coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
On 09/30/2013 06:08 PM in NFL

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants: Preview and Pick

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants: Preview and Pick

Something has to give in week five of the NFL schedule has two floundering teams from the NFC East meet up. After winning an impressive opening game against the Washington Redskins, the Philadelphia Eagles have yet to win a game and this week will run into an angry New York Giants team. The Giants have yet to get a win this season and are hoping a home game will turn things around.

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants Odds

The NFL betting line for this game opened up with the Giants listed as (-1.5) point favorites. Football betting fanatics have lost hope for Big Blue and over 65 percent of the early wagers are being placed on the road team. In fact the sports betting consensus shows that 65 percent of the bets are on the Eagles. Despite the money, the line has moved in favor of the Giants and can now be found at (-2.5) at some of the top rated online sportsbooks found at Bang the

The Eagles will be happy to go back to the East coast after being manhandled by the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning. The Broncos scored 52 points Sunday, their most in franchise history. Denver has scored at least 40 points in three of its four games this season so the Eagles have not been the only victims.

The Giants have also had two major problems, the defense and turnovers. The Giants are just the third team in NFL history to allow at least 30 points and commit at least three turnovers in each of their first four games of a season. The Giants, proud Super Bowl champions of 2007 and 2011 season, are 0-4 for the first time since 1987, a mass of injury and disarray, but they can right the ship with a win at home against the Eagles.

The latest NFL betting trends reveal that a low scoring game could be in order. The total has gone under in 4 of the NY Giants last 6 games when playing Philadelphia and the total has gone under in 12 of the NY Giants last 17 games when playing at home against Philadelphia. The Eagles are 5-1 straight up in their last 6 games when playing on the road against NY Giants and 2-6-1 straight up in its last 9 games on the road. The NY Giants are 1-5-1 straight up in their last 7 games and 2-8 against the spread (ATS) in their last 10 games when playing Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants Pick

With plenty of time to go before kickoff, I will wait to release my pick on this game until we get closer to game day.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/01/2013 02:54 PM

DeSean Jackson had a frustrating day in Denver, from the pass that soared over his head on the Eagles’ first drive to the moment he blew off reporters in the postgame locker room.

Frustrate Jackson and you frustrate the Eagles’ entire passing game. That has quickly become the formula for stopping Chip Kelly’s offense.

With former teammate Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie running with him stride for stride, Jackson was targeted six times by quarterback Michael Vick. Jackson caught just two passes for 34 yards.

“I think we have seen just a little bit more man [coverage],” Kelly said Monday, “and I think that's overall with everybody. But I also think we've been productive moving the football. I still think we're stopping ourselves. We are not getting stopped by a scheme and we are not getting stopped by a look.”

When Jackson isn’t open, Vick has trouble getting the ball to his other wideouts. Either Riley Cooper (two catches, 25 yards) and Jason Avant (one catch, seven yards) aren’t getting open, or Vick just doesn’t trust them with tight throws.

“It depends on what play,” Kelly said. “There's maybe one play where, yeah, he should have let it rip, but there's other plays where we have to do a better job of getting open and other plays where we have to do a better job of protecting him. It's a combination of the whole thing.”

Early in the game, Kelly had rookie tight end Zach Ertz lined up in the slot with Brent Celek also on the field. That was a rare look at the kind of inventive use of the tight ends Kelly teased fans with in the preseason. Kelly liked the matchups created when the Eagles ran against opponents’ nickel schemes, and he also seemed to get seduced by Jackson’s quick-strike potential.

As a result, free-agent pickup James Casey has just one catch in four games. The screen game disappeared almost entirely until Vick found Bryce Brown and LeSean McCoy for a couple of big plays Sunday.

On Monday, Kelly talked about getting running back Chris Polk some more playing time. He continued to defend the play of Cooper, who is valued more for his blocking ability than his receiving at this point. And he shed some light on Ertz’s development.

“We've seen more and more from him on a weekly basis here as he starts to continue to grasp what we are doing here,” Kelly said. “I expect him to grow. He's four games into his professional football career. So to see him run around and line up all over the place like Jimmy Graham from the New Orleans Saints, I don't think anybody envisioned that as we put together an offense and start to figure out what he's good at, what he's not good at.

