Here are five keys to tonight’s game:
5. Nate Allen and Dimitri Patterson: While both have played well, they are the “weak” spots in the Eagles secondary that Eli Manning is likely to go after. Allen is a rookie coming off of an injury and Patterson is making just his third NFL start, but he had two interceptions last week against the Redskins. If Allen and Patterson hold up, the Eagles defense has a good chance of slowing down the Giants.
4. Coaching Matchup and Adjustments: Marty Mornhinweg vs. Perry Fewell – The Eagles offensive coordinator and Giants defensive coordinator will match wits tonight as the Giants try to slow down Michael Vick, who has looked unstoppable of late. Mornhinweg expects a lot of different looks from the Giants defense, and his ability to adjust will be paramount.
3. Time of Possession: The Giants lead the league, averaging more than 34 minutes per game with the ball. Philadelphia doesn’t consider it an important stat, Mornhinweg has said as much, but it might be the best method New York has of slowing down Vick. Every minute the Giants have the ball, Vick does not.
2. Turnovers and Points Off of Turnovers: The Giants are a -5 in turnover differential, while the Eagles lead the league at +12. It’s the achilles heel of this New York team which has the league’s best defense and second best offense. Despite allowing the fewest yards in the league, the Giants are only 13th best as a scoring defense. That’s due to the short fields that have been given to opponents as a result of turnovers.
1. Keep Vick Healthy: The Giants have knocked out five quarterbacks this season, and the Eagles cannot allow Michael Vick to become number six. If they can protect Vick and the dynamic threat can avoid big hits downfield, the Eagles offense should be able to move the ball effectively.