NFL Soup|Tuesday, May 21, 2013

New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles: What to Watch For 

The New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles will square off at MetLife stadium on Sunday. Both teams have been somewhat disappointing but moreso the Giants. The NFC East, known for being a tough and bruising division, has become more associated with puchline jokes as opposed to Super Bowl hopes.

The division games are extremely important as an 8-8 finish might win the division with tiebreakers. Hence the importance of this game to these two teams.

1. LeSean McCoy

McCoy has been THE most productive back and has been flourishing in Chip Kelly’s fast-paced offense. The Giants have been putrid against the run so this stat could very well decide the game.

If the Giants can somehow limit McCoy to under 100 yards rushing then I think they have a shot. They will have to make Michael Vick throw into poor decisions and get turnovers to have any chance in this game and it all starts with bottling and limiting McCoy.

2. Giants’ offensive line

The Giants’ O-line has been extremely poor in all aspects. QB ELi Manning has found himself taking some shots and being hurried into throws a lot more than usual. The run-blocking has been terrible as well. Now, veteran Chris Snee is hurt and the Giants line is just a mess.

Phili might have a defensive field day and choose to blitz more often than not against a banged up and confused Giants’ line.

3. Giants’ D-Line and Linebackers

In previous years, the question mark surrounding the Giants’ defense was typically the secondary. Now, it’s the D-line and linebackers. Due to free agency and cutting salary, the Giants have weakened their defense and it shows.

The linebacking group was a major question mark coming into this season and has not really shown any improvement. Inexperience at the position has lead to the Giants’ defensive demise. There just isn’t a “general” on the field to put guys and audible into better calls.

I expect Phili to no-huddle all game long. The fast-paced game is going to have the Giants’ defense winded by the second quarter; not having any clue as to slow it down.

4. Eagles’ Secondary

We know the Giants’ o-line has its problems but if they can give Eli Manning some time then he just might be able to find his big play receivers in Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks.

Cruz has had some highlights and Nicks has been almost non-existent so far this season. I’ll lay most of the blame on Eli not having time to find them. But if Eli can get these two some momentum with some quick hits they’ll have a shot against the Eagles’ secondary.

I’d expect the Eagles to blitz a ton and if Eli can get some quick hit audibles then he could get Nicks and Cruz on some huge plays. These guys have to get more involved if the Giants are going to have any success. The Eagles were ripped apart by Peyton Manning and Eli has two good enough receivers to do the same against Phili.

5. Michael Vick rushing

Vick has been staying in the pocket longer and giving the passing game more of a chance. However, we know he is capable of taking off for some big plays. Not only will the Giants have to limit McCoy but they’ll have to limit Vick as well.

To me, if Vick has over 80 yards rushing, game over. That tells me he’s run for probably 3-4 first downs that would typically be coverage sacks; essentially extending drives. If the Giants limit his third down escapability and make him throw, they’ll be right in this game.

About the author: Terrence Kirker

A new fantasy football contributor to NFLSoup, Terrence Kirker is an avid NFL fan and diehard Giants fan. He’s been involved in fantasy football for the past ten years, with the last four being the mostly competitive for cash prizes, equating to three championships and one third place finish. Follow him on Twitter @terrencekirker

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