“There's a lot of details in doing it. It's not as easy as saying, ‘Hey, we drafted this guy and he has got the ability.’ Yeah, he does. But I also think we have to get him settled. It's not going to come with all of a sudden tomorrow we are going to come up with 17 different ways where we can deploy Zach and put him in different situations because it's not fair to him.”

Kelly had great success getting the ball to Jackson in the Eagles’ first two games. He caught 16 passes for 297 yards and two touchdowns, and the Eagles scored a total of 63 points. The past two weeks, Jackson has five catches for 96 yards, and the Eagles scored a total of 33 points.

Defenses adjusted. Now Kelly has to find a way to counter. He isn’t getting Jeremy Maclin back this season, so he has to find production from Ertz, Celek and Casey at tight end, from the running backs and from the wideouts, including the underutilized Damaris Johnson.

If he does, who knows? Maybe defenses will have to back off and Jackson can break loose again.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/01/2013 02:57 PM

The Giants are off to their worst start in more than 25 years, they’ve been blown out three straight games and, at 0-4, they’re right next to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL cellar.

But somehow, to Antrel Rolle, the future remains bright. So on Monday afternoon, one day after the Giants’ latest embarrassing loss, Rolle made his most stunning boast yet, daring to suggest that this winless squad just might — wait for it — go undefeated for the rest of 2013.

“I believe we can go 12-0 from this point on,” Rolle said, with complete confidence. “And I truly believe that and I’m not (just) saying that. And people may look at me like I’m crazy, but you know, I couldn’t really give a damn at this point.”

No, Rolle wasn’t kidding.

“This is what I believe,” he said. “I know the talent of this team. I know the mind-set of this team. We just have to go out there and put it together.”

The Giants’ season is on life support, and nothing about Rolle’s statement seemed remotely close to being based in reality.

But on Monday, Rolle did his best to rally his struggling squad, delivering an uplifting speech even before he uttered his wild boasts to the media.

Rolle approached Tom Coughlin early on Monday, asking if he could speak to the team.

And after Coughlin delivered his usual address — and broke down the surprisingly weak NFC East — Rolle addressed his mates “for a couple minutes,” Coughlin said, and “did do a great job.

“He’s had a couple messages today,” Coughlin said.

“One was he feels tighter and more connected to these players right now than he ever has, that he knows our back is against the wall. He’s not afraid of that circumstance.”

Coughlin said Rolle told the team to “know full well that when you take the field as a unit and you know that you represent one another and you have each other’s back, you truly have to believe that you have the ability to succeed.”

And the Giants, as wild as it may sound, remain in position to succeed, even if they are one of the NFL’s four winless teams.

The NFC East-leading Cowboys (2-2) also lost Sunday, and, as Eli Manning pointed out, Dallas heads to Denver in Week 5.

“So we feel we’ve got to get a win here and hopefully we’ll get a win and we can be one game back,” Manning said.

Not that the Giants have much margin for error. They’ve limped through the opening quarter of this season, but Rolle insisted that this week’s showdown with the Eagles is “for new beginnings” and added that “this is a 12-game season for us at this point” and “nothing that has taken place matters.”

It’s time for the Giants to show their true character, he said, even if they have spent the first month of the season putting only “bad football” on tape.

“We can either go in a hole and hang our heads, or we can come out fighting,” Rolle said.

“And I believe we’re gonna come out fighting. Ya’ll ain’t seen the end of us yet.”

Nobody’s seen signs of a 12-0 finish, either

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/02/2013 02:43 PM

After three straight losses, the Eagles find themselves at 1-3 through the first quarter of the season. Certainly, that record is a disappointment thus far, but there's a silver lining for the Eagls in the big picture. Despite those losses, the Eagles remain 1-0 in the division and 1-0 in the NFC while only trailing the Dallas Cowboys by one game in the NFC East. So the Eagles have an opportunity to turn things around quickly on Sunday with a divisional tilt against the surprising 0-4 New York Giants. All three phases for the Eagles will need to improve this week for the team to come home with a victory. The offense must convert yards into touchdowns, the defense must get off the field on third down and special teams cannot afford to surrender any more big plays.

