Saturday, October 5, 2013
W2W4: Eagles at Giants
By Dan Graziano ESPN.com
The New York Giants entered October still looking for their first victory of the season. They'll try to get it against the Philadelphia Eagles at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Here are three things to watch for in a game between two once-proud division rivals who come in with a combined record of 1-7 and ranked 31st and 32nd in the league in points allowed:
It's got to be David Wilson time. It's just got to. The Giants' handling of their running backs this season has made almost no sense -- as if the Andre Brown injury in the final week of the preseason left them at a complete loss and they had no backup plan. Wilson complicated things by fumbling twice in the opener, but enough already. This is a Giants season going nowhere, and the team needs to find out what it's got for the future. Wilson has the talent to be a building-block piece, but if they don't loosen the reins he's not going to develop the way he needs to -- especially in terms of confidence. With Da'Rel Scott off the roster and Brandon Jacobs showing very little, the Giants should let Wilson be the feature back they drafted him to be. And if he can't handle it, then at least they'll know that in time for next offseason.
Impact delayed? Eventually, the Giants believe, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul will be a disruptive factor again in the pass rush. This may not be the week. Pierre-Paul is recovering from offseason back surgery and has been dealing with a knee problem. And though he hasn't missed any practice time, he admitted Wednesday that he doesn't have his "quickness" back and is having trouble getting off the ball. If this remains true Sunday, his matchup against ultra-quick Eagles left tackle Jason Peters could be a mismatch in Peters' favor. The Eagles' offense leaves quarterback Michael Vick extremely vulnerable because of the way it spaces out its offensive linemen. And the Giants, who have just four sacks this season, should be able to pressure Vick. But Pierre-Paul has one sack in his last 11 games, and this may not be the week things turn around for him.
Prince vs. DeSean: Cornerback Prince Amukamara has been one of the few individual bright spots for the Giants this season and one of the top cover cornerbacks in the league so far. If Corey Webster has to miss a third straight game with his groin injury, Amukamara's likely to draw the assignment of covering Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson. Teams have shown that taking Jackson out of the game is a good way to limit the Philadelphia offense, and if Amukamara (maybe with some safety help) can do that, the Giants' chances to win will improve.