Eagles, Giants Starving For Win In NFC East Rivalry
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By Kevin McGuire
The Philadelphia Eagles have lost three straight games and are starting to get more and more questions about their situation. But at least they have one win. The New York Giants have limped to a 0-4 start that is really turning up the heat for the franchise. As bad as the Eagles have played at times, the Giants have been worse, having one of the worst starts in franchise history – at least in recent memory.
So who exactly are these New York Giants?
The New York Giants are looking for their first win of the season. Sitting at 0-4 entering the upcoming week is not sitting well with anyone in New York, so it will be interesting to see if this team plays with a nothing-to-lose attitude or packs it in at the first sign of adversity. The Giants opened the year with a loss at Dallas and then lost a home game against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Back-to-back road trips resulted in two more losses, to Carolina and Kansas City, by a combined score of 69-7.
The Giants hold the all-time series lead on the Eagles, 82-74-2.
Giants on Offense
Nothing has gone well for the Giants on offense this season. The Giants are putting up a lot of passing yards, although that tends to happen when a team has to play from behind so often. What is most shocking is the Giants non-existent running game, averaging just 57.8 yards per game and ranked 30th in the NFL. The offense has been missing the past two games, scoring just seven points in two road losses at Carolina and Kansas City.
Giants on Defense
One thing that has generally been pretty strong about the Giants over the years is the defense. That is far from the case this season, with New York allowing over 30 points in each game through the first four weeks. The Giants are ranked 19th against the pass and 28th against the run, so an offense like the one the Eagles have should be able to take advantage of the Giants defense. If the Eagles cannot score on this defense, there really will be some cause for alarm moving forward.
Giants Players to Watch
Eli Manning, Quarterback: For the second straight week the Eagles will be facing a Manning at quarterback. Fortunately for the Eagles, they will be facing Eli instead of Peyton. Eli Manning has completed just 56.3 percent of his passes so far, his lowest season total since 2007, and has thrown more interceptions (9) than touchdowns (6) through just four games. The pressure is on Manning to make some plays, and the Eagles secondary has a number of issues that Manning could take advantage of.
Prince Amukamara, Corner Back: There are a number of players that could be in need of a big turnaround. New York corner back Prince Amukamara may be one of them. It has become rather clear opposing quarterbacks can throw on him early on, so look for the Eagles to do the same if they can. Amukamara does have an interception this season along with five pass deflections, but passes are still being thrown his way without much hesitation.
Talk about a game where both teams need a win. The Eagles have lost three straight games and the Giants have yet to win one. What should concern the Eagles this weekend is walking in to a buzz saw. The Giants absolutely need a win, and playing at home against a team that is also struggling could result in a tough situation for Chip Kelly and the Eagles. Look for New York to take some chances to generate a spark early and try to get the running game going. If the Eagles defense continues to struggle, it could turn in to a long game against the Giants.
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Kevin McGuire is a Philadelphia area sports writer covering the Philadelphia Eagles and college football. McGuire is a member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. Follow McGuire on Twitter @KevinOnCFB. His work can be found on Examiner.com.