The Giants, meanwhile, find themselves in a similar situation to the Eagles. At 0-4, their season is on the line this weekend, especially since they're the home team. What has happened to the usually consistent Giants in 2013? The lack of a running game on offense and the offensive line's inability to consistently protect Eli Manning has led to a bevy of turnovers while the once stout defense has had trouble stopping opponents consistently. Either way, come late Sunday afternoon, one team's fortunes will have changed significantly within the NFC East.

Last Time They Met At MetLife Stadium:
December 30, 2012 -- Eagles 7, Giants 42

In the final regular season game of the 2012 season, the Eagles fell in a lopsided game on the road that would serve as Andy Reid's final game as head coach of the Eagles. Michael Vick returned to the starting lineup after an injury to Nick Foles the previous week but was knocked out of action in the game himself. Eli Manning threw five touchdown passes on the day, including two to Rueben Randle.

When The Eagles Have The Ball:

The poor play of the Eagles defense last Sunday overshadowed a decent offensive performance against the Broncos. The Eagles were able to play balanced football in the first half, but then relied heavily on the pass when playing catch-up in the second half. The Eagles racked up 450 yards of total offense, 166 of which came on the ground. On the season, the Eagles rank second in the NFL in average total yards per game at 458.8, trailing only Denver. LeSean McCoy continues to lead the NFL rushing with 468 yards, and the Eagles did not commit a turnover against the Broncos. That was the good.

Then there’s the bad. The biggest issue with the Eagles offense in the last two games has been the inability to convert all of those yards into points. The abundance of yards gained have meant little over the last two games as the Eagles have combined for only 36 points during that time. This will be the key against the Giants in what is sure to be a closely contested divisional game. Excluding the possession when the Eagles received the ball with 10 seconds left in the first half and took a knee, the Eagles had 10 possessions against the Broncos, and came up empty-handed in six of them (five punts and a missed field goal). In a game where the Eagles seemingly fixed their turnover problems, penalties and drops came back to haunt the team. The most important thing to watch against the Giants will be the Eagles’ ability to finish their drives with touchdowns instead of field goal attempts or punts. At 44.2 percent, the Eagles have been fairly efficient on third-down conversions, and they will have to fare well in that statistic on Sunday.

LeSean McCoy

On the ground against the Broncos, the Eagles were able to mix in all three of their running backs in the most effective way to date this season. Granted that some of that rotation was caused by the thin air draining the backs, but Bryce Brown and Chris Polk were very effective in their playing time, with Polk scoring on his first career offensive touch. The Giants rank 28th in rushing defense, so McCoy, Brown and Polk could be in for big days.

If the Eagles want to move the ball through the air, the secondary targets will need to prove themselves. DeSean Jackson has done his part with 21 catches on the season, but opposing defenses are now game-planning around him, making the other Eagles targets beat them, which hasn’t been happening. Riley Cooper, Jason Avant and Brent Celek have combined for just 27 receptions in four games and have struggled recently in getting separation from defenders. Whether it’s a member of that trio, or someone like Zach Ertz, James Casey or even Jeff Maehl, who flashed late in the Denver game, someone must step up to become a consistent No. 2 option for Michael Vick.

The other glaring issue for the Eagles offense that will be a key factor in Sunday’s game against New York will be the play of the entire offensive line. Highly touted coming into the season, the five-man unit up front has had a few miscues over the past few weeks in both protection and penalties. All five starters can play better then they have been recently, and the Giants will put them to the test. New York is tied for last in the NFL with just four sacks on the season, but they will be desperately looking to improve those numbers against a divisional foe. Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul and Mathias Kiwanuka are dangerous lineman with affinities for getting to the quarterback.

The Giants secondary has come away with four interceptions this season, including two last week off of Alex Smith, who rarely turns the ball over. Prince Amukamara, Aaron Ross, Ryan Mundy and Antrel Rolle have each picked off one pass this season, so Vick will have to be wise in his decision-making. However, the Giants defense ranks 19th in the NFL in passing yards allowed, with opponents averaging 261.8 yards per game through the air. New York’s defense appears to present a prime opportunity for Vick to improve his 55.1 completion percentage and get the Eagles offense back on track.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/02/2013 02:43 PM

When The Giants Have The Ball:

After a 31-7 road loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the New York Giants sit at 0-4 for the first time since 1987. The offense has registered just one score (a touchdown) in its last 25 drives over two games and has struggled to find any sort of consistent effectiveness. It ranks second-to-last in the NFC and third-to-last in the NFL in points per game (15.3) and has turned the ball over an astounding 16 times (10 interceptions, six fumbles lost), most in the NFL.

