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5 New York Giants Players Who Must Have A Big Game In Week 5

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New York Giants: 5 Players That Must Step Up Their Game In Week 5

New York Giants
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants need to win this week against the Philadelphia Eagles. I know that every week from here on out is a must-win, but the Giants need to start winning now. Ignoring the fact that they have lost four-straight games and are dead last in the NFC East, the Giants are going up against one of their biggest rivals.

The Giants may be forgiven for being humiliated by teams like the Carolina Panthers and Kansas City Chiefs, but being destroyed by the archrival Eagles will be a sin that will result in the wrath from passionate fans and the New York media.

Yet, this Sunday is not only about beating the hated Eagles and salvaging the season, but to bring dignity back to a Giants team who is the laughing stock of the NFL. Most importantly, this is a make or break game for some of the players on the squad. Everyone knows that the Giants offensive and defensive lines are at fault for their previous two losses, but there are specific players who must improve if they want to play for this team.

No, I’m not trying to suggest that the players within this slide show must play better in order to keep their long-term jobs. What I am saying is that if the five players in this slide show do not play at their highest level, Tom Coughlin will not hesitate to bench a few of his starters. This season Tom Coughlin benched David Wilson for fumbling the football against the Dallas Cowboys. Who’s to say that he wouldn’t do the same thing to his senior players?

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5. Justin Tuck

New York Giants
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Tuck couldn't have asked for a worse start to the 2013 season. He’s totaled 19 tackles and only nine of those have been solos. He hasn’t recorded a sack, and with the exception of a few big tackles last weekend against the Chiefs, he’s had a minimal impact on the first four games. As the captain of this team, Tuck must start being the playmaker he once was. After the Giants lost to the Chiefs, Tuck told the New York Daily News, “if anyone turns on our coach, I would be the first one to punch them in the mouth. And put that in print. It better not happen, I know that.” Those are fighting words coming from a true leader, but now he has to take that warrior attitude and put it to his play on the field. If the Giants' defense fail to hold back a talented Eagles' offense, watch for Tuck to be one of the players to take the fall.

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4. Jason Pierre-Paul

New York Giants
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Pierre-Paul has been one of the biggest busts so far for the Giants. Either he has not fully recovered from his back surgery after the 2012 season or his talent level has dropped significantly. Regardless of the reason, the Giants cannot beat anyone without the Pierre-Paul of old. During the 2011 season, his best year as a Giant, the defensive line would destroy opposing offenses. This year has been a different story. He is currently standing at a career-low 12 total tackles and has only record one sack. He must start turning his game around versus the Eagles or he might be in jeopardy of losing his starting spot.

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3. Josh Brown

New York Giants
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

With the Giants struggling in all phases, the special teams are another area in which they need improvement. The leader of the poor special team is Josh Brown, who through the past two games, has missed two critical field goals. Last week against the Chiefs, with six seconds left in the first half, Brown missed a 44-yard game-tying field goal that would’ve given the Giants momentum going into halftime. Instead, the Giants came out in the third quarter looking drained of energy and couldn’t produce anything on offense. While the Giants don't have anyone else who can kick field goals, Brown must show up for this upcoming game against the Eagles if he wants to avoid being tarnished by the New York media.

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2. Will Beatty

New York Giants
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Will Beatty has been one of many offensive linemen who are responsible for Eli Manning being under siege for the past two games. He represents everything that needs to improve on the front line in order to giving Manning more time to throw the ball to his receivers. Through the past two games, Beatty has allowed numerous defensive linemen to come through the line, which either has lead to Manning being sacked or him turning the ball over. Beatty and the rest of the offensive line need to show the league that they are capable of stopping a poor Eagles defense. If they can hold them back and the Giants win, fans will slowly start to forgive an offensive line that has been average at best.

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1. Eli Manning

New York Giants
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Eli Manning is the only player in this slideshow that does not have to worry about his job security. With two Super Bowls under his belt, Manning is the Giants starting quarterback from now until whenever he says otherwise. That doesn't mean that we can't be critical of him. I'm getting tired of Giants fans of blaming Manning's erratic passes on a poor offensive line. Last week against the Chiefs, Manning had more time to throw the ball than he did against the Panthers. While I'd agree that the line wasn't great, there were plenty of opportunities for Manning to be the difference maker. Through the first four games of the season, Manning has totaled a quarterback rating of 69. That rating is less than under fire Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub who has a rating of 85. He leads the league with 9 interceptions and, with the exception of masterful work with Victor Cruz, he clearly isn't on the same page with his other receivers. Those numbers aren't going to cut it for a quarterback that needs to produce in order for the Giants to win games. Regardless of the time he is given this week against the Eagles, Manning has a chance to restart his season and be the quarterback we all know to be elite.