November 9th 2008, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa was the top box office movie, “Heartless” by Kayne West topped the Billboard charts and Barrack Obama was just elected as president and the Giants beat the Eagles 36-31; this is the last time the Giants beat the Eagles. Fast forward nearly 3 years and 6 straight losses later, the Giants look to break the streak and gain some early season momentum. All the“experts” predict the Eagles to win once again, the “dream team” vs the injured team. What will Tom Coughlin and company need to do to win this game?
Control the line of scrimmage-
The Giants defense still has a fierce front 4 featuring Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul, Chris Canty and Linvall Joseph, they create the necessary pressure to make a quarterbacks life miserable, as evident with the team’s 6 sacks this season. Perry Fewell will look to exploit the biggest weakness of the Eagles, the offensive line, with a mix of stunts and blitzes to disrupt Mike Vick and the running game. Philadelphia is averaging over 200 yards passing, but has given up 3 sacks, Vick has 3 fumbles and 1 concussion. As the Giants proved last year they can get pressure on Mike Vick and change the Eagles offensive game plan. The Giants need to take advantage of the inexperience on Philadelphia’s offensive line and put them into a position of 3rd and long and keep their offense off the field. If the Giants allow Vick to sit in a pocket, have time to find open receivers you’ll see DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Steve Smith making big plays, making it a long day for the defense.
Run the Ball
The Giants rank 18th in rush offense with a combined 194 yards rushing this season averaging only 3.3 yards per carry with 3 rushing touchdowns. The foundation for the Giants is establishing the running game, controlling the clock and opening up the passing attack. With all the injuries to the receivers, it’s even more important for Brandon Jacobs and Amhad Bradshaw to have big games this week. The Eagles are expected to load the box to put Eli Manning in passing situations making the Giants one dimensional, forcing them to playing into the Eagles strength, the secondary. It will be up to New York’s offensive line to play with a real nasty streak, get hats on the defense and open up some lanes if they want a chance to win this week.
With the Giants still having to shuffle their starting lineup, New York will face an Eagles team full of play makers on all 3 facets of the game, making it a massive challenge for the Giants. New York will need to play a near perfect game, force turnovers and own the clock to pull off a win in Lincoln Financial Field. As a realistic Giants fan, I don’t see the Giants pulling this one out, Eagles 31 Giants 17.