Giants looking for redemption vs. Eagles

Updated: September 21, 2011, 10:08 AM ET
By Ohm Youngmisuk | ESPNNewYork.com

Antrel Rolle wants another crack at Michael Vick and hopes the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback will be cleared from a concussion to play against the New York Giants on Sunday.

"I want the best of the best," the Giants safety said on his weekly radio spot with WFAN. "And he is the best. I hope Michael Vick plays, because at the end of the day, I don't want any excuses when we go down to Philly and put it to them the way we will."

The Giants are eager for a chance to redeem themselves for last year's 38-31 meltdown to the Eagles at the New Meadowlands last December.

Defensive end Justin Tuck said that heartbreaking loss, which cost the Giants the NFC East title and ultimately a playoff spot, will stick with him forever.

It's hard to forget blowing a 31-10 cushion with 8:17 remaining. Had the Giants won that game, Tuck believes they could have made a postseason run.

"Last year will linger with me until I die," Tuck said after the Giants won their home opener, 28-16, over the Rams. "Everybody in that locker room feels as though we owe the Eagles a little something and that is going to be a big game for us."

"I think we were poised to be a football team that could have made a lot of noise if we made the playoffs," he added. "We had a shot."

The injury-ravaged Giants (1-1) would certainly catch a huge break if Vick is not cleared after suffering a concussion on Sunday night against the Falcons.

Vick threw for 242 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 130 yards and another score in that 38-31 come-from-behind victory last year. He made the final eight minutes of that game look like a video game as he destroyed coordinator Perry Fewell's defense in a comeback for the ages.

During the Eagles' 27-17 win in Philadelphia earlier last season, Vick threw for 258 yards with no touchdowns and was held to 34 yards rushing and one touchdown. Fewell blitzed Vick often and was able to somewhat contain the elusive quarterback. They were only eight minutes away in the second meeting from beating Vick.

When asked if the Giants will concoct two game plans to prepare for Vick and his potential replacement Mike Kafka, head coach Tom Coughlin promptly responded that his expectation is that Vick will play.

"I expect Michael Vick will play and if he can't play, I'm sure he will," Coughlin said. "I think that if Michael Vick can play, he will play."

When told that the Giants will see a lot of LeSean McCoy if Vick doesn't play, Tuck replied, "It gives me more opportunities to tackle him."

"McCoy is a good football player, he is shifty, with the combination of his speed and vision, combined with how potent they are as a passing offense, that is a tough handle," Tuck said.

Still, Tuck and the Giants say they want another crack at Vick even though they have struggled at the start of the season. The Giants defense has had difficulty defending the pass. Rex Grossman passed for 305 yards and two touchdowns in the Redskins' season-opening win over the Giants. And St. Louis' Sam Bradford followed that up with 331 yards passing and one touchdown.

The Giants even benched cornerback Aaron Ross briefly in the second half as they struggled to slow down the Rams receivers.

Rolle, who used to play cornerback, was asked if he can defend Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson one-on-one if he has to.

"I have handled DeSean Jackson one-on-one before, and I don't see why I can't handle him again," said Rolle, who has been asked to cover receivers as a safety this season due to the season-ending injury to cornerback Terrell Thomas.

Rolle and the Giants have a short week to prepare for the Eagles in a game that they've been waiting for nine months to play.

"There isn't any question," Coughlin said when asked if certain losses in his career have stuck with him. "And that will be one of them."

Even new Giant center David Baas, who was in San Francisco last season, is looking forward to facing the Eagles.

"You know, ever since I've got here, I've heard about the Eagles, Eagles, you know what I mean?" Baas said in a radio interview with SiriusXM Fantasy Sports radio. "This is my first year here but I'm looking forward to playing the Eagles and giving them all we've got. We've just got to step up our game. I mean, they're the Dream Team. So, apparently, everyone on their team is on a fantasy team. So hopefully we get the ground and pound and it'll set up for better protection."

And the Giants hope the Dream Team includes Vick on Sunday because it appears that's the only thing that can complete their hopes for redemption.

"I think it'd be good for this team," linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka said of Vick. "And get some redemption and make sure that going forward, we get a win with Vick in the game. That would be a confidence booster."

Ohm Youngmisuk covers the Giants for ESPNNewYork.com.

Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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