New York Giants Week 18: Review of Philadelphia Eagles’ Defense
The New York Giants have one more regular season game this Sunday against the (current) No. 1 Tribe. 1, the Philadelphia Eagles, who won the last game 48-22. What has changed since the first meeting?
We take a look.
The Eagles defense at every level has top-level talent with veteran depth behind them and one of the best rosters in the NFL. There is no shaking
Personnel-wise, the Eagles haven’t had much change since the last time these two teams played in Week 14. The Eagles will likely be without Josh Sweat this week after he was injured Sunday against the Saints.
The Eagles may be without Avonte Maddox from their secondary as he is dealing with a toe injury, but did play in the Week 14 game against the Giants.
The healthy players who should probably worry the Giants the most are Haason Reddick and Brandon Graham. The duo combined for 15 pressures and five sacks in the Week 14 game on 54 combined post-rush snaps, wreaking havoc on Daniel Jones and the Giants offensive line.
When the Giants faced the Commanders for the second time, it was easy to see how the Commanders defended the Giants and what they did differently from the first game.
That’s hard to do with the Giants-Eagles rematch because the Eagles jumped out to a big lead early, taking their foot off the gas defensively and letting the reserves see big snaps on offense.
The fundamentals of this Eagles defense haven’t changed in the month since these two teams played: four players up front, pressure at the line of scrimmage, quarterback coverage on the back end.
One notable change for the first game was that Kyzir White was used as a pass rusher on 11.5% of his pass defense snaps, compared to his usual 5.1% – a 6.4% increase.
The Week 14 game was also the only time the Eagles used Reed Blankenship as a pass rusher this season. That doesn’t mean there will be a repeat performance, but it’s something to note that the Eagles got more aggressive against the Giants than previous opponents and opponents since.
What does this mean for the Giants?
If the Giants want to win, they need to give the ball to Saquon Barkley. The Giants gave up the run early against the Eagles in Week 14 and never let themselves get into a rhythm.
It will be interesting to see if the Giants nurse Barkley or try to keep him fresh for the playoffs and work with Breida and Brightwell.
Throwing the ball is the same plan it should have been in their last game, keep the ball down and attack the middle of the field. In the Week 14 game, Daniel Jones went 9/12 passing for 83 yards between the numbers and shorter than 20 yards down the field, so the finishes are there for Jones with yards after the catch.
The Saints had a similar game plan throwing the ball when they beat the Eagles last week; however, the Saints had a need-to-win situation, so using Taysom Hill as a running back was part of the game plan, and I don’t see the Giants wanting to do that with Daniel Jones before the playoffs.
The Giants are again facing a great defense, but even on top of that, the Eagles are in a situation where they don’t have the top seed locked up for the playoffs, so they still have to try to win. The 49ers are also in contention for the top seed, and they play the Cardinals at the same time as the Eagles and Giants.
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