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Eagles rookie storylines entering the Giants game

Week 12 preview.

Philadelphia Eagles v Carolina Panthers Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The Eagles are riding high after winning three of their last four games. Rookie contributions have fueled the team’s resurgence and the young guns will be relied on once again this Sunday to deliver an important divisional win against New York.

Can DeVonta Smith deliver another big game?

The Eagles passing game has taken a back seat to their dominant run game, but DeVonta Smith has still been relied on to make big plays on limited opportunities.

The run game has been the engine of the offense, but the team still needs a big play threat in the passing game to keep defenses from clamping down on the line of scrimmage.

In the last three games, DeVonta Smith has had at least one catch that went over 28 yards. Those types of plays matter in order to keep defenses honest. The Eagles will likely take to the ground to beat up on the Giants defense, but expect DeVonta Smith to still see enough targets where he can still make a meaningful impact.

Are the Giants the next on Landon Dickerson’s hit list?

Watching Landon Dickerson and Jordan Mailata blocking on the left side of the Eagles line is the closes thing the NFL has to watching gladiator matches. The two of them haven’t just been reliable blockers, they have been bullying and embarrassing whichever poor sucker has to line up across from them.

The Giants defense has some good players up front, no doubt a challenge for Dickerson and company. Expect the Eagles downhill run game to keep Dickerson playing aggressive football.

Can Kenneth Gainwell work his way into the lineup?

After a few weeks of great football, Jordan Howard is on the mend with a knee injury. While Miles Sanders’ return to the team couldn’t have come at a better time, the Eagles still need a platoon of running backs to make their ground game work.

Kenneth Gainwell has been on the back burner for a few weeks now and was a healthy scratch last week. Though Howard’s injury might be a chance for the rookie runner to get back into good graces with the coaching staff.

There is no doubt Gainwell is a dynamic player who can catch the football from all over the formation and is an underrated downhill runner. It would be great to see him get a chance as a gadget player instead of giving those snaps to Jalen Reagor.

How much will Zech McPhearson be relied on?

The Eagles might be hampered in the secondary on Sunday. Darius Slay and Avonte Maddox got banged up against New Orleans and there is a chance that Zech McPhearson will be called on to play a healthy dose of snaps at MetLife.

McPhearson looked solid against the Saints, if not unspectacular, which is all the team needs from the young defensive back. While the New York Giants are a mess, there is no doubting the talent of their pass catching group. If McPhearson does see the field, he will have a challenge against the Giants receivers.