Ea­gles get past Huff to face Gi­ants

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Bob Grotz bgrotz@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @BobGrotz on Twit­ter

Dis­trac­tions off the field don’t bother the Ea­gles.

Divi­sion and road games do.

If the Ea­gles want to jump back into the NFC East race, they must make peace with their di­vi­sional in­ep­ti­tude Sunday against New York Gi­ants at MetLife Sta­dium (1 p.m., Chan­nel 29, WIP 94.1-FM).

The Ea­gles (4-3) are the only win­less team in the divi­sion, hav­ing lost to the Red­skins and the Cow­boys. They’re also just 1-3 on the road. The Gi­ants (4-3) are 1-2 in the divi­sion and 2-1 at MetLife this sea­son.

“We need to win this game,” de­fen­sive tackle Fletcher Cox said. “I think we have to win this game. And we’ve got to set the tempo. We’ve got to come out fast. We’ve got to start early. We’ve got to come out with more en­ergy. Our first two divi­sion games have been on the road. I think three or four of the last five games were on the road. I’m not do­ing the math but we’ve been on the road a lot. We’ve got to win. We’ve got to get a win on the road.”

The Ea­gles have beaten the Gi­ants in four straight games, in­clud­ing three at MetLife.

The Josh Huff melo­drama cer­tainly hasn’t helped the Ea­gles fo­cus on Eli Man­ning, Odell Beck­ham Jr. and the Gi­ants. Huff cre­ated a furor Tues­day when he was ar­rested and charged with un­law­ful pos­ses­sion of a firearm, hol­low point bul­lets and a small amount of mar­i­juana. Pub­lic out­rage be­came full-blown Wed­nes­day when the Ea­gles in­di­cated Huff would re­main on the team and play Sunday.

Day Three of the Huff saga was Thurs­day, when he was re­leased. It put the Ea­gles on the spot for in­ti­mat­ing the pre­vi­ous day they would let the le­gal process play out be­fore dis­ci­plin­ing him. Man­age­ment also was ac­cused of play­ing fa­vorites, as line­backer Nigel Brad­ham is fac­ing le­gal charges yet re­mains a part of the team.

Dis­trac­tion or not, it got the play­ers’ at­ten­tion ac­cord­ing to Cox, who usu­ally is the quiet man in the locker room, at least when he’s not kid­ding around. Cox isn’t so sure the Huff matter hasn’t in­ter­rupted prepa­ra­tions for the Gi­ants, who are com­ing back from their bye week.

“It de­pends,” Cox said. “The whole Josh sit­u­a­tion is one of those de­ci­sion-mak­ing things where it just was a bad de­ci­sion. I mean, Josh was a good per­son. It was re­ally sur­pris­ing to see him get re­leased. But you’ve all got to un­der­stand that this is just the business part of this thing and you don’t want to get the or­ga­ni­za­tion tied up in any type of dis­trac­tions like that.”

All of that said, the Ea­gles and Car­son Wentz need to prove they can win a close game. All of their losses are by seven or fewer points, the lat­est a 29-23 de­ci­sion to the Cow­boys in over­time.

In each of the set­backs the Ea­gles have had the ball late in the game with the op­por­tu­nity to go ahead or put the game away. Rookie quar­ter­back jit­ters? “I don’t think any­thing spe­cific is hap­pen­ing,” Wentz said. “We’re just not ex­e­cut­ing. I think it’s plain and sim­ple. But like I said, it is frus­trat­ing as an of­fense to have chances … to win at the end, and not come through. We’re look­ing for­ward to bounc­ing back.”

The Gi­ants, these days, aren’t ex­actly the Big Blue Wreck­ing Crew de­fen­sively. They’re al­low­ing 361 yards per game, or 16 more than Eli Man­ning and the of­fense are col­lect­ing.

On the other hand, the Gi­ants are av­er­ag­ing just 19 points, a trib­ute of sorts to the de­fense.

The Ea­gles have been cau­tioned that the Gi­ants have spent a chunk of time work­ing on their ane­mic run game. The of­fen­sive line­men should be well rested.

Run the ball, con­trol the clock.

Con­trol the clock, con­trol the game.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.