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Giants seek playoff berth in Philadelphia

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Photo Credit:  Seth Wenig/Associated Press

 

The New York Giants head into Thursday night’s game against the Philadephia Eagles needing a win to clinch a wildcard playoff berth.  Due to a short week of preparation and less time to recover from this past Sunday’s game the Giants have their hands full.  Nonetheless the urgency on the part of the Giants will certainly be there as they take the field.  Below are a couple of things that they’ll need to do to be successful against their divisional foe.

 

Pressure Carson Wentz:

Wentz got off to a fast start this season but has stumbled in the second half of the season.   The Eagles are 1-6 in the last 7 games and Wentz has 4 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.  The method for a Giants win consistently seems to be made up of a combination of the Giants defense holding down opposing offenses while their offense puts up just enough points to secure the win.  The Giants defense has been superb over the last two games, preventing a touchdown from being scored in the last seven quarters that they’ve played.  Despite the loss of Jason Pierre-Paul, the defensive line has still shown the ability to put pressure on the passer while continuing to be the stout run defending team that they’ve been all season long.  If Olivier Vernon and Romeo Okwara are able to consistently get pressure on the edge while Damon “Snacks” Harrison and Jonathan Hankins provide interior pressure than not only will they find a way limit running back Ryan Mathews’ production but they should be able to sufficiently take Wentz out of his rhythm.  The Eagles have already been eliminated from playoff contention so they will surely be motivated to play spoiler in the Giants quest to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2011.  If the Giants defensive line can make it a priority throughout the game to pressure, hurry and knock down Wentz at every chance they get than it will make it increasingly difficult for the Eagles offense to run smoothly and find ways move the chains against the Giants.

 

Feature Paul Perkins at Running Back:

The Giants are 5-1 when they rush for over 100 yards in a game.  This past week they rushed for 114 yards in their win against the Lions.  Paul Perkins rushed for 11 carries and 56 yards for an average of 5.1 yards per carry to Rashad Jennings 18 carries for 38 yards for an average of 2.1 yards per carry.  It’s not simply the statistics from this game but Perkins has averaged more than 5 yards a carry twice in the last three games in a small sample size.   Beyond the numbers Perkins passes the eye test when you watch him play.  He consistently finds the hole and is more elusive at the second level than Jennings is, who is primary a downhill runner.   It would be nice to see the Giants give him more touches and allow him to get into more of a rhythm.  It’s clear that he’s got the ability but at this point he simply needs the coaching staff to trust him with a bigger work load.   If the Giants do allow Perkins more chances against the Eagles and in their final contest against the Redskins they may see him mature and progress even more before the season ends.

 

 

Prediction:  Giants win 20-14

 

 

Dan Evans is a Contributing Writer for PureSportsNY    You can follow him on Twitter @DanEvansPSNY

 

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