Game Preview – Eagles at Giants

Posted: October 4th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 57 Comments »

Usually 1-3 vs 0-4 means a bad day of football. But this is the Eagles and the Giants, one of the NFL’s best rivalries. These teams usually play compelling games. I think we’ll see a good game on Sunday.

The primary reason is that both teams are desperate. A win for the Eagles could put them on top of the division. A win for the Giants could keep their season from completely blowing up. The nucleus of each team has won plenty of games. Neither group wants to lose and see the season slipping away.

Initially I thought this might be the game where the Eagles used a lot of TEs. The Giants have a poor set of LBs. You want those guys on the field. But the injury report complicates things. CBs Aaron Ross and Jayron Hosley are out. Corey Webster is doubtful. That leaves the Giants with 3 healthy CBs…Prince Amukamara, Terrell Thomas and Trumaine McBride. Amukamara is a talented CB. Thomas was darn good, but injuries have hurt him.

You now how to figure out if you want to attack the Giants LBs or their CBs.

The run game will play into this. Do you want lots of TEs to help you block? Do you prefer to spread out the defense with WRs and then have DBs on the field as run defenders?

The Giants DL also has to be factored in. They have 4 sacks this year, tied for the lowest total in the league. The Giants DL is a shell of what it used to be. I put on some tape of JPP to see how he’s playing. I was shocked at how mediocre he is. Pass rushers must use a burst off the line and then convert that speed to power when they engage the blocker. JPP doesn’t have a great burst off the ball, but he has zero power at the point of contact. It is impossible to think that this guy dominated the league in 2011.

With no fear of a pass rush and facing a banged up secondary, this might be a game where Chip Kelly has Michael Vick throwing to WRs quite a bit. In fact, you wonder about going with 4 WRs. That puts either Jason Avant or Damaris Johnson against a Safety.

No matter what Kelly chooses to do, he should have a favorable matchup.

That puts the pressure on the OL and Vick. The line has had a couple of tough weeks after a strong start. It seems odd to think that the Giants are a team you can get well against, but that’s the case this year. And Vick is deadly when he’s got a clean pocket. The Giants played lots of man coverage last week and Alex Smith ran 7 times for 37 yards. The Giants have been burned by Vick in the past. It will be interesting to see how they defend the Eagles.

Another sub-plot here is that Antrel Rolle has been an important defender against Vick since 2010. The Giants have used him in the box as a blitzer quite a bit. Will the Giants use him more in coverage or will they continue to have him be a box defender that rushes?

You can bet that LeSean McCoy will be a busy man. The Giants are 28th in the league in run defense. Shady has had some big games against the G-men. The question Sunday is whether you run at JPP or away from him. He was single-blocked by the TE in the Chiefs game on some run plays. Since he’s not running well, you could go away from him and leave him unblocked. This would have been insane a couple of years ago because of his ability to make plays from the backside.

I expect the Eagles to score in this game. Anything less than 24 points will be very disappointing.

As for the Eagles D and the Giants O…that matchup is harder to figure. I’d give the advantage to Eli and his receivers, Hakeem Nicks is struggling and the Giants OL is having a very rough year. Eli becomes an average QB with poor protection. And Nicks struggles have taken away a major weapon from the passing game.

Victor Cruz is having a great year. He’ll be in the slot a lot, going against Brandon Boykin. Nicks and Reuben Randle will be on the outside, going against Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher. Nicks and Randle have combined for 23 catches and 0 TDs this year. These guys should be really good, but the production just isn’t there.

Boykin vs Cruz will be interesting to watch. Boykin has been blitzing a lot in recent games, but I don’t think that will be the case on Sunday. Cruz is the #1 offensive threat for the Giants. Bill Davis must neutralize him as best he can. Boykin matches up the best. Cruz will be a very tough test for Boykin.

These are 2 very flawed units. The one that plays better will probably win the game.

