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PHILADELPHIA — On paper, it is a mismatch, an area of strength against a significant weakness.
not the formidable Eagles defensive line against the porous Giants offensive front — Philadelphia’s battered secondary against Big Blue array of talented wide receivers.,No
Which is why the battle up front may well decide Sunday’s winner.
“I know for us to have success whoever they put on the offensive line and whatever they do as far as protections, whether it’s adding guys, we got to have some disruptions up front, tight ends and backs chipping,
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,” safety Malcolm Jenkins said Thursday. “That’s going to basically dictate what we’re able to do.”
Jenkins is one of two members of the starting secondary healthy,
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, along with cornerback Jalen Mills. Top corner Ronald Darby will miss several weeks with a dislocated ankle,
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, cornerback Jaylen Watkins and backup safety Corey Graham missed practice for a second straight day Thursday,
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, and starting safety Rodney McLeod, and are all major question marks for Sunday.
however,The defensive line, doesn’t have such issues, and it has been among the sport’s best so far, notching eight sacks. That just so happens to be the Giants’ weakness. The Big Blue offensive line has allowed eight sacks, and quarterback Eli Manning has come under fire as a result in their 0-2 start.
“We definitely got to get some pressure on him,
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,because it’s shown to affect him,” Jenkins said.
When it was suggested to Jenkins that Manning has begun to see ghosts — pressure when it isn’t there, the veteran said,
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, “You usually see ghosts after you get hit by one.”
The Eagles didn’t have much luck getting to Manning last year,
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, sacking him just once in two games,
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, along with first-round pick Derek Barnett,
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, which the rivals split. But this group is different. It now includes veterans Tim Jernigan and Chris Long, all of whom have added significant depth and ability to the stellar group.
“Every down, every play, we’re just trying to dominate,
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,” Jernigan said. “The rush is a huge part of our defense.”
The Eagles defensive linemen have said all the right things this week. They have praised the Giants’ struggling offensive line and described embattled left tackle Ereck Flowers as a physical force. They have tried to make their opponent Sunday afternoon sound like a premier unit.
“I don’t know if it’s an advantage [we have], but it’s definitely one of those things we’ve circled and highlighted for us to have success,” Jenkins said. “That’s an area we’re going to have to win. We’re putting a lot on our D-line obviously.”
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