Eagles-Giants Preview

Sunday, November 9, 2008 ·



Cue the NFL Films music. Tonight "should" be a good battle between a very good football team and a team who was a short time ago highly respected in the NFC. The Eagles and Giants will meet for the first time this season under the bright shiny lights of Financial Field. An Eagles win today shakes the entire division up. A loss puts them in last place (Cowboys hold the tie-breaker) and 0-3 in the division.

I'll be honest with you, the Giants might not be exactly better talent wise, but they play like the better team. They are the better "team." The defending champion Giants are coming in to Philadelphia with a 7-1 records, the best in the NFC. The Giants are able to run the ball for 162 yards per game and unless the Eagles find a way to get a lot of team tackles to bring down big Brandon Jacobs, it could be a long night.

Both teams are ranked in the top 6 both offensively and defensively. Neither teams allows a bunch of sacks, so the protection is there if they need to pass. Both teams run a similar aggressive defensive scheme and I wonder why...oh yeah, it is teacher (Jim Johnson) versus student (Steve Spagnuolo).

More analysis after the jump.

If the Eagles offense wants to be successful, they will need to try to establish the run because the Giants defense has been so good against the pass (even when they've built up large early leads). Andy Reid NEVER attempts to establish a running game, so we'll see what happens. If the somehow Reid changes is game plan for once, the Eagles should be able to go over the top with some deep passes to either Jackson, Curtis, or Brown.

LJ Smith returns to the lineup, but he hasn't been a factor in this offense in a few years. Just proves the stubborness of Reid. Why start shitty, terrible, can't block to save a life LJ Smith over Brent Celek who just came off a 6 catch, 131 yard game. Celek can get open and catch the ball with two hands when he is open. LJ is a liability. Against the pass rush, I'd expect the TE position to be ineffective because they'll likely have to stay in and help block if the Reid calls his same predictable offense.

Defensively, the Eagles are going to have to try to force Eli Manning to win the game for the Giants. Obviously, stopping the Giants running attack will be an extremely tough task, but this defense has done it before. Jacobs is a North-South runner so they will not have to worry about him cutting back and forth much. The linebackers and safeties need to make sure they wrap up Jacobs legs if they want to bring him down. If they try to hit him high, they'll lose every single time.

If somehow the Eagles take away the running game, they'll look to apply pressure on Manning with different packages. Manning still makes questionable decisions, but he has definitely matured as a quarterback. He's not very good on the run and they could force him to make mistakes and turn the ball over.

Tonight, more than ever, the Eagles need to look for the turn over. The Eagles offense needs to try to establish long drives to keep our defense off the field. We have a problem with 3-and-outs so we'll see if Reid can establish a working gameplan.

Key Players
- Hank Baskett - because of the agressive Giants pass rush, I'd like to see the Eagles throw a couple jump balls to their big receiver, especially down in the red zone.

- David Akers - Akers will need to make sure has deep kickoffs and stays accurate with his field goals. We cannot afford to give the Giants extra field position.

- Steward Bradley - Bradley is going to have to be huge if the Eagles are going to stop Brandon Jacobs and company.

- Andy Reid - try something new.

Come on Birds, we need this one! Show a sense of urgency!

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We Hate to Lose began in October 2007. The initial purpose of the website was to provide news updates and commentary on all four major sports teams in Philadelphia. Because of time-constraints, in April of 2009, I decided to post only on my first-love, the Philadelphia Phillies.

My name is Justin Evans and I hope you enjoy the site.

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