PHILADELPHIA, PA –
The Philadelphia Eagles play host to the New York Giants in a key divisional showdown. With back to back wins, the Giants are looking to keep their momentum flowing while the Eagles are looking to flip the script on their losing ways and make a push towards the playoffs in a wide-open NFC East race. Here’s what to look for on Sunday:
1 – Running Game: The Giants have made a living this season running the ball with their #2 overall draft pick Saquon Barkley. Barkley has 728 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns on the season and is averaging 4.6 yards per carry. In their first meeting with the Eagles, Barkley was an offensive catalyst with 130 yards rushing and a touchdown on 13 carries. The Eagles have struggled to establish their running game this season after the Jay Ajayi injury and as of late have leaned on running back Josh Adams. Adams did not have a carry in the Eagles earlier matchup with the Giants, however, he played well last Sunday against the Saints, rushing for 53 yards and the Eagles lone touchdown on 7 carries.
2 – Defensive injuries vs. Giants WR’s: With cornerback Sidney Jones IV, Avonte Maddox, and Jalen Mills all out, in addition to Rasul Douglas being questionable, the Eagles are extremely thin on defense. The Giants have weapons like Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram, and even Saquon Barkley who can be explosive threats in the passing game. The Eagles have been forced to use wide receivers on defense in practice and will need a major performance from their corners to cover these dynamic players.
3 – The Golden Tate Fiasco: Mike Groh, the Eagles offensive coordinator, stated it’s been “challenging” integrating Golden Tate into the offense. Tate was brought in to be a major offensive weapon and give Carson Wentz another tool in the passing game. With the offensive struggles, it will be interesting to see how much he is used and targeted. Tate was only utilized for 36/51 snaps on offense against the Saints.
4 – Carson Wentz: Wentz had arguably his worst game last week completing just 57% of his passes and throwing 3 interceptions. Granted, it was not all on Wentz; rather, there were many factors that contributed to this. Wentz has a great chance to have a tremendous rebound at home against the Giants defense which allows 256.1 yards per game through the air. The Eagles QB should be able to have more time in the pocket and will look to improve his accuracy and down the field throws.
5 – Zach Ertz: Ertz suffered his worst receiving game of the season hauling in just 2 catches for 15 yards yet is still the second leading tight end this in the NFL this season with 804 yards and 5 touchdowns. Wentz will be leaning on his favorite target to help establish the passing game against a weak Giants defense. Ertz is having his best statistical season so far and will be looking to build on past success as he was targeted 9 times against the Giants back in week six and is a major figure piece in the passing game.
Tune in to FOX at 1 p.m. for this NFC East showdown. You can also follow the action and join the conversation as we live tweet on Twitter: @BirdsInformer during the game.