Quarterback Eli Manning has been under siege behind an aging offensive line that has allowed 14 sacks and many more pressures.Though he has racked up 1,148 yards passing (eighth in the league), Manning has thrown for just 336 yards total and one touchdown in the past two games after 812 yards and five touchdowns in the first two games. Conversely, he has only thrown two interceptions in the past two games, after seven in the Giants' first two games. Manning's 69.1 quarterback rating ranks 28th in the NFL.

The Giants have not been able to get anything going on the ground, with a run game that ranks last in the NFC and 30th in the NFL (57.8 yards per game), though that is certainly affected by the team trailing throughout games thus far. Running back David Wilson was benched in the first game of the season against the Dallas Cowboys after two fumbles – his only two fumbles of the season – and played sparingly the next week against the Denver Broncos. He has since returned to being the lead back for the Giants over the past two games but has not been able to find much running room, with 11 carries for 39 yards against the Carolina Panthers and 13 carries for 55 yards against the Kansas City Chiefs. For the season thus far, Wilson has 38 carries for 130 yards (3.4-yard average), with a long ofjust 18 yards, and a mere two receptions for eight yards. Third-year pro Da'Rel Scott is the backup.

Wide receiver is where the Giants have the deepest collection of talent on offense. Victor Cruz remains Manning's favorite target and is third in the NFL with 425 receiving yards and tied for third with four touchdown catches. An explosive deep threat who averages 16.3 yards per catch, can take the top off the defense and has been good for a reception of at least 50 yards in three of the Giants' four games, Cruz already has touchdowns of 70 and 69 yards. He lines up in multiple spots, can change a game in the blink of an eye and demands safety help. Opposite Cruz is Hakeem Nicks, who has been battling a finger injury all season and has just 12 catches, though for 230 yards (19.2-yard average), and no touchdowns. Rounding out the trio is second-year pro Rueben Randle, who has just six catches for 61 yards in three games following his breakout, five-catch 101-yard performance against the Cowboys. The other receiving option is tight end Brandon Myers, a free agent signing from Oakland, who has 16 receptions for 173 yards and one touchdown.

The Eagles defense is coming off a disappointing game against the Denver Broncos in which it played well early on but relented as the game progressed and quarterback Peyton Manning made the necessary post-halftime adjustments. The defense now switches gears from facing the NFL's very best offense to one that ranks in the bottom third in the division-rival Giants. However, the Eagles defense has had plenty of issues of its own and has not allowed fewer than 26 points in any game. The Eagles defense currently ranks last in the NFL in yards allowed (446.8 per game), 31st in passing yards allowed per game (325.0) and has not intercepted a pass since Cary Williams picked off Robert Griffin III early in the third quarter against the Redskins in the season opener or forced a single turnover in 10 quarters. The defense cannot go into this game thinking the struggling Giants will be an easy matchup because that offense could click at any moment.

The Eagles defensive line had trouble generating pressure against Manning,save for Cedric Thornton's sack at the end of the second quarter. Thornton has been one of the team's standouts so far and continues to improve with each game. He and Fletcher Cox are an excellent duo for the defense to build around at defensive end in the 3-4 scheme. Both will have to be on top of their games to help control the line of scrimmage and collapse the pocket against the Giants.

The Eagles linebacker corps of Trent Cole, DeMeco Ryans, Mychal Kendricks and Connor Barwin will have to help patrol the middle of the field and the flats in pass coverage, but they also have to be disciplined and make sure they fill the proper gaps against the run. Just because the Giants have had difficulty running the ball so far does not mean an explosive playmaker like David Wilson is incapable of breaking a long run if he gets a sliver of daylight and can escape a tackle attempt. Brandon Graham will be relied upon to supply pass rush off the edge.

