Eagles

Key matchups in Eagles-Giants focuses on a lopsided battle

Eagles

The Eagles (5-6) are heading to North Jersey this weekend to take on the Giants (3-7) at MetLife Stadium.

Here are five matchups to watch:

Giants OL vs. Eagles DL

In the last two weeks, the Eagles’ defensive line has just one sack. That was Derek Barnett against Teddy Bridgewater in Denver. Last week, the Eagles didn’t bring down Trevor Siemian once. But this is a great example why sacks don’t tell the whole story. Because the Eagles’ defensive line — and some blitzes — have really changed the last two games.

And they’ll have change to do more of the same against the Giants’ offensive line, which is still a weakness. Daniel Jones has been sacked 21 times but he’s under pressure all the time. The Giants have really tried in recent years to shore up their offensive line and it just hasn’t worked. They’ve spent picks and money on the line and it’s still the weakest position on the team.

Freddie Kitchens vs. Jonathan Gannon

The Eagles were already well into their planning for the Giants by the time the Giants laid a complete egg against the Bucs on national television that prompted them to fire offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. It’s very possible the Giants will just be a different kind of bad on Sunday but different is still different. And Gannon will probably have to scramble just a little bit to figure out what the Giants offense will look like with Kitchens calling the plays.

 

How much can this really change in a week?

Saquon Barkley vs. Eagles linebackers

In Year 4, Barkley doesn’t look like the guy who took the NFL by storm in his rookie season with over 2,000 scrimmage yards. After playing just two games in 2020, Barkley has missed more time in 2021. He has played six games. Barkley returned on Monday night after missing time with an ankle injury. He had six carries for 25 yards and six catches for 31 yards.

He might not be the same guy he once was but Barkley will presumably be a little healthier in his second week back and he’s still the Giants’ most dynamic weapon as a runner and as a receiver out of the backfield.

In this game, the Eagles will be without Davion Taylor, who went to IR with a knee injury. That means their top linebackers will be T.J. Edwards and Alex Singleton, with Genard Avery seeing reps in the base package.

Eagles run game vs. Giants run D

There’s no secret about the Eagles’ new offense. They’re going to run the ball until someone stops them. Last week, the NFL’s No. 1 run defense couldn’t do it.

The Giants aren’t nearly as good as the Saints at stopping the run. They are ranked 22nd in the NFL in run defense, giving up 119.7 yards per game on the ground.They gave up 94 on the ground last week against the Bucs but had given up over 100 in the two previous games. The Cowboys ran for 201 against them in Week 5.

The Eagles have their offensive line firing on all cylinders. They’ll miss Jordan Howard (knee) in this game, but they still have Miles Sanders and certified Giants killer Boston Scott.

Eagles interior OL vs. Williams, Lawrence

If you’re looking for a strength of the Giants’ defensive line, they do have a couple former first-round picks on the inside with Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence. They’re two good players and if the Giant are somehow able to stop the run, then the Eagles’ interior will need to hold up against these two guys in pass protection.

Landon Dickerson and Jack Driscoll are two young players at the guard positions. They’ve settled in quite nicely at left and right guard, respectively, but the switch to a heavy running attack seems to have really helped them.

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