1) S Stevie Brown –
The Giants didn’t turn the ball over last week against Baltimore, but they didn’t take it away either. It was their second consecutive game without forcing a turnover, which had been a staple for the defense all season. Nonetheless, New York still ranks second in the NFC with 34 takeaways in large part due to Brown, who will be going up against a Philadelphia team that has turned the ball over 36 times. Only Kansas City (37) has more turnovers than the Eagles. Meanwhile, Brown, who was recently named a fourth alternate for the Pro Bowl, continues to chase Chicago’s Tim Jennings as the NFL leader in interceptions. He is currently one behind Jennings and tied for second with seven. 2) WR Victor Cruz –
Named to his first Pro Bowl this week, Cruz finishes the regular season against the team that first saw him salsa. Cruz has eclipsed 100 yards and found the end zone in each of his three career games against Philadelphia, including nine catches for 109 yards and a score in their first meeting this year.
“We’re calm,” Cruz said. “We understand exactly what we need to do. I think the pressure is off of us a little bit. We’ve just got to go out there and play football. I feel like there’s no pressure for us. We’ve just got to go out there and take care of business and we understand that. You can kind of feel the tension slip away from this team and we’re just relaxed and ready to go.” 3) RB Ahmad Bradshaw –
Teammates have often said if they were walking into a fight, they would want Bradshaw by their side. The same applies to a regular-season finale with a shred of postseason hope on the line. A nicked-up Bradshaw (knee/foot) practiced Thursday and Friday and is listed as probable for Sunday.
“This team has been in this predicament before and we just don’t want to end this season on a bad note,” Bradshaw said earlier this week. “So our plan is to come out hard and play our hardest.” 4) CBs Justin Tryon/Terrence Frederick –
With Prince Amukamara
and Jayron Hosley
listed as doubtful, that leaves Tryon and Frederick possibly playing opposite Corey Webster
. Tryon has played in all 15 games this season but primarily on special teams, where he is tied for second on the Giants with 11 special teams tackles. Meanwhile, the rookie Frederick was signed off the practice squad Dec. 15 before playing in his only game against Atlanta. 5) The Captains –
A year after winning it all, the Giants need some outside help to make the postseason this time around, but all of that becomes a moot point if they don’t take care of their own business against Philadelphia. It will be up to the leaders of the team -- including captains Eli Manning
, Justin Tuck
, and Zak DeOssie
-- to keep the team focused on that and play as such.
“I think everybody knows what the circumstances are and it’s obviously not the circumstances that you want,” Manning said. “But at least you have a circumstance. Sometimes that’s all you can hope for. Again, it really just comes down to first off, us handling our business, and us going out there and playing the style of football that we know we can.”