Game Scout: Eagles at Giants

Derek Harper, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Philadelphia Eagles (1-3) at New York Giants (0-4)
Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, at MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J. - TV: FOX
*TV announcers: Thom Brennaman, Brian Billick, Laura Okmin
*Keys to the game: The Giants should break at least one disturbing trend. The offense hasn't put together a scoring drive of more than six plays this season, but the Eagles' defense is getting torched for 34.5 points and a league-high 446.8 yards per game. Philadelphia has been particularly bad in defending the pass, with 10 sacks nowhere near enough to compensate for safeties who struggle in coverage. The Giants need to get RB David Wilson more involved, however, because the offensive line remains very thin and QB Eli Manning can't count on protection in a one-dimensional offense. Eagles coach Chip Kelly said his team remains upbeat despite a three-game losing streak capped by a 52-20 whipping in Denver last week. RB LeSean McCoy leads the NFL with 468 rushing yards, but the offensive line struggles in protecting QB Michael Vick. The Giants' defense has been working on facing the Eagles' up-tempo offense since training camp and rookie linemen Damontre Moore and Johnathan Hankins are expected to play more prominent roles this week.
*Matchup to watch - Eagles OLB Trent Cole vs. Giants LT Will Beatty: After applying good pressure in the season opener, Cole hasn't been a factor the past three weeks as he continues to seek his first sack in the Eagles' new 3-4 scheme. Meanwhile, Beatty has been struggling with his mechanics and allowing too much heat on Manning's blind side.
*Player spotlight - Eagles TE Zach Ertz: The rookie played a season-high 31 snaps last week as Kelly begins to utilize more two-tight end formations.
*Fast facts: Vick has won 10 of his past 12 starts against NFC East teams. ... The Giants have been outscored by 85 points, a franchise-high through the first four games of a season.
The Eagles' next five opponents are currently a combined 3-17, so they have an opportunity to rebound quickly from a three-game skid. It's inconceivable to imagine the Giants being 0-5, but this is a team that got old at key positions in a hurry and the offensive line is a mess.
*Our pick: Eagles 31-30

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