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Giants Mission is Clear

Giants can end the desperate Eagles' season on Sunday

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    There's much to be gained with a win on Sunday night.

    When the Giants went to Philly in Week Three of the season, their goal for the game was easy to decipher.

    They needed to put an end to the hex that Philly held over them for the last three years and establish themselves as the team to beat in the NFC East this season.

    They accomplished that task and helped send the Eagles into the tailspin that they have yet to end as they limp into this week's game with a 3-6 record.

    This week's mission is just as clear. Beat the Eagles, put the nail in the coffin of their season and wipe out any doubt about themselves that might have crept into the picture last weekend.

    Parts one and two are pretty obvious. The Eagles can't lose again if they want to hold out any hope of making a run at a playoff spot, which means they should be playing a desperate game full of aggression and attacking at every turn.

    They have the pieces to make a game plan like that pay off, but playing that way leaves you open to counterattacks from the Giants. Handle the furious pass rush long enough for Eli Manning to make plays down the field and there's a very high chance that he'll make more than enough of them to win the game.

    Part three will be the difficult part. There are flaws with this Giants team and they all set up as places that the Eagles can attack in their effort to win the game.

    The biggest of them is the run defense, something that would be helped greatly by a return to form for Justin Tuck. With Vince Young looking like the Eagles quarterback, you have to imagine LeSean McCoy is going to be carrying the load offensively and that's going to be a major test for a Giants defense that hasn't been good enough against the run this season.

    You can also expect the Eagles to spread out the field in an attempt to make Giants defenders win one-on-one battles. Some Giants have done well with this, but if Antrel Rolle and Aaron Ross find themselves isolated over and over again there's a chance for the Eagles to make plays.

    Finally, the Giants have to not allow themselves to be beaten on special teams. We don't need to rehash what DeSean Jackson did last season, because it is enough to point out that the Giants are still lacking in the kicking game this season and it remains a point of vulnerability for the team going forward.

    If the Giants win Sunday, those doubts will all feel a little less threatening than they are right now. If they don't, the howls will be almost as loud as the ones the Jets are hearing right now.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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