Both teams have some issues on STs. The Giants gave up a PR TD last week. The Giants are getting minimal impact from their return game. The Eagles have struggled the last 2 weeks. This is another area that could hugely influence the game. Which flawed unit can have the breakout game?

I can’t say I feel great about this game, but I do feel pretty good. The Eagles have just played 3 tough teams. They faced hot QBs. The Giants are the other end of the spectrum. If the Eagles look past the 0-4 record and play hard, they should win this game. You just wonder about the desperation factor with the Giants. Is this the week when they quit making mistakes and start making plays?

I do feel confident that the game won’t be boring. Strange things happen when the Eagles and Giants get together.

_


  • SteveH

    The Giants have looked like a defeated team the last couple of weeks. They held up against the Chiefs for a while but couldn’t sustain it and eventually got blown out. I’ll be very disappointed if we don’t handle them easily, especially with the injuries on the offensive line. Their OL has been atrocious before the injuries, now it should be Winston Justicesque.

    I think we’re going to surprise some people with how thoroughly we’re going to control this game.

    • GermanEagle

      Prepare to get disappointed, my eagles fella.

      • GEagle

        Screw that!!! We might struggle outside of our division, but I still think we can be very successful against the rest of our division, especially since we aren’t playing Dallas early in the year. The later w play the cowboys the more they implode…
        ….
        the ONLY reason we are an underdog this week is because the odds Makers are believing in the law of averages, that an 0-4 Giants team finally get a win at home..but NO, this isn’t an early season Mirage…the Giants are THAT bad, especially with their injuries.
        ..
        We have a lot of returning players that were embarrassed the last game of last season by the Midgets, and we are just as desperate as the Gmen..I like our chances if both teams are at full strength, so it’s inexcusable for me to see a much healthier Eagles team, drop a game to the battered Giants….way better Giant teams have always gotten killed by Desean on Shady..how is THIS battered Midget defense going to stop them…Teams like Denver, chargers with mcCoy and Even the Cheifs who brought in Nevada’s coach are up to speed with the new NFL game…COUGHLIN is still playing antiquated pro style football, non evolving organization, that has as many holes if not more, then we do…

        New Age Chip’s healthy sports science eagles! steam roll an antiquated, unevolved Coughlin old, injured and BAD midget teams!!!!

        Eagles are putting 38 on the board this week, and my guess is the Giants don’t crack 24….FLY eagles fly!!!!!!!!!

      • GvilleEagleFan

        Hey man, I appreciate the trend of pumping the brakes on the hype machine that you’ve been posting lately but there’s no need for blatant negativity. I, for one, come to Tommy’s site for equal parts reasoned discussion and cautious optimism. If you have something to contribute as to why we could be let down this week, I want to hear it! If you just want to rain on people’s parades, there’s plenty of room on the philly.com message boards.
        I’m not trying to make you feel uncomfortable or suggest that you leave, but I’m sure all of the diehard Eagles fans that love this site are torn up enough by watching us play badly on Sundays and don’t need a reminder that “we suck” when coming to this comments section. I’m only speaking for myself, and I want you to know that I looked forward to your contributions over the offseason which is why I’m even bothering to say anything instead of just passing over your comment.

      • SteveH

        Hey, prepare to be pleasantly surprised!

    • BlindChow

      I would certainly be surprised.

  • Anders

    Btw people do not watch the playbook: Eagles at Giants on NFLN. Brian Baldinger is soooooooooooooooooooo bad.

    • Eric Carranza

      Apparently the match up only involves the giants since thats all they talked about barely even mentioned the eagles, worst play book I’ve seen

      • Anders

        yea, that part of NFLN has also gotten worse.

        Few years ago it was much see part (that was also before guys like Kapadia, smartfootball or iggleblog diagrammed plays every week)

  • GEagle

    This game is simple….BULLY Them in the Trenches!!! it’s an opportunity for both our lines to get back on track. Win the battle in the trenches on both sides of the ball, and we will win this game…Cox And Curry need to wreak havoc on this PUGH-trid Midget Line. get it? Putrid = PUGH-trid lol

    Oline is the strength of our team and we will go as far as they take us. They have struggled this season, but this is an opportunity to get back on track and Dominate…

    Giants can’t stop shady. He always abuses them..

