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A few weeks after a memorable Thursday night game, the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants are meeting for the second and final time this season. The Eagles (3-4-1) enter the game in first place in the NFC East, looking to push their winning streak to three games. Meanwhile, the Giants (2-7) are tied for last in the division, but after winning last week, are a win away from tying Philadelphia in the win column.
Here is a preview for the Eagles versus the Giants, along with a free pick. Philly is a 3.5-point favorite on the road according to the latest odds.
Week 7 kicked off with these two rivals going head-to-head in Philadelphia. With under 6:30 left in the fourth quarter, New York was up 21-10. But the Eagles stormed back to score 12 unanswered points, capped off with a touchdown pass from Carson Wentz to running back Boston Scott with 40 seconds left to win 22-21.
It was the eighth straight game Philadelphia has won against their rivals from New Jersey, with the Giants’ last win coming in November 2016.
Despite being under .500, the Eagles feel good about their chances to win the East after their last two wins. Philadelphia took down the Giants and Cowboys in back-to-back weeks before taking their bye last weekend. While they’re a far cry from their Super Bowl championship team back in the 2017 season, they are also in a decent position to win their second straight division title and earn their fourth consecutive playoff appearance.
Overall, injuries have played a big part in Philadelphia’s struggling offense. With injuries to key players like running back Miles Sanders and tight end Zach Ertz, the Eagles are 23rd in the NFL with 23.3 points per game and 25th in total yards. They’ve had some success running the ball more than throwing, as quarterback Carson Wentz struggled to find his groove through the first few weeks.
The Eagles have shown a little more life on defense. The team ranks 18th with 25.6 points allowed and 13th with close to 367 yards allowed per game. Philadelphia has been gashed by the run, ranking 24th in rushing yards allowed, but are successful against the pass thanks to a pass-rush that is third in football with 28 sacks.
Only in a season like this could a 2-7 team be in the playoff hunt by Week 10. But that’s exactly what’s unfolding for the Giants, who snapped their two-game losing streak Sunday against Washington, the only team they’ve defeated this season. New York, as mentioned earlier, would tie the Eagles in the win column with a victory, are holding out hope for their first playoff appearance since 2016 and their first division title since 2011, when they went on to win the Super Bowl.
A Week 2 injury to star running back Saquon Barkley has nuked this offense into being one of the worst in football. New York is next-to-last in both total yards with just under 317 and points with 18.7. Their air attack has struggled, as the Giants average just 192 passing yards per game, and quarterback Daniel Jones has more interceptions than touchdowns.
However, New York’s young defense has been able to hold their own. The Giants are 12th with 24.3 points allowed and 17th with just under 379 yards allowed per game. And while a fairly-average pass-rush has led to the team being vulnerable against the pass, their 94.8 rushing yards allowed is good for fifth in the NFL.
What to Watch For
Starting with the home team, look for the Giants to emphasize closing games strongly. Aside from a defeat at the hands of the 49ers in September, the Giants have only played close games. In fact, in several of those, including recent games against the Eagles and Buccaneers, New York was up by as many as 11 points. It is important that Joe Judge’s squad finishes strong and plays well in the second half, forcing an interception-happy Wentz to take more risks and make more mistakes.
For the Eagles, wide receiver Travis Fulgham has emerged as Wentz’s go-to target over the last few weeks. The former sixth-round pick of the Lions in 2019 has had a huge sophomore campaign, pulling in 29 catches for 435 yards and four touchdowns. For Sunday, he can expect to see plenty of cornerback James Bradberry, who this year has been one of the league’s best cornerbacks. The winner of this battle could help determine who walks away with the victory,
As mentioned earlier, this is an interesting game with some serious playoff implications. We’ll know more as the injury report comes out, particularly for the Philadelphia side of things, but I’m counting on a big effort from the pass-rush to make Jones and Big Blue ineffective. Give me the Eagles to sweep their rival and continue to pad their lead in the NFC East with a win.
Pick: Eagles -3.5