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Keys to Victory: Limit Jalen Hurts; 'play in the positive'


The New York Giants (7-4-1) continue their gauntlet through the NFC East this week with a visit from the Philadelphia Eagles, who own the NFL's best record at 11-1.

It will be Big Blue's third of four consecutive games within the division. The first was a loss in Dallas on Thanksgiving, and the second ended in a tie with the Washington Commanders, their first since 1997.

Here are three keys to victory for the Giants before they go on the road to Washington and Minnesota the next two weeks:

Be disciplined with Jalen Hurts

Carl Banks this week called Jalen Hurts a "triple threat." The Eagles quarterback can pass, run on designed plays, and scramble when he needs to improvise. The latter is what can really get teams in trouble and take the life out of the stadium. The Giants need to keep their discipline and not freelance against Hurts, who is on pace to become the first player in NFL history to have 500+ pass attempts and 150+ carries in a single season. He could also be the first qualified passer with a 100+ passer rating and 10+ rush touchdowns in the same season.

Daboll has a connection with Hurts dating back to their time together at Alabama. In 2017, Daboll returned to collegiate coaching for the first time in 18 years when he became the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Crimson Tide, which finished 13-1 and earned its 17th national championship.

"I would just say this, not to go back then but just knowing the player, knowing the person, he's as competitive and mentally tough as I've ever been around," Daboll said. "He's a great teammate. Unfortunately, we have to play them twice a year, very happy for the success that he's had. Again, he's a special young man to me, and he's just a mentally tough guy. Nothing rattles him, he doesn't get rattled. So, he had this happen, this happens, he doesn't worry about all that stuff. He just focuses on what he needs to focus on, the short time I was around him. I haven't been around him for five years or whatever it is. But just as a young college person, you have a great appreciation for his mental toughness, his competitive stamina, and his leadership."

Win the turnover battle

You don't have to be Vince Lombardi to figure out why the Eagles have the best record in the NFL. They have the most takeaways (23) and the fewest giveaways (10) for a league-best, plus-13 turnover differential. In their only loss, the Eagles turned over the ball a season-high four times to the Commanders. The Giants enter Sunday at plus-three, tied for eighth in the league.

"Play in the positive"

The Eagles' defense is just as dangerous as their offense. They rank first or second in total yards allowed, passing, sacks, takeaways, and yards per play. Daboll said this week that his offense needs to "play in the positive," meaning the Giants need to take care of business on first and second downs to avoid Philadelphia being able to pin its ears back on third-and-longs. That requires a solid day in the run game and a low number of negative plays, including penalties.

View rare photos of the historic rivalry between the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles.


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