The secondary had some success at points in the first half against the Broncos but had a lot of trouble maintaining that level of play against Manning, particularly in the second half. Receivers were running free in the secondary and did not encounter much resistance in the 21-point third quarter that blew the game open. Cary Williams, Bradley Fletcher and Brandon Boykin need to bounce back and blanket Cruz, Nicks and Randle. If Patrick Chung cannot play again due to his shoulder injury, the safety tandem of Nate Allen and rookie Earl Wolff will start against the Giants and be responsible for helping contain the Giants' talented wide receivers. Wolff showed some promise despite adverse circumstances and will continue to grow as he gets more playing time.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/02/2013 02:44 PM

Key Matchups

Eagles Safeties vs. Victor Cruz

Cruz is the Giant’s equivalent of DeSean Jackson. He is the deep threat who has proven the ability to strike at any time. When the Giants are looking down and out offensively, Eli Manning and Cruz have the ability to change the entire game with long pass and catch. This season, Cruz has had game-high catches of 70, 51, and 69 yards. Since 2011, Cruz has found the end zone 23 times, five of which have come against the Eagles, with the speedy receiver averaging 99.8 yards per game in four career contests. Though much of the burden of stopping Cruz will fall on either Cary Williams or Bradley Fletcher, the Eagles safeties will need to make sure the Massachusetts product doesn’t get behind them. Whether Nate Allen, Patrick Chung or Earl Wolff is playing over the top, keeping Cruz contained will be crucial to the Eagles success.

Eagles vs. Themselves

As mentioned earlier, the Eagles did a nice job of not turning the ball over against the Broncos, but they still committed what Chip Kelly refers to as "S.I.W"s, or self-inflicted wounds. Whether it was a holding penalty or a drive-stalling drop, the Eagles continued to stop themselves offensively. Meanwhile, the Giants have been prone to mistakes, turning the ball over 16 times this season (10 interceptions, six lost fumbles). If the Eagles can play a mistake-free game and force the Giants to continue their turnover-prone ways, they could be leaving Metlife Stadium victorious with most of their schedule still ahead of them.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/03/2013 02:14 PM

Eagles first-year defensive coordinator Billy Davis says his young group just needs time.

"The results did not show in that game, obviously, so I'm asking you to trust me," Davis told reporters, per CSN Philadelphia.

"Even though there's not the results, the guys know through the daily work, it'll turn, it'll turn. It hasn't turned yet, it's not where we want it to be, but we will continue to put our heads down and work, and I really believe it will turn."

Davis -- a Dick LeBeau disciple -- likes to note that his players are transitioning from a base 4-3 to a three-man front, but plenty of teams switch their schemes. The issue here is a complete lack of talent. Philly is devoid of impact players at every level. Against the Broncos, only defensive end Cedric Thornton and linebacker Trent Cole yielded positive grades, per Pro Football Focus.

The Eagles, of course, have company inside the NFC East, where the New York Giants and Washington Redskins have been a train wreck defensively. It's just one reason this wandering division is a combined 4-12 at the quarter mark

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/03/2013 02:15 PM

The Pro Bowl left tackle was coming back from injury, as were the solid, versatile veteran guard and the young, promising center.

Add in the first-round draft pick, the fourth overall selection last April, and a guard with Pro Bowl aspirations, and you have the makings of what was supposed to be a good offensive line.

So what happened?

Four weeks into the season, with their entire offensive line intact, the Philadelphia Eagles have allowed 14 sacks, third worst in the league, and have come under fire from first-year head coach Chip Kelly.

"There's not one thing," Kelly said of the team's protection issues. "And there's not one answer that it's this, and if we make this adjustment, then we are going to be good."

The return to health of left tackle Jason Peters, back from a twice-torn Achilles tendon; guard Todd Herremans, from a foot injury; and center Jason Kelce from a torn ACL, was supposed to make the Eagles strong on the line. The addition of first-round pick Lane Johnson from Oklahoma to man the right tackle spot was supposed to make them better.

Instead, the almost always reliable Peters has allowed a sack and 14 pressures in four games, or just three fewer than he allowed in all 16 games in 2011. Johnson has yielded four sacks and 13 pressures in his first four games.

"It's quite a change," Johnson said of going from college to the NFL. "I was talking to Donald Stephenson (his former college teammate now with Kansas City). He told me you're going to get beat at times. It's how you do the next play. You have to be resilient."

