The Philadelphia Eagles are on a hot streak, winning three of their last four games. They're coming off a convincing 40-29 victory over the New Orleans Saints, and quarterback Jalen Hurts is starting to show signs of development as a passing quarterback.
Hurts had a throw over the middle to Dallas Goedert two weeks ago against the Denver Broncos that was wildly impressive.
He keeps his eyes downfield, doesn't bail the pocket, avoids the rush, resets, and then fires a strike to Goedert for a first down on 3rd-and-11. He's not known for his arm talent, touch, or ability to throw with anticipation. Hurts is known more as an athletic quarterback who is a threat as a runner, but his arm has developed well.
His completion percentage is 61.6 percent, and he's thrown for 2,306 yards this season to go along with 13 touchdowns and six interceptions. On the ground, Hurts has 616 yards rushing and eight touchdowns. He's truly dangerous with the football in his hands, and he's beyond wise when judging when to run with the football.
The New York Giants will have to spy Hurts frequently. Expect them to use linebackers and possibly even dime-packaged players in an attempt to eliminate Hurts' ability to make plays with his legs. The defense will have to be disciplined against the Eagles.
The Eagles just received Miles Sanders back from an ankle injury that held him out of three games and placed him on the short-term IR Sanders is the Eagles' most explosive and dynamic running back. Sanders was underutilized in the beginning of the season by Nick Sirianni and the Eagles' coaching staff.
The rushing attack of the Eagles took off after Sanders' ankle injury, but the success did not correlate with Sanders' absence. It was a commitment to the run by the Eagles' coaching staff that made the offense more balanced and helped alleviate pressure off second-year quarterback Jalen Hurts.
Sanders is coming off a 16-carry, 94-yard performance against one of the best run defenses in the league in the Saints. He has 394 yards on the season. Jordan Howard played very well in Sanders's absence and maintained a role once the Nittany Lion returned to the lineup. Howard had ten carries for 63 yards against the Saints and now has 274 yards through four games.
Boston Scott, a short, powerful, and explosive back, is the third man on the totem pole as of last week. Scott's known as a Giant killer for his huge performances against New York in the past. Rookie Kenneth Gainwell did not dress last week, but he has operated in the Eagles' goal-line package in the past while having a role as a third-down back.
Giant fans are familiar with the reigning Heisman Trophy winner Devonta Smith who the Eagles traded up in front of the Giants to acquire. He's undersized, but it doesn't matter; he's playing very well for a rookie as the top receiving option in the Eagles' passing attack. Smith has 664 receiving yards on 46 catches with four touchdowns.
He's an elite route runner who creates solid separation and does a good job with the football in his hands. Smith is a hit, but 2020 first-round selection Jalen Reagor, who was selected over Justin Jefferson, is a bust so far in his career. Reagor still runs routes and plays for the Eagles with little positive impact on the team. He had one catch for negative one yard last week.
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The third receiver is Quez Watkins, and he's more of a big-play type of receiver. He has 408 yards on 26 catches with no touchdowns. He's fast but was held without a catch last week. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside is a former second-round pick who has a big frame but struggles to create separation. Like Reagor, he hasn't lived up to his potential coming out of Stanford back in 2019.
Zach Ertz was shipped out of town, and the tight end room now belongs to Dallas Goedert, a solid blocker but an excellent big-bodied receiving threat. Goedert is coming off a 5-catch, 62-yard performance against the Saints. On the season, he has 491 yards, and 34 catches to go along with two touchdowns.
This season, the Giants have struggled against tight ends, albeit they did a very good job against Travis Kelce and Darren Waller in their last two games. Goedert is dangerous as a receiving option, so the Giants will have to be aware of his presence. If Logan Ryan can't dress in this game, that will negatively affect the Giants' secondary to stop tight ends over the middle.
Former Buffalo (the college) quarterback Tyree Jackson is attempting to pull a Logan Thomas and play tight end. He's dressed in three games this season for the Eagles as a tight end, with his snaps increasing each week.
He's 6'7" and 250 pounds and will be a considerable threat in the red zone. The Eagles also use Jack Stoll in their 12 personnel packages. Stoll is the second tight end, while Jackson is more of a developmental player.
Some cornerstones of the Eagles 2017 Super Bowl team still exist and are playing well on this line. Center Jason Kelce may be 34-years old, but he's still one of the more athletic centers in the league. Kelce is great in space, has smooth feet in pass protection, and is a veteran who understands how to manipulate leverage.
Lane Johnson is arguably a top-three right tackle in the NFL. He combines great size with elite athletic ability and movement skills. Johnson has only nine pressures allowed on the year, and he hasn't allowed a sack.
Jordan Mailata is the left tackle. The former rugby player, who was a seventh-round developmental selection that turned into a unique tackle that is 6'8" and 350 pounds, has proven to be a very great find by Howie Roseman and his staff. Mailata grades very well in PFF's grading system, and his length and athletic ability are rare to find.
Former Auburn tackle Jack Driscoll and Alabama center Landon Dickerson are the two guards for the Eagles. Driscoll plays on the right side while Dickerson is on the left. The latter would have been a first-round pick in 2021, but several injuries throughout his time at Alabama and Florida State led to a slight draft day slide for Dickerson.
Driscoll may be the "weak link" on the line, but he's developed into an adequate interior offensive lineman in the NFL. He's not overly strong at the point of attack as a run defender, which is the opposite of Dickerson. The Eagles may struggle to move Dexter Lawrence in the middle of the defense next Sunday.
If the Giants can create enough interior pressure and get Jalen Hurts flowing laterally, and the Giants can still maintain contain while Hurts abandons the pocket, then they could affect the quarterback's ability to impact the game with his arm and legs. It's not going to be easy, but Hurts is a much different type of quarterback than anything they've played in 2021.
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