Crossroads Game

Posted: October 11th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | No Comments »

Eagles at Giants is always an interesting game. This year, it is a big game.

A win would get the Eagles back to .500 and they would have time to rest and get healthy. A loss would put them two games under .500 and the scrutiny would go through the roof, turning louder than Nigel Tufnel’s guitar solo on Sex Farm Woman.

A win for the Giants would give them some hope. They almost beat the Panthers last week and played the Jags tough early in the season. A loss would drop them to 1-5 and would be pretty deflating.

Big game.

Eli is completing 72 percent of his passes. Getting pressure on him, covering his receivers and then tackling well will be quite the challenge. The Giants are averaging 25 points a game over the last three weeks. The Eagles haven’t scored more than 23 points in a game so far this year. For the Eagles to win, the defense has to shut Eli down or Carson Wentz and the offense have to finally break through and score 27, 28 or 31 points. Something like that.

The Giants have been vulnerable to the run so it will be interesting to see how Doug Pederson plays this. People have ripped on him for the lack of a balanced offense, but there are multiple things to consider. Last year the Eagles threw to score points and then ran in the second half. This year they aren’t building the lead so the run game isn’t used as much in the second half.

Pederson could once again throw to build a lead or he could focus on running the ball to build some confidence in his O-line and his RBs. There is an argument to be made for each plan of attack. Even if Pederson does throw a lot, I think he will mix in more runs early. Of course, that will only be true if the Eagles have success.

The return of Corey Clement will be interesting to watch. Does he become the feature back? Does Wendell Smallwood get that role? Some think Clement could become a guy who should get 20 touches a game. I have my doubts. I see a terrific role player, but I’m not sure he’s someone you want to feed the ball to. I would love for him to prove me wrong.

The Giants only have six sacks this year so this is a game where Carson Wentz should have good chances to throw. The Giants do blitz a lot and they will get some hits on him. If the line and other blockers can buy him time, Wentz will have the chance to make plays.

Vernon could be a key addition. I don’t question his ability. We just don’t know if he’ll be banged up or rusty. The Giants defense has needed him in the worst way so they have to be happy to get him back for this game.

Let’s shift back to the Eagles defense.

Sullivan will have a chance to play in his first NFL game.

The Eagles will get Derek Barnett back. Even though Eli gets rid of the ball incredibly quickly, you want your best pass rushers on the field. With Ngata out and Barnett back, Michael Bennett could play more in the middle than usual. Pressure up the middle can still get the best of Eli.

The Eagles had all offseason to figure out what they want to do against Eli and the quick throws. Jim Schwartz says tackling well is the biggest help to stopping this offense. It will be interesting to see if there are any schematic twists. That would be really tough on a short week.

The Eagles understand the importance of this game. Now we need to see evidence of that on Thursday night. Understanding it in theory doesn’t do us any good if that doesn’t lead to gameday actions.

*****

The speculation continues.

We’ll see.

There are a lot of angles to this. The Steelers may want certain rumors out there. The Eagles, too. And Bell’s agent certainly can work the press.

I’m sure the Eagles have at least passive interest. I still have doubts that anything happens with this.

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