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3 Keys to a Giants' victory against the Eagles

Posted Sep 21, 2017

Giants.com highlights three keys for the team to come away with a "W" on Sunday:


Lincoln Financial Field has not been the most hospitable place for the Giants in recent years.
Big Blue has lost three consecutive games – all at night – at the home of the rival Eagles, its last victory coming in 2013. Before the losing streak, the Giants had won six of their previous games there.

But now’s not the time for a history lesson, neither good nor bad.

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The 0-2 Giants are looking to break into the win column against the 1-1 Eagles on Sunday. Here are three ways they can do so in Week 3:

1. START FAST

The Giants have an average time of possession of 4:14 in the first quarter in their first two games, the lowest in the NFL, and are one of seven teams with no points in the opening 15 minutes. The quick three-and-outs have set the tone for the other 45 minutes as 31.8 percent of their drives have ended without gaining a first down. Starting fast with no mistakes is at a premium on the road against a divisional opponent – and its crowd.

“They’ve gotten up on us,” offensive lineman Justin Pugh, who grew up just outside of Philly, said about the recent games there. “We turn the ball over down there early and you go anywhere with a crowd in a ruthless environment and you get down early, it’s not a great recipe for success. I think that’s what it’s been. So we’ve got to go out there and we’ve got to play tough, we’ve got to play physical and we’ve got to take it to them.”

2. PROTECT ELI

The strength of the Eagles is their defensive front, which is as deep as it is talented. Led by defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and defensive end Brandon Graham, Philadelphia is tied for fourth in the league with eight sacks, which is the same number of times Manning has been taken down so far this season. This comes a year after Manning was sacked only 21 times in 16 games.

Looking to keep the Eagles at bay is a Giants offensive line that had some moving parts last week. Right tackle Bobby Hart aggravated his sprained ankle midway throw the first series and was forced to leave. Pugh slid from left guard to right tackle, where he started the first two years of his NFL career. Brett Jones, meanwhile, came in at left guard. Hart was unable to practice to start the week as he continues to deal with the injury. 


3. STOP THE RUN

The Giants allowed more than 120 rushing yards just once all of last season. So far, they have done so twice in two games in 2017. Dallas churned out 129 in the opener, and Detroit surpassed the mark with 138. Of course, time of possession and playing from behind all game have been major factors. But this defensive front prides itself on stopping the run, beginning with All-Pro defensive tackle Damon Harrison. Control the trenches, control the game.