Saturday Morning Report: Giants eyeing a piece of first place

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

With a win Sunday night in Philadelphia and a Dallas loss in Seattle, the Giants can improve to 4-2 and move into a three-way tie with the Eagles and Cowboys for first place in the NFC East.

This will be the Giants’ third nationally-televised game of 2014 – all road games. They lost the opener to Detroit 35-14 on Monday Night Football and defeated the Redskins 45-14 on Thursday night in Week 4.

The Giants’ injury report is smaller this week, with no surprises. RB Rashad Jennings (knee) and LB Spencer Paysinger are out, while CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (ankle/hamstring) and punter Steve Weatherford (ankle) are probable. The status of MLB Jon Beason (foot/toe) and DE Robert Ayers (neck) will be determined Saturday when the team travels to Philadelphia.

Four Eagles are out: C Jason Kelce (hernia), LB Mychal Kendricks (calf), running back and kickoff returner Chris Polk (hamstring) and WR Brad Smith (groin). LB DeMeco Ryans (groin) is questionable and LB Connor Barwin (knee), CB Brandon Boykin (hamstring), TE Trey Burton (Achilles), CB Nolan Carroll (hamstring), WR Josh Huff (shoulder), Matt Tobin (ankle) are probable.

The Daily News Live panel discusses the trash talk that has been occurring between the Giants and Eagles this week:

From the Giants:

This will be the 159th regular season meeting between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles. The Giants lead the series, 82-74-2.  Head Coach Tom Coughlin is 11-11 (0-2 playoffs) in games vs the Eagles. They split their two meetings last season.

The Giants are tied for fourth in the NFL with points off takeaways (41).

Last week vs. Atlanta, the Giants scored 20 unanswered points on touchdowns by Andre Williams and Odell Beckham Jr. and a pair of field goals by Josh Brown. That marked the first time that the Giants scored on each of their last four possessions of a game since a season-ending 55-24 win over the Packers in 1986, a prologue to their first Super Bowl run. This was the 26th regular-season game in which Eli Manning rallied the Giants from a fourth-quarter deficit or tie to a victory.

Andre Williams and Odell Beckham Jr. were the first Giants rookies to score touchdowns by rushing and receiving, respectively, in the same game since George Adams and Mark Bavaro did it twice in 1985.

Eli Manning has had a passer rating above 100 the previous 3 games (123.2 vs. Houston, 117.5 vs. Washington and 104.9 vs Atlanta). This is the first time he has accomplished this since October of 2010.

The Giants defense is third in the NFL (first in NFC) in opponent 3rd down conversion, allowing only 20 third down conversions on 61 attempts (32.8%).

Since Week 4 of the 2013 season, the Giants defense has only allowed one opposing running back to rush for over 100 yards (Ryan Matthews, 103 yards, 12/8/13 at San Diego).

 

SNY Video Corner: Giants’ status in NFC East; Kurt Warner on Eli

From Thursday’s programming…

LoudMouths Adam and Sal discuss who they believe will be the top three teams in the NFC East.

GEICO SportsNite has reaction from Kurt Warner on Eli Manning, the Jets and who he would draft as the first quarterback this year.

Video Corner: Tuck departing for the coast

SNYGiants insider Ralph Vacchiano joins Daily News Live to discuss Justin Tuck signing with the Oakland Raiders and where Hakeem Nicks will end up.

The LoudMouths, Adam Schein and Sal Licata, discuss Justin Tuck leaving the Giants and signing with the Oakland Raiders.

DNL: Talking Michael Sam’s Impact on the NFL

Missouri DE Michael Sam is a first team All-American and the 2013 SEC Defensive Player of the Year. He is headed for the NFL this May as a highly-touted prospect who should be taken sometime on Day Two of the draft, in either the second or third round.

His admission this week that he is gay may or may not have an impact on his draft status this spring. Yesterday, the Giants’ ownership stated Sam’s admission has not changed his position on their draft board.

The Daily News Live panel talk about Michael Sam’s ESPN interview and his impact as an openly gay athlete playing in professional sports:

SNY Video Corner: NY proves a worthy host for Super Bowl

LoudMouths: Adam Schein and Chris Carlin discuss whether New York has proven worthy of hosting a Super Bowl.

Covino and Rich discuss some possible prop bets to take on Super Bowl Sunday.