The Eagles can officially lock up a playoff spot with a win over New York on Sunday. The Giants are no slouch and Brian Daboll’s squad will be geared up for a tough game. For the Eagles, they could be relying on their rookies quite a bit to help deliver a win. Here are some storylines to monitor!
Do we see Jordan Davis get a snap bump?
The Eagles eased Jordan Davis back into the lineup last week. The rookie first rounder only played six snaps on defense, but made an impact when he was on the field. Overall the Eagles defensive line performed one of their best games of the season, sacking Ryan Tannehill several times and smothering a potent Titans running game. It’s clear they have the talent to survive less playing time from their star nose-tackle.
The Giants are similarly dependent on running the football. Saquon Barkley is having an exciting comeback season and carrying the Giants offense on his back. They will no doubt want to get Barkley going early on Sunday, so the Eagles will need another stellar performance from their defensive line. Jordan Davis could see some more time and hopefully continues to be the shutdown defender he’s been all season.
Has Nakobe Dean earned more playing time?
Nakobe Dean stepped onto the field last week and instantly looked like the player that made Georgia’s defense so dangerous last year. Dean played with confidence, speed and physicality; making big plays in the limited action he saw last week.
With Kyzir White still nursing an injury and secret being out on Dean’s play, it might be hard for the Eagles to keep their rookie linebacker off the field on Sunday. Jonathan Gannon has certainly prioritized experience and dependability over upside at linebacker this season, but Dean played well enough last week to give the team some confidence. If White can’t play, the Eagles should feel good about giving Nakobe Dean the nod.
Can Reed Blankenship stay hot?
Reed Blankenship continues to be a revelation at safety. While C.J. Gardner-Johnson is irreplaceable in terms of playmaking, leadership and being an all-around great defender, the Eagles are lucky to be getting such steady play from their rookie back up.
The Giants offense isn’t exactly world beating when throwing the football, but they will demand a lot from the Eagles secondary in terms of coming up to defend the run. If Blankenship can play like has the last two weeks, the Eagles should turn in another strong defensive performance.
Has Britain Covey turned the corner?
The Eagles finally got a little juice from Britain Covey last week on punt returns. This comes after several weeks of zero return production and frustration with the rookie specialist. Covey had his best game as a pro against Tennessee and hopefully he can build on that to give the Eagles good field position on Sunday.