In Week 14 of the 2009 season, the Eagles went to New York and won in shootout, 45-38, which led Philadelphia to eventually be a playoff team and the Giants missing the playoffs. As you would expect, offenses shined, with WR DeSean Jackson (+2.5) being a star in this game by catching six out of seven balls thrown his way for 178 yards and a touchdown.
On defense, the Eagles had a number of players perform a little above or below average, but standing out was WLB Will Witherspoon (-5.8), who couldn’t come up with any pressure, allowed a touchdown catch and missed two tackles. Quarterback Michael Vick (+2.0) only took part in six plays, but he made them count with a 32 yard completion and a rushing touchdown.
The Eagles need to…
Pass the ball deep
The Giants are a strong team on defense, but their secondary at times is lacking. Free safety Antrel Rolle (+0.5) and RCB Terrell Thomas (-1.3) are two great defensive backs against the run, but have a combined -10.5 rating against the pass. Vick (+32.0) had one of the greatest games ever by a quarterback last week, and with 23 throws of 20 or more yards, he has made 13 completions for 533 yards and five touchdowns. Those numbers could very well increase if Vick tries to take advantage of these defensive backs.
The Giants need to…
Run Ahmad Bradshaw to the outside
One of the Giants’ strengths on offense this year has been the running of Bradshaw (+14.3). He’s going up against one of the best run defenses in the league in large part due to their strong defensive line. However, if Bradshaw runs to the outside, that will help him avoid the line and force the Eagles’ linebackers to make plays. Outside linebacker Ernie Sims (-7.9) and MLB Stewart Bradley (-9.6) have struggled to stop the run, and Bradshaw shines on the outside runs. In 61 rushes to the left or right end, he has 363 yards — 5.95 yards per carry — with 21 missed tackles. A strong game by Bradshaw would help significantly in getting the Giants a win.
Giants OL Shawn Andrews vs. Eagles DRE Trent Cole
It’s hard to talk about the Eagles and not talk about Cole (+36.6). He has had 52 combined pressures this year as well as 31 stops. The Giants will likely need to keep a double-team on him, because starting LT David Diehl (-20.0) is out, which left Andrews (+3.4) at LT last week. This might be a good thing for the Eagles, however he is questionable. If they play a less-than-100-percent Andrews or a third-string tackle, the Giants could be very weak at left tackle, so Cole may be set for another amazing performance.
Eagles P Sav Rocca vs. Giants PR Will Blackmon
These division rivals are evenly matched in most places, but the difference could be special teams where the Eagles are above average and the Giants are one of the worst in the league. Rocca (+9.0) has been one of the best punters in the league, and the Giants have recently brought innew return man Blackmon (+0.3), who has only had 29 return yards in two games. This is one of the many special team areas where the Eagles have a big advantage that could make the difference.
Eagles S Quintin Mikell (+11.7) leads all safeties in passed deflected with seven. … Bradshaw leads the league in yards after contact per attempt with 3.5 yards.