Giants defeat Eagles: One last look

Sober thoughts on Giants beating the Eagles

10/29/13 in NFL   |   ZacWassink   |   74 respect

Oct 27, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Giants running back Peyton Hillis (44) is tackled by Philadelphia Eagles inside linebacker DeMeco Ryans (59) during the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. The New York Giants won the game 15-7. Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY SportsWhen happens when two unspectacular football teams take the field? You get a game in which neither offense locates the end zone. The 2013 New York Giants have now beaten two lousy NFC East opponents, first the Minnesota Vikings and more recently the Philadelphia Eagles, and, at 2-6, Big Blue is very much so back in the playoff hunt at the start of the Bye week. That is more a statement about how bad the division is than a claim that the Giants are indeed “back,” but this team had to start somewhere.

Sober thoughts on Giants beating the Eagles: Not a coincidence

The Giants are winners of two straight. New York quarterback Eli Manning has not thrown an interception in two straight. These things are not unrelated.

Manning has been far from perfect in the past two contests. He easily could have been picked off on multiple occasions, and there still seems to be some curious and serious chemistry concerns between QB and his target. New York may be on an off week, but Manning and company have no business taking a break between now and the home game versus the Oakland Raiders.

Nevertheless, the difference between being intercepted and “should have been intercepted” cannot be overstated. Keeping possession and taking advantage of being given second life is how an average or even a bad team finds victories. The New York offense begins and ends with the play of its quarterback, and his avoiding costly turnovers has been his best asset in the past two contests.

Sober thoughts on Giants beating the Eagles: Phew

Neck injuries have been unkind to the Giants this fall. One has sidelined running back David Wilson, who may/may not be shut down for the year depending on how his situation changes, if at all, over the next couple of weeks. Center David Baas missed three games with a bum neck. The team was potentially facing an even more serious concern on Sunday when Victor Cruz left the field with a similar injury.

Cruz's is, fortunately for both player and for team, not nearly as worrisome. All reports are that Cruz is expected to be just fine moving forward, and the week off should have him at 100 percent when the Giants host the Raiders. Cruz reeled in seven passes for 86 yards in the winning effort.

Sober thoughts on Giants beating the Eagles: Pleasant surprise

The Giants could all of a sudden be dealing with the unexpected problem of having too many healthy and capable running backs. Peyton Hillis, signed before New York's win over the Vikings, rushed for a workmanlike 70 yards on 20 carries (3.5 yards per carry average) against Philly, and he has, in his two games, shown flashes of the player of old. He also has eight receptions in his two games with the team.

Hillis earned himself at least a look from head coach Tom Coughlin between now and November 10, when the Giants could have the former Cleveland Browns starting RB, Brandon Jacobs, Andre Brown and perhaps the previously mentioned Wilson all back and ready to go. Odds are that Hillis will ultimately be the odd man out when all is said and done.

The big guy definitely has something left in the ol' tank, though, and he should get a shot to continue on until he's on empty.

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