Game Preview: Eagles go for 5-1 start against Giants

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With the bye week coming next week, the battered Eagles are about to get some relief with a week off from game action. But first, a crucial division rival stands in their way from an amazing start and a lot of questions.

The Eagles get the New York Giants, a team that comes in firing after two terrible losses to open the season. There is a chance that there could be a three-way tie atop the NFC East.

It’s a Sunday night showdown at Lincoln Financial Field. Eagles-Giants kicks off at 8:30 p.m.

The Giants couldn’t get anything right in the first two weeks of the season, so take many of the numbers with a grain of salt. They have been among the best teams in the NFC in the last three weeks, grabbing wins against the Texans, Redskins and Falcons. Like the Eagles, their offense has been excellent in wins, scoring at least 30 points in each of the last three games.

Eli Manning has improved throughout the season, throwing for 1,174 yards and 11 touchdowns with five interceptions.

The Giants have a strong group of receivers with Victor Cruz continuing to lead the way. Rueben Randle has emerged as a strong second receiver with rookie Odell Beckham Jr. starting to step in as a third option for Manning.

The running game for the Giants takes a hit with the absence of Rashad Jennings. Andre Williams and Peyton Hillis will handle a bulk of the running, but without Jennings, expect the Giants running game to get limited use.

The Giants defense offers multiple dimensions with Cullen Jenkins and Jason Pierre-Paul on the line, Jon Beason and Jameel McClain up the middle with the linebacking core and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Antrel Rolle and Prince Amukamara in the secondary. It could definitely be a long night for the Eagles offense if they fail to execute.

The Eagles will look to once again jumpstart the offense. Nick Foles has struggled, throwing five interceptions while firing for eight touchdowns this season despite throwing for 1,380 yards.

LeSean McCoy has just 273 yards and one rushing touchdown over the first five games. Jeremy Maclin is the team’s leading receiver with 429 yards and 25 catches, including four receiving touchdowns.

Defensively, the Eagles could face a huge absence if DeMeco Ryans isn’t able to play. Ryans is questionable for tonight’s game with a groin injury.

Regardless of if Ryans plays, the Eagles will need the secondary to step up facing Cruz, Randle and Beckham. This means a lot of looks in the direction of Cary Williams, Bradley Fletcher and Brandon Boykin.

The Eagles defensive line played a strong game against the Rams on Sunday, with Fletcher Cox, Connor Barwin and Trent Cole finding ways to get to the quarterback. Pressure on Manning could make the day easier for the secondary and give the Eagles some chances to grab a couple turnovers.

Game Notes

  • The Eagles are 1-0 against NFC East teams this season, claiming a 37-34 win over the Redskins in Week 3.
  • The Eagles are 6-6 against the Giants at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles have also won seven of the last 10 meetings against the Giants.
  • Last season, the Eagles split the two games against the Giants, winning in Week 5, 36-21, and losing at home in Week 8, 15-7.
  • The Eagles have won 11 of their last 13 regular season games and seven straight regular season home games.
  • In 18 straight games, the Eagles defense has managed one takeaway, their longest streak since a stretch of 37 games from 1993-95.
  • The Eagles have scored 30 points or more in all four wins this season.
  • Milestone Watch
    • With 234 passing yards, Nick Foles will move into 11th all-time in franchise history.
    • LeSean McCoy needs two receptions to pass Tommy McDonald for 13th all-time. He also will tie Brian Westbrook for second in team history with his next 100-yard rushing performance, giving his 20 in his career.
    • Jeremy Maclin needs five catches to move into 13th all time in receptions.
    • With one field goal of 50 yards or more, Cody Parkey will become the first Eagle since 1984 with three field goals of 50 or more yards in a single season.

Injury Report

Eagles
Out

  • LB Mychal Kendricks (calf)
  • C Jason Kelce (hernia)
  • RB Chris Polk (hamstring)
  • WR Brad Smith (groin)

Questionable

  • LB DeMeco Ryans (groin)

Probable

  • LB Connor Barwin (knee)
  • CB Brandon Boykin (hamstring)
  • TE Trey Burton (Achilles)
  • CB Nolan Carroll (hamstring)
  • WR Josh Huff (shoulder)
  • T Matt Tobin (ankle)

Giants
Out

  • RB Rashad Jennings (knee)
  • LB Spencer Paysinger (hamstring)

Questionable

  • LB Jon Beason (foot)
  • DE Robert Ayers (neck)

Probable

  • CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (ankle)
  • P Steve Weatherford (ankle)

Where to Watch

TV: NBC (Broadcasters: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya)
Radio: 94 WIP (Merrill Reese, Mike Quick, Howard Eskin)
National Radio: Westwood One (Kevin Kugler, James Lofton, Ross Tucker)

Kevin Durso is a contributor for Eagledelphia. Follow him on Twitter @KDursoPhilsNet.

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