Giants (1-6) vs Eagles (3-4)
Last Sunday the Eagles fought it out with the Dallas
Cowboys for the top spot in the NFC East. The Cowboys won out 17-3 in front of
the Philly fans who really had nothing much to cheer for. Quarterback Nick Foles
left with a head injury and with Michael Vick out due to a hamstring, Matt Barkley
came in and threw three interceptions in the fourth quarter.
The Giants played
their game on Monday night and managed their first victory of the season. The
level of competition was down a few notches with Minnesota fielding a quarterback
who had just recently signed on to their team. It was a 27-3 victory and the Giants
gave their hometown crowd something to cheer about, the first win of the season.
Foles was the NFC Offensive Player of the Week after the Tampa Bay game and looked
to be developing into the type of quarterback the Eagles were looking for. The
fans were split between Foles and Michael Vick and then last week the Cowboys
showed up with guns blazing. Foles was ineffective and knocked out of the game
with a concussion. Rookie Matt Barkley came in, threw three interceptions, and
they did not score even one touchdown for the first time this season.
paying fans have seen nine straight losses played out before them. They don't
have an idea who their current or future quarterback might be. The last Eagles
home victory to enjoy was the one over the Giants back on Sept. 30, 2012. That's
the team coming to their town and these fans will be blood thirsty for a win at
the first sight of the Giants entering their stadium. They'll be looking to draw
blood from their team if the Eagles take another division loss on Sunday.
LeSean McCoy, the NFL's leading rusher, was
held to 55 yards on 18 carries last week. Some will blame that on Nick Foles,
feeling that Michael Vick's scrambling ability makes McCoy much more dangerous.
However, if you look at Foles in Tampa Bay, McCoy had one of his better games,
rushing for 116 yards and averaging 4.6 yards a carry. McCoy was going nowhere
last week and even with Foles tossing him 7
short passes, McCoy accumulated only 26 yards, catching 6 of them.
the Cowboys had figured out, it wasn't all on Foles and maybe it won't even matter
as the Eagles offense will change styles once again with Michael Vick back. The
Eagles still lead the league in rushing, averaging 165 yards per game and they
rank third in the NFL in total offense. McCoy is their biggest weapon as well
as Vick running the ball for as long as his
hamstring holds up. There's no reason to think Vick's passing game will be any
better than it usually is. Expect wideout DeSean Jackson to be heavily covered
and Riley Cooper and Jason Avant to be available targets at times.
They are the last ranked defense
in the NFL, giving up an average 412.7 yards a game. The unit is much better protecting
against the run than the pass. Defensive coordinator Bill Davis' shift from a
4-3 to a 3-4 has shown to produce good results against the run and that's working
well with defensive end Fletcher Cox and linebacker
Three short weeks ago they faced Brandon Jacobs and David Wilson
and capped them at 3.1 yards a carry and no catches. Now the defense will set
their sights on Peyton Hillis and Michael Cox. Last week, even with their offense
struggling, the defense held the Cowboys to 2.8 yards per carry, and they kept
pressure on Tony Romo with 2 sacks and 2 interceptions. Linebacker Connor Barwin
leads the team with 4.5 sacks, but with the secondary still a work in progress
it the pressure drops any up front it will be bombs away against this unit.
It was asking a lot for Brandon
Jacobs to come back out of nowhere and be productive, but he got it going in Chicago.
Unfortunately Jacobs suffered a hamstring injury in the process. A good running
threat makes things easier for a quarterback and Eli Manning's completion percentage
had dropped in every game until Chicago. It improved once again with Peyton Hillis
last week as he turned the trick with 18 rushes and 5 catches, assisted by rookie
Michael Cox who had 11 rushes and 2 catches and is getting some necessary experience.
They didn't gain tons of yardage, but the threat of the run was there and they
should be even better this week.
The Manning to Nicks connection has really
suffered for some reason. It's hard to believe that just 3 weeks ago playing these
Eagles, Nicks was Manning's best receiver, targeted 12 times with 9 catches (75%)
for 142 yards while the other receivers caught 13 of 40 (33%). Manning had his
worst completion ratio of the season (46.2%) that day, but not because of Nicks.
Now things have flipped. Nicks was targeted
10 times in Monday's game, but he caught just two passes and dropped three others
(20%) while the other receivers caught 21 of 29 (72%). Overall the offensive line
has improved. The running game looks to be better and if Nicks can do a repeat
act on the Eagles secondary coverage like he did last time the Giants will do
Last week the
Cowboys gave the Giants a nice show-and-tell on how to stop the Eagles offense,
but with Vick back they'll have to look at their own game tapes from a few weeks
ago. They should see what went right and what went wrong and now be in a better
position to correct it. Middle linebacker and three-time Pro Bowl player Jon Beason,
recently acquired from Carolina, is making a big difference. Last week the unit
was able to hold Adrian Peterson to 28 yards rushing on 13 carries and you could
say the pass rush improved a step coming up off mediocre.
It's doubtful the
Eagles will be running Michael Vick very much from the read option. They can't
afford to have Vick knocked out of this game with rookie Matt Barkley as the backup.
That means the defense can lean more towards LeSean McCoy on those plays and they
did a good job on him last time out. If they bottle up those two, Vick will be
looking to tight end Brent Celek to make more plays and passing downfield if allowed
The Giants are the underdogs in this game, but actually both have lost more games
than they've won. Chip Kelly's offense was going to shock the NFL, but read-option
mobile quarterbacks in the pros get hurt and miss games. All the Eagles problems
did not go away when Andy Reid left, he left his problems in Philly. From what
he's shown in his new gig at Kansas City, you can do wonders with he right personnel
on the field.
The Giants have their own set of problems this season. Why are
there so many injuries? Why is the offensive line so bad? Who's up next at running
back? What happened to the pass rush? Suddenly Hakeem Nicks can't catch and the
special teams unit is not so special. The struggling Giants are coming off a short
week and whichever team gets its act together first in this game will be the winner.
On Sunday at 1:00pm, at the same time
the Giants play the Eagles, the Cowboys (4-3) will be playing in Detroit against
the Lions (4-3). Later in the day at 4:25pm the Redskins (2-4) will try to beat
the Broncos (6-1). The Eagles and Lions are favored to win in these games.
Giants Store, and see some of the really unique items we put together.
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TeamGiants on Twitter.Notes.
Giants Victor Cruz has 5 touchdowns against
the Eagles, the most of any other team.
Hakeem Nicks had 9 catches for 142 yards against the Eagles three weeks ago.
Giants have lost eight straight road games.
Eagles have lost a franchise worst nine straight
games at home.
Eagles have had 18 touchdown
drives this season and 9 finished in four plays or less.
lead the NFL with 42 plays covering 20 or more yards, but last week had none.
have yet to allow a 100-yard rusher.
Michael Vick is the only NFL. player to have thrown for more than 20,000 yards
and rushed for more than 5,000 yards.
Nov 10 - Raiders at Giants.
Nov 17- Packers at Giants.