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  • 12.02.2019 08:12 - Giants-Eagles: 5 questions with Bleeding Green Nation New York Giants vs.
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Philadelphia Eagles. Two teams Color Rush Curtis Riley Jersey , and fan bases, that largely donít like each other. With a game between the NFC East rivals looming Thursday, letís venture into enemy territory and learn some things about the Eagles. Brandon Lee Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation answers our 5 questions.Ed: What is your assessment of the Eagles thus far? I thought they would win this division in a cakewalk, and they still might, but Iím surprised to see them at 2-3.Brandon: Itís safe to say the reigning Super Bowl champs have been a disappointment through the first five games of the season. This has been a team that just canít stop shooting themselves in the foot. Take their most recent loss to the Vikings for example. After finally starting to string a promising drive together, Lane Johnson allows Carson Wentz to get strip-sacked and Linval Joseph recovers for a touchdown. Then they get another drive going and actually move into the red zone but Jay Ajayi fumbles at the 5-yard line. The Eagles recover a fumble at the Vikingsí 30-yard line with a chance to take the lead and then proceed to knock themselves out of scoring range by taking an illegal formation penalty followed by a grounding call. Mistakes are always going to happen during the game but it feels like the Eagles continue to make theirs at the worst times. Part of the reason the Eagles havenít been able to get out of their own way is they have a number of position groups that are underperforming. The offensive line is arguably the biggest disappointment in this regard. After having one of the best lines in the league last season, Phillyís front is suddenly struggling to protect Carson Wentz. The third-year quarterback has been sacked 12 times and hit 27 times during his first three games back from ACL injury. I certainly donít need to lecture Giants fans on the importance of offensive line play.Jim Schwartzís defense isnít off the hook, either. The Eaglesí secondary has been far too leaky. Philadelphia ranks 26th in big-play rate allowed. In the Eaglesí past two games, opposing quarterbacks have combined for 60/80 (75% completion), 645 yards (8.1 average), 4 TD Youth Odell Beckham Jr Jersey , 1 INT, and a 98.8 passer rating. Put simply, the Eagles just arenít playing like a good team right now.Ed: How much are they hurt by the loss of Jay Ajayi, and if the Eagles are indeed interested in a LeSean McCoy reunion is that something you would be in favor of?Brandon: Losing Jay Ajayi is significant because heís the Eaglesí most talented running back, when healthy. The problem is he hasnít been healthy this year. Prior to tearing his ACL, he suffered a fractured bone in his back during Week 2. I donít know how he managed to play through both that AND a torn ACL against the Vikings, but that just goes to show you heís one tough dude.Ajayi is the Eaglesí leading rusher this season with 184 carries and three touchdowns on 45 attempts. He hasnít been Phillyís most efficient ball-carrier, though. Surprisingly, fourth-string running back Wendell Smallwood leads the team in rush average at 6.0. In addition to his 150 yards on 25 carries, heís logged 10 receptions for 96 yards and one score. Heís far from an elite back but he deserves some credit for stepping up.With Smallwood playing well and Corey Clement returning, Iím not ready to flat out panic about the Eaglesí running back situation. Those guys can be at least solid behind an Eagles offensive line thatís struggled in pass protection but has looked good while run blocking. But thereís certainly a lot of room to improve and getting a top weapon like LeíVeon Bell or LeSean McCoy would be really nice right now. The Eaglesí offense rank 28th in big-play rate. They need more play-makers.From a football standpoint Color Rush Patrick Omameh Jersey , I think McCoy could make sense for the Eagles depending on the cost. From a personal standpoint, I donít love the idea of rooting on McCoy given all the off-field stuff thatís going on with him.Ed: Where do you think the Eagles have a clear advantage in this game?Brandon: Well, in theory the Eaglesí defensive line should be able to get to Eli Manning. The Giantsí offensive line ranks 24th overall by Pro Football Focus. Football Outsiders, meanwhile, has New York ranked 31st in run blocking and 26th in adjusted sack rate. It seems like the Giants should struggle against an Eagles pass rush thatís generating the highest percent of plays where the opposing quarterback has been under pressure (57%), per PFF. The Eagles could very well make life difficult on Eli Manning and force him into some bad throws and/or sacks.Ed: Where do you think the Giants could have an advantage?Brandon: On the other hand, the Eaglesí pass rush didnít really faze the Giants last year. Manning had two of his best games of the season against Philly. The Giants were able to get the ball out quick and it felt like the Eagles couldnít stop the same slant route that the Giants were running over and over. The Giants should even be more difficult to defend now that Odell Beckham Jr. is back. You can be Pat Shurmur will try to get OBJ matched up against Eagles starting cornerback Jalen Mills, who has struggled this season. During last yearís Week 3 Eagles-Giants game, Mills was targeted a whopping 21 TIMES. New York saw a weakness and they tried to exploit it. It wouldnít surprise me to see them go after Mills again this year.Ed: If you could have one player off the Giants roster for the Eagles NOT named Saquon Barkley or Odell Beckham, who would you take?Brandon: Iíll take Landon Collins. The Eagles are dangerously thin at safety right now with Rodney McLeod out for the season and veteran backup Corey Graham now dealing with a hamstring issue. Philadelphiaís three healthy safeties include: Malcolm Jenkins, Avonte Maddox Color Rush Nate Solder Jersey , and Deiondreí Hall. Jenkins is obviously a great player. Maddox isnít even a real safety. The rookie cornerback never played on the back end of the defense until two weeks ago. The Eagles acquired Hall during final cuts and he hasnít seen any defensive playing time despite the fact Philly is depleted at safety. Collins would fill the Eaglesí biggest need. I also considered Damon Harrison because heís dominant and the Eagles are getting nothing out of their defensive tackles not named Fletcher Cox. Sterling Shepard would also help an Eagles wide receiving corps thatís not giving the team a ton right now. Happy Thursday, New York Giants fans. Tonight, we have a Thursday Night Football matchup between the Carolina Panthers (6-2) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2-1).Here is how to watch, listen to, and wager on the game. Use this as your open thread.Game detailsWhat: Carolina Panthers vs. Pittsburgh SteelersWhen: Thursday, Nov. 8Where: Heinz FieldGame time: 8:20 p.m.TV: FOX, NFL Network, Amazon, FuboAnnouncers: FOX ó Joe Buck (Play-by-Play), Troy Aikman (Analyst), Erin Andrews and Kristina Pink (Sideline Reporters). Radio: SiriusXM Ch. 88 Youth Evan Engram Jersey , Home: Ch. 225, Away: Ch. 226; Westwood One (Kenny Albert, Tony Boselli); Tune-In PremiumOdds: Steelers -5.5 [Odds Shark]Prediction: Odds Shark predicts a 29-20 Steelers victoryOnline Stream: NFL app on your phone, smart TV or gaming system with a cable login, NFL Game Pass subscription or free trial, NFL Sunday Ticket app by DirectTV, Sling TV subscription or free 7-day trial, fuboTV subscription or free 7-day trial.Weather: 42 degrees at kickoff, mostly cloudy [NFL Weather]SB Nation websites: Cat Scratch Reader (Panthers), Behind the Steel Curtain (Steelers)

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