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New York Giants Vs. Philadelphia Eagles: Week 5 Game Preview

October 6th, 2013 at 9:00 AM
By Dan Benton

It's hard to believe that in week five of the 2013 NFL season, two teams will be squaring off in a game that will ultimately determine their season. But for the New York Giants (0-4) and the Philadelphia Eagles (1-3), that's exactly the scenario they find themselves in.

A loss for the Giants would drop their record to 0-5 and 0-2 in the NFC East — an essential death sentence. No team in the Super Bowl era has ever started 0-5 and made the playoffs, so they will, instead, attempt to become only the second team in NFL history (San Diego Chargers, 1992) to make the playoffs after starting 0-4. Meanwhile, the Eagles are grasping to life with a 1-3 record, and maintain their hope that they, too, can turn things around.

Due in large part to the overall futility of the NFC East, the winner of this game is still very much in it. The loser however, will find themselves in a dire and almost hopeless spot.

GAMEPLAN

Prevent the LeSean McCoy homerun

McCoy currently leads the NFL with 468 rush yards (117 yards per game) and is averaging six yards per carry. Needless to say, coupled with Michael Vick, the Eagles also lead the league in rushing. As such, the Giants will need to focus on slowing Shady down. And while there's next to no chance they'll completely shut him out, they will need to prevent him from breaking their backs with long, drive-sustaining runs or the homerun that gives Philly quick scores.

Spy Michael Vick

It's taken some time, but the early version of Michael Vick has returned to the NFL. He's been able to use his legs (18th in the NFL in rushing) to set up the pass, and he's begun to limit the riskiness of his throws, tossing only two interceptions so far this season. In other words, he can beat you on the ground or through the air if you let him run free. Accordingly, the Giants will need to use a spy on the fleet-footed Vick, and they've done so in the past with some spells of success. That onus will likely fall on linebacker Jacquian Williams, who has been used sparingly this year, but is good in coverage and has the speed to at least prevent Vick from running wild on Big Blue's defense.

Abuse poor Eagles secondary

The Giants haven't been able to run the ball this year (30th in the NFL), while the Eagles haven't been able to stop the pass (31st in the NFL). And with the season on the line, why play games and to an opponents strength? Sure, the Giants will want to establish the run game as they have the previous four weeks, but it can't come at the expense of abusing one of the worst secondariness in the entire league. If the makeshift offensive line can somehow, some way keep Eli Manning on his feet, he should be able to tear the Eagles' defense apart.

KEY MATCHUP

Victor Cruz vs. Eagles Safeties

The Giants have a unique combo in Eli Manning and Victor Cruz. Manning, of course, being one of the best deep ball quarterbacks in the league, while Cruz has established himself as a once-a-game homerun threat. And while he ranks near the bottom of the NFL in catches of 20+ yards (16) since the start of the 2011 season, he's made most of them count, with touchdown catches of 69, 70, 24, 77, 28 and 80 yards over that span. The Giants, in a desperate situation, may take a few homerun shots against a weak Eagles secondary on Sunday, and you can expect Cruz to be the target of at least one or two of them.

BIG GAME ALERT

Wide receiver, Victor Cruz

Saying Victor Cruz is going to have a big game isn't exactly going out on a limb as he's the only offensive player to put up solid numbers in each game this season. His 425 receiving yards is good for 4th in the NFL right now, and that pace is likely to continue on Sunday. In addition to the aforementioned homerun ball you can expect to be thrown his way, Cruz will likely see a large number of targets underneath and over the middle. As long as he's not plagued by a case of the dropsies, you can expect big numbers and some salsa out of No. 80 on Sunday.

PREDICTION

While most seem to be entirely focused on the Giants and their 0-4 record, many have forgotten that the Philadelphia Eagles are also a poor football team. Their sole win came in week one over the Washington Redskins, who have also proven to be a poor team, and they rank near the bottom of the league in defense. They've given up no less than 26 points in any game this season, and save for their rushing attack, offer very little in terms of a threat. And with their season now officially on the line, the Giants will start 1-0 in the post-Antrel Rolle 12-0 world.

Giants 27, Eagles 24

Photo credit: Adam Tuttle / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

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Tags: Antrel Rolle, Football, LeSean McCoy, Michael Vick, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Philadelphia, Philadelphia Eagles, Victor Cruz

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8 Responses to “New York Giants Vs. Philadelphia Eagles: Week 5 Game Preview”

  1.  dremac82 says:

    I thought you were all done being a writer for G101? Did I miss something?

    • Dan BentonDan Benton says:

      Nope. My full-time commitments are over. Instead of writing 6 articles per day, I write 6 a week as a spot-filler (network-wide). This network is far larger than just Giants 101.

  2.  skinnydoogan says:

    Big game alert! LeSean Mcoy 189 yard 2 TD’s

  3.  skinnydoogan says:

    No really, had a real good night sleep last night and woke up strangely hopeful that a small miracle happens today. Maybe a win? something ugly but a win say 10-6?

  4.  skinnydoogan says:

    At this point one can only hope.

  5.  GIANTT says:

    I work Sundays , so usually I DVR the game and watch it when I get home . Of course Ive only watched the first half of games and knowing the end result Ive given up early not wishing to disappoint myself more than just knowing the fiinal score so this week I am changing up . I will be home with a houseful of guests watching the game from scratch so maybe this will be the week .
    But Im going to take a stab here . The Giants have had Conner in camp for over a week now and we havent heard one word on him , so I expect the Giants to come out and try and do what they normally do -establish the run . With Conner back there and Wilson behind him maybe the Giants will cross up the Eagles and get a decent run game going and force open the passing game later . I dont know if it will work but watching how the Gants have come in to previous games Im going to bet that that is the game plan .I think Ive given enough fodder to be chopped down by someone – I know Kujo was hopped up earlier and Jim Stoll cant do anything up there because its raining so at least one of them should be ready to pounce and show me the error of my ways

  6.  fanfor55years says:

    Well, while most of you doom-and-glimmers are sitting home inventing new reasons why the Giants stink I will be enjoying the game at the stadium with my daughter and her boyfriend. It’s NFL football, the talent of the players is unworldly, and whether this is the day that hope emerges for this season (Giants win and Denver wins) or the day it becomes legit to start thinking about free agency and the draft, nothing can take away the pleasures of rooting for this team over the last 8-9 years, especially for a fan who has seen far darker days than this.

    I actually feel sorry for those who make blatantly ridiculous remarks out of some combination of anger and disappointment and allow the short term to sap away the glow they should still feel since the day Eli Manning and his father forced A.C.Smith into accepting Ernie Accorsi’s phone call. Been a great rude. Ain’t over yet.

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