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NFL New York Giants

5 Matchups New York Giants Must Win On Sunday

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Five Crucial Matchups for the New York Giants

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

It sure wasn’t pretty, but the New York Giants finally won their first game of the season on Monday night against the Minnesota Vikings. The Giants played just well enough to win, as their defense was able to beat up on Josh Freeman in his Minnesota debut. If New York wants to turn Monday’s victory into a winning streak, they will have to beat the Eagles in Philadelphia on Sunday.

The Eagles beat the Giants back in Week 5, 36-21. New York actually took the lead, 21-19, late in the third quarter, but couldn’t hang on. Eli Manning threw an interception on three-straight Giants drives in the fourth quarter, effectively sealing New York’s fate.

Michael Vick had left with a hamstring injury before the first half ended and backup Nick Foles came in and did a stellar job in relief, throwing for two touchdowns and no interceptions. DeSean Jackson also broke loose in the secondary, compiling seven catches for 132 yards and one touchdown.

The Giants have made some improvements since the loss, but the team is still prone to costly mistakes. It is going to take an all-around great effort from the offense and defense to pull out a win against the Eagles on Sunday. Although it would just be their second win, New York could actually begin to pull their season together with a victory. After all, the Dallas Cowboys are leading the NFC East with just four wins at this point.

Here are five matchups that the Giants must win on Sunday.

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New York's Offensive Line vs. Philadelphia's Defensive Line

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants’ offensive line looked much better on Monday night protecting Manning, however, he is still under too much pressure. Earlier in the week, the Giants placed starting center David Baas on the season-ending injured reserve list. Sunday, New York will have to do most of their damage through the air, so the offensive line must step up and give Manning time to operate.

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Prince Amukamara vs. DeSean Jackson

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY

Corey Webster returned to the field on Monday, but played limited minutes. In his absence, Prince Amukamara has gotten more and more confident. He will likely be matched up with DeSean Jackson on Sunday, which is no easy task. Jackson torched the Giants last time out and is more than capable of a repeat performance on Sunday.

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New York's Linebackers vs. Michael Vick

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Beason has resurrected New York’s linebacker corps over the last two games. Prior to acquiring Beason, the Giants really struggled against mobile quarterbacks. That was evident in the first meeting between these two teams. Vick was running wild before he got injured, blowing past any linebacker attempting to make an open-field tackle. We’ll see if Beason can be the difference on Sunday.

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New York's Defensive Line vs. LeSean McCoy

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

LeSean McCoy was held pretty much in check during the first meeting. He finished with just 46 yards on 20 carries. However, the Giants are still currently ranked 21st in rush defense, surrendering 110 yards per game. McCoy is also first in the NFL in rushing with 685 yards, and the next closest running back has more than 100 yards less than McCoy.

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Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle, Hakeem Nicks vs. Philadelphia's Secondary

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles’ Achilles heel has been their inability to defend against the pass. They are ranked 31st, giving up 311.6 yards per game. New York’s wide receivers must be able feast on the Philadelphia secondary on Sunday if the Giants are going to win. Victor Cruz has been consistent this year and Rueben Randle continues to improve, but Hakeem Nicks can’t seem to find his groove. If Nicks can step up and turn himself back into a reliable option, the Giants offense will flourish.