This week, I decided to do something slightly different regarding the tendencies. Rather than use the whole season’s tendencies, I have only used the past 6 weeks for each team as I think a lot of teams adjust their style throughout the season. Let me know if you prefer it this way as I will probably keep doing it this way throughout the playoffs if so! As always, using Sports Info Solutions.
This is a weird game because we are all assuming (and hoping) that Jalen Hurts will play and the Giants will rest their starters. Whatever happens, it is an absolutely massive game. Here we go!
Tendencies - Past 6 Weeks
The Eagles’ offense has barely used 13 personnel in the last 6 weeks which is excellent. The only downside with the 11 personnel focus is that Quez Watkins has been really poor of late. More Zach Pascal, please.
The Eagles recently rank bottom of the league in motion, which is very interesting. They didn’t seem to need it with Jalen Hurts but I think they could have used it more with Minshew. The play-action numbers have really dipped too.
The defense hasn’t changed in terms of personnel at all throughout the year. We have seen a slight increase in 4 defensive backs on the field though, due to the 5-2 front which has helped the Eagles become better against the run.
This has gone back to a 2-high shell defense the past few weeks, but they have also kept stacking the box more than they used to.
The start of the year had a lot more man coverage than the past 6 weeks. I am unsure what has changed, but I would like to see some more man coverage.
The Giants pretty much stay in 11 personnel, as does most of the league these days!
This is a heavy RPO/play-action offense and I expect that will remain the same, no matter whether it is Daniel Jones or Tyrod Taylor.
The Giants’ offense has been better of late, and it’s interesting that they have stopped running into stacked boxes, despite wanting to establish the run with Barkley.
This is the most bizarre defensive personnel I’ve seen. I imagine this will simplify if the starters are out, but who knows!
This is the important one. The Giants use a lot of man coverage and blitz a lot. Even if Hurts play, I am guessing the Eagles will not want him to scramble too much so I expect that the Giants will continue to play a lot of man. If they play a lot of 2-man, I expect a massive game from Dallas Goedert.
Eagles Offense vs Giants Defense
The Giants’ defense really is not very good. They have only given up 21.8 points per game which feels pretty good actually considering the underlying numbers. If the Eagles want to get through this one without Hurts taking many hits, this could be time to really run the ball early and often. The Giants' run defense is really bad and that is with all their starters.
Eagles Defense vs Giants Offense
The Giants’ offense has been pretty good of late, with the starters of course. The EPA numbers combined with the points and yards suggest around a top 12-14 offense, but they run the ball consistently well. They give up a lot of sacks which is why I would be surprised if see much of Daniel Jones. The thing that has made the Giants’ offense reliable is the lack of giveaways. The Eagles’ defense may not always be pretty, but ranking 1st in yards per play, passing yards per game, yards per pass attempt, and sacks is a pretty good place to be at the end of the season.
2 Key Matchups
Eagles defensive line vs. Giants offensive line
As we saw above, the Eagles now have an incredible sack rate of 11.64%. The Giants’ offense has a sack rate of 8.92% which is not good. When you consider the Giants run a lot, and run a lot of RPOs, that number feels even worse. I don’t know how many starters the Giants will play on the offensive line, but I expect the Eagles to feast this week.
Early down runs
As we all know, whether Jalen Hurts plays or not, the Eagles need to run the ball this week. I do not want Jalen Hurts taking unnecessary shots this week, as a runner or in the pocket. The good news is, the Giants struggle to stop the run on 1st and 2nd down. If the Eagles commit to running the ball, they should be able to do it this week.
On 1st down, the Giants' defense has allowed 1360 yards (4th worst) on 255 carries (5.3 YPA) and 8 TDs.
On 2nd down, the Giants’ defense has allowed 709 yards (10th) on 131 carries (5.4 YPA) and 5 TDs.
This a must-win game for the Eagles. Let’s get the #1 seed locked up.