Giants (6-9) vs Eagles (9-6)
Eagles were leading the division before they started on a three game losing streak,
including a 27-24 loss to the Redskins last Saturday. The next day they watched
as the Cowboys won their game, to put the division title out of reach.
Louis the Rams turned their fan appreciation day into into a physical fistfight
with the Giants, who had two players ejected from the game to their one. That
fell in the Rams favor, but it was about the only thing they came out ahead on
as the Giants handed them a 37-27 loss.
Giants - Rams Wrap-Up
year, his first as an NFL head coach, Chip Kelly took his team to the playoffs
where they lost in the first round. It was a great achievement for Kelly, taking
over a 4-12 team and bringing them so far in just one year. A few weeks ago, after
beating the Cowboys head to head, the Eagles were odds on favorites to take the
division once again and move on to the playoffs. Unfortunately, the Eagles dropped
their next three games, including the rematch with the Cowboys, while the Cowboys
won all theirs. Last week's loss to the Redskins, combined with the Cowboys victory
over the Colts the following day, eliminated them from the division title and
Chip Kelly might now be second guessed for his decision to cut Pro
Bowl receiver DeSean Jackson from his team at the end of last season. Jackson
could have given them that extra edge they needed to repeat, as before he had
led the Eagles in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown receptions. The Washington
Redskins signed Jackson and he currently leads his new team in receiving yards,
yards per catch and touchdown receptions. Whatever discord there was or perceived
to be, Eagle fans watched as Jackson made some big plays against his former team
Mark Sanchez got much of the blame for last week's loss to the Redskins, having
lost a fumble and later throwing an interception when the game was tied. Overall
Sanchez has had 13 turnovers in eight games, ten interceptions and three he fumbled
away. Sanchez has thrown 12 touchdowns, and as a former Jet, he'll be very familiar
with his surroundings in MetLife Stadium for this game.
McCoy led the league in rushing last year with 1607 yards and he's currently one
of the top five running backs, with 1220 yards. Last meeting with the Giants,
McCoy ran for 149 yards on 22 carries for a 6.8 yards per carry average. That
was his best game of the year in that area. Last week the Redskins held him to
a more respectable 88 yards on 22 carries. Darren Sproles leads the team with
6 rushing touchdowns, and he also has 37 receptions.
Maclin is having a great year, leading the team with 82 catches and 10 touchdowns
as the top receiver with DeSean Jackson gone. Maclin missed playing all last year
when he was out with a torn ACL. He and Jackson never got to play together under
Chip Kelly's system which seems to have brought out the best in each receiver.
The Jackson- Maclin combination could have been lethal as compared to what they
have right now with Riley Cooper coupled with Maclin. Tight end Zach Ertz was
unstoppable last week in Washington with 15 receptions despite the losing effort
and he's third on the team with 54 receptions.
were all over the Giants offensive line in their last game, with a forceful pass
rush and currently have 49 sacks, which is the second highest in the league. Defensive
end Connor Barwin picked up 3 the last time and he holds the team lead with 14.5
sacks. This unit is also good against the run and it plays well for them in this
game as the Giants have been weak in that area. The Eagles secondary has not been
very good at all and they lead the league in having given up 66 20-plus-yard pass
Bradley Fletcher is their best cornerback, but has had his problems
with talented receivers like Dez Bryant and DeSean Jackson. Fletcher has started
every game, but is listed as questionable with a hip injury. The Eagles
big problem will be stopping the Eli Manning to Odell Beckham Jr. connection.
Beckham has gone over 100 yards in six of the past eight games and has at least
130 in five of those six. They'll need to bring their best to keep Manning off
balance, but the Giants did very well last week against
the Rams strong pass rush.
It's been a number of games since
the Giants faced the Eagles and suffered a brutal 27-0 loss at their hands. It
was the sixth game under Ben McAdoo's new system. Odell Beckham and Andre Williams
were just getting started on the season, and then they suddenly lost Victor Cruz.
Rashad Jennings was out and Williams and Peyton Hillis were the two running backs.
A lot has changed for the Giants since that game. The return of right tackle
Justin Pugh a few weeks ago has improved the offensive line, but he played in
that first game where Eli Manning was sacked six times and Ryan Nassib twice.
Pugh later admitted that It was probably the worst game he had ever played. More
recently the line has provided better protection for Manning, who has completed
68.5 percent of his passes with 7 touchdowns and only one interception in the
last three games.
Andre Williams has had two 100-yard rushing games during
that same period and Beckham has become Manning's primary target. The focus Beckham
draws has made things a bit easier for the other receivers as well. The bad news
is that Williams is working with a shoulder problem and Jennings hasn't held up
all that well coming off his ankle injury.
Last time the teams met, this defense
allowed 448 yards of total offense and gave up 27 points. Defensive tackle Cullen
Jenkins later said that they were confused by Chip Kelly's up-tempo offense even
though they thought they were prepared for it. Guys were confused as to what assignment
they had or what the call was even though they had practiced for it all week.
Jason Pierre-Paul, with 10.5 sacks, has been coming on strong. He was handled
pretty well by Jason Peters in their first meeting and it will be interesting
to see how things turn out at this point in time.
The Giants ability to
stop the run has not been there this season and they're 30th in the NFL, allowing
133.2 yards per game on the ground, and a league-worst 4.9 yards per attempt.
This defense gave up big yardage to LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles last time.
They should be aware that Mark Sanchez ran with the ball five times last week
against the Redskins. Former Eagles cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie will
likely be on Jeremy Maclin. Overall, McCoy should be the main focus for them in
this game, as he can do the most damage.
the end of the holiday season and not a particular happy time for these two teams,
who are playing in their final game of this football season. The reality of having
no playoff hopes came early for the Giants when they continued to lose game after
game, but it was more recent for the Eagles, who had high hopes of building on
last year's success and winning the division title for the second time in a row.
Now the Eagles will be heading home instead of heading to the playoffs. They
know that their big problem was with penalties and not being able to defend against
a deep passing game. The Eagles will be playing with the anger of having come
so close just to see it all fall apart. The Giants will be playing to avenge their
embarrassing 27-0 loss to the Eagles earlier in the season, and they're better
equipped to do that this time around.
At 1:00pm on Sunday, when the Giants
and Eagles square off, the Cowboys will be playing in Washington against the Redskins.
The Giants and Cowboys are favored to win in these games.
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have allowed only 2 sacks on Eli Manning in the last three games.
Pierre-Paul has a team-high 10.5 sacks, the second-highest total of his career
(16.5 in 2011).
Eagles lead the NFL in
turnovers with 35.
Eagles are 10-3 against
the Giants in their past 13 matchups.
Mark Sanchez will be playing his first game at MetLife Stadium since Dec. 2, 2012
with the Jets.
Eagles Mark Sanchez set
a team record with 37 completions in 50 attempts last week.
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