By Michael Stewart
Introduction: The Giants are winless thus far this season with a 0-2 record and they will head into Philadelphia to face an Eagles team that will present a problem for them. It’s no secret that the Giants offense has been nonproductive thus far with only 13 total points scored over the 1st two games and a total of only 97 yards rushing.
The Eagles are 1-1 and are well balanced on both sides of the ball with offensive players such as QB Carson Wentz, WR’s Alshon Jeffery & Torrey Smith, RB’s Legarrette Blount & Darren Sproles & TE Zach Ertz. On Defense, the Eagles feature a talented front four in Vinny Curry, Timmy Jernigan, Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham along with rookie Derek Barnett. The talent on defense doesn’t end at the D-line as LBers Mychal Kendricks, Jordan Hicks & Nigel Bradham are all very active and physical at the point of attack.
Top 3 Matchups:
- Giants OL-vs- Philadelphia front 7: This will always be a key matchup in every game for the Giants this season. Thus far, the Giants OL has been totally dominated by the opposing front 7 in the 1st two games. The Eagles arguably have a better group along the front 7 that the Giants will face this year; so this is arguably the most improvement matchup in this game.
- Giants offensive weapons-vs-the Eagles secondary:
Obviously this matchup will be depending on the OL giving Manning a little more time to make plays. The Eagles weakest link could be there secondary and the Giants must find a way to expose it and make big plays. Now the effectiveness of OBJ will be in question as his production in his return against the Lions was a non factor. I expect the same as it could take OBJ and few games to fully feel 100% and be a lethal weapon the Giants desperately need. By the way, Brandon Marshall needs to show everyone why the Giants signed him this off season and make some kind of contribution in this game. If not, I look for Manning to target rookie TE Evan Engram a lot more .
- Time of possession: The Giants must sustain more drives on offense and not have too many 3 and outs. Keeping Wentz and company off the field longer will help give the Giants a fighting chance. Thus far this season, the Giants have loss the T.O.P in the 1st two games; which translated into losses.
What to look for: I fully don’t expect the Giants to suddenly have a productive running game as I believe this will be an ongoing problem as long as the Giants don’t make changes. So I expect the Giants to use more quick slants to combat their lack of a running game and utilize the RB’s more in the passing game with screens and short passes in the flats.
Defensively, the Giants need to create turnovers if they expect to have any chance to get a win. For the Eagles, look for Wentz to utilize all his weapons and keep the Giants defense on their heels and guessing. Defensively, the Eagles will simply out muscle and out hit the Giants physically and force them into mistakes and long yardage situations.
Final Score: The last 3 meetings between these two teams at Lincoln Financial Field the Giants are 0-3, so history is not on their side. This should be a very physical game on both sides as both teams really dislike one another. For the Giants to win, they will need to be dominant on defense and have an offensive attack; which will generate at least 20 pts. With that being said, I don’t see both of these happening against an Eagles team that has beaten the Giants 10 times over the 14 games played since 2010. Look for the Giants to lose and go 0-3 on the season for the 1st time since 2013.
Final Score: Eagles-17 Giants-10