Will Eli Manning’s return provide the spark the New York Giants need to end their eight-game losing streak on Monday night?
The New York Giants (2-10) will look to end their eight-game losing streak as they travel to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles (5-7) at Lincoln Financial Field on Monday Night Football.
Playing in Philadelphia has been a house of horrors for the Giants. Their last win against the Eagles in Philly came in 2013, but despite their woes over their divisional foe, head coach Pat Shurmur expects a solid effort from his team.
The return of Eli Manning to the lineup could re-energize the team and give them a boost. However, an upset will require four quarters of sound football.
Here are the keys to victory for the Giants.
This has been an issue with the Giants all season long. They have turned the ball over 28 times which has led to a -14 turnover differential. Daniel Jones has been the culprit for many of these turnovers as he has 21 turnovers on the season (11 interceptions and 10 lost fumbles).
With the 16-year veteran Manning back under center, one would expect the Giants to do a better job keeping hold of the football.
Get pressure on Carson Wentz
Everyone knows the secondary is the weakest unit of the Giants defense. So it’s imperative that the front seven pressures Carson Wentz and not allow him time to pick apart the secondary.
Last week, the Giants were unable to sack Aaron Rodgers. Earlier this week, I asked defensive line coach Gary Emanuel what the team needs to do to get pressure on Carson Wentz.
“We just have to improve on the technique, we have to do a better job upfront, we have to have tighter coverage,” Emanuel said. “It all works together. It’s like stopping the run. It all works together, the run and the pass.”
The Eagles offensive line has given up 30 sacks this season and the Giants defensive front seven needs to win their one on one battles and put pressure on Wentz.
Keep Manning upright
It’s tough to expect the Giants to completely shut out the Philly offense, so any Giants victory will likely be a high-scoring affair. In order for the Giants to put up points, the offensive line is going to have to keep Manning upright against an Eagles defense that has registered 34 sacks on the season, led by Brandon Graham’s 7.5 sacks.
Get Saquon Barkley involved early and often
In the two games against the Eagles last season, Saquon Barkley ran the ball 26 times for 231 yards and two touchdowns. He also had 16 receptions for 140 yards and a receiving touchdown.
Last week against the Packers, Barkley had his most productive game on the ground since returning from his high ankle sprain. His 83 yards on 19 carries in a return to form. The Eagles defense has been stingy against the run, giving up just 91 yards a game, but the Giants have to make sure Barkley gets involved often throughout the game.
Let someone other than Ertz and Jeffery beat you
Carson Wentz’s favorite targets are tight end Zach Ertz and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. The duo has a combined for 113 receptions for 1,226 yards and seven touchdowns. The rest of the Eagles playmakers are inconsistent and it would behoove defensive coordinator James Bettcher to come up with a scheme to contain Ertz and Jeffery and let someone else beat them.
Having Janoris Jenkins cover Jeffery would be a favorable matchup for the Giants but it will be tricky to try to contain Ertz as he lines up all over the field.
You can’t trust the Giants to stop any offense at this point and Manning will have a hard time shaking off the rust. History also isn’t on the Giants’ side as they’re 1-7 in Monday Night games against the Eagles. The Eagles will come away with another victory.
Eagles 31, Giants 23