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Eagles vs. Giants stats preview

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NFL: NFC Divisional Round-New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Another week, another stats preview ... but with a twist! From now on, I’m working with the wonderful Shane Haff who podcasts for BGN and has some great designs that will make this article easier to follow. As always, I’ll give you my analysis based on film study and the stats. All stats are from Sports Info Solution, FTN Fantasy, and ESPN. Here is an explainer by PFF for many of the stats used in this article.

Eagles Tendencies

If you just look at the numbers, it still looks pretty good. The Eagles remain an outstanding running team, which is why I’m constantly calling for them to run the ball more! The RPO numbers have also risen in recent weeks.

The Eagles barely blitzed last week, which I was very happy about. The Eagles remain a lot better when they play with a two-high shell and MOFO coverage (middle field open - no single-high safety) but in the big moments, they go back to playing single-high for some odd reason. Hopefully that’s not the case this week.

Giants Tendencies

This Giants’ offense sucks. These numbers are absoultely terrible. How on earth do you use no huddle at the highest rate in the league if you rank 32nd when you use it? I didn’t even realise it was possible to rank 30th or below in every single category of basic offense. I’ve been writing stats pieces for over a year, and this is the worst offense I’ve seen the Eagles play numbers wise. The defense better show up this week.

The defense isn’t as bad as the offense, but it still is not great. The Giants love to stack the box and play a one-high shell, so this might not be the week to run it a ton. If the Eagles wanted to get back to ‘single-high, let it fly’ then this might be the week for it. The Giants blitz a lot, and this is something the Eagles have struggled with for a while, so it is worth keeping an eye on this.

Matchups

The Eagles have to win this game. Simply put, the Giants are not a good football team. They are possibly the worst team in the league right now. The numbers show a very bad offense and a pretty bad defense. I said earlier that the Giants like to stack the box and play a lot of single-high coverage, so it’s pretty incredible that they rank 28th in run defense.

The EPA numbers show a similar story. It’s impressive that a team with SaQuon Barkley can rank 32nd in rush EPA and 30th in rushing success rate. The Eagles’ defense better play well this week or I will be pretty close to giving up on them.

The Eagles’ pass rush hasn’t been great of late, but the numbers still look pretty good due to the first half of the season. I do think the lack of rotation on the defensive line has really hurt this pass rush. This should be the week to bounce back though. Hopefully, this week is a good chance to give Nolan Smith some more snaps too because the Eagles need another EDGE rusher to give Josh Sweat and Haason Reddick more time to recover.

If the Eagles defense is ever going to improve on 3rd down, this has to be the week. The Giants’ offense is a disaster on late downs. The Giants just don’t have the receiving talent or quarterback play to win on late downs, especially in 3rd and 6+. However, if there’s any defense in the league that can make a team look good on 3rd down, it’s this Eagles’ defense. Just ask Drew Lock...

The Giants’ struggle on both sides of the ball in the red zone too. The Eagles’ offense has improved in the red zone over the second half of the season, but the defense remains a huge issue.

Seeing as there’s been so much criticism of Jalen Hurts this past week, it’s worth reminding ourselves that he’s a very good quarterback. I expect him to bounce back this week and remind everyone of why he’s an outstanding quarterback. Tommy DeVito has had some nice moments, and it’s a fun story, but the Eagles’ defense needs to come out on top this week. If Tommy DeVito has a great week, then I don’t see how anyone can have any confidence in the Eagles’ defense moving forward.

The numbers show that this should be a convincing win for the Eagles. If the Eagles manage to screw this one up, then we are in real trouble...

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