5 Most Important Keys to New York Giants Victory Over Philadelphia Eagles
The New York Giants are in for their biggest road test of the season as they look to defeat the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial field on Sunday Night Football. Coming off a complete thrashing of the Carolina Panthers, the Giants are expected to contend in this game and most believe the Giants will pull this one out.
That scares me.
While there are certainly exceptions to this, most of the time when the Giants come into a game as a favorite they have a let down game. Case in point: the Eagles beat the Giants 17-10 in MetLife Stadium despite Michael Vick not playing at all in that game. The Giants were supposed to run away with that game, but the Eagles defense made work of the Giants and Vince Young made the Giants defense look silly. They also lost to the Washington Redskins (twice) and the Seattle Seahawks last year. Those are games they had no business losing.
With how bad the Eagles have looked so far, it wouldn't surprise me in any way, shape or form if they came out and just put a beating on the Giants. Though I don't imagine Eli Manning will let the game get too out of hand.
Here are five keys to victory if the Giants want to avoid a let down game, and the fire Tom Coughlin messages from meat head fans that would no doubt follow.
Eli Manning Cannot Turn the Ball Over
I'm going to sound like a broken record with this one, but Manning cannot have a quarter like the second against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He threw three awful interceptions, all of which led to 21 points by the Bucs. It was a miracle they came back and won that game, but I wouldn't expect the same result with this Eagles offense. Giving them extra possessions is a big mistake.
Containing Michael Vick
Michael Vick has been a turnover machine this season, but the Giants cannot count on him doing them any favors. They have to continue to use their working formula—bringing pressure to Vick's left side—and stop the big plays. Antrel Rolle might not play in this game, which would be a huge loss for the Giants.
Slowing Down LeSean McCoy
LeSean McCoy has been a Giant killer in his short time with the Eagles, and the only constant for the Eagles offense so far this season has been McCoy. He is one of the best running backs in the league, and if he has a big game the Giants have little chance of winning. He's got 303 yards from scrimmage so far this season, so the Giants will have their hands full.
Victor Cruz Must Make a Big Play
There is nothing that quiets a hostile crowd more than a big touchdown play by the road team. Victor Cruz is the best big play wide receiver in football right now, and the Giants will need him to come up with one Sunday night. Even if he does not score on the play, a big play often ignites the offense and leads to points, which will come at a premium against the Eagles defense. Cruz had two big games against the Eagles last year, including his coming out party when he torched the Eagles for three catches, 110 yards and two spectacular touchdowns.
The Offensive Line Has to be Successful in Running Game
The Giants have to be able to run the ball effectively to have any hope of winning this game. In the two games last year, the running game was night and day and it showed in the results. The Giants ran the ball well at Philly and won 29-16, but the Eagles defense thoroughly manhandled the Giants offensive line in the Week 11 rematch and the Giants lost 17-10. Hopefully last week's game is an indication of improvement in the offensive line as the Giants ran for 125 yards on 29 carries. The new combination of Sean Locklear at right tackle and Will Beatty at left tackle has been better so far, but the Eagles have one of the best defensive lines in football. Sunday will be a huge test for the Giants' front, and hopefully they answer the bell.