On Sunday, the New York Giants (0-4) will host the Philadelphia Eagles (1-3) at MetLife Stadium. Kick-off is scheduled for 12:00pm and the game will be televised on FOX.
The Eagles versus Giants rivalry is one that dates all the way back to 1933. The two teams have had bad blood between them ever since. The Eagles have had the Giants number in the past couple of years, winning 4 out of their last 6 meetings.
Both teams have gotten off to shaky a start, which is surprising, given the expectations that were held for each team entering training camp. The NFC East is usually one of the most competitive divisions. This year, all four NFC East teams are proving to present easy matchups to the opposition.
Labeling Sunday’s game as a must-win game may be an exaggeration when discussing the necessity for the Giants or Eagles to come out with a win. However, losing another game, especially for the Giants, is going to put playoff hopes on the burner.
Issues have been prominent for the Giants on both the offense and defense. Hence, their winless record. The offensive line has had difficulties protecting Eli Manning, which has led to turnovers in the red zone, and a lack of a solid running game does not help. A defense that no longer has pro bowl defensive end, Osi Umenyiora, is struggling to stop the run as well.
The Eagles’ offense has been both good and bad at times. They seem to have no problem driving down the field, racking up yardage both on the ground and through the air, but once they are close to the goal line, all else fails. LeSean McCoy may be the league’s leading rusher, and Chip Kelly’s offense may look the part and accumulate the numbers to prove it is effective, but if touchdowns aren’t being produced, especially in the red zone, all those fancy statistics mean nothing.
This is a crucial game for numerous reasons. Both teams cannot afford another loss. It is a divisional game and with a divisional game of this magnitude, bragging rights become the number one priority on fan’s minds.
If the Eagles can take care of the ball in the red zone, and punch it in to the end zone when their close, it is going to be a tough day for the Giants. Nonetheless, counting Eli Manning out, no matter how much the odds are stacked against him, is simply an ill-advised decision; just ask Tom Brady. A Giants’ running game is going to be the key to a Giants win. Although he may be running behind a less than average offensive line, David Wilson has yet to prove why the Giants used a first round draft pick on him last year.
Expect both teams to get feisty, mean, and desperate, as they find themselves in a deep hole early on in this 2013 season. Whoever comes out on top may have the upper hand in this intense rivalry for the time being, but they will still have a long way to go if they hope to still be playing in January.