    I would make sure Ertz got 8 passes thrown his way this week. get the kid a matchup against these bad safeties and let him build some confidence

    Don’t let Cruz get behind you. Cary and Fletch have done a good job all season of keeping WR in front of them, and it’s very important for this week? Take away Cruz deep, and this offense isn’t good enough to. Beat us underneath..

    make tHeir suspect RBs fumble the ball.

    Defense needs to get pressure similar to the skins game.

    very important game..This is a BIGTIME opportunity for us

  • GEagle

    If Defenses can take Desean out of games, there is no excuse to let Cruz get loose. take him out of the game, the rest of the cast isn’t playing well enough to kill us underneath. Myers is a good TE, but he isn’t crafty like gates and isn’t the athlete Julius Thomas is. Kendricks needs to have a good game against him…Randle and Nicks don’t scare me…and like Ryan Mathews, Giants RBs are dying to cough up that Chicken….Defense needs to look a lot like they did against the skins

    • Anders

      Cheifs and Broncos have better CBs than us and Cruz still had 160 yards against the Chiefs (tho they was without Flowers)

      • GEagle

        They defended Cruz with a better Corner, but that’s not really what I’m talking about…I’m talking about dedicating two defenders to Cruz(constant safety help), the way defenses typically shut Desean down….because those teams have better CBs, they didn’t feel the need to double team Cruz all game long, and without a double team, a good NFL WR is always going to get his…Nate is worthless as a playmaker, but ATleast he is very cautious about not getting killed deep. I would use Nate fear of getting beat deep to dedicate him to being a safety blanket against Cruz, and take my chances with Wolff and Kendrick. Guarding Myers..

        All offseason we talked about how our OLBs can’t cover TEs. I warned that we would see Kendricks buck traditional ILB duties, and Billy Davis finding ways to stick him on TEs…Mykal will eventually find his footing and be good in that role, but I would like to see Barwin on Myers about 30% of the time..

        Nate isn’t going to blow anyone up in the box, he isn’t going to jump any routes and make a play on the he ball, so might as well use his fear/caution of not getting beat deep to constantly blanket Cruz…and take our chances with Fletch,Cary,Wolff,Mykal,Barwin defending Randle,Nicks,Myers and the backs coming out the backfield
        ….
        Meco needs to force a Wilson fumble

        • BlindChow

          I haven’t seen anything from Billy Davis this year to suggest he can scheme to take anyone out of a game, or even slow them down.

          When the Falcons were trying to make their 4th quarter comeback against the Patriots last week, Belichick assigned two (!) guys whose only job was to jam Gonzales at the line and keep him from releasing into his route. It worked brilliantly, and Matt Ryan looked lost with what to do with the ball. I can’t imagine seeing any kind of innovation (or improvisation) like that from Davis.

          In fact, he doesn’t seem to create his gameplans based on the opposing offense, and clearly doesn’t base them on his players’ strengths. I’m not sure how he comes up with these stinkers every week.

          • GEagle

            Just play him the way every successful defense plays Desean…it’s not some foreign creative Concept that Davis needs to come up with..CB takes less chances, keeps Cruz in front of him with The already cautious/scared to get beat deep so give up everything underneath, Nate Allen glued overtop of Cruz…Nate plays 20yards back on 3rd and 7 anyway, so might as well just use him as a safety blanket overtop of Cruz all game, especially since the Giants don’t really have these Denver esque weapons to really make us pay for constantly double teaming Victor….Teams are able to take Desean out of games because the rest of our weapons don’t make them pay for it…

            You have to get “creative” when playing an offense like the falcons, because Gonzo was having a monster game and they still have weapons like Julio that can make you pay….Nicks is having a bad year, Myers is good but not special! and Rueben doesn’t scare me, so I don’t really see a need for creativity against the giants? Glue Boykin NAND Nate on him all game long! and let Nate play is normally scared game, soley focusing on not getting beaten deep

          • BlindChow

            “Just play him the way every successful defense plays Desean…it’s not some foreign creative Concept that Davis needs to come up with..”

