Giants vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

Mike Vick and Chip Kelly will open the 2013 season in Washington Monday night. Credit: Getty Images
New Eagles head coach Chip Kelly will get his first crack at the Giants on Sunday.
Credit: Getty Images

The Giants (0-4) and Eagles (1-3) renew an old rivalry on Sunday, but with a touch of change, as this will be new Eagles head coach Chip Kelly’s indoctrination into the Turnpike tilt.

Kelly will bring his new-fangled uptempo spread offense to MetLife Stadium, hoping to cause as much havoc as they’ve done to opponents so far this season.

But no matter the backdrops, the main storyline is two proud franchises who are struggling to break their losing streaks.

Giants wideout Victor Cruz said he doesn’t care how the Giants win, as long as they do it.

“This game’s always intense. Us against Philly is always intense, no matter what the records are, no matter how each team is playing,” said Cruz. “It’s an important game for us no matter what. This game is important in the division. We have to get this victory by any means necessary.”

Three things to watch for …

1. Can Big Blue’s defense catch their breath?

No matter how indignant Giants defensive end Justin Tuck thought the question was, the fact is the Giants have had trouble getting off the field. The Eagles’ uptempo offense thrives on keeping defenses on the field longer than they want, and in turn tiring out defenders, particularly defensive linemen. When asked if he felt it’d be best to try and have a rotating defensive line to keep the unit fresh, Tuck had a terse reply: “Don’t ask me that question. I take offense to that.”

Regardless of pride, it’d be wise for the Giants to have a rotation – providing the Eagles allow it – lest the defensive captain and his unit will have their collective feelings hurt as they watch a lot of green and white jerseys zoom past them.

2. Can the Giants get their offense back on track?

New York averages a puny 15.2 points per game (30th in the league), which won’t cut it against a Philadelphia team that wants to engage in a winner-has-the-ball-last shootout. The Eagles average 24.8 points per game (12th overall in the league). But Giants quarterback Eli Manning has had rousing success against the Eagles lately, especially at home where he’s thrown 13 touchdowns and just two interceptions in his last four home games. Manning’s favorite target, Cruz, has clipped Philadelphia’s secondary basically every chance he’s had and fondly remembers the Eagles as the team he got his big break against a couple of seasons ago. He’ll likely have a big game again, but can the Giants be more than a one-dimensional passing unit? If fellow starting wideout Hakeem Nicks returns to form and running back David Wilson finally flashes his skill set, Big Blue may actually be able to match Philadelphia yard for yard.

3. What’s the difference?

These are two teams who are very similar in their struggles, as both have shown they can start respectable, but fade as the game wanes. The Eagles were right with the Broncos (4-0) last week until halftime, 21-13, before wilting in the second half and eventually getting hammered, 52-20. And save for the 38-0 blanking by Carolina in Week 3, the Giants have been in most games until at least midway into the third quarter. The Eagles own a minus-39 point differential, which computes to 9.8 points per game. The Giants’ point differential stands at a staggering minus-85 points — an average of 21.2 points per game which is next-to-last in the league. If the numbers don’t lie, it means one of these teams will need to show some mettle in the second half and pull away. The only question is which team will it be?

Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Call of Duty hoaxer blamed for $100K SWAT…

A heavilly-armed SWAT team and an army of police officers stormed a Long Island home fearing a grisly double homicide – only to find it…

National

Minnie Driver tweets naked celebrity snap to 'shut…

Actress Minnie Driver has responded to bitchy critics who sniped about her bikini body by Tweeting a naked picture of herself. The 44-year-old star of…

National

American middle classes no longer world's richest (guess…

America's middle classes are no longer the richest in the world – having been overtaken in the wealth stakes by their Canadian counterparts. For almost…

National

University of New Mexico running back arrested for…

By Joseph J. KolbALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (Reuters) - A University of New Mexico football player has been arrested on suspicion of raping and kidnapping a…

Television

John Turturro tags in for Robert De Niro…

The cast of the courtroom drama miniseries has undergone yet another shift. Following Robert De Niro's exit, the cable network has brought in John Turturro…

Arts

"The Shape She Makes", an "extraordinary treat" at…

“The Shape She Makes” is a fascinating melding of theater and dance in a narrative that exposes human vulnerability in its purest form. Initially, the…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 22: 'Glee,' 'Agents…

'Glee' Rachel makes her Broadway debut in "Funny Girl." Remember when she was just a high school drama nerd? FOX, 8PM 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'…

The Word

Lindsay Lohan's big, drunk interview

Lindsay Lohan appears to be completely off the wagon now, if Kode magazine's chronicle of her trip to Coachella is any indication. According to the…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Yankees rout Red Sox, 9-3

Jon Lester allows eight runs in 4 2/3 innings taking loss

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers,…

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers, Cardinals, Yankees surge. The A's, Braves, Rangers, Giants and Rockies are also in the top 10.

Sports

American runners stand tallest in 2014 Boston Marathon

American runners stand tallest in 2014 Boston Marathon

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon results: American Meb Keflezighi wins…

2014 Boston Marathon results: American Meb Keflezighi wins men's race

Wellbeing

How to burn off all that Easter candy

Sorry to be a buzzkill, but you can't eat chocolate eggs and Jelly Bellys forever.

Food

Powdered alcohol: 5 things to know about 'Palcohol'

What's the deal with powdered alcohol? Here's what you need to know about Palcohol.

Travel

Travel hacks: 6 tips on living out of…

Lynne Martin shares her travel hacks on living out of just two suitcases.

Wellbeing

Tough Mudder pro gives tips on conquering a…

Learn hacks from head designer Nolan Kombol.