) They held DeSean Jackson — who, like Asante Samuel, is expected to play Sunday — to just 50 yards receiving. And though Eli Manning had a shaky night — three interceptions (albeit one in the final seconds), and the costly decision not to slide on his fourth-quarter fumble — the Giants led as late as the 4:25 mark of the fourth quarter.

The Giants receiving corps is shorthanded, once again, but the running game is in top form: After running the ball down Washington's throats two weeks ago, Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw both rushed for 100-plus yards on Monday night in the win over Minnesota, just the second time in Giants history teammates have done that in the same game. But those wins, to reiterate, came against Washington and Minnesota. They were games the Giants should have won, and they did. They simply allowed the Giants to keep pace with the Eagles. A win on Sunday, though, and the Giants own first place in the NFC East, and they control their divisional destiny. And if things go just right, they can even clinch a playoff spot. The Giants disappointed against the Eagles last time — so, so many turnovers — but they can make up for that on Sunday. This is the fun part of the season. It's what we've all been waiting for.

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Photo: Michael Heiman/Getty Images