The Eagles' 14 sacks allowed have come with Michael Vick at quarterback. Vick's ability to run has probably allowed him to escape at least another three potential sacks.

"I think when we're throwing the football, there are a lot of elements involved," Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said. "The first one starts with protection. I think when you look at it, the last two weeks we played against some pretty good fronts.

"And there are times, when you watch any game, there are times it's not a perfect pocket. Ideally, you want them to be able to take one step from the gun or three steps from the gun and be able to play it, hitch, and throw the football. There are a lot of times when that doesn't happen. We're very fortunate we have a guy like Michael who can escape and extend the play."

The players know they have to perform better starting this Sunday against the winless New York Giants, who still have a solid front four and usually present a decent pass rush.

"We're not happy with the way we're playing," Kelce said. "We've done some good things in the run game, but that's not enough. We can't just be one dimensional.

"The highest paid player, the most important player on the team, is usually the quarterback. And unless the offensive line is protecting him and giving him enough time, the offensive line isn't doing a good job."

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/03/2013 02:16 PM

Over their long history, the Eagles have played the New York Giants more than any other team. Since 1933, the Eagles and Giants have played 162 times with more than a handful of memorable moments along the way. From Chuck Bednarik's knockout blow at Yankee Stadium to the Meadowlands miracles performed by Herman Edwards, Brian Westbrook and DeSean Jackson, the Eagles have created some iconic franchise memories against their divisional foe. As the Eagles now prepare for Sunday's matchup, they know that anything can happen in what is a pivotal game in the early part of the season.

"Every year you get a chance to play the Giants and it's always fun," said Trent Cole. "It's a backyard rivalry and it's always been an intense game every time that we've ever played them."

The Giants enter the game struggling out of the gate, with a record of 0-4 and the worst defense in the NFL in terms of yards per game. The Eagles sit just one game better in the NFC East standings, but they feel that the team's individual records have nothing to do with how they are preparing for this weekend.

"It's going to be a fun game, but they're always going to be ready," said Brent Celek, who caught a touchdown pass in the Eagles' dramatic 38-31 comeback victory in 2010. "It doesn't matter what they're record is or what our record is, it's going to be a game … They're a good football team. They're going to come out ready to play and when they get on the field, they're going to forget about that record."

LeSean McCoy expressed similar feelings, saying that the Giants are a much better team than they appear to be. "It's a division game and it's a must-win game for both teams," said McCoy. "They have a ton of really good players over there. The 0-4 team isn't really what I see on tape. When you look at their offense, they're explosive also. We both have the mindset that we need to win."

For veterans like Cole, Celek and McCoy, who have been playing against the Giants for the past few years, there's no question that the games against New York mean something. But do the rookies need to be taught a quick history lesson when it comes to playing the team dressed in blue?

"They'll feel it when they play there, just like the first time I played there," said Celek. "You realize it. You can feel it in the town. You realize it from what (the media) says. If you can't figure it out, there's something wrong with you."

"I think (the rivalry) is something that you experience," McCoy said. "As a rookie, they didn't have to explain it to me. They just told me how important it is to win the game because it's a division game."

To Kurt Coleman, it's important not to overlook the regular preparation just because of the intensity that will be on the field Sunday afternoon. .

"You can ask any fan on the street- they don't talk about a lot of other games other than the Giants, Cowboys and Redskins, and the Giants are definitely one of their favorites," Coleman said. "It's almost like Michigan-Ohio State. It's one of the top rivalries in the league and it's going to be a physical game. Everyone needs to understand that. It's going to be a really physicall game and we're going to be in their house this week. We have to go out there and quiet the fans with our play right off the bat and get after them for four quarters."

Other players echoed Coleman's thoughts, saying that the Eagles are preparing for the Giants the same way that they get ready for all 32 NFL teams.

"We're preparing like we prepare every week," said Fletcher Cox. "It's no different than how we have been preparing in the past."

"It's a fun game to play in," explained Todd Herremans. "Both teams get really hyped up to play in it, but we're not trying to make it any more special than any other week. We're coming in and putting in a lot of hard work this week and preparing to win the game."

