The Philadelphia Eagles have a chance to pull even with the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East with a win over the New York Giants on Monday Night Football.
Of course, their fellow divisional rival can throw a monkey wrench in those plans, too. Despite the poor record of both teams, this game will have a big impact on the playoff picture.
Looking ahead to this Monday Night Football matchup, we have some big questions, one of which revolves around a quarterback change for the G-Men.
Will Philly take advantage of New York’s secondary?
The Giants tend to be quite liberal when it comes to the amount of space they give opposing receivers. They rank 25th in the league in passing yards allowed per game, have surrendered 22 touchdowns and the fifth-highest passer rating to opposing quarterbacks (101.7).
The question is, which Eagles offense will show up to this game? Carson Wentz had a big game against Miami in a losing effort in Week 13. However, he has thrown multiple touchdowns in just five of his 12 starts. It’s not just on Wentz, though, as Philly’s receiving corps has been hit with injuries and a brutal case of the drops.
A focused effort by Philadelphia’s offense could yield excellent results. Will they bring it?
Can the Giants contain Miles Sanders?
Rookie running back Miles Sanders has come on strong for the Eagles in 2019. Averaging 73.25 yards from scrimmage per game, he’s shown his worth as a receiver and a runner for this offense. With Jordan Howard likely out with his shoulder injury, it’s going to be up to Sanders to shine on Monday night.
The Giants give up over 114 yards per game and have allowed 13 rushing scores. Yet they also allow just 3.9 yards per carry, thanks to their stout defensive front. Whether Sanders can consistently gain positive yardage on the ground will be a huge storyline to follow. If it’s up to Wentz and the passing game, it’s anyone’s guess how the game will go.
Will Saquon Barkley find any room to run?
What a difference a year makes. After surpassing 2,000 yards last season, Saquon Barkley has hit a sophomore slump. From his ankle injury earlier this year, to the offensive line’s struggles and utter coaching malpractice, the blame is spread out. It’s truly stunning to realize that Barkley hasn’t received 20-plus carries in a single game this year.
His task on Monday Night Football is a challenging one, to be sure. If Barkley is finally going to break out and have one of his signature performances, he’ll have to do it against one of the NFL’s best run defenses. Philly allows just 91 rushing yards per game, the fourth-fourth allowed in the NFL.
Will Eli Manning spark the Giants?
The last time we saw Eli Manning on the field, he looked washed up. It’s why the Giants made the switch and rolled with rookie Daniel Jones. Now Jones is out this week due to an ankle injury, so it’s time for Manning to see if he still has anything positive left to offer his team now, and potentially another team next season.
Philadelphia’s pass defense is middle-of-the-road. There will be opportunities for Manning and Co. to make big plays — if he can do it physically. We’ll be watching the 38-year-old closely.
Can Philly finally show some playoff grit?
The Eagles haven’t looked great this season. Their 5-7 record is indicative of that fact. But their Monday Night Football matchup against the Giants is one they should win, on paper.
This is a team that’s found a way to fight through adversity in the past. But that was when Nick Foles was working his magic following injuries to Wentz. Now it’s time for Wentz to conjure up his own magic. If he does, the Eagles have a prime opportunity to finish the season strong and knock the Cowboys out of the playoffs.