The New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles are polar opposites this year.
At 2-11, Big Blue is dead last in the NFC and realistically could shatter the franchise record for losses in a season (12). Meanwhile, Philly enters Sunday’s game at MetLife Stadium with a conference-best 11-2 record.
It goes without saying the Giants find themselves with an uphill battle on their hands against their NFC East rivals. However, anything can happen in a division matchup. Read on for three keys to the game.
The Eagles come to the Meadowlands having lost MVP-caliber quarterback Carson Wentz to a torn ACL last week. In his place is Nick Foles, who in 2013 led Philly to division crown.
But Foles is not the playmaker Wentz is, and that alone had to give the Giants an opportunity to pounce. After leading the NFL with a 119.2 passer rating in 2013, Foles has posted a 77.6 in 26 games (20 starts) for three teams. Expect similar mediocrity, which playmakers such as safety Landon Collins can pounce upon.
Lean on Eli
The messy benching and reinstatement of quarterback Eli Manning is in the past, and most should agree he remains the Giants’ best remaining healthy offensive player. He’s their best hope of stopping the Eagles this weekend, especially if he can duplicate a strong Week 3 effort from his team’s 27-24 loss at Philly.
The Eagles are tough against the run, and the Giants aren’t consistent in that area, anyway. Might as well led Manning try to rekindle his old magic.
The Giants lost the Week 3 contest at Philadelphia, but not before a furious fourth-quarter rally nearly stole them the ‘W’. Down 14-0 entering the final quarter, Manning threw three touchdown passes as the Giants took a 24-21 lead with 3:08 to play. A pair of clutch field goals — including a 61-yarder as time expired — doomed them in the end.
While the Giants won’t have wideout Odell Beckham Jr. this time, they must rely on healthy options like receiver Sterling Shepard and tight end Evan Engram to score earlier and keep the pressure on the Eagles.