1) CB Prince Amukamara –
The Giants’ 2011 first-round draft pick is in the habit of making career firsts against the Eagles. In the last meeting between the NFC East rivals in 2011, Amukamara made his NFL debut after missing the first 10 weeks with a foot injury. And on his first series in the game, the cornerback intercepted a pass from Vince Young. So far, it’s the only interception of his career, but Amukamara will have his chances against the Eagles this week as he is slated to make his first start opposite Corey Webster
. 2) RB Ahmad Bradshaw/RB Andre Brown –
Bradshaw is probable and Brown is capable. How Tom Coughlin and the staff use the tandem will be the storyline early on. Expect Coughlin and company to ride the hot hand as the game progresses, and don’t discard rookie David Wilson
, whose time will come. Coughlin announced this week that Bradshaw will be the starter after the veteran back missed the Carolina game due to a neck injury. Asked if he has any hesitation about the first hit, Bradshaw said, “No. I love it. That’s all that matters.” 3) DE Osi Umenyiora –
Umenyiora has 11.5 sacks in 14 career games against Philadelphia, including the historic six he racked up in a game exactly five years ago from Sunday. Umenyiora notched his first and only sack thus far this season last week against Carolina and will look for his first against the Eagles since 2009. Meanwhile, Michael Vick has been sacked nine times this season.
“I think more teams are just attacking him or just blitzing, blitzing, blitzing and just trying to get to him as often as possible and that seems to be the game plan,” Umenyiora said. “People are getting to him, but I wouldn’t say necessarily it’s just the offensive line. I think it’s a combination of a lot of things.” 4) WR Victor Cruz –
His counterpart Hakeem Nicks
is doubtful heading into the weekend and could be on his way to missing his second straight game. While Domenik Hixon
, Ramses Barden
and Rueben Randle
are there to fill any voids, Cruz might have to once again work through double teams. And he won’t be sneaking up on anyone in Philadelphia this time around as he returns to where his career took off.
“There’s been a lot of salsa since then,” said Cruz, referring to his 110 yards and two touchdowns on three catches against Eagles in Week 3 last season. “It’s good to go back to where it all started and hopefully get another one.” 5) CB Corey Webster –
Playing with a cast on his broken right hand, Webster will be able to bat down some balls thrown his way on Sunday. But catching them is another story. Webster has been learning to play – and live – without his dominant right hand this week. We’ll see how cumbersome the cast is come game day, but he and his defensive coordinator don’t expect any setbacks.
“He made some outstanding catches [Thursday] in practice with his left hand that were just phenomenal,” Fewell said. “Corey just goes out and plays ball.”