Many have called this a meaningless game, but not to the Giants, who remember the week 6 game with the Eagles all too well. Similarly riding a 3 game winning streak, the Giants had brought hope back into the season after starting 0-2. It ended with a 27-0 shutout at the hands of the Eagles, and was the beginning of a 7 game losing streak. Odell Beckham played that game, but in a much smaller role as he was still being eased into the lineup from his hamstring injury. Victor Cruz started and was lost for the season to a torn patellar tendon. The Giants want to wash the taste of that bitter and embarrassing defeat from their mouths and can so by following the Giants360 Keys to Victory.
This is another game the Giants can win, and are a slight favorite to do so. Here’s how they can make it happen:
- Pressure Mark Sanchez. Since taking over for Nick Foles mid season, Sanchez has been sacked 19 times in his 7 starts. Foles was sacked just 9 in his 8 starts. The pressure leads to turnovers, and Sanchez has committed 12. If the Giants can force 2, and capitalize, it will key this victory.
Play Smart Special Teams. Philadelphia has scored 6 special teams touchdowns this season, and are top 6 in in the NFL both punt and kick return. The Giants coverage teams have been solid over the second half of the season and that strong play must continue tomorrow.
- Protect the Football. The Eagles are 6th in the NFL with 1.8 take aways per game. They have also scored 4 defensive touchdowns this season. The Giants need to protect the football, and keep it out of the opportunistic Eagles hands.
- Protect Eli Manning. In the first game, Manning was sacked 8 times, double their second worst game this season. He was under constant pressure and it lead to 10 punts, 1 fumble, and just 2 of 14 third downs converted. We find out today if the McAdoo offense has improved in the 11 weeks since this debacle. Based on last week’s 37 point output, it appears to have taken a big leap forward, but this game is the final exam.
- Throw it to Beckham. Odell Beckham has been powering the Giants offense with 79 catches for 1,120 yards and 11 touchdown. The Eagles secondary has been struggling and cornerback Bradley Fletcher has been benched in favor of 2014 free agent addition, and special team player, Nolan Carroll. Beckham and former LSU teammate Jarvis Landry are competing to see who will end the season with more receptions. Bet on Beckham. Ending the season with 14 touchdowns would be nice.
Prediction: Revenge is a dish best served cold. And it’s very cold in December in New Jersey. The Eagles, still reeling from their playoff elimination last week, mail this one in to the highly motivated Giants, who win their fourth straight, on Beckham’s wings. Oh how joyful 2015 will be when Beckham and Victor Cruz are in the lineup together.