Giants-Eagles Preview

The Associated Press

The Philadelphia Eagles have dropped a franchise-record nine straight home games, while the New York Giants have lost eight in a row on the road.

One of those streaks will end Sunday.

With a healthy Michael Vick poised to start this weekend, the Eagles have to like their chances of ending their home slump.

Vick was the starter earlier this month when Philadelphia beat last-place New York, running seven times for 79 yards before suffering a hamstring injury that sidelined him for the last two games.

Philadelphia (3-4) lost 17-3 at home to Dallas last weekend to fall one game behind the first-place Cowboys in the NFC East. Nick Foles sustained a concussion in the third quarter and was replaced by rookie Matt Barkley, who threw three interceptions in yet another defeat that drew the ire of booing Eagles fans.

"I don't think we talk about it," coach Chip Kelly said. "Obviously, we want to give our fans what they deserve and we've had an unbelievable home crowd in the games that we've been home this year. I just got in this year."

Foles had taken over as the starter after Vick was injured in the 36-21 victory at New York (1-6) on Oct. 6.

While Foles has not practiced, Vick returned Tuesday for his first work in two weeks and is listed as probable. He's expected to start, having said earlier this week the hamstring has healed quickly and shouldn't affect his mobility.

"I've pretty much set my mind to play the way I want to play," he said. "I'm giving it everything I got. No holding back. I don't want to play that way."

Vick has victimized the Giants in the past with his legs, with 20 carries of at least 10 yards in his career, and is 4-2 as a starter versus New York while with Philadelphia.

The elusive quarterback could again pose a significant challenge for the Giants, who are last in the league with six sacks.

New York won't enter this matchup as a winless team after ending its worst start since opening 0-9 in 1976 with Monday night's 23-7 victory over Minnesota. Eli Manning, who leads the NFL with 15 interceptions, was not picked off for the first time this season. He completed 23 of 39 passes for 200 yards and a score.

"Our preparation has been good every week, we just have to keep doing it," Manning said. "If we do the right things, it will come around. You will start to play the way that we know you can."

The Giants held Vikings star Adrian Peterson to 28 yards rushing on 13 carries, a good sign ahead of facing Philadelphia's LeSean McCoy, who leads the NFL with 97.9 yards per game on the ground.

McCoy, however, was limited to 55 yards on 18 carries against Dallas, and New York held him to 46 yards on 20 attempts earlier this month.

The Giants figure to be tougher defensively this time around. Defensive tackle Linval Joseph was inactive for the last meeting, and newcomer Jon Beason has stepped in as a starter at linebacker in the last two games.

"Even though it's been a three-week span between the two teams playing, I think there's some personnel changes that are going to be different for us, going to be the first time we've seen them," Kelly said.

Beason hasn't been the only new Giants player forced into action. Peyton Hillis made his New York debut Monday and had 36 yards on 18 carries with a touchdown.

The Giants signed Hillis after Brandon Jacobs went down with a hamstring injury to add to an already injury-plagued backfield. David Wilson is out indefinitely and Andre Brown is eligible to return for Week 10.

The struggling Giants' offense has received a boost from second-year receiver Rueben Randle, who has four touchdown catches in his last three games. Randle has turned in consecutive two-score efforts against the Eagles.

Victor Cruz remains New York's top threat with a team-high 591 yards receiving, but Hakeem Nicks has yet to find the end zone this season. Nicks had some notable drops Monday, helping put the Giants in a tie for fifth in the league in that category with 18.

"I'm sure Hakeem would be the first one to tell you that there were a couple of those balls he should have caught," coach Tom Coughlin said.

The Giants are on their longest road slide since a 10-game skid between 1978-79. The Eagles' last home win came over New York, 19-17 on Sept. 30, 2012.

The Giants placed starting center David Baas on injured reserve Wednesday after he sustained his third injury this season. Baas, who had just returned from a neck injury that caused him to miss the previous three games, hurt his left knee for the second time in 2013 on the final play of the opening series Monday.

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