It's looking increasingly likely that the Giants' nightmare season is going to continue.
Whatever the boost the Giants hope to get from David Diehl, who will return from a preseason injury to start at right guard this weekend, it's going to be tampered by the loss of left guard Chris Snee – likely for the season.
It appears as though Snee, one of New York's stalwarts on the offensive line, is heading for the injured reserve, as he requires season-ending hip surgery. Snee missed the Giants' Week 4 loss to Kansas City, so it's not a monstrous change. But even with Diehl coming back, it's an indicator that their offensive line troubles probably won't improve any time soon.
Snee and center David Baas have yet to take a snap in 2013, and that's a big reason why the Giants are tied for sixth in the league in sacks allowed with 14. [embedded_ad]
The Giants have improved their defense Friday morning, as they reportedly traded a draft pick to Carolina for linebacker Jon Beason – assuming Beason passes a physical. New York needs help with its 27th-ranked rush defense. But Beason's name carries a lot more cache than his play these days. The former three-time Pro Bowler has played in just seven games since 2011, and the Panthers benched him for Chase Blackburn earlier this season.
This is all obviously good news for a Philadelphia team that has a chance to jump back into the NFC East race this weekend. The Eagles travel to MetLife Stadium to face the Giants on Sunday at noon, and a win could keep them within a game of first place – if not tie them with Dallas.
Philadelphia has had no problem moving the ball or scoring points this season – the primary reason behind the Eagles' three losses is an atrocious defense. That said, the only team in the NFL with a worse scoring defense than the Eagles is the Giants, who are giving up 36 points per game have been outscored 69-7 the past two weeks.
I think that ultimately makes the difference. Philadelphia is running the ball better than anyone in the league, and the Giants are stopping the run about as poorly as possible. Ordinarily, I'd say Eli Manning and the New York receivers should be able to take advantage of an absolutely atrocious Eagles secondary.
But will Manning have the time in the pocket to take advantage of that? Surely, he'll improve on his total of 336 combined yards from the past two weeks – an average of just 168 per game. But I doubt it will be enough to keep up.
The Redskins are off this week, which makes this the only NFC East action to watch outside of Dallas. If the Cowboys can't find a way past Denver this weekend, it could set up an interesting scenario in Week 6, when Washington comes to town for Sunday Night Football.