Giants (3-7) Philadelphia (5-6)
It was a long wait, but on Sunday the Philadelphia
Eagles fans got to see their team win their first home game of the season. It
was a 40-29 victory over the New Orleans Saints.
On Monday the Giants were
in Tampa Bay after coming off their bye week. The long time off didn't help their
plans to upset the reigning Super Bowl champs, and the Giants suffered a 30-10
The Eagles won the division title in 2019 and
seemed to have an edge in the NFC East going into the 2020 season. They were the
only team that wasn't undergoing head coaching changes during a COVID-shortened
offseason. Head coach Doug Pederson had won a Super Bowl title in his second year,
and along with defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, had the team in the playoffs
in the two years since then. Carson Wentz looked good as well over those three
years, averaging 27 touchdowns - 7 interceptions, and a 64 percent completion
ratio, the major issue being his durability.
After the Eagles closed out the
season with a 4-11-1 record, landing them in last place in the division, all three
of them were gone. Pederson did not help his
case, nor did he make the Eagles and the integrity of the NFL look good, with
an apparent tanking in his last game to secure better draft picks in 2021.
Nick Sirianni was the Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator for two years before
signing on as the new head coach for the Eagles. Sirianni was tasked with the
Eagles playing the first three home games against teams that have played in the
Super Bowl the last two seasons. They were all losses as well as the next with
the Chargers, but he delivered a win for the home town fans last week.
Jalen Hurts, who was selected in the second round of the draft last year, is the
Eagles starting quarterback. In the season opener against the Atlanta Falcons,
Hurts led the Eagles to a 32-6 victory. Hurts completed 77 percent of his passes,
throwing for 264 yards and 3 touchdowns, with no interceptions. That was a great
start, and while not expected for any quarterback to continue, the completion
percentage of just 59 percent since then is troubling.
Hurts brings another
aspect to the offense, as he's the teams leading rusher, averaging 5.4 yards a
carry for 618 yards and 8 touchdowns. Miles Sanders is next on the list with 394
yards. Running backs Jordan Howard, Boston Scott, and Kenneth Gainwell have accounted
for the teams 9 other rushing touchdowns, each scoring three. Howard is out for
Relying on a running offense, the Eagles have a pretty low average
of less than 200 passing yards a game. DeVonta Smith is the top target, and the
wide receiver has 46 catches for 664 yards and 4 touchdowns. Tight end Dallas
Goedert is a reliable receiver at tight end, with 34 catches for 491 yards and
had to toss out a bunch of notes they've been reviewing on how the Giants have
been going about things on offense, considering the change the Giants have made
this week. Still, the Giants offensive line has been their weak point all season,
and that won't change. Philadelphia's defense ranked third in the NFL with 49
sacks last year, but with just 18 so far, are not at that rate.
has 6 of them to lead the team in that area. Fletcher Cox still plays well, but
looks to be slowing down. In 2018 he had 10.5 sacks an 34 quarterback hits. In
2019 and 2020 combined, he had 10 sacks and 19 quarterback hits. Currently Cox
has just 1 sack.
The defense has allowed a league high 72 percent of passes
to be completed, but watch out for cornerback Darius Slay, who leads the team
with 3 of their 8 interceptions. Slay has been playing top notch these past two
games. Slay returned a fumble recovery 83 yards for a touchdown against the Denver
Broncos, and against New Orleans, he ran an interception back 51 yards for a score.
This week the Giants have moved
on from offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, and people are wondering what will
change. Freddie Kitchens is in charge right now, and unfortunately is in much
the same position Jason Garrett found himself in, trying to deal with all the
injuries. Wide receivers Kadarius Toney and Sterling Shepard Rudolph, and tight
end Kaden Smith, won’t play on Sunday.
Running back Saquon Barkley has been
in and out this season, but it's telling that Daniel Jones still has more rushing
yards than him. Barkley ran the ball only 6 times last week for 25 yards. Barkley
is in his second game back from an ankle injury, and is listed as questionable.
Who knows how effective he'll be dealing with things in this or any game for that
matter from what we've seen so far. Tight end Kyle Rudolph is doubtful, and John
Ross is questionable with a quad injury,
One thing that needs to change for
sure will be throwing the ball to Kenny Golladay. He was targeted just twice last
week and had one catch for 12 yards, and he had two catches for 28 yards on just
three targets in the previous game. Golladay has missed games with a sprained
knee, but on the season, 17 of his 20 catches have been for first downs, and he's
averaging over 16 yards a catch.
The run defense had better be ready
for what's coming. In the past four games, they have rushed for 236, 176, 216,
and 242 yards. They won three of those games, losing one to the Chargers on a
last second field goal. Last week Jalen Hurts threw the ball 24 times for only
147 yards, completing just 54.2 percent of his passes, but he also had 18 rushing
attempts. Hurts and the rest of his crew ran the ball a total 50 times for 242
yards and 3 touchdowns, averaging 4.8 yards a carry. The Giants sure could use
linebacker Blake Martinez with his tackling skills, but he was lost for the season
with a torn ACL.
Tae Crowder has stepped up to that spot, and is now the Giants
leading tackler. Hurts uses his mobility well and in doing so, hold onto the ball
longer than any other quarterback in the league. It still doesn't seem to help
him in the passing game. The Giants schemed to limit Patrick Mahomes scrambling
for yardage in the Kansas City game. Mahomes couldn't run, but was able to use
his mobility in the backfield to complete passes. A scheme like that may work
against Hurts. Hurts doesn't yet have those passing skills, and needs to be contained
from running and tackled.
Giants fans remember watching the Philadelphia
Eagles last game of the 2020 season against Washington, where they suddenly pulled
their starting quarterback in the fourth quarter and lost the game. If the Eagles
had won, the Giants would have had the division title instead of Washington. Also
in the offseason, the Eagles traded up to snatch DeVonta Smith, a wide receiver
the Giants were hoping to select.
are really looking forward to a win over the Giants, to start off the first of
their five games against teams with losing records. The Giants fans would like
to see them start that off with a loss, as they celebrate Michael Strahan, who
had some of his best games playing against the Eagles. There is no love lost between
these two teams, and hopefully the Giants will prevail.
Thursday at 8:20pm ---- Raiders
36 Cowboys 33.
Sunday at 1:00pm Eagles (5-6) at Giants (3-7).
8:15pm Seahawks (3-7) at Washington (4-6).
The Eagles are the only NFC East
team favored to win in these games.
On The Air. Listen to the Radio Broadcasts.
TeamGiants on Twitter.
have had a takeaway in every game this season, including interceptions in the
Giants will have special
halftime ceremony retiring Michael Strahan's No. 92 jersey.
Dec 5 Giants at Miami
Dec 12 Giants at Chargers