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Scouting Report: Eye on the Eagles

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants will try to conclude their season with a three-game winning streak and simultaneously help push an old rival out of the playoffs when they host the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday in MetLife Stadium. Since losing in Philadelphia, 23-17 in overtime, on Dec. 9, the 4-11 Giants have scored 77 points while defeating Miami and Washington, the latter in overtime last Sunday.

The 8-7 Eagles arrive with a three-game winning streak – one victory against each of the other three NFC East teams. With another victory against the Giants, the Eagles will win the division title. But a Philly loss and Dallas victory against the Redskins will give the crown to the Cowboys. The victory earlier this month was the Eagles' sixth in row against the Giants and gave them an 84-83-2 lead in the all-time series, which dates to 1933.

What is the Eagles' biggest strength?

Their ability to be creative and productive on offense despite losing numerous key players to injury. Jordan Howard, who was the team's leading rusher, hasn't played since Nov. 3 because of a shoulder injury, but is expected to return Sunday. In his absence, rookie Miles Sanders has stepped up. Second-year back Boston Scott, who totaled 128 scrimmage yards and scored a touchdown vs. the Giants, has become a key reserve. Philly keeps rolling, thanks to their success on third down conversions (46.7%, second in the league), which enables them to control the ball (Philly's 33:02 average time off possession is also second).

Which player is key to the Eagles' offense?

Quarterback Carson Wentz is always vital to the team's fortunes, but no one has been more valuable the last few games than Sanders. The second-round draft choice from Penn State is a factor in both the running and passing attacks as he leads the team with 766 rushing yards and is third with 510 receiving yards – and has three touchdowns in each. An instinctive and fast player, Sanders is a big-play threat who seems to improve each week. He totaled 328 rushing and receiving yards the last two weeks.

What is the strength of the Eagles' offense?

It's ability to use players to produce a prolific passing game without their top wide receivers. DeSean Jackson has spent most of the season on injured reserve and Alshon Jeffery (43 receptions) joined him there after hurting his foot against the Giants. Nelson Agholor has missed the last three games with a knee injury. Without them, tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert and Sanders are the top three receivers on the team with 88, 54 and 47 catches, respectively. Ertz had nine receptions, including the game-winning touchdown in overtime, in the first meeting three weeks ago. Scott has 19 catches in the last three games. Greg Ward, a former college quarterback, has team-high totals of 36 targets and 22 catches since he was signed off the practice squad on Nov. 23. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and practice squad callup Robert Davis are also playing significant snaps. Tight end Joshua Perkins lines up as a big receiver. Despite the upheaval, coach Doug Pederson has the offense producing and the Eagles winning.

Which player is key to the Eagles' defense?

Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox owns this paragraph. A Pro Bowler each of the last four seasons and a 2018 All-Pro, the eight-year veteran is a powerful, athletic and explosive three-down player in the interior of Philadelphia's line. Cox has 46 tackles (27 solo), 31 quarterback pressures and hits, 3.5 sacks and three forced fumbles. Like any team that plays the Eagles, the Giants must pay special attention to Cox.

What is the strength of the Eagles' defense?

It's ability to stop the run, which is matched by few teams in the league. The Eagles' run D is third in the NFL is yards allowed per game (88.0) and seventh in opposing yards per carry (4.0). Last week, the unit held Ezekiel Elliott to 47 yards on 13 carries. In the teams' first meeting, the Giants averaged just 3.7 yards an attempt and did not have a run longer than 11 yards. Tackles Tim Jernigan and Cox, plus ends Derek Barnett and Brandon Graham form a rugged front four. Linebackers Nathan Gerry, Nigel Bradham and T.J. Edwards make plays sideline-to-sideline, and safeties Malcom Jenkins and Rodney McLeod help in run support.

Which player is key to the Eagles' special teams?

Jake Elliott missed two 55-yard field goal attempts last week but has been a consistently productive kicker in his three seasons with the Eagles. This season, he has made 20 of 24 attempts – just one of the misses was under 50 yards – 31 of 33 extra point tries. Elliott also has 50 touchbacks. This season, he became the first kicker in Philadelphia history to begin a season with 16 consecutive made field goals. Giants fans will never forget, nor forgive, his Eagles-record 61-yarder that beat the Giants as time expired in Lincoln Financial two years ago.

Based on the scouting report, what must the Giants do to win the game?

Offensively, get the running game going. The Giants can then use play action to take shots down field against a depleted Eagles secondary. On defense, the Giants need to corral Philadelphia's backs and tight ends and force Wentz to throw to a group of receivers that has been thinned by injuries.

Statistics you should know:

*The Eagles have allowed as many first-half points on the road – 16.5 per game – as they have in entire games at home – 16.7/game.

*The Giants and Eagles are tied for first in the league in a statistic in which no team wants to lead – they've each lost 15 fumbles.

*Philadelphia has scored either a touchdown or field goal on 28 straight trips to the red zone, the league's longest active streak.

*Wentz has thrown a touchdown pass in 18 consecutive regular-season games – also the longest current streak in the NFL. That ties him with Randall Cunningham for the second-longest streak in Eagles history.

View rare photos of the all-time series between the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles

Giants vs. Eagles Broadcast Info: TV channel, Radio Station and Live Stream

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