Friday, December 26, 2014

Eagles-Giants: What We'll Be Watching

Getting Shady Going: The Giants held the NFL rushing leader to 46 yards on 20 carries in their Week 5 meeting. Their defensive tackles blew up the Eagles’ bread-and-butter run play, the inside zone. McCoy, who averaged 6.0 yards per carry in the first four games, has averaged just 3.4 in the last three.

Eagles-Giants: What We'll Be Watching

Eagles running back LeSean McCoy. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)
Eagles running back LeSean McCoy. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)

Getting Shady Going: The Giants held the NFL rushing leader to 46 yards on 20 carries in their Week 5 meeting. Their defensive tackles blew up the Eagles’ bread-and-butter run play, the inside zone. McCoy, who averaged 6.0 yards per carry in the first four games, has averaged just 3.4 in the last three.

Cruz Control: In his first four games against the Eagles, Victor Cruz had 22 receptions for 399 yards and 5 TDs. But he wasn’t much of a factor in the Eagles’ Week 5 win. The Eagles held him to 48 receiving yards on five catches. Cruz is Eli Manning’s go-to guy. But he has had just one 100-yard receiving performance and one TD since Week 2.

Blitzing Eli: The Eagles have had mixed results with the blitz this season, but it was very effective against Eli Manning in their Week 5 win. Manning completed just 8 of 24 passes in that game when the Eagles sent extra rushers. Manning has struggled all season against the blitz, completing just 50 percent of his passes, throwing six of his 15 sacks and being sacked seven times when teams have sent extra rushers.

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Return Opportunities: Damaris Johnson has had an unremarkable season as the Eagles’ punt and kick returner. He doesn’t have a kick return longer than 33 yards or a punt return longer than 21. But the Giants’ coverage teams aren’t very good. They’ve already given up 3 punt returns for touchdowns. If Johnson is going to break one, this could be the week.

The Turnover Tale: The Giants have a league-worst minus-14 turnover differential. They have 7 more giveaways – 24 – than any other team. Eli Manning, who has a league-high 15 interceptions, had his first pick-free game of the season Monday against the Vikings. The Eagles have 12 takeaways, including four in the first game against the Giants.

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Paul Domowitch Daily News NFL Columnist
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Paul Domowitch Daily News NFL Columnist
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