3 Things for Giants to win
1. Force the Eagles to huddle. The Eagles offense is predicated on rhythm and tempo. Stymie their running game on early downs, force them to huddle and to execute on 3rd & long.
2. Use short passes as an extension of your running game. Let’s face it, the Giants rushing attack is rather pedestrian. In fact they are 30th in rushing. The strength of the Eagles defense happens to be their ability to stop the run. We’re not suggesting that the Giants don’t hand the ball of at all, but we insist that Shane Vereen is heavily involved in the offensive game plan as a receiver out of the backfield. Get the ball out of Eli Manning’s hands quickly and allow Vereen to take advantage of matchups against linebackers in space.
3. Continue to stuff the run. The Eagles want to run the football. Chip Kelly’s offense is at its best when they are staying a head of the chains via the run but the Giants have the #1 ranked rush defense in the league. You have to continue that dominance to get out of Philly with a win.
3 Things for Eagles to win
1. Be physical with Odell Beckham Jr. He’s expected to play despite nursing a hamstring injury but don’t do him any favors and give him free releases. Challenge him at the line of scrimmage and find out if he’s a decoy or a legitimate threat early in the contest.
2. Catch the football. We’re looking at you Jordan Matthews. They hype surrounding Matthews heading into his second NFL season was palpable and while his counting stats aren’t bad his on-field performance has been lackluster. Lapses in concentration have led to far too many drops and the dreaded “sophomore slump” phrase has been whispered on occasion this season with respect to Matthews. The Eagles offense and passing game has shown life recently but for it to really take off, Matthews has to be the player most expected him to be.
3. Get the tight ends involved. Whether it be Zach Ertz or Brent Celek or a combination of the two, the Giants have struggled to defend the tight end position this season. Case in point: Week 1 – Jason Witten (8/60/2); Week 2 Jacob Tamme (4/77); Jordan Reed (6/96); Charles Clay (9/111); Garrett Celek (3/26/1). Find the tight end.
What to watch for…
How the Eagles use their running backs. Will Chip Kelly commit to feeding Demarco Murray? Or will he continue to employ a running back committee that includes Murray, Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles.
The Front Office Says…
The Philadelphia Eagles win.