Eagles-Giants: 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:

1. The turnover battle. The Eagles lead the league in takeaways with 18. That’s the good news. The bad news is they’ve scored just 53 points off of those 18 takeaways. The Giants have five fewer takeaways than the Eagles, but have cashed them in for 65 points.

2. The Giants’ giant pass rush. No matchup will impact Sunday’s game more than the Eagles’ offensive line vs. the Giants’ front four. If the Eagles don’t neutralize Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka, it’s going to be a long day for Donovan McNabb and the offense.

3. Oh, those third-and-longs. The Eagles have converted just six of 31 third-down opportunities in the last two games. The biggest problem has been that too many of their third-down situations have been long yardage. Twenty-three of the 31 third downs the last 2 weeks have been for 6 yards or more. The Eagles have converted just one of 22 third-down situations of 10 yards or more all season.

4. A better McNabb. Donovan McNabb has not been sharp the last two games, particularly on third down, where he completed just nine of 20 passes against the Raiders and Redskins. He struggled against the Giants last year, completing just 54.2 percent of his passes and averaging 5.63 yards per attempt in three games.

5. When opportunity knocks, answer the freaking door. The Eagles have had 27 possessions in the last two games and have had the ball in enemy territory 13 times. Yet all they have to show for those 13 trips beyond the 50 is four field goals. They need to capitalize on those opportunities Sunday.

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