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Eagles vs. Giants: Keys to Division-Shaping NFC East Showdown

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
Maxwell OgdenCorrespondent IIIOctober 5, 2013

After four weeks of NFL action, the Philadelphia Eagles are 1-3, and the New York Giants are 0-4. Despite their poor showings, Philly is within one game of the division lead, while the Giants are just two games back in the NFC East.

During Week 5, the Eagles and Giants will meet in a game that could go a long way toward shaping the postseason picture. It's a reflection upon the horrendous NFC East division that has just one team at .500.

The question is, what factors will decide this monumental meeting?

 

Running the Football

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 30:  LeSean McCoy #25 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs against the New York Giants  in action during their game against the at MetLife Stadium on December 30, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Ima
Al Bello/Getty Images

When it comes to the Eagles and Giants, two things that we've grown to know is that both teams usually have strong running games. LeSean McCoy is a genuine superstar at running back for Philadelphia, and New York always seems to have someone reliable at the position.

In 2013, Philadelphia continues to be explosive, while New York is searching for answers.

Through four games, the Giants are averaging 57.8 rushing yards per game, and only David Wilson has topped 100 on the season. Worst of all, New York is averaging 3.3 yards per carry and has a grand total of one rushing touchdown.

With three fumbles and no carries for 20 yards or more, the Giants have effectively established a nonexistent running attack.

On the opposite end, the Eagles have 793 yards, five touchdowns and seven carries of 20 yards or more on 6.1 yards per attempt. McCoy leads all players with 468 yards individually, and quarterback Michael Vick has amassed 222 yards and two touchdowns on 8.8 rushing yards per attempt.

It's quite clear which team owns the advantage here.

 

Turnovers

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 30:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants speaks with  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles after the Giants 42-7 win  at MetLife Stadium on December 30, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty
Al Bello/Getty Images

In any game, the team that wins the turnover battle is often the victor. The Eagles and Giants elevate that truth to an entirely new level, as both teams play a high-risk, high-reward type of game.

The only question at this point is which team will take better care of the ball.

Through four games, Eli Manning has thrown nine interceptions, and Curtis Painter has thrown one on four total attempts. The Giants also have more fumbles—threethan rushing touchdownsoneand have shown no signs of improvement in that area.

In Week 4, Manning threw an interception and lost two fumbles during a 31-7 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Eagles have actually done an excellent job of taking care of the football, with Vick only throwing two interceptions. With that being said, he does have three total fumbles, and the offensive line has been displaying signs of fatigue.

Manning is the significantly greater turnover threat, but if Vick can't take care of the football in New York, the Giants will win.

 

Prediction

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 30:  David Wilson #22 of the New York Giants carries the ball as  DeMeco Ryans #59 and  Kurt Coleman #42 of the Philadelphia Eagles tackle at MetLife Stadium on December 30, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The New York
Elsa/Getty Images

The Eagles enter this game with the opportunity to move into a tie with the Dallas Cowboys for first place in the NFC East. The Giants may be 0-4, but New York is within two games of the division lead.

When it's all said and done, look for New York to end its recent woes both in 2013 and against the Eagles.

The Giants may not have the best statistics, but at home and in must-win territory against a bitter rival, New York will come out firing. Manning is in store for a monster outing after struggling through three weeks, and the running game needs a bounce-back performance.

Against an Eagles team that ranks 27th in rushing defense and 31st in passing defense, the Giants will pounce.

It'll be a high-scoring affair, but with Manning coming to life during the fourth quarter, New York will have enough to win. In turn, the NFC East will continue to offer room for error to every team.

That's good news for a 0-4 Giants team that is one win away from contention.

Giants 34, Eagles 28

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