The Eagles (5-7) are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Dolphins and will host the Giants (2-10) on Monday Night Football at the Linc.
The Giants haven’t won a game since Sept. 29, but the Eagles have lost three in a row.
Here are five matchups to watch on Monday:
Eli Manning vs. Jim Schwartz
Rookie Daniel Jones has a high ankle sprain, so it sounds like the 38-year-old veteran will be starting on Monday night. The Giants’ offense will look different with Manning. Schwartz explained that the Giants have been using some zone read with Jones and they certainly won’t with Manning. We know the ball is going to come out of his hands quickly.
“It's going to be important to cover quick and get to the quarterback quick and knock their timing off of their passing game when Eli is back there, because he's such a timing quarterback,” Schwartz said.
Last season, Manning’s average time to throw was 2.65 seconds. This year, Jones’ average time to throw is 2.88 seconds. That’s a pretty big difference.
Evan Engram vs. Malcolm Jenkins
The Giants’ talented tight end hasn’t played since Nov. 4 because of a foot sprain but will likely return against the Eagles this weekend. In eight games this season, Engram has 44 catches for 467 yards and three touchdowns.
In two career games against the Eagles, Engram has 13 catches for 132 yards.
The good news is that the Eagles have performed fairly well against tight ends this season. They’ve given up 50 passes, 533 yards and four touchdowns against opposing tight ends. Just eight teams have given up fewer yards to opposing tight ends.
Saquon Barkley vs. Eagles’ linebackers
It probably has something to do with the ankle injury he suffered earlier in the season, but Barkley hasn’t followed up his Pro Bowl rookie season with another big year. This year, in nine games, he has just 544 rushing yards and 291 receiving yards and just three total touchdowns after he had 15 last year.
His rushing yards per attempt have dropped from 5.0 in 2018 to 4.0 this season. What’s even more noteworthy is that his average yards after contact per attempt have dropped from 2.8 to 1.9 this season. He hasn’t been the same.
Still, Barkley was great against the Eagles last year:
Week 6: 13 carries, 130 yards, 1 TD, 9 receptions, 99 yards
Week 12: 13 carries, 101 yards, 1 TD, 7 receptions, 41 yards, 1 TD
That’s 371 yards from scrimmage for Barkley against the Eagles last year. Just five players have ever had more yards from scrimmage against the Eagles in a single season: Tiki Barber, Emmitt Smith, Jim Brown (x2), Herschel Walker, Ezekiel Elliott.
The Eagles need to be sure to slow down Barkley on Monday.
Golden Tate vs. Avonte Maddox, Cre’Von LeBlanc
The former Eagles receiver is expected to return from a concussion to play in this game. Tate played the second half of the 2018 season with the Eagles last year and wasn’t very productive. Look at his numbers in 10 games with the Eagles (including playoffs) and his numbers in seven games with the Giants this year:
2018 with Eagles: 10 games, 37 catches, 342 yards, two touchdowns
2019 with Giants: 7 games, 36 catches, 450 yards, four touchdowns
With an entire offseason, the Giants have been far more successful plugging Tate into their offense. Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby really struggled against the Dolphins, so it covered up the fact that Maddox didn’t play very well either. We’ll see what the split at the nickel is this week, but Maddox or LeBlanc will need to cover Tate, who still gets most of his snaps in the slot.
Carson Wentz vs. Giants’ pass defense
I know they lost and I know the offense struggled to score in the second half in Miami, but Wentz had a pretty good game. He threw for 310 yards and three touchdowns. He had his only interception on the Hail Mary that he was forced to throw because the defense couldn’t stop the Dolphins at all. Before that Hail Mary, Wentz’s passer rating was over 100.
The Giants are the eighth-worst passing defense in the league, giving up 258.6 passing yards per game. And you have to remember that they’ve lost six games by at least two touchdowns, so teams aren’t even trying to pass on them for whole games. Janoris Jenkins has recently voiced his frustration about not traveling. First-round pick DeAndre Baker hasn’t had a great rookie season and he’s been rotating in and out.
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