The Eagles are just one day away from a clash with the New York Giants and it’s safe to say that there’s plenty to make up for after Sunday’s embarrassing defeat to Minnesota. In order to do so, here are the matchups they need to win.
Eagles pass-rush vs Giants offensive line:
After five weeks of the season, the tenacious Eagles pass rush sits on just 12 sacks, which ranks just inside the top 20 in the NFL. This is largely down to offenses trying to negate the threat by getting the ball out as quickly as possible and reaping the rewards of corners who play away from the line of scrimmage. But if there’s ever a time for the defensive front to kick it up a notch, it’s this week.
The Giants line has been constantly shuffled around this year and most recently, Ereck Flowers, a former first-round selection, was cut form the team and replaced with Brian Mihalik. The G-Men, like the Eagles, are leaking pressure on a regular basis as a result and this could spark a sense of dominance once more.
Eli Manning doesn’t have the legs of Marcus Mariota, the accuracy of Kirk Cousins or the presence of Andrew Luck. A true pocket-passer who continues to make questionable decisions, this could be the biggest opportunity to dominate the Eagles have had all season long.
Saquon Barkley vs Eagles defense:
Saquon needs no introduction, especially to fans based in the Philadelphia area. The rookie running back tore the NCCA to shreds at Penn State and is somehow still finding ways to be explosive behind a porous Giants offensive line. He may only have 308 yards through 5 games, but his 274 receiving yards boast a huge red flag to an Eagles defense that continues to leak yardage on intermediate routes and in the cushion of space underneath linebackers.
The Eagles run defense has been the best in the NFL this season and Barkley is going to have a very hard time gaining ground through the trenches, but can the same be said for corners, safeties and linebackers who have all whiffed on tackles? Make no mistake, the defensive front will frustrate Barkley, but this is still a name you cannot ignore.
Jalen Mills vs Odell Beckham Jr
Oh, Jalen. The Eagles corner has been criticized, vilified and completely ripped apart by fans and media alike in the opening five games of the season. Biting on double moves, giving up penalties and huge plays have left Mills struggling to find any sense of consistency…and chirping off to Adam Thielen just minutes after allowing a huge play forced Fletcher Cox to intervene.
If recent history dictates, Odell Beckham could be a man set to punish Jalen Mills….to the surprise of absolutely nobody. Beckham leads the team with 462 receiving yards and of course, Ronald Darby will be the man who starts covering him to being with…until the Giants begin to shake things up and try to attack Mills. Will the Eagles leave Darby shadowing Beckham?
Alshon Jeffery vs Janoris Jenkins
The Jackrabbit already has two picks this season and seems to be only getting better for the ballhawk. This week, he faces a big-bodied wideout who seems to have rekindled his old form. With the Eagles suffering one of the highest drop-rates in the NFL, the return of Jeffery cannot be overstated. His impact opening up the offense has been huge and his 100-yard game on his first game back and faces a strong competitor in Jenkins.
Alshon was a little less productive against the Vikings, but can Jenkins ensure that dip continues? Or will Alshon prove to be the security blanket he has grown into?
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