            You and I know that. I just don’t think Davis schemes that way. It’ll be soft zones all the way down.

          • OregonDucker

            That’s the way I see it too.

          • GEagle

            So why is Chip obsessed with tall, long, press corners? Doubt Cary was signed to play soft zone all year..patience,it’s all coming

          • GEagle

            Or is it that This is the first time a Billy eagles defense is facing an offense with 1 defined star player, and a bunch of lessor parts? Who was he going to scheme for in the Denver game? Pick your poison….why would you show BOWE or Avery extra attention when they feature jaamal Charles? Chargers didn’t win because one guy beat us….this is the first time all year where we are facing an offense that’s it’s clear we have to scheme for a WR and focus less attention to the others,,,,there rest of thee teams we faced were balanced

          • OregonDucker

            TRUTH again BlindChow. You are on a role this week!

    • Weapon Y

      I agree. Double cover Cruz all game. He’s their only guy who truly scares me.

  • GermanEagle

    I’m afraid Sheil is right:

    Because the Giants can’t run the ball, maybe Davis can find a way to scheme up some pressure. But we just haven’t seen it in the past few weeks. I can see the Eagles taking a 30-28 lead with 1:47 left only to see it evaporate. It’s a toss-up, but I’m going with the Giants.

    • Anders

      dam you are negative this week? Or you Morton in disguise? :P

      • OregonDucker

        The Eagles D is making us all negative a scared. But I have faith in Chip’s offense, especially with the new schemes we will see.

        • Anders

          I understand not trusting the D, but why think the Giants O can put up 31 points on us when a much better Chargers O “only” put 33 on us?

          • GEagle

            Cant wait til it clicks for this defense, which will happen within the next 3 games so that I don’t have to read all this doom and gloom…If you think we have good coaches, then its foolish to not expect improvement. Wolff has issues, but is he really not going to improve after getting valuable experience facing guys like Peyton and Eli?…I will stick to my original hypothesis that its going to be an up and down, high and low season for this defense, but that by the end of the season we will all be feeling good about the future of this defense…I still sincerely believe it

          • OregonDucker

            My hope is that the individual D player testing is over. Now Davis will scheme to every player’s strengths. That implies a 4.3 under and other schemes you, GEagle, have advocated from day 1. No more soft zones, either!

          • OregonDucker

            Anders – I think the Eagles D is regressing; i.e. they are getting worse.

          • GEagle

            So you think Billy would blatantly lie to the public? He offered up how he is seeing improvement during thee one time where he could have written things off to playing against Peyton…Billy does not strike me as a liar.

  • austinfan

    This game is a gut check for Chip. Giants are the second worst team in the NFL, and maybe with all the injuries, they might be an underdog against Jax. There is no excuse for not winning this game, and winning it decisively.

    Even if Eli has a 300 yard day with that beat up OL, they have no running game and zero defense, when Mundy is your FS, McBride your third CB, you have 4 sacks in your first four games and your best DL (Joseph) is injured, your LBs are maybe the worst group in the NFL, there is no way the Eagles shouldn’t put up 450 yards and 30+ points against this group.

    Good coaches, in must win games against clearly inferior opponents, win.
    I understand growing pains, but these are the games you win, period.

    • GEagle

      Agreed! I didn’t kill Chip or the players after losing to the Chargers and patriots, and I didn’t really rip them for losing to Andy, a game we desperately wanted to win….but this game is different..When you have a clear advantage on both sides of ether trenches, and you have a chance to step on the throat of a division rival, you SHOW UP!!!

