Last week the Philadelphia Eagles faced one of the more premier teams in league in Peyton Manning and his Denver Broncos. After suffering a mentally abusive 52-20 loss at the hands of Peyton, the Eagles look to return the favor to none other than Eli Manning and the New York Giants.
Sunday’s NFC East showdown brings a must win scenario for Philadelphia to remain competitive in a very weak division. And if the Eagles can win there is a very real possibility they could force a two-way tie for first place in the NFC East.
Lets start by looking at how this can be done and we’ll follow up with some keys to the Eagles, Giants game.
NFC East Week 5
Philadelphia Eagles (1-3) vs New York Giants (0-4): To be discussed
Washington Redskins (0-4): Bye Week
Dallas Cowboys (2-2) vs Denver Broncos (4-0)
After punishing younger brother Eli in week 2, and humiliating the Eagles last week, the likelihood that the Dallas Cowboys pull off a win on Sunday is slim to none. Despite having the leagues third-ranked run defense, the Cowboys secondary is ranked just two position higher than Philadelphia at 27th in the league — and we all know what Peyton can do in that kind of environment.
And there’s also the fact that Denver will not be benefitted by the Mile High altitude.
Denver is the top-rated offense putting up 44.8 points per game facing the 27th ranked pass defense. It’s pretty much a no-brainer
So if all goes well, Dallas will get handed their third loss of the season putting them at 2-3. And they’ll know whether or not the Eagles won as they play late afternoon following Philadelphia’s game.
And that brings us to the Philadelphia Eagles and why this game is so important, despite being just week 5. The only other team in the division is the Birds bullseye, the NY Giants.
Both the Eagles and Giants are among the leagues worse statistically speaking. The difference is the offensive attack. Philadelphia has been able to put a good amount of points on the board averaging 24.8 PPG (12th/league), whereas New York is ranked 30th averaging just 15.2 PPG.
Philadelphia’s defense must be able to contain a New York offense whose receivers have been unable to break free from defenders and an offensive line who has allowed Eli Manning to get sacked 14 times already this season. It’s fair to note that Michael Vick has also been sacked 14 times, difference, New York has only posted four defensive sacks versus Philadelphia’s 10.
When the Eagles have control of the ball, there are specific fundamental keys that are crucial to this game, and it starts up front with the play calling.
No two-point conversion attempts in the first quarter, keep the offense on the field and win the time of possession battle, something Philadelphia has failed to do the last three games. In fact, you might be able to say the last three and a half games.
And the players need to step up their game as well. Michael Vick has gradually resorted back to his scrambling ways due to the breakdown of the offensive line. This was a line who was expected to show drastic signs of improvement over recent years with the return of a healthy (LT) Jason Peters, (C) Jason Kelce, (G) Todd Herremans, and the addition of first-round pick (RT) Lane Johnson.
Michael Vick needs to make better decisions when throwing the ball, and there’s still the issue with him holding the ball to long. But that could be because of the offensive weapons like DeSean Jackson, Riley Cooper, and the blend of tight ends have not been able to break free or get open. But when they do there has been a ton of dropped balls.
As long as the Eagles focused on correcting these keys issues since last Sunday there is no reason why Philadelphia can advance to 2-3, and tie the lead for first place in the NFC East.
In the end the Philadelphia Eagles will do enough to advance to 2-3. But it won’t be a blowout like some may believe. My prediction
Eagles 34 – Giants 24