Giants vs: Eagles: Three things to watch
1. A truly offensive offensive line
The Eagles may have been dubbed the “Dream Team,” but their offensive line has been a nightmare.
If further proof is needed, just look at quarterback Michael Vick. The lithe passer has been banged around so far in this young season and may still feel the effects of a concussion he suffered last Sunday night.
Giants’ defensive end Osi Umenyiora (knee) may return to go along with Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck. Outside linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka — a jack of all trades — could even see time at defensive tackle.
2. Can Giants’ secondary become primary?
The Giants are stout against the run (third in the NFL in yards allowed), but terrible in pass defense — 24th overall at 283 yards per game.
They’ll need to apply pressure to disrupt an offense that’s best described as basketball on grass. The Giants’ back four will be greatly exposed if Vick gets enough time to throw to deep threats DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin.
Giants are dropping like flies in the secondary and their reserves haven’t been much better.
3. Running will be the name of the game
The Eagles’ interior defensive line is as inconsistent as their struggling offensive line.
This could be a breakout game for Big Blue’s running backs Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs, as offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride should be calling nothing but runs early and often.
The less the Giants have to trust Eli Manning and his banged-up receiving corps, the better off the Giants offense will be.
Time for a little revenge
Everyone remembers the final play of the game the last time the Eagles faced the Giants.
For his sake, let’s hope former Giants punter Matt Dodge chooses to watch a different game this Sunday, because the loop of DeSean Jackson running down the sideline probably plays enough in his head already.
Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, as well as the players, were hesitant to talk about the finish this week.
“What I’m trying to do, OK, [is tell them] that was last year, this is this year,” Coughlin said. “That’s the position I’m trying to take.”