Giants vs. Eagles: Breaking Down Each Team's Keys to Victory

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 30, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Quarterback  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles and  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants talk at midfield after the Giants defeated the Eagles 29-16 at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

In the highly competitive NFC East, no team can afford to lose a divisional battle. This makes the Sunday night matchup between the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles extremely important.

Both these teams should be satisfied with a 2-1 record, as they have won games despite sloppy play. Still, the squads are as talented as any in the league, and fans should be provided with an exciting contest. 

The winning team in this game will be the one that can successfully follow these keys to the game.


New York Giants

Defend the Pass

Teams have been attacking the Giants secondary with a tremendous amount of success. 

In the first couple of games, cornerback Michael Coe was the main target, as opposing wide receivers were able to get open with a great amount of ease. Prince Amukamara provides a big upgrade now that he is healthy, but he has to show he can be consistent for the team to trust him.

The Eagles have plenty of talent at receiver between DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, so the entire unit needs to stay focused on every play. 


Use Both Running Backs

Ahmad Bradshaw performed admirably in the first game against the Dallas Cowboys, but Andre Brown had a breakout performance last week versus the Carolina Panthers. The running back finished with 113 yards and two touchdowns and earned himself more playing time for the rest of the year.

Bradshaw should not simply become a backup, but he has been at his best in his career as a change-of-pace option. Last season, the six-year veteran had the lowest yards per carry of his career, as he was given the bulk of rushing attempts.

Using both backs consistently gives the offense the best opportunity to succeed.


Find Victor Cruz

With Hakeem Nicks likely out, more pressure is on Cruz to break loose on offense. He was unable to do that against the Panthers, as the team keyed on the receiver, but he needs to redeem himself against the Eagles.

Although Eli Manning loves to spread the ball around, good things happen when Cruz has the ball in his hands.


Philadelphia Eagles

Avoid Mistakes

The Eagles were able to get away with the turnovers in the first two games, but the mistakes finally caught up with them against the Arizona Cardinals. The game effectively ended when James Sanders returned a fumble 93 yards for a touchdown to end the first half.

Through three games, Philadelphia has 12 turnovers. A lot of that lies on Michael Vick, who has made some poor decisions this season. However, the rest of the team is accountable as well.

Unless this team gets more careful with the football, the Eagles will be on their way to a long season.


Stop the Run

After holding Trent Richardson to only 2.1 yards per carry, the defense forgot how to tackle. Ryan Williams and Ray Rice combined to average 6.3 yards per carry in the last two games, and it helped control the game.

The Giants like to pass as much as the Eagles, but they have a formidable rushing attack this season. If Philadelphia is unable to slow down Bradshaw and Brown, the offense will have fewer opportunities to score and it will lead to the second loss of the year.


Give the Ball to LeSean McCoy

Coach Andy Reid has a habit of abandoning the run when things start to go poorly. This should not happen with a running back as talented as LeSean McCoy.

McCoy had only 13 carries in last week's loss to the Cardinals after 45 in the first two wins. Last season, the team was 2-6 when the running back got fewer than 18 carries. 

Philadelphia needs McCoy to have the ball to be successful.