GIANTS & EAGLES LOOK TO ADDRESS ISSUES ON OFFENSIVE LINE AND SPECIAL TEAMS
The Eagles (1-1) and Giants (0-2) square off this Sunday with issues on their respective offensive lines, special teams mistakes and turnovers (FOX 1:00 PM).
The Eagles have rushed for a total of 165 yards with a decent 4.0 yards per carry but 61 of those yards have come from quarterback Carson Wentz on broken plays. That’s a measly 104 yards from actual running plays over two games.
The Giants are worse running the ball with just 97 yards on 30 carries (3.2 YPC) and no rushing TDs. Orleans Darkwa leads Big Blue with 31 yards on six carries. Darren Sproles has 50 yards on 12 carries to lead Philly.
The Eagles have allowed Wentz to sacked eight times. Manning has been also sacked eight times.
While these number look really similar, the difference-by a lot- is the way Wentz can elude rushers and make a play.
The second-year starter is 51 of 85 for 640 yards and four touchdown passes. Wentz has thrown two interceptions, one a pick-six against Washington. He has a QB rating of 89.3
Manning is 51 of 70, which is good, but only 459 yards and one touchdown pass. H has thrown two interceptions and has a QB rating of 83.0
On special teams, the Giants allowed Detroit’s Jamal Agnew to score on an 88-yard punt return.
The Eagles saw new kicker Jake Elliott miss a crucial 30-yard field goal against Kansas City that would have ties the game at the half.
The Eagles, using a defensive score against the Redskins and Wentz’ youth and athleticism to score 57 points in two games. The Giants have been awful with just 10 points.
Both teams have a player that really sticks out who need help or be replaced.
For the Giants, it’s easy. 2015 first round pick Ereck Flowers has been an abysmal failure. He allowed three sacks against the Lions in Big Blue’s 27-10 loss at MetLife Stadium.
Head coach Ben MCAddoo was asked if he ever thought needed to give Flowers some help as the game went on.
“Yeah, we tried to give him some help as the game went on,” the second-year head coach said. “Initially, we were focusing on the other side. We had our left guard playing right tackle. He ended up holding up and doing a nice job. Then we decided to get the ball out quick. When they’re playing cover two and you give help to both sides, you have three guys running routes and you have seven in coverage, that makes it a challenge.”
The coach was asked if he contemplated taking Flowers out of the game.
“We talked about giving him more help.”
Change at that spot? “It’s more than one player,” McAdoo said.
The Giants are thin at options. Starting right tackle Bobby Hart left the Detroit game with an ankle injury that bothered him before the game. He was replaced by Brett Jones, who played guard while veteran Justin Pugh moved to tackle.
For the Eagles, it’s second year guard Isaac Seumalo who has struggled in both games this year but was more ineffective against Kansas City.
The Eagles do have the option of putting in veteran Stefen Wisniewski who is a solid option should Seumalo continue to struggle. Veteran center Jason Kelce also did not grade out well in the Birds loss to the Chiefs.
Head coach Doug Pederson talked about the depth the Eagles had at offensive line.
“Yeah and experienced backups are great to have, but at the same time, I don’t want to push any panic buttons at this time,” Pederson said at his Monday press conference. “We’ve got to make sure these guys understand our game plans. Kelce is obviously a veteran center. I love having him in there, and his athleticism on the perimeter. Isaac has done an outstanding job, really, in his short time to start last year, this year and the position versatility.”
Detroit guard guard T.J. Lang, brought in last year from Green Bay talked about how much confidence the entire offense gets when you’re able to get all three phases clicking like that.
“I mean it’s great,” the 6-foot-4, 218 pounder who was with the Packers from 2009 said. “I think it’s been a couple of weeks in a row now that we haven’t gotten off to the best start offensively or really sustained a great start, but our defense is doing a great job of keeping us in ballgames and maintaining the lead so we can keep the playbook open and not get one dimensional. That’s team football, man. It’s the biggest team sport there is. In one area your team’s not clicking great, the other two hopefully pick you up and we’ve had that throughout the first two weeks of the season and it’s a great characteristic of our team right now.”
Right now the Birds and Big Blue are looking to get all three units clicking at the same time. Whichever team does that will walk away with the W.