Semi-Coherent Eagles vs. Giants Preview: The One Where They Face the Other Manning Brother


Image Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

If anyone ever wants to see what happens when an excellent offense goes against a bad defense, all you have to do is watch a replay of last week’s game against the Broncos.  Peyton Manning and his supporting cast pretty much did anything they wanted to the Eagles’ defense.  While 14 of the points were courtesy of special teams foul-ups, 38 points is still an impressive total.

The Eagles are now on a three-game losing streak, but there is some good news: First, all three losses were against the AFC.  While it’s never a good thing to lose a football game, due to the playoff tiebreaking process, it is preferable that the losses come against opponents from the other conference.

Perhaps more importantly, none of the other NFC East teams have looked particularly strong either.  The worst of the lot has been the 0-4 New York Giants, who coincidentally happen to be the Eagles’ next opponent.

What’s the Deal with the Giants

Heading into the season, a lot of people picked the Giants to win the NFC East.  There was no real logic for this pick aside from “Nobody in the division looks that good, and they’ve got Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin, so why not?”

The Giants do still have a lot of big names from their Super Bowl team.  Coughlin is still the coach, Manning is still the quarterback, and supporting players like Hakeem Nicks and Justin Tuck are still on hand.  Yet the Giants have been horrible.  They’re 0-4 which includes a blowout at the hands of the Panthers, who do not appear to be an especially strong team.

Manning has been especially awful this season. Despite having Victor Cruz and Nicks around to make him look good, he’s put up lousy numbers, and has thrown an alarming number of interceptions.  In other words, we’ve seen the Manning Face quite a bit this season.

Featured Giants Player: Victor Cruz

Image Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

I consider myself a fan of Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz.  It isn’t because of his skill at catching the football.  I actually don’t like that, because it tends to lead to the success of the Giants’ offense (at least it did before this season), and has helped convince people that Eli Manning is a good quarterback.

You might suspect that I like Cruz due to his signature salsa style dance that he does after scoring a touchdown.  I am not a fan of salsa dancing nor do I like it when the Giants score touchdowns (especially when NBC decides to add their own musical accompaniment) so that is also not why I am a Cruz fan.

I like him simply because he looks like comedian Dave Chappelle.  So whenever I see him, I start thinking about skits from Chappelle’s Show and start to laugh

In that vein, I’m going to introduce a new segment to the Semi-Coherent Preview which I think you’ll enjoy…

Chappelle’s Show Skit that Relates to This Week’s Game

It’s hard to believe that it’s been ten years since Chappelle’s Show debuted.  In honor of the show’s shortlived greatness, I’m going to pick a sketch that somehow relates to this week’s game.  I’m warning you right now: This is mostly just an excuse to feature a Chappelle’s Show skit, and the connection might be VERY tenuous.

Much like Eli Manning, Charlie Murphy has spent much of his life in the shadow of his more famous older brother.  But both brothers have also experienced a good deal of success on their own, and at times might have been considered the more successful sibling.  While Charlie Murphy may have never reached “winning the Super Bowl” levels of fame, he did hit it big when he shared his “True Hollywood Stories.”

In this skit, Murphy shows us what happened when he met Prince:

Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Story: Prince

Key Eagles Storyline

Image Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

There has been no shortage of (well deserved) criticism of the Eagles’ defense.  But the most troubling part of the defense’s failings may be the struggles of second-year players Fletcher Cox and Mychal Kendricks.  Heading into the season, these two – the first two players taken by the team in the 2012 draft – were viewed as potential Pro Bowlers.  But neither has played anywhere close to that level thus far in 2013.

There are numerous potential explanations: Some have blamed the adjustment to the new 3-4 defensive system, and others claim the two are simply undergoing growing pains.  But there may be a more simple – and troubling – explanation: They just might not be as good as the Eagles had thought.  The Eagles hope that is not the case, otherwise their defense is even further away from respectability than most people expected.

An Apology to Dave Spadaro

Earlier in the season, I included a weekly Inane Dave Spadaro Tweet as part of the Semi-Coherent preview.  I would mock the Eagles’ in-house reporter for providing uninformative non-answers to questions Tweeted at him.  But for most of the season, Spadaro’s Tweets have actually seemed sincere and informative.  Sure, I could have cherry picked an inane Tweet here or there but that wouldn’t have been fair.  I mean who among us doesn’t have a few lame Tweets to our name?

So consider this an official apology to Dave.

Tweet of Importance

The Eagles may have hit a rough stretch, but as far as we can tell, there doesn’t seem to be much in-fighting.  The Giants can’t make the same claim apparently.

Tweet of Importance II

In other words, despite the past three weeks, the NFC East title is certainly not out of the question for the Eagles!

The Week in Andy

After 13 years together, many Eagles fans are feeling some Andy Reid withdrawal.  I’ve decided to help them out by providing a weekly look at what Big Red is up to in Kansas City.

The scene: Andy is sitting in his office, furiously writing in a binder when general manager John Dorsey walks in.

Dorsey: 4 and 0!

Andy: Huh?

Dorsey: We’re 4 and 0!  Pretty awesome, huh?

Andy: Oh, yeah.  Sure.

(Suddenly, the door is kicked in and offensive coordinator Doug Pederson walks in.  He is carrying a six-pack of beer, one of which is already opened and in his hand)

Pederson: Reidster!  What up, bro?

Reid: Hey, Doug, you’re right on time.

Pederson: I’m all pumped to work out next week’s game plan.  And I brought some brewskis!  You want one?

Reid: No thanks.

Pederson: Whatever.  More for me then.  (Takes a chug and notices Dorsey watching in shock) Hey, who’s this guy?

Dorsey: Hi, Doug.

Pederson: (Looks confused) Who the *** are you?

Dorsey: Um, it’s me.  John Dorsey.  The general manager.

Pederson: (Takes a closer look at Dorsey) Oh wow…Dorkey!  You’re the guy we all used to give wedgies to back in Green Bay.  You remember that?

Dorsey: (Drops his head) Yes, I remember.

Pederson: Wanna go re-live that for old times sake?  (Walks over and puts Dorsey in a headlock)

Dorsey: Ow, please stop.  Andy, can you please get him to stop?

Reid: (Looks up from a binder he was writing in) What?  What are you guys doing?  Come on, Doug, we gotta get to work.

Pederson: (Reluctantly releases him) Whatever.  (Chugs the rest of his beer and chucks the empty can at Dorsey as the general manager hurriedly leaves the office)

Image Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Final Take and Prediction

The Giants may be in a deep hole due to their 0-4 start, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of winning some games the rest of the way.  And considering they are coming off a 32 point loss, the Eagles aren’t exactly on a roll either.

Will the Eagles’ ailing defense be able to take advantage of a floundering Giants’ offense?  It will be a matchup of two struggling teams, and unfortunately, I think home field advantage causes the Giants to struggle a little bit less than the Eagles this week.

Giants 34 – Eagles 27