By PAUL SCHWARTZ
Eli Manning recalls whenever the Giants meet up with the Eagles “it always seems like it’s a tight game.’’ Justin Tuck says the mark of a “true rivalry’’ is based on the significance of the games to the rise and fall of a season.
“Going forward, I see it the same way,’’ Tuck said.
Going forward arrives tonight at Lincoln Financial Field, as the Giants and Eagles, both owning 2-1 records attained in very different manners, renew what recently has been a one-sided duel in the Eagles’ favor, in what usually is a battle for NFC East supremacy. The Eagles got blown out last week in Arizona, and the Giants overwhelmed the Panthers in Carolina, so the perception pendulum has swung to the Giants heading into this affair, with the Eagles eager to swing it back around.
Manning, who is on a major roll, described the atmosphere as “tough’’ and “loud’’ and called the Philadelphia fans “unique.’’ But, Manning added, “It can be a fun place to play.’’
Or a house of horrors.
“Obviously, there’s a lot of animosity between the two teams because of the way some of the games have turned out,’’ Osi Umenyiora said. “They’re desperate for a win right now, obviously we’re more desperate for a win ourselves, so it’s going to be a great game.’’
Once again, the Giants are missing key players. Receiver Hakeem Nicks (foot/knee) will miss his second straight game, putting the onus on Domenik Hixon and last week’s revelation, Ramses Barden, to make plays down the field. Valuable rookie cornerback Jayron Hosley (hamstring) is also out, and as a result, Prince Amukamara makes his first NFL start. The Giants have to deal with Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy and a whole bunch of Eagles weapons thus far derailed only by their own mistakes.