Overview, predictions, what to watch
A preview of Sunday’s Giants-Eagles Week 14 game at MetLife Stadium.
Eagles C Jason Kelce vs. Giants DT Dexter Lawrence
You know the line so many players use to take on a highly skilled teammate every day in training?
Iron sharpens iron. Here we are. Kelce, 35, will one day be a member of the Hall of Fame. He’s in his 11th season and his 171 games with the Eagles surpassed Philly legend Chuck Bednarik’s franchise record for offensive linemen. He is an absolute stallion from all points of view.
Lawrence’s fourth year with the Giants was his best, with a career-high (and team-leading) six sacks, and an uncommon hustle for a 342-pound but nimble monster. Watching these two heads clap with every snap will be worth the price of admission.
The need to slow this play down and hold onto possession as long as possible is imperative for the Giants, which means Saquon Barkley needs to gain yards. This hasn’t happened recently. Jalen Hurts is on fire as a pass-running threat. Can Daniel Jones, without nearly as much support, use his right arm and both legs to keep things interesting?
Eagles 31, Giants 16
Downward limit: There are always explanations hidden under the numbers, and there are certainly reasons why Saquon Barkley’s production took a nose dive. His last three games: 44 rushing attempts, 124 yards – averaging 2.8 yards per carry. In addition to a lingering shoulder problem, Barkley is now struggling with a sore neck, which could lead to rushing tries for Matt Breida.
“Unique player,” Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon said of Barkley. “Obviously he was picked this high for a reason. He’s got a very unique skill set. He’s explosive. He’s big. He’s strong. He can hit home runs. He can break the tackles. We’re going to have to get on with it.”
Dual Threat: This has happened only twice before in NFL history. The Eagles in their last two games rushed for 363 yards in a win over the Packers, and the following week passed for 386 yardage in beating the Titans. The first team to exceed 350 yards in one game and 350 passing yards in the next was the Giants – in 1959. The only other team to do so was the Los Angeles Raiders, in 1987. What do the Eagles do best? Whatever they want, it seems.
Closed or trade: How will the Giants make many passes? Darius Slay and James Bradberry might be the best cornerback duo in the league. The Giants have Darius Slayton as No. 1 receiver, then Isaiah Hodgins and Richie James. Bradberry is second in the NFL (behind Sauce Gardner of the Jets) with 14 passes defended, and he and Slayton have known each other well over the past two seasons with the Giants.
“Hundreds, thousands, probably,” Slayton said of the practice reps he took against Bradberry. “I’m sure he feels familiar with me, I know for sure that I feel familiar with him.”
The plan : What they did made sense. The Giants knew they needed to surround Daniel Jones with more talent, so the previous regime hit the free agent market to sign Kenny Golladay and used a first-round pick on Kadarius Toney. Swings and misses. Watch how the Eagles fortified their receiver corps for Jalen Hurts: traded for AJ Brown and traded to select DeVonta Smith in the first round of the 2021 draft. How big was the deal for Brown? The Titans fired general manager Jon Robinson last week after Brown set his former team on fire with two touchdown receptions.
New York Post