Game Preview: Giants vs. Eagles


Oct 27, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz (86) is tackled by New York Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara (20) during the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. The New York Giants won the game 15-7. Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

Rivalry Game Preview

The Giants should worry about:

Eagles special teams.

Week 1 against Detroit, linebacker Tahir Whitehead got a hand on Giants punter Steve Weatherford’s second punt. On Weatherford’s third punt of the day, defensive back Jerome Couplin broke through the protection, and although he didn’t block the punt, ended up running into Weatherford. Simply put, the Giants had some issues punt protecting against the Lions. While Weatherford has not been under serious duress since, the Eagles punt block team is worrisome.

The reason: They’ve already blocked two punts this season, in San Francisco which resulted in a safety and against the St. Louis Rams which was returned for a touchdown. Both of these blocks came with the punting team kicking from near or in their own end zone. The Giants will need to effectively create space if they find themselves pinned back deep, and they will need to pay close attention to Philadelphia’s punt block schemes to protect Weatherford.

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  • Then in week 2 against Arizona, Ted Ginn put on a blinding display of speed on a 71 yard punt return for a touchdown with 10:10 left in the game. Missed tackles and poor angles on this special teams blunder by the Giants essentially sealed the loss for the GMEN. You know who else is good at returning punts and kicks?

    Darren Sproles and Chris Polk.

    Each returner for the Eagles has registered a touchdown already this season, and each man is dangerous whenever he touches the ball. It would be wise for the Giants to implement a gameplan similar to the one against Atlanta’s dangerous returner Devin Hester. Just punt it out of bounds or kick it over his head.

    For Philly

    The Eagles should worry about:

    The Giants Pass rush.

    Last year, the Eagles offensive line was one of the best in football, and possibly the most athletic. This year, the Philadelpha offensive line looks a little different: starters C Jason Kelce (sports hernia) and G Evan Mathis (MCL) have been sidelined by injury, RT Lane Johnson is returning from a PED suspension, and the Eagles’ depth at the position has been tested as well. At the end of September, the only player on the OL who was starting at his original position was LT Jason Peters, who remains one of the better tackles in the league.

    However, Peters’ ability will likely not be enough to make up for the shortcomings of his peers. Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul is proving this season that his name belongs among the top pass rushers in the league and will make sure Peters has his hands full.

    Meanwhile, the rest of the Giants defensive line, including potent pass rushers DT Jonathan Hankins, DE Robert Ayers, and DE Damontre Moore, should be able to abuse the cadre of backups lined up across from them on their way to harassing QB Nick Foles.

    Multiple Receiving Options.

    When you look at Eli Manning’s offensive weapons, you don’t see superstar players like Calvin Johnson and A.J. Green lining up on the outside of the formation. However, while the Giants offense might not boast these phenomenal transcendent talents, it’s stocked full of great players who are always ready to step up and get the job done.

    Between hometown hero Victor Cruz, break out tight end Larry Donnell, up and coming receiver Reuben Randle, explosive rookie receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., and running backs in Rashad Jennings (who is unfortunately sidelined for the contest versus Philadephia) and Andre Williams, Eli Manning has a lot of options to spread the ball around. Ben McAdoo and Tom Coughlin have created an effective ‘pick-your-poison’ offense.

    Shut down one aspect of this NYG offensive attack, and the rest of the parts quickly get into motion.

    This week, don’t be surprised when the Giants have success attacking the Eagles defense on the outside. Slot cornerback Brandon Boykin is probably the best coverage corner on the team, and will likely spend most of his time covering Victor Cruz. Outside CBs Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher should create favorable matchups for Randle and Beckham.