Eagles vs. Giants: Three Storylines to Watch


The Philadelphia Eagles are taking on the New York Giants during Monday Night Football and it’s equally important to win for both teams. The Eagles are coming off a massive 39-17 win over the struggling New Orleans Saints and the Giants are heading to the City of Brotherly Love after winning their last three games. Sam Bradford and the team has their best game as a cohesive unit against the Saints and it was their first home win of the 2015 season.

It’ll be an important fight to battle their way to .500 and keep the NFC East divisional race from blowing wide open. In addition the team is without a win in the division and they need one in order to be a tiebreaker if the situation happens. Here are some story lines to watch for during the Monday night game.

1) The Eagles Offense as a Cohesive Unit 

It’s safe to say that the Eagles finally showed what they can do offensively against the Saints. Past games showed that they were slow to move the ball in the first half of the game. That changed as the Eagles finally had their offense play strong in all four quarters. Sam Bradford did have two turnovers in the red zone at the end of the first quarter but despite these interceptions, the team put up 300 yards in the first half.

That number is more than they had in their previous games and finished with 519 total offensive yards, 186 of them on the ground. The team scored 16 points alone in the third quarter and both Ryan Mathews and Brent Celek bringing in touchdowns. The fourth quarter saw the team kick two field goals and a rushing touchdown from DeMarco Murray, who expressed his discontent with not receiving the ball enough the previous week.

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The Giants’ defense is not exactly something to fear so the Eagles would do best to run the ball as much as possible. DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews will need to keep up their performance and it would also be a bonus if Darren Sproles saw more action. However, Bradford’s passing game can be all over the place and it will be in the Giants best interest to pressure him as much as possible. He’ll need to keep his turnover rate down as well. It’ll be interesting to see how well the Eagles  works together and if their offensive cohesion can continue.

2) Dangerous Eagles Defense

There is one word for the Eagles defense this season: beastly. The Saints saw the Eagles defense force three turnovers, including an interception and three fumbles.  This defensive dedication has lead to the Eagles having the number 1 run defense in the NFL when it comes to yards allowed per carry and rushing first downs allowed. Being in the top five when it comes to ‘X’ plays isn’t too shabby either. Against the Saints, the Eagles defense only allowed five long plays from Drew Brees. These ‘X’ plays are passes longer than 20 yards.

Eli Manning and his offense revolve around the use of these ‘X’ plays. With receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Ruben Randle down field, Manning doesn’t hesitate to get the ball down to them. He likes to get the ball out of his hands as quickly as possible. The Giants offense is a very high-efficiency style of play and the quicker Manning can get make completetion, the better the team has to move the ball down the field. The Eagles secondary will have their hands full yet they’re working with a revamped team consisting of Byron Maxwell, Nolan Carroll and Walter Thurmond. If each can maintain man coverage and force Manning to turnover the ball, they can limit the Giants’ offensive progress.

3) Sam Bradford Staying Consistent

There’s no doubt that Sam Bradford has been a subject of constant debate. Has he finally become the man the Eagles need to lead them offensively? Or has Bradford just had a lucky game? It’s hard to say with how inconsistent he’s been thus far in the season. His best game came against the Saints in Week 5 where 333 yards of the Eagles total 519 came from his performance. He might have had tw0 interceptions in the red zone but that quickly changed. Bradford struggled to find his offensive rhythm during the first four games of the season. However, he’s thrown five touchdowns in the last two games. He finally starting to find his groove and that might prove to be the thorn in the side of the Giants defense.

Prediction: Eagles 28, Giants 24

The Eagles need to make sure that they can tie the Giants for the top spot in the NFC East. If the Giants win, they can pull away and make the race for division leader a difficult one. The Cowboys and Redskins, both at 2-3, are also in the hunt. The Eagles came into the season as divisional favorites and it’s been a tough struggle for them. The changes to their roster have proved to bring positives and negatives for Chip Kelly.

Kelly’s offense is finally finding a balance between passing and run plays but the Giants defense will need to force Bradford to make turnovers if they want to pull ahead. Their ‘three-headed’ monster running back crew will need to be a scary force in the backfield. If the Eagles can keep their offense on point and limit the Giants amount of first downs, they’ll have a chance to pull out a win.

Next: Eagles News: Is the offensive line really back in business?

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