I never thought I would have to say this but given the current situation of the Eagles, they’re heading into a pivotal week 7 matchup with the New York Giants. A matchup that could define the rest of the season for the Eagles. If the Eagles lose then they have to think heavily about being sellers at the deadline and getting ahead of their future cap situation. If they win though, they’ll be taking a big step in the right direction.
Here are five players to watch for against the Giants:
You’re going to want to keep your eyes on Fulgham for many reasons. One is that you’re still trying to sell yourself on this practice squad hero becoming an overnight sensation and the WR1 of the Philadelphia Eagles. Well, it’s happening. He had some big catches against the Ravens and an even bigger stat line against the Steelers. Two teams that are considered to be among the top defenses in the NFL.
So far this season, Fulgham has rallied 284 receiving yards on 18 receptions with three touchdowns, becoming the first Eagles receiver to score a touchdown in his three starts since Terell Owens. He’s also averaging 94.7 yards per game which is unheard of for an Eagles receiver under this regime.
The team will be getting back a healthy DeSean Jackson, so the world will be watching how that affects the Eagles budding star. My guess is with DeSean’s injury history, it shouldn’t factor into less field time or targets for Fulgham. Remember, Carson loves the hungriest players more than anything. He loves to play with underdogs more than anything as well, keep that in mind.
Hightower is another receiver to keep your eyes on. With Greg Ward Jr manning the slot it’ll be interesting to see how much of Hightower’s playing time does DeSean cut into. The fact of the matter is that both players bring the same thing to the field and while DeSean is a more reliable catcher, Hightower has been the Eagles’ best route runner thus far.
Hightower has been great when it comes to separation but his hands have been the biggest cause for concern. His average depth of target (Targeted Air Yards) is a league-high 21.7, which means Wentz is looking for the rookie when he’s downfield but as you’ve seen in the last two weeks, Hightower has struggled to bring it in. He’s also last in the league in catch % at 42%. How much of Hightower’s snap that Jackson cuts into will be very key as the Eagles could use the rookie’s legs and availability more than the often injured Jackson against the Giants.
Sweat has been on a tear so far this season. He’s tallied 3 sacks so far which is one shy of his toys last season but the growth has been significant. Schwartz has been relying on the third-year pro in his limited snaps but Sweat has been making it count. Sweat has been making his presence known to opposing offenses as he tallied five total tackles, three tackles for loss, and a pass defended in just 36 snaps against the Ravens.
Sweat’s growth has forced Schwartz to raise the number of snaps he’s playing for them this season. Last season, Sweat played in 35% of the snaps. As for this season, he’s already at 50%. Keep your eyes on Sweat as he goes up against a very shaky Giants offensive line. He could be due for a big game.
Darius Slay has been more than just an anchor for this defense but he’s been the modeled cornerback for what the Eagles have needed in all these years. While he has yet to catch an interception, this matchup may give him that opportunity. The last time that a Darius Slay team faced Daniel Jones was last season as a Lion. Jones put up a damn good stat line that somehow resulted in a loss still but Slay was out for that game.
Now the veteran gets to have a second look at Jones but this time he’ll be on the field. Whether last seasons sideline view gives him an advantage or not is yet to be determined. Slay will most likely matchup against speedster Darius Slayton in a game that could determine who earns the name big play slay. My money is on the guy who has yet to allow a touchdown.
Wentz has had some big games against the Giants in recent history. He’s currently riding a 6 game winning streak against the New York Giants and his head coach just so happens to be undefeated on Thursday Nights. Wentz will have Lane Johnson back but we don’t know just how effective he will be as with DeSean Jackson who is also returning but if we know anything about Wentz is that he plays bigger when he has less. Yes, Wentz has won some of his biggest games with fewer big names around him.
Carson has an opportunity to get right against a team that’s struggling just like his. He needs to find his footing and expand his chemistry with all of the young guys in the lineup. This game is will be huge for Wentz because of the implications it will have on the division. The Eagles are currently 0-1 against their NFC East foes, it’s time for Wentz to change that.
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