Five Keys for an Eagles Win Over the Giants on Sunday Night Football
Eagles running back LeSean McCoy averages 7.1 yards per carry in the fourth quarter. The Birds need to feed him the ball, especially to open and close games.
5. Say Hi to Eli - The Eagles need to pressure Eli Manning all night long. If they’re close enough to say “Hi,” on a consistent basis, they have a good chance of shutting down the Giants offense. The key is figuring out early whether or not a four man rush will get it done. If it will, the Eagles can play accordingly. If not, defensive coordinator Juan Castillo needs to be quick to adjust and find ways to get pressure in the face of one of the league’s hottest passers. In his last three games, Manning has completed 62 percent of his passes for an average of 303 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions.
4. Simplify for VY - Vince Young had his struggles learning the offense during training camp and was set back by a hamstring injury during the Eagles final preseason game. Now that he’ll be relied upon to run the offense, the Eagles need to make things as easy as possible on him. They should avoid making Young feel like he has to make the plays, and allow him to manage the game. Young has 43 career picks and 42 career touchdowns, so turnovers are an automatic concern. Perhaps the easiest way to take the pressure off of Young is to get a little extra from your two biggest playmakers in the lineup tonight.
3. Get Jacked Up - DeSean Jackson needs to have an impact on this game. With Michael Vick out, the Eagles instantly lose some offensive explosiveness. With Jeremy Maclin out, the Eagles lose their best wide receiver. After getting himself suspended last week for being late to a special teams meeting, Jackson needs to come up big for his teammates tonight. Whether it’s on offense or special teams, Jackson is capable of making the kind of play that can be a game changer. The Eagles could use that tonight.
2. Make it Shady in East Rutherford - Give LeSean McCoy the ball early and often. McCoy has 43 carries for 221 yards and a touchdown in the first quarter, which is good for an average of 5.1 yards per carry. In the Eagles three wins, McCoy averaged 5.67 carries for 34.66 yards in the first quarter and scored his only first quarter touchdown against the Cowboys. In six losses, McCoy averaged 3.8 carries for 13 yards in the first quarter. The Eagles need to make the offense tonight primarily about Shady McCoy, as he’s their best player on offense, especially with Michael Vick and Jeremy Maclin out.
1. Four - That’s four, as in, quarter number four. That’s the time of the game when the Giants have been extremely successful, while the Eagles have been shockingly awful. The Eagles have blown five fourth quarter leads, while the Giants have come from behind to win four times and, including a drive that snapped a tie, Eli Manning has led five game-winning drives in the fourth quarter. The Eagles have a litany of offenses in the fourth quarter that could be blamed – blown assignments, lack of intensity, poor play calling, bad luck, bad penalties, you name it. Their answers have been about the same, though. The Eagles say they need to play harder and keep on fighting. Talk is cheap, as Nnamdi Asomugha pointed out. The Eagles need to do one thing to fix their fourth quarter problems: win. It doesn’t matter how, they just need to win.
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