5 Players Philadelphia Eagles Need an Impact From to Win vs. New York Giants
5 Players Philadelphia Eagles Need an Impact from to Win vs. New York Giants
Through four weeks of football, the Philadelphia Eagles have not exactly met the expectations that surrounded Chip Kelly’s inaugural season. The offense has been inconsistent, in producing points, and the defense, which wasn’t expected to do much, has been dreadful. They are lucky at this point to have a win under their belt and be sitting in second place in the NFC East heading into Week 5. A matchup with the winless New York Giants may be just what the doctor ordered for the Eagles as they attempt to climb up the ladder and make themselves a relevant divisional opponent once again.
Philadelphia has lacked consistent production on offense in many cases, but two stars continue to shoulder the load. Michael Vick began the season winning the starting quarterback job and silencing many of his critics. Since then, with the exception of one game against the Kansas City Chiefs, he has done a stellar job of protecting the football and making plays with his legs helping to make the Eagles more dangerous in the spread offense. By his side, LeSean McCoy has been nothing short of amazing. Leading the NFL in rushing yards and rushing yards per game, he has really taken the reins of Kelly’s offense and made it his own. He has demonstrated his development into the complete back, becoming dangerous in both the rushing and passing attacks on a weekly basis.
On defense, Philadelphia has been a roller coaster. Looking like the complete package for one half of football, they now sit as the worst defense in the league, giving up more yards per game than any other team. The only conciliation that the Eagles carry into Sunday is that the Giants allow more points per game than they do. Any positive that Philadelphia can gain from their less-than-acceptable defense will be a plus in this divisional rivalry.
If Philadelphia plans to walk away from the Meadowlands with a win and provide themselves a chance to share first place in the division, players on both sides of the ball need to impact the game and contribute on the level which was expected of them entering the season.
#5 Zach Ertz
Zach Ertz, since being drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles, hasn’t really been given the opportunities to effect the game as often as many had hoped. He’s caught a few passes for large chunks of yards, but overall has not been included in the offensive plan. His large body and ability to be included in the vertical game, due to his speed, make him a must-use option for the Eagles this week to become more threatening on offense. Michael Vick could use another reliable pass catcher and his success would help to take some of the load from DeSean Jackson.
#4 DeSean Jackson
DeSean Jackson has had his ups and downs this season with little support from the rest of the receiving corps. Philadelphia has yet to be really bold with decisions affecting the game, but seeing Jackson in the return game this week could have a large effect on the outcome. If the Eagles can get the tight ends involved, it will open Jackson up in the passing game as well and make him the dangerous option he’s been in the past against the divisional foe, New York Giants.
#3 Fletcher Cox
The pressure will be on the Eagles' defensive front to produce what many have shown as the blueprint for taking advantage of the Giants. Putting pressure on Eli Manning, along with a shaky offensive line, and forcing him into unwanted early throws and sacks has been a key to the Giants' downfall. Fletcher Cox is the man on the Philadelphia front who can build confidence for the lackluster defense by getting to the quarterback. If the defense is to show improvement and provide any support for the offense, Cox will need to build his sack total before days end.
#2 DeMeco Ryans
DeMeco Ryans was brought to Philadelphia to fill the role in the linebacking corps of stop gap. Improving the run defense would provide stability for the group and allow defensive coordinator Billy Davis with the option to show some different looks. The Giants run attack is not what it once was, but allowing them too much success early could spell disaster for the Eagles in the end. Ryans will be looked upon to have a big game, keeping David Wilson under wraps, possibly even gaining a turnover from the fumble-prone back. His contributions will be instrumental in leading the Eagles, if they are to gain a victory.
#1 Cary Williams
Cary Williams will have the most important job of the day against the New York Giants. The one weapon which has continued to be constant in New York is wide receiver Victor Cruz. To this point, Williams has been disappointing in both his coverage of the opposition's top receiver and his leadership. The Eagles will count on him turning in a solid performance against a top receiver to give them the upper hand in a divisional matchup. Williams has demonstrated the ability to pick the quarterback, and with Manning giving the ball away like candy, don’t be surprised if Williams comes away with one before the day's through.