      Just think at how much better Giant defenses have struggled against Shady and Desean. Now there is just no excuse for why they don’t shred a battered bad secondary, horrible LBs especially with a Dline averaging 1 pathetic sack per game. Our big guns need to get loose, and one offense need to get back on track…

      We have had a rough few weeks…this is a tremendous opportunity facing bad Giant and Bucs teams to get back to .500 ball which is all you really need this year to win this division. Guys that that I need to see Show up this week:
      1) Jason peters and the entire line which is supposed to be the strength of our team. They can really use this Giants team to re-establish themselves and get some confidence going.
      ..
      2) Cox, Curry and Barwin…no reason and inexcusable for those Rhee to not notch a sack this week…and we all know that hit Eli and he will fumble or throw an INT..

      Watching inside the NFL on SHOWTIME this week was awesome. Eric berry was Mic ‘ed up for the Giants game, and he predicted and was taunting Eli to give him the ball…low and behld they fumbled a handoff that landed right in Berry’s lap…..No one can tell me that Justin Pugh-trid(putrid) is ready to handle Vinny Currys explosion off the snap. he is a green rookie, sorrounded by a weak cast, not athletic enough to overcome his T-Rex arms to handle Cox or Curry…get to Eli “the idiot savant! rain man of the Nfl” and this game is ours

      • A_T_G

        Dammit, we lost to the Patriots too now?! Remember the good ol’ days of 2012, when we only lost once per week?

        • Patrick

          I’m happy about it. I just want to see the Eagles do whatever they can. And by that I of course mean to do whatever they can to land Teddy Bridgewater. If that means that we will be the only team to actually play 17 games in the regular season then I salute Chippah and Howie. How smart is it to avoid the humiliation of going 0-16, simply by crushing the opponent in week one, and throw the rest of the games, including one extra game, to end up with a 1-16 record? Beat that Jaguars!

        • GEagle

          lol…

  • GEagle

    If Chip was ever going to unleash Ertz and Casey…these midget LBs and safeties Are the perfect team to do it against. Casey had a huge first down catch early in the Denver game! then we went away from him..

    If we finally bust out the 3TEs, I don’t care who the giants put on the field and how many players they put in the box! I don’t see how they slow Shady down…Bryce and Polk are also getting more involved, and I think Bryce is really close to breaking loose. he would have scored on that 35 yard screen pass against Denver if he didn’t slip…I hope to see us pound the rock with our backs all game long out of 3TE sets, with Ertz and Casey off of play action. I know the midgets have bad CBs but their LBs and safeties are just as bad…Amakamura is soo grossly over rated, and they have a “pigeon” worst than Nate waiting to be picked on playing at safety.
    ..
    Vick played smart against Denver. Took care of the rock, didn’t force much, threw the ball away, got out of bounds and avoided big hits in the run game…if he doesn’t turn the ball over, I really don’t think the Giants are good enough to win this week

    • OregonDucker

      I’d like to see the Maehl man too.

      • A_T_G

        I was told there will be no Maehl on Sunday.

        • OregonDucker

          But, but the Maehl man delivered last Sunday. Darn gov. shutdown!! :-)

  • Daniel Norman Richwine

    One of these games the defense will play well. when that happens, the offense will score 50. Maybe this game…

  • Tumtum

    Tommy. I know their line is struggling, and their run game has been pretty poor. They cut Scott this week, the back they have leaned on most heavily this year for some reason. That means more touches for David Wilson. He is a threat to take it to the house any time he touches it, and with defense I would be surprised if he does not have a huge game.

    This might sound crazy but I think the number one priority should be to take away their running game. It has been done effectively all year and it has caused them to struggle. Take their ability to be balanced away and Eli is not going to shine. Dismiss Wilson and he will burn us.

  • A_T_G

    Sheil mentioned an interesting stat. The Eagles had the second most difficult schedule through the first quarter, second only to the Giants.

