Tale Of The Tape: New York Giants At Philadelphia Eagles
- QuarterbackThe Giants appear to have come out of the offensive funk, and it happened at just the right moment for Eli Manning. The New York quarterback has shaken off criticism and a poor start to lead his team to three consecutive wins. When Manning has his confidence, he waits an extra split second before delivering the ball, and that gives his receivers an opportunity to get open and make a big play.The Eagles have a diverse offense that can strike quickly and light up the scoreboard and therefore demoralize opponents. Chip Kelly is the architect of this attack, but it’s quarterback Nick Foles who makes the unit run. Foles has all the skills you want in a quarterback – athleticism, a quick release, accuracy and a strong arm – but it’s his decision making that has made him so successful under center.
- OffenseRashad Jennings jump-started the Giants’ offense when he had a huge rushing day in Week Three, but an MCL injury is likely to keep him out of the lineup several weeks. Andre Williams looks like he will be able to carry the running game in his absence. Wide receiver Victor Cruz is the team’s best downfield threat, while emerging tight end Larry Donnell is solid in the red zone.The Eagles can dominate in a number of ways on offense, but they would like to get a bit more productivity from LeSean McCoy, who is off to a slow start and is averaging 2.9 yards per carry. Complementary running back Darren Sproles has explosive speed as a runner and receiver. Jeremy Maclin is a fine receiver, while tight end Zach Ertz has sensational hands.
- DefenseThe Giants appear to be improving on defense as the season moves along. In their Week Five win over the Falcons, they got hit with a couple of big plays, but they shut down Atlanta in the fourth quarter. Unheralded outside linebacker Jacquian Williams leads the team with 39 tackles, while strong safety Antrel Role has 29 tackles, five passes defensed, two interceptions and one forced fumble.The Eagles have struggled to sustain strong defensive play over four quarters, and that could be an issue as the season progresses. They rank 28th in yards allowed and 28th against the pass. Free safety Malcolm Jenkins is off to a strong start with three interceptions and eight passes defensed. Outside linebacker Connor Barwin has eye-opening quickness and has a team-high 3.0 sacks.
- Special TeamsThe Giants are going to have to pick up their special-teams play in this game because the Eagles have been so good in this area. Placekicker Josh Brown has made 7-of-7 FG attempts, while Steve Weatherford has dropped 9-of-21 punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line.The Eagles have been dominating on special teams and they have gotten return touchdowns from Sproles and Chris Polk, and have returned blocked punts for touchdowns in each of the last two games. Additionally, rookie PK Cody Parkey has made 10-of-11 FG attempts.
The NFC East has been resurgent this season, as the Eagles, Giants and Cowboys have all played well. Even though this game is in Philadelphia, look for the Giants to come at them for 60 minutes and possibly come away with the upset. -Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports