PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — To have a division rival at 0-2 to start the season usually works as an advantage. For the Eagles, it will be the equivalent of facing a wounded animal in the wild.
The 1-1 Eagles will kick off the home portion of their schedule on Sunday when the Giants pay a visit to the Linc. New York has looked awful in the first two games and the buzzards are already circling in North Jersey.
Don’t tell that to Carson Wentz and his teammates.
“They’re a good football team,” said Wentz. “Yeah, they’re 0-2, but they are a good football team. They were a good football team last year and they’ve very similar to last year. We can’t by any means overlook them because they’re 0-2.”
The main reason for New York’s 0-2 start has been it’s offense. The Giants’ offensive line has struggled, leaving little room for the running backs and forcing quarterback Eli Manning to run for his life. However, the New York Defense has kept the Giants in both games and tight end Zach Ertz knows scoring points won’t be easy on Sunday.
“They’re huge on the defensive line,” Ertz said. “They’ve got two really good defensive ends. They’ve got two really big defensive tackles. They’ve got three really good corners, in my opinion, and one of the best safeties in the league. We’re going to have to be on our toes on offense and we’re excited for the opportunity.”
A loss by the Giants would drop New York to 0-2 in the division play. On the other side, the Eagles could go to 2-0 in NFC East contests thanks to a victory over Washington in the season opener. Head coach Doug Pederson knows there is plenty at stake in this Week Three matchup.
“I think it would be huge for us,” said Pederson. “To get this win and obviously go 2-0 is big for the confidence of the football team this early in the season and in really a great division, I think, with a tough stretch of games coming up. It’s important to come out and play fast.”
Most of the rest of the NFC East believes the Giants will eventually turn their fortunes around and climb back into contention. Defensive end Brandon Graham is hoping the turnaround doesn’t start on Sunday in South Philadelphia.
“I know how it is to have new guys come in and get that chemistry down,” Graham said. “I think as they keep going, things will start to work out. But this week, we’re going try and make sure that they don’t get it worked out with us.”