Tale Of The Tape: New York Giants At Philadelphia Eagles
- QuarterbackThe Giants have endured a nightmarish season, and Eli Manning has been a main part of that bad dream. Manning has been a turnover machine much of the year. While he has been under duress throughout the year and that has caused many of his errant throws, his own inaccuracy is also a big part. Despite his problems, Manning has the pedigree to turn the situation around.The Eagles will be at a disadvantage as they prepare for this game. Michael Vick will get the start for Week 8 after suffering a hamstring injury. Backup Nick Foles (concussion) will not be able to play should Vick's hamstring act up.
- OffenseThe Giants have not had a consistent running game this season. The Giants’ strength is their wide receivers, and Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks can be a formidable duo. Cruz has blazing speed, is not afraid to catch the ball in traffic and he has excellent run after the catch skills. Nicks can also get open, while Rueben Randle is improving and can make the big play.The Eagles have an explosive quality to their running game with LeSean McCoy, who excels as both a ball carrier and receiver. DeSean Jackson is one of the fastest wide receivers in the league, and he has caught 37 passes for 610 yards and five TDs. Tight end Brent Celek is a tough receiver who can get open in the red zone.
- DefenseThe Giants' defense has slipped dramatically over a two-year period. They had a brilliant pass rush and a solid secondary, but they have fallen badly in both areas. If the Giants are going to improve, they need pass rushers Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka to step up and have an impact. FS Ryan Mundy is the Giants’ leading tackler.The Eagles rank 31st in overall defense and 30th against the pass. Those kind of statistics make it difficult to compete for 60 minutes. Middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans is a hard working player who leads the team with 60 tackles, but he is not a gifted athlete. Outside linebacker Connor Barwin has 29 tackles and a team-high 3.0 sacks.
- Special TeamsThe Giants have struggled badly with their coverage teams as they have given up three punt returns for touchdowns. Josh Brown has not been impressive as the team’s placekicker this season and he does not have the leg strength to make 50-plus yarders.The Eagles have also fared poorly with their coverage teams, as they have allowed one kickoff return for a score. Jackson is an explosive returner, but Kelly is hesitant to use him in that role. Alex Henery is an average placekicker, but Donnie Jones is a fairly good directional punter.
The Eagles have a lot of uncertainty at the quarterback position and they are coming off a miserable offensive effort against the Dallas Cowboys. If Vick is not in top shape, this game could go badly for them. -Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor