After an extremely disappointing showing against Dallas, the Eagles will look to bounce back and take down the Giants for the second time this season. It would be nice to see the Birds pick up their first home win of the year and their first home win in what feels like a lifetime.
Earlier this year, the combination of Michael Vick and Nick Foles were able to take down the Giants. The quarterback position will be in question again this week, but the Giants defense has really struggled this season. No matter who the quarterback is, the Eagles should be able to put up points. However, let’s take a closer look at some keys to the Birds pulling out a win.
1. Continued strong performance from the defense
The defense has really improved over the last few weeks. They still have room for improvement, but they seem to be making strides. As the season progresses, we’ll have to wait and see if their performance as of late is the real deal or just a fluke.
Come Sunday, they’ll need to take advantage of Eli Manning and a Giants offense that hasn’t performed as well as in years past. Their run game is struggling and Manning is turning the ball over at a laughable rate. The defense will need to continue shutting down the run and force Eli to beat them. He seems to be far removed from his Super Bowl MVP form, and the defense needs to ensure that trend continues when the Giants enter the Linc.
Eli is having some success in racking up yards through the air, and you have to believe he’ll be able to do that against an Eagles secondary that continues to struggle. They were able to get Manning to throw three interceptions in their first game, but the front seven will need do a better job in getting pressure on the quarterback then they’ve done so far this season. If they can do so, the Eagles secondary should be able to make some plays on the ball.
2. Reestablish the run game
In their last game against the Giants, the Eagles struggled to run the ball. Vick made some plays with his feet, but Shady failed to get going. He also failed to get going against the Cowboys. With all of the question marks surrounding the quarterback position, the Eagles offense is going to need to rely on their top ranked rushing attack.
With the offensive line they have and the abilities LeSean McCoy possesses, the Eagles should be able to run the ball on just about anyone. The Giants run defense ranks 21st in the NFL, so the Eagles run game should be able to rack up some yardage on Sunday. Getting the run game started early should take pressure off whoever is starting at quarterback on Sunday.
I’m still all for getting some other running backs some touches. If the Eagles are busting off yardage through the run game, I’d like to see that continue even when Shady needs to get off the field for a blow. Once the Giants have to play the run first, the offense should really be able to do some damage.
3. Prove you’re a contender
The Eagles aren’t a great team, but the way the NFC East has performed this year has allowed them to be a contender. This point of the season is crucial for the Eagles. Are they going to make a run for the division crown? If not, they’re only going to hurt themselves and ability to build through the draft.
I believe this team has what it takes to continue down a road of success and make a real play for the division. They need to take advantage of their upcoming schedule and it starts with a win against the Giants.
I mentioned it last week and I’ll say it again: the Eagles have to want it. In front of your home crowd, you have to put up a stronger performance. The crowd was jacked up early against the Cowboys last weekend. It seemed like the defense was feeding off of it, but the offense failed to step up.
Football is a team game and the whole team needs to want it. The Eagles will show their true colors on Sunday at a crucial part of the season.