The Eagles split the series with the Giants last season, with each team winning at their respective home stadiums. The second game between the two sides in 2012 was a fitting ending to a dismal regular season for the Eagles as they fell 42-7. Though he didn't play in the game because of a concussion, Mychal Kendricks is eagerly awaiting the chance for his team to erase their most recent memory of MetLife Stadium.

"After losing, you always have a bad taste in your mouth," said Kendricks. "The fact that we lost to them the last time and the fact that we just lost this last game (against Denver), I can't wait to get out there and play."

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/04/2013 01:29 PM

As bad as the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles have been, they still believe they are in contention in the mediocre NFC East.

The problem quite simply is whether either can put together four solid quarters to earn a victory.

The winless Giants host an Eagles team that has looked lost defensively while dropping three straight in Sunday's matchup of once-proud franchises headed in the wrong direction.

Philadelphia (1-3) and New York (0-4) have combined for 10 of the last 13 NFC East titles, but making that 11 in 14 seems unlikely given the way these teams are playing.

The Giants, who captured the franchise's fourth Super Bowl just two seasons ago, are off to their worst start since losing five straight to begin 1987 - when replacement players were used during part of that slide. New York has totaled seven points in consecutive losses and Eli Manning has thrown a league-high nine interceptions while getting sacked 14 times, five fewer than all of 2012.

The Eagles started 2013 under new coach Chip Kelly with a 33-27 victory at defending NFC East champion Washington. They haven't won since and are allowing 34.5 points per game after last Sunday's 52-20 loss at Denver.

The only team that has allowed more points through four games is New York, yielding an average of 36.5 thanks in part to an NFL-worst 16 turnovers.

The states of these teams has surprised participants in a rivalry that had major postseason ramifications in the past.

"I'm very surprised, especially when our division was picked to be amongst the top," Eagles quarterback Michael Vick said. "That's football, man. It goes to show you how you have to be on top of your game."

Dallas leads the East with a 2-2 mark and will be an underdog at home against unbeaten Denver this weekend. A loss by the Cowboys would pave the way for the Eagles to tie for the division lead or the Giants to pull within one game of first place.

"Guys know that and coach (Tom Coughlin) brought that up the other day, so we understand," Manning said. "There's a lot of football left to be played, but we've got to start playing football. We're a better team than what we've been playing like, but we've got to go out there and prove it."

Manning will try to get an offense untracked that has produced the fewest amount of points in consecutive games in Coughlin's 10 years with the club. The two-time Super Bowl MVP is getting hit more as a result of a patchwork offensive line that played without starters David Baas, Chris Snee and David Diehl in last Sunday's 31-7 loss at Kansas City.

Diehl could make his season debut against the Eagles but it doesn't look good for the other two.

"They've got some injuries on the offensive line," Kelly said. "When you watch their games with who played against the Cowboys and who played in the opening game and then who played in the last game against the Chiefs was a little bit different."

Manning will continue to try to target Victor Cruz, fourth in the NFL with 425 yards receiving to go with four touchdown receptions. Cruz could be open often against a Philadelphia defense yielding 461.3 yards per game for the NFL's second-worst mark.

Defensive coordinator Billy Davis' unit will no doubt be eager to face a different Manning after Peyton Manning completed 28 of 34 passes for 327 yards and four scores last weekend.

"We obviously are not where we want to be right now, but we just have to keep rolling and learn from everything," safety Nate Allen said. "That's all you can do. We are just going to keep working, learn from this and work on the fundamentals and move forward."

Kelly's high-octane offense leads the NFC with 480.5 yards per game, but Vick has been sacked 14 times to match Eli Manning and the Jets' Geno Smith for the third-highest total in the league.

Whether the Giants can get to Vick remains questionable. New York's once-feared pass rush has produced four sacks to match winless Pittsburgh for the NFL's lowest total.

"We've been very frustrated that we only have four sacks as a unit," said defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who has been limited to one sack after offseason back surgery. "This is the New York Giants. Normally we have sacks off the roof, but right now it's not that way right now."

The Giants will have to be wary of LeSean McCoy, the NFL's leading rusher at 117.0 yards per game. Four of McCoy's 14 100-yard rushing efforts have come against New York.

The Eagles have won eight of the last 10 overall meetings, although their five-game road win streak in this series ended with a 42-7 defeat Dec. 30, 2012, in Andy Reid's last game as coach.