The last time the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles met, the Giants were one catch away from winning their first game in Philadelphia since 2013.
Unfortunately, things didn’t go that way as Evan Engram dropped a perfectly placed pass from Daniel Jones, which gave the ball back to the Eagles, who then drove down the field to take a lead they would not relinquish.
As soul crushing as that loss was for the Giants, they have played well since that contest and have a chance to climb back into the NFC East race with a win at home over the Eagles.
Let’s check out the six keys to the Giants breaking their eight game losing streak to the Eagles.
Protect the football
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This is an area Daniel Jones has struggled in for much of his young career.
Since entering the league in 2019, Jones has turned the ball over a total of 36 times in 22 games. However, Jones did not cough it up in last week’s game for just the second time in his career, and it helped result in a win for the Giants.
One crucial instance was when Jones got wrecked from his blindside by an unblocked blitzer on his final pass attempt of the afternoon. If Jones lets go of the ball, Washington would’ve taken over deep in Giants’ territory down three points.
Instead, Jones has showed vast improvement regarding his fumbling issues from his rookie season and it ultimately saved a victory for his team. He has also thrown some killer interceptions this year including two game-changers in a close loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers just two weeks ago.
Jones must eliminate these mistakes as he did against Washington last week and as long as the Giants take care of the ball, they have a strong chance to beat the Eagles.
Run the ball
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The Giants’ running game just keeps getting better as they’ve rushed for over 100 yards in four straight games.
Leading the pack is Wayne Gallman, who has a touchdown in three straight games, starting his streak the last time these two teams played each other.
With initial Saquon Barkley replacement, Devonta Freeman, missing the last three games before hitting injured reserve during the week, Gallman and an unlikely candidate in the 31-year-old Alfred Morris have picked up the slack.
The run blocking has been excellent as well behind the Giants’ new found offensive line rotation that includes Andrew Thomas, Matt Peart, and Cam Fleming, and now Shane Lemieux, Kevin Zeitler, and Will Hernandez.
Jason Garrett and Marc Colombo love to pull their guards on traps and counters and it has paid dividends as their rushing attack has averaged 142 yards per game in the last three weeks.
Consistency at wide receiver
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Despite a disgruntled Golden Tate, the Giants have seen better production from their wide receivers as of late.
Sterling Shepard has provided a much needed boost to the the offense with 20 catches for 172 yards and a touchdown since returning to the lineup in Week 6.
While Shepard has been a reliable target for Jones, undrafted rookie Austin Mack also stepped up to play that part in Tate’s absence a week ago.
Mack led the Giants with four receptions for 72 yards against Washington and was one yard shy of his first career touchdown. He had a team-high 76.3 Pro Football Focus grade and averaged 3.7 yards of separation per NFL Next Gen Stats.
With Tate back this week, he will have to fight for reps against Mack, whose scrappiness has caught the eyes of the coaching staff. This could create a fun competition, where we see multiple receivers make big plays, which has been the case as of late.
Even with Tate’s dissatisfaction in targets, he still mangled to grab two huge touchdowns against Philadelphia and Tampa Bay recently.
And as for star second-year receiver Darius Slayton, he’s been quiet with just seven catches for 85 yards in the last three weeks and it is possible that his foot injury is still nagging him.
It won’t be easy for him this Sunday going up against lockdown cornerback Darius Slay, but Slayton is the type of receiver who is a threat at any point no matter what kind of day he’s having. If Slay shuts down Slayton, this could give other guys opportunities in a talented group.
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The Giants forced a season-high five turnovers against Washington and now face an Eagles team ranked 31st with a -0.9 margin differential per week.
Carson Wentz likes to take risks and has turned the ball over 16 times through his first eight games this season.
Last time out, the Giants were able to pick Wentz off once and keep him uncomfortable for much of the night. However, he still came back to burn them in the end leading a game winning touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter.
In order to pull out a victory this time around, the Giants’ defense must force multiple turnovers by making Wentz try to do too much. That’s where the fifth-year quarterback gets himself into trouble.
Slow down Eagles’ RB duo
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Feature back Miles Sanders is expected to return to the lineup on Sunday after missing the past month with a knee injury.
The former Penn State Nittany Lion says he feels “100%,” which means the Giants will have their hands full trying to stop tailback No. 1.
They will also have to account for pesky scat back Boston Scott, who burned the Giants with a great over the shoulder catch for the go-ahead touchdown in their last meeting.
With Sanders back, the anticipation is that he’s ready to resume his normal workload of 20 plus carries a game. This makes the Eagles’ offense a two-dimensional attack once again with their home run hitter back in the lineup.
Luckily, the Giants are ranked sixth in the league with only 94.8 rushing yards allowed per week.
While this battle points in New York’s favor, Sanders and Scott will still require a lot of attention and defensive coordinator, Patrick Graham has his work cut out for him to neutralize this tandem in Week 10.
Generate consistent pressure
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Although the Giants lost Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines to injuries, and Markus Golden via trade, Patrick Graham has still been able to generate a pass rush despite being down traditional personnel.
Kyler Fackrell continues to be steady with three sacks, seven quarterback hits and 12 pressures, while Leonard Williams now leads the team with five sacks and 11 hits of his own.
Unlikely late-round draft pick contributors have also stepped up in Carter Coughlin and Cam Brown, with Coughlin recording his first career sack against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers.
Graham is known for being aggressive and has gotten creative by blitzing his defensive backs’ on critical passing downs. This method has ultimately paid off as the Giants’ secondary has three sacks and six hits on the season.
Safeties’ Jabrill Peppers and Logan Ryan are skilled at getting after the quarterback and corners’ Issac Yiadom and rookie Darnay Holmes have pitched in, as well.
Peppers had a sack of Wentz the last time the Giants and Eagles met, and in all likelihood, Graham will dial up similar pressure in Week 10.
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