The New York Giants must find a way to end their three-game losing streak to the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday if they’re going to keep their season alive.
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY—At 1-4, the New York Giants are in desperate need of a win as they head into their Thursday night showdown with the defending Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles.
If the Giants win on Thursday and the Cowboys and Redskins lose on Sunday, the Giants will find themselves tied in the win column with the rest of the division. If they lose, they’ll be 1-5 and four of their five losses will be in the conference and their season would be all but dead.
If they Giants are going to end their three-game losing streak to the Eagles, there are several things they must do.
1. Deploy a Balanced Offensive Attack
The Eagles have the second best run defense in the league giving up just 66.4 yards per game on the ground. Despite the Eagles stout run defense, the Giants cannot afford to be one dimensional.
They need to showcase a balanced attack of Eli Manning passing, and a heavy dose of Saquon Barkley rushing the pigskin. There’s a chance of rain on Thursday night, which means the ground game needs to be emphasized.
2. Get Odell Involved Early
It should come as no surprise that the Giants had their best offensive output of the season as Odell Beckham Jr. enjoyed his best game of the season last Sunday, catching eight passes for 131 yards and a touchdown. Whether you like what Beckham says on the field or not, there’s no mistaking that as he goes, the Giants offense goes.
While the Eagles are great against the run, their secondary is vulnerable as they have the 23rd-ranked pass defense and have allowed four 100 yard receivers. If Beckham can put forth another 100 yard outing, the Giants stand a good chance of winning.
3. Be Bold
Another reason why the Giants offense woke up out of their funk last week against the Panthers is because they were bold in their play calling. They challenged the Panthers defense deep, they did a trick play with Beckham throwing a touchdown to Barkley, and they had Manning do a quarterback sneak on 4th-and-1.
DID. YOU. SEE. THAT!?! @OBJ to @SAQUON #NYGvsCAR pic.twitter.com/iHVJwwPCTW
— New York Giants (@Giants) October 7, 2018
Head coach Pat Shurmur needs to approach this game with the same mindset. If the Giants are conservative and don’t take chances, they won’t win.
4. Pressure Carson Wentz
Olivier Vernon is expected to make is 2018 debut and the Giants are hopeful that he can provide a spark to their pass rush as the Giants are currently tied for 31st in the league in sacks with six.
The Eagles lost their leading rusher Jay Ajayi for the season last week to a torn ACL. This means their offense will rely more heavily on quarterback Carson Wentz. Wentz has thrown for over 300 yards in his last two games and will look to attack the Giants secondary with tight end Zach Ertz.
The Eagles offense line hasn’t been as formidable as they have been in the past as they’ve allowed 17 sacks this season. If the Giants can’t sack Wentz, they at least need to pressure him and throw off his timing. Expect the Giants to blitz Wentz earlier to get him to the ground and spark the entire defense.
5 Win the Turnover Battle
Many times games are won and lost due to turnovers. The Giants know this better than anybody as they one game they won this season, was the game where they won the turnover battle.
Whether it rains or not, ball security is and always be a priority. The Giants are not good enough to overcome turnovers and giving the Eagles extra possessions. They need to not turn the ball over, and have the defense or special teams unit create a couple of turnovers.
Both teams need a win in the worst way, but the Giants are the more desperate of the two teams. Nobody likes playing on a short week and although the Eagles had a short travel, the Giants playing at home is a huge advantage.
Look for the Giants to snag their first home win of the season.