Here we go again. After failing in their first four games to secure a win, this time the enigmatic and disappointing 0-4 Giants will take on their hated NFC East-rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles, on Sunday in an attempt to get off the schneid.
The Eagles, while they may not be winless (1-3), are also a vulnerable team that seemingly plays no defense. So, if the Giants want to get back in (and if they win on Sunday and Denver beats Dallas, they would only be a game behind the Cowboys) the NFC East race, taking care of business at home vs. Philadelphia is a must.
So, let’s look at five things to watch for on Sunday.
Can Eli Manning exploit a weak Philadelphia defense in spite of a horrible offensive line?
While, yes, the line Manning will be playing behind is battered and bruised, the Eagles hardly apply pressure and have corners that can be beaten. Robert Griffin III, Phil Rivers, Alex Smith and Peyton Manning all have had their way with the Eagles and this week Eli can do the same. He loves playing the Eagles, having passed for two or more touchdowns in four out of his last five meetings against Philadelphia. If Manning can’t get it done this week, well, consider the season done.
Will this be the week that David Wilson is used properly and excels?
Wilson, to his credit, has been running a lot better of late (he did average 4.2 yards per carry last week) and with more confidence. Given that the Giants just recently cut Da’Rel Scott, Wilson should see more of a load this week. Considering that the Eagles are allowing 121.8 rushing yards per game (26th in the NFL), a game plan should be in place for Wilson to get going. If Wilson can get going early, it can open up the play-action pass, which is a long-forgotten art on this team.
How do the Giants look to contain Michael Vick?
Let’s put it this way, it’s not going to be easy. The last time the Giants faced a mobile quarterback, they got clobbered by Cam Newton and the Panthers two weeks ago. With a banged up secondary, Vick might just have a field day. The Giants in the past have done a decent job of getting to Vick and harassing him. However, the Giants lack playmakers on defense and getting to Vick will be a tough task this time.
What players should the Giants’ defense key in on?
Pick your poison. Who do you try to shut down: DeSean Jackson or LeSean McCoy? Both players have flourished under Chip Kelly’s hurry-up offense and both will be a load to handle come Sunday. McCoy leads the league in rushing and most certainly will get his numbers regardless. It’s Jackson the Giants should worry about. As Vick’s most-trusted weapon in the passing game, Jackson has to be the one taken out of the game. With the Eagles not having many other game-changing wide receivers, Jackson should be the focus on Sunday.
If trade for Jon Beason becomes official, will he play?
It’s no secret that the Giants need help at linebacker in the worst way possible and late-Thursday night the Giants were closing in on a deal with the Carolina Panthers for linebacker Jon Beason in exchange for a late-round draft pick. Granted he passes a physical, Beason should become a Giant on Friday. Beason, who’s only played in two games this year, had microfracture surgery on his right knee in the offseason and his working his way back to full health. With Dan Connor out for the season, Beason will be put into the pressure cooker, but will it come on Sunday? While it’s doubtful Beason suits up on Sunday, it does bear monitoring.