The Giants are looking to make it two in a row on Thursday night when they face the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Giants are coming off a strong team effort in their 20-19 win over the Washington Football Team.
As they seek their second win of the season, here is a look at some players to watch who could play a significant role in things.
OLB Kyler Fackrell
Kyler Fackrell has been a game-changing player over the last two weeks.
After returning an interception for a touchdown in Week 5 against the Cowboys, Fackrell forced the fumble that was ultimately returned for the game-winning touchdown by rookie linebacker Tae Crowder last week.
The Giants haven’t scored on defence for three straight games since 2015 but should get an opportunity against Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz who leads all quarterbacks in turnovers with nine interceptions and five fumbles.
Fackrell might be the man to look toward to extend the streak as he’s managed to help create defensive scores both in coverage and coming off the edge.
Fackrell is tied for the team lead in sacks with three, and while he will have a tough matchup if he lines up across from Lane Johnson, Fackrell has been playing a smart, instinctive, and aggressive game of late.
WR Darius Slayton
Slayton has caught all three touchdown passes for the Giants this year and would even have a fourth if not for an iffy illegal contact penalty by now-former receiver Damion Ratley in Week 5.
Quarterback Daniel Jones has looked to Slayton on 21% of his passes; of those, 25 of Jones’ 123 completions have gone to Slayton this season.
The Jones-to-Slayton connection has been the Giants’ most consistent performing act on an offence dating back to last season. With the Giants receiver corps thin this week–C.J. Board is inactive (concussion), and there remains some doubt about whether Sterling Shepard will be activated off IR and if so if he’d be active for the game–the Jones-Slayton connection should be one to watch.
Slayton projects to spend most of the game lined up against Eagles top cornerback Darius Slay, which could prove to be the toughest matchup Slayton has faced all year.
Slay, a Pro Bowler and First-Team All-Pro, has allowed 23 receptions on 33 targets for 247 yards in his first season in Philadelphia and has three passes defended in his last four games.
Slayton torched the Eagles in Philadelphia last year with five catches for 154 yards and two touchdowns.
But Slay’s presence in this game will mean a much tougher battle for Slayton if the two end up seeing a lot of each other, and is one that could go a long way in determining the Giants’ offensive fate on Thursday.
CB James Bradberry
James Bradberry has been one of the league’s best coverage cornerbacks so far in 2020, allowing just 20 receptions on 35 targets (57.1%) with two interceptions and a league-leading ten passes defended
Even when a receiver makes a catch against Bradberry, he’s not getting very far, as in six games, Bradberry has allowed just 62 yards after the catch.
Last week the Giants out Bradberry mostly on Washington’s No. 2 receiver, choosing to send help toward the No. 1 receiver covered primarily by Ryan Lewis.
This week, it’s possible Bradberry might see the speedy yet ailing (hamstring) DeSean Jackson, who is looking for his first 100-yard game since Week 1 of last season.
OTs Andrew Thomas/Matt Peart
One of the most significant underlying storylines of the Giants’ Week 6 win over Washington was their interchanging left tackles throughout the game.
First-round rookie Andrew Thomas, who started the first five games of the season at left tackle, was disciplined by head coach Joe Judge after being late to a team meeting. Third-rounder Matt Peart made his first NFL start in Thomas’ place, and the two ended up rotating.
Peart performed well in his limited action at left tackle, allowing just one pressure on 23 total pass-blocking snaps per PFF, and was particularly impressive in run blocking.
Regardless of who gets the start or bulk of the snaps, they’ll have a huge challenge this week against Eagles edge rushers Derek Barnett and Brandon Graham, who have combined for 37 pass rushes with eight sacks.
TE Evan Engram
We’re not quite ready to give up on tight end Evan Engram having that breakout game just yet, even though so far it’s eluded him either due to production or opportunities.
This week, Engram is going against an Eagles defence that has taken over for the Giants in terms of struggling against opposing tight ends.
Against the Eagles, opposing tight ends have caught 28 of 34 pass attempts for 300 yards and five touchdowns in six games, including a three-scoring affair to Tyler Higbee of the Rams back in Week 2.
A big reason for the Eagles’ struggles against opposing tight ends has been a lack of speed at the second level.
Given the trends and the conditions, plus considering the Giants are thin at receiver this week, if there was ever a game for Engram to have a breakout, this would be it.