Doug Pederson will be looking for his first win against an NFC East opponent as Head Coach of the Philadelphia Eagles this weekend, as the team travel down the I 95 to face the Giants. There’s naturally going to be a lot of attention placed on the team following the events that transpired this week, but if the Eagles are to kick-start their road to the playoffs on Sunday, they’re going to need some big contributions.
The Eagles have been waiting for a huge performance from their franchise tight end all season long..and it might finally come against the Giants. Their Defense give up a lot of passing yards and the Eagles are a team who desperately need to stretch the field and throw down the field.
Going hand in hand with that, the Giants have also fallen victim to a few impressive tight end performances this season:
Jordan Reed: 4 rec, 56 yards
Kyle Rudolph: 5 rec, 55 yards
Lance Kendricks: 7 rec, 55 yards
For a handful of reasons, Zach Ertz has been underwhelming to this point..but that could all change on Sunday if the Eagles are intent on challenging the Giants Secondary..and it’s going to need to if the Birds are to go toe-to-toe with the G-Men.
The undrafted rookie will be active for the first time this weekend after the team released Josh Huff. Since arriving in Philadelphia, Treggs has watched from the sideline as the receivers have endured a rollercoaster of a season. Although versatile, the team lack someone who can get separation on the outside regularly. Treggs may start out his Eagles career fielding kicks and punts with the occasional screen, or he could burst onto the field and give the Eagles a level of depth they have been missing all year.
It remains to be seen just how much responsibility the former Cal speedster is going to take on, but with the Eagles needing a deep threat..he could be primed for quite the debut.
The development of Jalen Mills has been one of the most exciting things to watch as the season has progressed. His awareness, technique and instinct have all improved as games have gone by and his playing time has increased due to injuries. But he could face his toughest test yet this weekend.
Surprisingly, Jalen Mills was tasked with slot duties last weekend alongside Malcolm Jenkins, opening yet another can of versatility. But on Sunday, he could well be tasked with covering one of the league’s most explosive receivers, Odell Beckham Jr.
His role has become so varied that it’s almost difficult to predict where Mills will play on any given Sunday, but the Giants have a flurry of dynamic receivers that will challenge even the most refined secondaries. The spotlight will be diverted away, instead focusing on the Offense..but is this the week Jalen Mills swings it back to him?
The Giants Offensive Line is questionable at best, giving up 17 sacks in just 7 games. That number alone will leave the Eagles front four licking their lips in anticipation..but a shaky Eli Manning only adds to the equation.
After receiving a shattering contract extension during the offseason, Fletcher Cox has had a quieter 2016 than many anticipated, but he has still been a handful for Defenses and has turned the tide when the team needed it most.
Cox should thrive against the Giants in a game that could see him have his most dominant performance of the year.
Carson Wentz was incredibly accurate against the Cowboys and protected the ball well, but averaged just 3.7 yards per attempt..and 3.1 air yards per passing effort. The Eagles simply HAVE to put trust in their quarterback to make a big play and throw down the field..and that’s where the focus is going to be this weekend.
There have been times where Wentz has set the world on fire and other times where the Eagles have kept him on a leash and let him light a match. His maturity and overall game has been impressive, but the anchor weighing him down has often caused the errors he’s prone to..(more on that in an article later). The Giants Secondary give up the 10th most passing yards per game in the NFL..and both Wentz and the Eagles simply have to take advantage of that if they’re going to walk out of the MetLife stadium with a win.
Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports