Sunday, February 7, 2016

Eagles-Giants II: What We're Watching

Each week, Daily News football writer Paul Domowitch will tell you the things he will be keeping his eyes on during that week’s game:

Eagles-Giants II: What We're Watching

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Eagles´ LeSean McCoy avoids a tackle from this past Sunday´s game against the Falcons. (Ron Cortes / Staff Photographer)
Eagles' LeSean McCoy avoids a tackle from this past Sunday's game against the Falcons. (Ron Cortes / Staff Photographer)

Each week, Daily News football writer Paul Domowitch will tell you the things he will be keeping his eyes on during that week’s game:

1. Eli’s Eagle woes: The Eagles held Eli Manning to 20 completions in 39 attempts and intercepted him twice in their 40-17, Week 8 win. In his last four games against the Eagles, the Giants quarterback has completed just 51.6 percent of his passes, averaged just 5.6 yards per attempt and thrown four touchdown passes and five interceptions.

2. Ground control: Who said Andy Reid doesn’t like to run the ball? In the last three games, the Eagles have had just nine fewer rushing attempts than passing attempts. Rushed for 180 yards in the first Giants game, including 157 by LeSean McCoy and Leonard Weaver. Giants have buttoned up their run defense since then, though, holding their last four opponents to 2.8 yards per carry.

3. Red-zone productivity: The Eagles have been settling for way too many David Akers field goals inside the 20. They are 23rd in the league in red-zone touchdown percentage, converting just 17 of 36 trips (47.2) into six points. In their last eight games, they’re 10-for-24 (41.7). But they’re going up against a team that is last in the league in red-zone defense (30-43, 69.8). So maybe there’s hope.

More coverage
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Moving the Chains: Decade honors: T.O., Dawk and Rosenhaus
Eagletarian: Healthier Defense Means Changes
Practicing again, Westbrook wants to play
Eagletarian: Eagles' chance to 'put their mark' on division
Eagles Notes: Joselio Hanson overjoyed to be back
Marcus Hayes: Eagles show Reid that close counts

4. The Mack Truck running back: Brandon Jacobs is having a down year. He’s averaging just 3.9 yards per carry and has just four rushing touchdowns. But the 6-4, 265-pounder is difficult to stop when he squares his shoulders to the line of scrimmage and gets a head of steam. Eagles need to keep him under control by getting backfield penetration and forcing him to run east-west.

5. Giants’ secondary issues: The Giants’ pass defense has been a sieve lately. In their last five games, they’ve given up 13 passing touchdowns. Opposing quarterbacks have completed 67.0 percent of their passes in those games and have averaged 7.2 yards per attempt. Donovan McNabb had just six incompletions in 23 attempts in the Eagles’ Week 8 win.
 

To read Les Bowen's report from practice, click here.

Daily News Columnist
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