Eagles

Giants a pushover? Brandon Graham warns Eagles not so fast

Brandon Graham sees the film, just like everybody else sees the film. He sees the stats, just like everybody else sees the stats. He sees the standings, just like everyone else.
 
And he keeps reminding his teammates not to get caught up in any of it.
 
"As the leader, I'm trying to make sure everybody just has the mindset of, 'Let's just do what we do,'" Graham said. "If we prepare well, we'll play well.
 
"Don't worry about what the stats say. Don't worry about what they've done in the past. Just go out there and let's do us and we'll figure everything out Sunday as we play."
 
The Eagles face the Giants at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Linc in their home opener. The Eagles are 1-1 but looking for a 2-0 NFC East start.
 
The Giants are 0-2 and have one touchdown, 13 points and just 503 yards of offense after losses to the Cowboys and Lions.
 
The last team to score one touchdown in its first two games and reach the playoffs was the 2003 Eagles.
 
"We're trying to not focus on how they struggled because they're not going to struggle against us unless we make them," Graham said. "Unless we go out there and do what we do. And that's what we try to preach each week.
 
"Because you get excited sometimes when you see other teams doing what they do, but it doesn't ever work out the same way you know when you play a certain team. You think you're supposed to beat them because this team beat them and you beat that team? But it don't matter. On any given Sunday, and that's the truth."
 
The Giants are allowing a sack every 11.4 pass plays, fifth-worst in the NFL. The Eagles are recording a sack every 11.8 pass plays, third-best in the NFL.

They should feast on this O-line (see 5 matchups to watch).
 
The Eagles have won 13 of the last 17 meetings with the Giants. When the Eagles record two or more sacks, they're 7-1 vs. the Giants since 2009.
 
The Giants, last in the NFL in rushing this year, have just four rushing TDs against the Eagles in the last 14 meetings. 
 
The Giants have only four offensive touchdowns in five games at the Linc since 2012.
 
"We're going to try to beat them while they're down, but we know they're going to fight because it's us," Graham said. "That's why I love this game. Because it don't matter what we did last week, we've got another opportunity to make up for last week, get better at what we didn't get better at.
 
"I'm sure that's their mindset. We know they want to get back in the winning column and we just don't want it to start with us."
 
Graham has 2½ sacks so far, Fletcher Cox has two and Tim Jernigan 1½. Mychal Kendricks and Chris Long also have sacks for the Eagles.
 
On Sunday, Vinny Curry will draw struggling Giants left tackle Ereck Flowers.
 
But really, this entire Eagles defensive line has played well so far.
 
Last year, like this year, the Eagles started out fast up front. The defensive line had 12 sacks in the first four games then recorded just eight in the next eight games.
 
Graham said the key to maintaining that pressure this year will be forgetting who is getting the sacks and just concentrating on playing sound team ball.
 
"I think we kind of got away (from that)," he said. "We were stressing too much about the sacks instead of just working together.
 
"Right now we're just focusing on just working together. Working together as a group. And if we do that, the sacks are going to come if we are where we're supposed to be.
 
"I think it's just nice because everybody's not focused on me and Fletch. Everybody's focused on Vinny and Timmy Jernigan and Chris Long, DB (Derek Barnett). We have a bunch of guys who can come in and get the job done as well as the first group."
 
Graham and Cox will always be the focus of opposing offenses. But unlike last year, when they were really the only legit sack producers up front, they have help this year.
 
"They kind of still slide to me and Fletch, but when Timmy got his sack, they started sliding Timmy's way," Graham said. "Then when I got my sack because I had 1-on-1 with my guy. they started sliding my way.
 
"It's up to whoever gets the 1-on-1 to make the play. I try to take two so I can help one of my guys get a 1-on-1 and get freed up. Hopefully, it's Fletch because I know if he gets a 1-on-1 you know he's going to dominate every time.
 
"I feel the same way about everybody in this group. For me, I'm not really worried about if I get doubled or tripled, because I know somebody's open. I just hope they make the play."
 
The Eagles can go a long way toward knocking the Giants out of the NFC East race early with a win Sunday.
 
The Eagles are just 4-7 in their last 11 home openers.
 
"It's big," Graham said. "We're trying to go 2-0 in the NFC East and 2-1 overall.
 
"When you look back on seasons, you can't let games like this slip. When teams are down like this, they're going to give us their best shot, so we've got to be ready."