Four players to keep an eye on when the (2-10) New York Giants look to end their eight-game losing streak against the (5-7) Philadelphia Eagles.
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ—It’s been nearly three months since the New York Giants won a game. Now, they prepare to face a Philadelphia Eagles team looking to win so that they can be tied at the top of the NFC East with the Dallas Cowboys.
The Eagles have had their way with the Giants over the last several years. The Giants haven’t defeated the Eagles since Week 9 of the 2016 season and haven’t won in Philadelphia since 2013.
If the Giants are going to pull off the upset, they’ll have to play their best game of the year, and have several key players step up on Monday night.
With Daniel Jones out with a high ankle sprain, Eli Manning returns as the starter to make his 233rd start for the Giants and his first since Week 2.
After sitting on the bench for nearly three months, it wouldn’t shock anybody if we saw rust from Manning. He was asked early this week if he can return to the starting lineup and be sharp.
“Yeah, you’re still practicing, you’re still out there,” Manning said. “Sometimes you’re running other people’s plays but you’re still throwing it, hitting guys in stride and trying to throw it accurately and doing all of the drills. Hope to get back there and be sharp.”
In addition to seeing whether or not he’s sharp or not, it will be interesting to see his approach to the game. Will he be bold and take chances downfield against an Eagles defense that gave up 365 passing yards last week to Ryan Fitzpatrick? Or, will he be cautious and check the ball down to Saquon Barkley?
Does Manning have one more big game end him and lead his team to victory? Or, will he be unable to shake the rust and his regular record drops to 116-117?
The rookie has been the most impressive wideout for the Giants as he leads the team in receiving yards (505) and receiving touchdowns (5). But he, along with Golden Tate, have never caught a pass from Manning in a regular-season game and there’s uncertainty on how he’ll and the rest will fair with the quarterback change.
Slayton is fast and runs great routes and the Eagles have been vulnerable to fast receivers all season. But will Darius Slayton be able to take advantage of the Eagles secondary with Manning at the helm?
Immediately following the Giants’ loss to the Packers, Janoris Jenkins voiced his frustration on not being able to follow the opposing teams’ best receiver.
The Eagles have an obvious number one wide receiver in Alshon Jeffery, who has 43 receptions despite missing three games this season. Jenkins was asked if he’s matched up on Jeffery, what kind of matchup would that be for him?
“If, well I mean, it is a nice matchup,” Jenkins replied. “He’s a big guy, a really big guy, he likes to use his body a lot, not that fast. But you know I’m going to go out there and have fun.”
Jenkins claims he spoke to Pat Shurmur and defensive coordinator James Bettcher this week, and the conversation went well. But we’ll have to see if on Monday night they allow Jenkins to follow Jeffery.
In his four games with the Giants, Leonard Williams has yet to make a major impact in the game. He has just 10 tackles and zero sacks. Due to this, many Giants fans are frustrated with the fact that the team traded two draft picks for a player who has yet to make a significant impact.
Defensive line coach Gary Emanuel came to the defense of Williams and the notion that he hasn’t made an impact because his numbers don’t tell the whole story.
“Well, you can’t look at players always as numbers,” Emanuel said. “He has been disruptive. He’s doing some things against the run and the pass, he’s affecting the quarterback, he’s making him move off of his spot. He’s just missing the sack plays and things like that. But he’s having an impact on defense.”
Can the 25-year-old Williams standout on Monday and show that he was worth trading for? Or, will he have another subpar performance?