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

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.