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
Local

Best nature spots for kids in New York…

When it comes to kids and nature, most U.S. parents agree: children should be spending more time outdoors. According to a recent survey by The…

Local

Easter 2014: The year's best bonnets

It's Easter, and that means it's time for Fifth Avenue to turn into a veritable catwalk of bonnet-wearers. The annual march, which kicks off at…

Local

Woman arrested for attempted kidnapping of baby in…

Authorities said that a Queens woman behind an attempted kidnapping of an 8-month-old baby boy was arrested on Saturday.

Local

Hate crime charge in attack on Sikh Columbia…

A man has been arrested and charged with a hate crime after he allegedly pulled the beard of a Sikh Columbia University professor as part…

Television

'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

The Word

Miley Cyrus cancels more dates, tweeting from hospital

Miley Cyrus is reportedly so sick that she's had to postpone more tour dates. We know this because she has been sitting in a hospital…

NHL

Rangers let chance at victory slip away in…

All the Rangers had to do was hold serve in a raucous Madison Square Garden — roaring in anticipation of putting a hated rival in a 2-0 series hole.

MLB

Yankees place Ivan Nova on DL with partially…

Yankees starter Ivan Nova was diagnosed with a partially torn UCL in his throwing elbow Sunday.

NHL

Rangers never thought opening round would be 'an…

You might have thought the Metropolitan Division semifinal series was going to be a rout after watching Game 1 Thursday night. The Rangers did not.

NHL

Rangers blow two-goal lead in Game 2 loss…

The Rangers got out to an early 2-0 lead in Game 2 and the Garden was rocking. But it went downhill quickly from there.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.