    I don’t know if that makes me feel more confident about our chances or more worried about the giants.

    • BlindChow

      And according to Eagles Rewind, the Eagles have the easiest schedule from here on out. By a lot.

      • ICDogg

        When I was a kid, and the Eagles were at a low point and the Cowboys were a great team, I once complained about the Eagles schedule and how much tougher it was than the Cowboys schedule, until it was pointed out to me that the schedules were exactly the same, with the exception that the Eagles had to play the Cowboys twice and the Cowboys got to play the Eagles twice.

    • OregonDucker

      You should be worried. Eli is a SB MVP. Our defense is a joke.
      But, if our offense can explode against the Giants D then we have a game.

      I am “cautiously” optimistic because of Chip’s Offense.

      • GEagle

        games are won and lost in the trenches…Say what you want about our Dline, but its undoubtably better then the banged up Giants Oline..Conversly our Oline, thru all its stuggles should have the advantage against a 1 sack per game Gmen Dline…

        If we win the battle of the trenches, it means that we got pressure on Eli, and if Vick doesn’t turn the ball over, then we don’t lose this game. Every Flaw and hole that we have on Defense, so do they…and our offense has looked better then theirs in almost every game…Man 4-12 really crippled you guys. We are playing the antiquated Gmen…These fools wouldn’t scare me at full strength…Eli can be a very good QB when you surround him with a good team…Eli behind a banged up, old Line, is worthless. He is a good QB, but he cant consistently carry an offense. If Curry,Barwn,Kendrick,Cox,Cole and Graham if he actually plays cant get to Eli on 3rd down against this group of muts, then I don’t even know what to say..
        ….
        Question? Does Billy Davis seem like a guy who would lie to the public so blatantly? This man believes that we are heading in the right direction, and that its going to click…I see no reason why I should doubt him…a guy who doesn’t believe that, would never go out on a limb and offer that kind of a bold statement to the media about how we are improving. It Didn’t help playing against good offenses while we are Geling and guys are getting comfortable in the schemes, growing Wolff…but I really do believe Davis. If anything he seems like a stand up dude, who would take the bullets when they are due..he could have easily chalked it up to a new team playing against the great Peyton…but he went out on a limb saying he is seeing much improvement and that it will all click soon and I believe the man. I see no reason not to.

  • ojdiddoit

    Watch Eli prove how good he really is,not a easy game and I hope the Birds and Kelly keep the Damm pedal to the metal,Billy Davis and his Swiss cheese defense wont win this one

  • jackpotsdad

    I have such a sense of unease about this game. Eli is just so streaky and bad games are absolutely no indicators of what he’s capable of. We also stink at bringing pressure and our secondary is poor. This might be a very bad set of circumstances for the Birds.

  • Anders

    A_T_G, I think Eaglesrewind posted some rivaling defensive plays to your suggestions:

    EaglesRewind ‏@EaglesRewind45m

    7 Absolutely Insane Animal Defense Mechanisms http://mentalfloss.com/article/12258/7-absolutely-insane-animal-defense-mechanisms

    • A_T_G

      I don’t think that was the link you intended, although our defense might make me insane.

      • Anders

        It is the right link :P Was more of a joke :)

        https://twitter.com/jaredscohen/status/386580197949968384

        • A_T_G

          Nice! Though I am a little concerned at how his uniform will be modified to allow for this.

          • Anders

            As long as it got the Nike logo on it, I think most things can get approved :P

  • BlindChow

    From Jeff McLane, an example of Chip Kelly’s Reidism: Out of 29 red zone plays for the Eagles, Lesean McCoy has only run 5 times (for 24 yards). Seriously.

    • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

      That’s gotta change. Hopefully that change happens this week.

    • Weapon Y

      Yikes. All he needs now is a sumo suit and a big red mustache.

    • Steag209

      I’d like o see what percentage of those plays are 2nd/3rd and 5 or more.

      • BlindChow

        I bet the other 24 plays are play-action…