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Giants at Eagles 2014: When The Giants Have The Ball

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Let's look at how the Giants' offense matches up with the Philadelphia defense.

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The New York Giants have been scary good on offense the past three weeks.

  • Quarterback Eli Manning has three straight games with a passer rating above 100.0. That is the first time Manning has done that since a three-game stretch Oct. 1-25 of 2010 against the Houston Texans, Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys.
  • Manning has complete 68-of-97 passes during that stretch (70.1 percent). He has eight touchdowns, one interception and has been sacked only three times.
  • The Giants have scored 30 or more points in three straight games, totaling 105 points (35.0 per game) during that stretch.
  • The Giants' lowest rushing total in their three-game winning streak is the 124 yards they gained Sunday against Atlanta.
  • Larry Donnell, held without a catch by the Falcons on Sunday, has nonetheless become a weapon at tight end. He leads the Giants with 25 receptions and four touchdowns.
  • The offensive line has been terrific during the winning streak. Left tackle Will Beatty is the league's top-ranked offensive tackle. Right tackle Justin Pugh is No. 4. Center J.D. Walton and guards Weston Richburg and John Jerry have solidified the middle.
  • The explosive debut of rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. on Sunday helped the Giants defeat Atlanta, and hinted at the addition of a big-play element to the Giants offense that should be keeping defensive coordinators up at night.

What does all of this mean when it comes to Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles? It doesn't mean the Giants are automatically going to roll over the Eagles, scoring at will. It does mean, however, that should Sunday's game evolve into a shootout the Giants would have to feel good about their chances. Nick Foles has thus far not been able to repeat the incredible season he had in 2013, meaning the Giants have an advantage at quarterback. The Giants' receivers would also appear, on paper, to have an advantage over the Eagles' secondary.

Eagles By The Numbers

The Eagles are 28th in the league defensively, 23rd against the rush (132.0 yards per game) and 28th against the pass (274.2 yards per game). The Eagles have a passer rating against of 96.0, with only slot corner Brandon Boykin (67.4) being the only cornerback below 90. The Eagles have surrendered a league-high six pass plays of 40 yards or more. Philadelphia has allowed a league-high 13 touchdown passes.

The Match-up

The Eagles surrendered 375 passing yards last week to fill-in quarterback Austin Davis and the St. Louis Rams. In Week 3, Kirk Cousins of the Washington Redskins torched Philly for 427 passing yards. The Giants have to believe that as long as their pass protection, which has been rock solid the past few weeks, holds up they should have opportunities to make plays through the air on Sunday night.

The Boykin-Victor Cruz match-up in the slot is one that you have to think the Eagles feel good about. The Giants, however, have to feel like Rueben Randle, Odell Beckham Jr. and Preston Parker can make plays on the outside against the struggling Cary Williams (112.8 passer rating against) and Bradley Fletcher (91.3 passer rating against).

"I don't think we've played up to par, or up to our level of expectations," Boykin said. "We'll get better for sure."

Boykin also said that despite the fact that the Giants are running a completely new offensive system under the direction of offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo that he doesn't see much difference from what the Giants have traditionally done.

"There's a lot of similarities," Eagles cornerback Brandon Boykin said Tuesday when asked what the biggest difference in the Giants' new scheme is. "I don't think there was a drastic change. "Now they're kind of getting in a groove offensively. The biggest thing I've seen is them just allowing their receivers to catch the ball and make plays. It's not just like routes that they have to run. They're catching the ball, they have option routes and they can make plays after the catch. We have to make sure we tackle well, that's our key."

Donnell provides another problem for the Eagles defense. Will Philadelphia give the tight end extra attention, or will they not be able to do that because of the struggles they have had on the outside?

The Giants have allowed only three sacks during their three-game winning streak. To keep Manning comfortable and give the Giants wide receiver a chance to take advantage of the Philly secondary, the Giants have to handle the Philadelphia pass rush. As it has been for years, that is led by linebacker Trent Cole (2.5 sacks), who will be Beatty's responsibility. Linebacker Connor Barwin actually leads the Eagles with three sacks and linebacker Brandon Graham has a sack and a team-high nine quarterback hurries.

With Rashad Jennings unlikely to play, a key for the Giants will be the pass protection of rookie Andre Williams. You can likely look for Peyton Hillis to be in the backfield often on passing downs, mostly for blitz pickups. LIke this one:

Speaking of Williams, it will be interesting to see how well the Giants run the ball with Williams carrying the load in a huge game.

All in all, you have to think there is a chance here for the Giants to control the game offensively. Whether they can or not remains, of course, to be seen.