Turnover-plagued teams meet as Eagles visit Giants
Much has been made of Daniel Jones’ tendency to turn the ball over, and with good reason.
Even with a mistake-free game last week in a win at Washington, the New York Giants’ second-year quarterback has committed a whopping 36 turnovers in 21 career starts. The only NFL quarterback with a worse ratio to start his career was Ryan Leaf.
However, when Jones and the Giants host the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday in a key NFC East encounter, he actually will be the steadiest signal-caller on the field. Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz has tossed an NFL-high 12 interceptions and lost four fumbles in his team’s first eight games, a prime reason why the Eagles’ record is 3-4-1.
Yet thanks to the division being arguably the worst in NFL history, the first-place Eagles own a 1 1/2-game lead over Washington and a two-game edge on New York and Dallas. But with a tougher schedule over the last eight games, they need Wentz to tighten up his act sooner instead of later.
“It’s obviously disappointing that that’s happened,” quarterbacks coach Press Taylor said. “That’s something he’s well aware of is not acceptable around here. It’s something we’re very confident that he’ll be able to clean up as we go into these next eight games, the second half of the season.
“That’s not what we expect around here. It’s not what we preach around here and it’s something we are excited to see going forward how we play the second half of the season.”
Philadelphia is probably just as excited to see how it plays with a bevy of players returning from injuries after a bye week. The Eagles should regain mainstays such as running back Miles Sanders, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, defensive tackle Malik Jackson and cornerback Darius Slay. None of the four finished a 23-9 win over Dallas two weeks ago, before Philadelphia’s bye week.
Meanwhile, the Giants (2-7) are coming off a 23-20 victory over Washington in which they led 20-3 at the half and then needed two fourth-quarter interceptions to hold on.
Jones’ stat line wasn’t great — 23 of 34, 212 yards and a touchdown — but it had zeros in interceptions and fumbles lost. New York forced five turnovers and got a combined 135 rushing yards from Wayne Gallman and Alfred Morris.
First-year coach Joe Judge has been encouraged by the offense’s recent play. The Giants have averaged 24.2 points in the past five games after scoring only 47 points in their first four contests.
“I think there’s a lot of aggressiveness with how we’re calling plays right now,” Judge said. “There’s a lot of aggressiveness in terms of how we’re playing and executing on the field, starting up front with the run blocking and the pass protection from the offensive line.
“When Daniel has a nice clean pocket, he’s been very productive. He’s been able to make plays in scramble situations as well.”
Recent form notwithstanding, the Giants remain 31st in points per game and yards per game. They are 30th in passing yards per game and 21st in rushing yards per game, the latter stat not a surprise considering they lost star running back Saquon Barkley for the season in Week 2.
The teams met on Oct. 22 in Philadelphia, where New York controlled most of the first 3 1/2 quarters and led 21-10 with less than five minutes left. However, Wentz threw 3- and 18-yard touchdown passes to Greg Ward and Boston Scott, respectively, to steal a 22-21 win.
–Field Level Media