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Giants vs. Eagles: When the Giants have the ball

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How will the Giants offense match up against the Post-Kelly Philadelphia defense?

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

A few days ago the New York Giants Giants' Week 17 game against the Philadelphia Eagles was mostly going to be about whether or not Tom Coughlin could get the team up enough to beat a hated division rival that has owned them the past few years, which team would be traveling to London to play the St. Louis Rams or to visit the Seattle Seahawks, and for draft position.

Now, with the firing of Chip Kelly, the game has suddenly gotten a lot more interesting. The Giants may not believe that Kelly's absence will change how the Eagles play all that much, but they also admit that now preparation has suddenly become a guessing game, at least regarding Philly's offense.

On defense, things should be somewhat predictable.

Well, at least as predictable as it ever gets when these two teams play

Stats At A Glance


Rushing Yards Passing Yards Total Yards Points
New York Giants Offense 93.4 (26th) 270.2 (6th) 363.6 (12th) 26.0 (6th)
Philadelphia Eagles Defense 129.7 (29th) 265.3 (26th) 394.9 (30th) 26.7 (28th)

Offensive Line

The Giants' offensive line continues to be plagued by injuries. Right tackle Marshall Newhouse has yet to practice this week after suffering a concussion against the Minnesota Vikings. That likely means that rookie Bobby Hart will once again bookend the offensive line with fellow rookie Ereck Flowers.

While it is exciting to see rookies stepping up and contributing, it could be bad news given the Eagles' speed and ability to apply pressure from the edges. The Giants will likely try to lean on their running game to both keep Eli upright and keep the Philly offense off the field

Quarterback

Eli Manning After coming off good games against Miami and Carolina, Eli played his worst game in more than a year against the Minnesota Vikings. While he was hampered by his Beckham-less receiving corps' ability to hang on to the ball, the Giants' quarterback just did not play up to his usual standards.

The good news is that Eli often rebounds well from poor games, and the Eagle's defense, particularly their pass defense, has fallen off as their season slipped away. If the offensive line can keep Eli clean, there should be opportunities for Eli in the passing game.

Skill Positions

The story this game has to be Odell Beckham Jr.

The Giants' offense looked lost and utterly inept without their young phenom providing a spark and commanding the attention of the entire defense. Since returning from his suspension, Beckham has said that while he will try to keep his emotions in check, he won't change how he plays the game.

Given how quickly J.T. Thomas was ejected against Minnesota, the Eagles may well try to get Beckham ejected rather than have to cover him. How Beckham responds will bear watching.

Elsewhere, keep an eye on rookie tight end Will Tye. Despite only playing in 12 games --  starting seven --  the undrafted free agent has become the best rookie tight end in the NFL, and the Giants' fourth-leading receiver behind Beckham, Rueben Randle, and Shane Vereen.

Vereen will be another to watch as Eli may need his skills as a receiver for check-downs if Philadelphia's pressure starts to get to him.

Rashad Jennings will likely see the bulk of the carries at running back. Since the Giants have abandoned their "Running Back By Committee," Jennings has proven to be the Giants' most dependable all-around back and has had over 100 total yards in each of the last three games. With the Eagles' 29th ranked rush defense, look for that trend to continue.