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Scouting Report: Eye on the Philadelphia Eagles


The Giants take on the Eagles in Philadelphia in their regular-season finale on Sunday. The Giants are locked into the sixth seed, but the Eagles have a lot to play for. After losing two straight games, the Eagles are at risk of losing the NFC East division title and top seed in the NFC playoffs.

The Giants played the Eagles a month ago, so you can find that breakdown HERE. In this scouting report, let's look at what has changed from that game, and offer some possible key matchups.

When the Eagles have the ball…

* Jalen Hurts has a sprained SC joint in his throwing shoulder. A report from Ian Rapoport indicated he was healthy enough to play last week, but was held out to eliminate the risk of re-injury. He is expected to play this week. After scoring 34 points against Dallas in Week 16, the Eagles managed only 10 points against the Saints last week when they ran the ball only 15 times for 67 yards. Hurts was limited at Wednesday's walkthrough and head coach Nick Sirianni termed him day to day.

* Pro Bowl right tackle Lane Johnson left the Dec. 24 game against Dallas with a torn adductor muscle. He decided to put-off surgery and attempt to rehab the injury to give him a chance to return in the playoffs. He will not play this week. Former fourth-round pick Jack Driscoll (2020) will start in Johnson's place. Driscoll has played in all 16 games (with two starts) this season. He's taken 285 snaps this year, with 137 coming at right tackle, where he has 513 career snaps. According to PFF, he has allowed three sacks, two quarterback hits, and 14 hurries this season.

* Dallas Goedert missed the game against the Giants on Dec. 11th with a shoulder injury but he returned on Christmas Eve and will be ready to play on Sunday. In 11 games this season, Goedert has 49 catches for 656 yards and three touchdowns. He is a matchup problem in the middle of the field.

*Miles Sanders was limited in Wednesday's walkthrough with a knee injury.

Key Matchup: Miles Sanders vs. Jaylon Smith

The Eagles' rushing attack ranks fifth in the NFL (148.4). In their first matchup against the Giants, they ran for 253 yards on 8.16 yards per carry behind a lot of gap scheme with pulling offensive linemen. Mile Sanders ran for a season-high 144 yards on just 17 carries. He has a career-high 1236 rushing yards this season on 5.0 yards per attempt.

Keys for the Giants' defense

* Stop the traditional and quarterback run game with disciplined play up front

* Don't let Devonta Smith, AJ Brown and Quez Watkins get behind the defense – force them into a short passing game.

* Force the Eagles into 3rd-and-long situations, when the blitz can be used to speed up Hurts in the pocket.

View photos from practice as the Giants get ready for their regular-season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles.

When the Giants have the ball…

* The Eagles' defense has not played up to their high standard the past two weeks. In Week 16, they allowed 419 yards to the Dallas Cowboys, who scored 40 points. It was the unit's highest yardage and point total of the season.

Last week, the Saints only gained 313 yards and scored 20 points, but managed to run for 130 yards and hold the ball for 37:04 of the game clock. The Eagles still managed seven sacks and have had an almost unfathomable 32 sacks in their last five games. The Giants have had 38 sacks all season. The Eagles have had at least six sacks in five straight games. The Eagles are second in the NFL with 27 takeaways.

* Defensive End Josh Sweat was carted off the field with a neck injury against the Saints in Week 17. He could return this season but it will probably take longer than a week. In 16 games this season, Sweat is tied for second on the team with 11 sacks. His loss is a significant one. With Robert Quinn still injured and Derek Barnett out for the season, the Eagles will be forced to significantly increase veteran Brandon Graham's workload. He did not participate in Wednesday's walkthrough and Sirianni termed him "day by day".

* Nickel cornerback Avonte Maddox injured his toe against the Cowboys in Week 16 and is not expected to return for the regular season. Josiah Scott has been getting snaps inside in Maddox's absence. A 2020 fourth-round draft pick, Scott (5-9, 185) has played 569 defensive snaps in his career, according to PFF. He did not participate in Wednesday's walkthrough and Nick Sirianni presented his injury as something that would stretch out beyond this week.

* Defensive end Robert Quinn is trying to return from IR after having arthroscopic knee surgery. He is eligible to return this week but there are no indications early in the week he will return. Safety CJ Gardner Johnson has been out six weeks after suffering a lacerated kidney. According to head coach Nick Sirianni his activity has ramped up the last two weeks, and his practice window to return from IR has been opened, but there's no indication as of yet that he will be ready for this Sunday. Neither player played against the Giants last month.

* Linebacker Shaun Bradley was limited with wrist injury at Wednesday's walkthrough.

Key Matchup: Haason Reddick vs. Evan Neal

Reddick only had one sack and one quarterback hit against the Giants on Dec. 11, but he was in the backfield disrupting the passing attack for most of the game. PFF tracked him for 10 total pressures in the game. His quickness will be a challenge for Evan Neal, which is who he will be lined up against him the most. Brandon Graham, who finished with three sacks in that game, will also be someone the Giants will have to slow down.

Keys for the Giants' offense

* Try to stay out of must-pass situations when the Eagles can just focus on rushing the quarterback

* Continue to run the ball well – with both the running back and quarterback

* Protect the football against one of the most opportunistic defenses in football

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