New York Giants: Five Players to Watch vs. Philadelphia Eagles in Week 8

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New York Giants: Five Players to Watch vs. Philadelphia Eagles in Week 8
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Eli Manning is 8-11 in his career against the Philadelphia Eagles.
COMMENTARY | Can they make it two wins in a row?

Fresh off their first win of the season, a 23-7 decision against the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football, the New York Giants will face the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, October 27.

Over the last few years, no team has given the Giants more trouble than the Eagles. Including a 36-21 loss at MetLife Stadium in Week 5, New York has dropped nine of its last 11 games against Philadelphia. So, for the G-Men to pull off a division win against Philly, and head into the bye week on a positive note, they'll need big plays from these five players:

QB Eli Manning -- Manning threw for 334 yards and a pair of touchdowns the last time these two teams played each other, but his three fourth-quarter interceptions on consecutive drives doomed New York. If Manning can protect the ball this time, he'll do damage against the Eagles' soft defense. Philly is giving up 311.6 passing yards per game, the second-highest rate in the National Football League.

WR Hakeem Nicks -- Nicks had his best game of this season against the Eagles with nine catches for 142 yards. However, he's mostly struggled since dislocating his finger against the Denver Broncos in Week 2 and hasn't caught a touchdown pass this season. In fact, Nicks only has three touchdowns in his last 20 games. In eight games against the Eagles, he has 35 catches for 527 yards and two TDs.

WR Rueben Randle -- Randle has been up and down this season, but he has four touchdown catches in his last three games and four in his last two games against Philadelphia. The Giants are extremely difficult to defend when the second-year pro is on his game, as the field opens up for Nicks and Victor Cruz. With Big Blue's running game in disarray, look for Randle to have a bigger role in the offense.

DE Justin Tuck -- By his own admission, Jason Pierre-Paul hasn't been the same since offseason back surgery, and Mathias Kiwanuka has been a non-factor as of late (Kiwanuka has received five negative pass-rush grades from ProFootballFocus.com this season). However, the defensive line has been solid over the last few games, largely because of a rejuvenated Tuck. Incidentally, the veteran defensive end has 5.5 sacks in his last seven contests against the Eagles.

LB Jon Beason -- Over the last few weeks, Big Blue has limited Jamaal Charles, LeSean McCoy, Matt Forte and Adrian Peterson to an average of 51.5 yards on the ground. However, the Eagles have the league's top-ranked running game behind McCoy, who is averaging 97.9 rushing yards per game. Beason will be the key to slowing him down. The former-first rounder had a team-best nine tackles against the Vikings and has 21 stops in the last two games.

Adam Martini is a freelance sports writer with more than 15 years of experience covering amateur and professional sports for several print and online media outlets. He tracked the New York Giants for Yahoo Contributor Network during the team's Super Bowl run in 2011-12. Adam can be found on Twitter @Pegcitysports.

Sources
Pro-Football-Reference.com.
The Official Site of the National Football League.

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