The Eagles are coming off a much-needed bye week, and they take on a familiar divisional foe: the New York Giants. The Giants just defeated the Washington Football Team, and they will be looking to defeat two NFC East teams in a row.
The Eagles narrowly defeated the Giants earlier this season when Carson Wentz found Boston Scott on a 21-yard touchdown pass with 40 seconds left. The Eagles will be looking to go 2-0 on the year against one of their biggest rivals.
Can the Eagles find a way to keep their lead in the NFC East, or will the Giants move one step closer to controlling the division?
Let’s examine both teams.
Philadelphia Eagles (3-4-1):
The fate of the Eagles’ season rests on the shoulders of Carson Wentz. Wentz is a talented QB, but he has struggled mightily this season. Wentz has 12 interceptions through eight games – which is close to his career high of 14 in an entire season – in addition to seven fumbles.
Wentz has shown flashes of his past self, but he needs to be more consistent. Can this be the week Wentz finally corrects his ball-security issues and excels as a franchise leader?
In addition to Wentz, the Eagles’ offense needs other talented pieces to play well. No weapon on offense has made more of an impact this season than the emerging star WR Travis Fulgham.
Fulgham has played in just fives games this season, yet he has 435 receiving yards and four touchdowns on 29 receptions. He has proven that he is Wentz’ favorite option this season, and he is building great chemistry with his teammates.
Can Fulgham continue to exceed expectations and lead the Eagles’ receiving corps?
Defensively, the Eagles’ rushing defense ranks 24th in the NFL giving up an average of 130.8 YPG. While the Eagles have struggled stopping teams on the ground, the Eagles have the 4th best passing defense in the league giving up an average of 209.4 YPG.
Can Darius Slay and other key defensive players for the Eagles slow down the Giants’ offense enough to emerge victorious?
New York Giants (2-7):
The Giants have struggled to move the ball down the field this season, and it shows. The Giants average just 298.2 YPG, which is 31st in the NFL. Only the Jets rank lower than the Giants with 266 YPG.
Without Saquon Barkley (out for the season with an ACL injury), one guy has carried the load for the Giants’ offense: Daniel Jones. Jones is the leading passer and rusher for the Giants, and he is continually forced to do it all for this team offensively.
Who else will step up and help him? Will we finally see a week where either Wayne Gallman or Devonta Freeman step up and play a major role in the offense?
Darius Slayton is the Giants’ top receiver, but he didn’t shine in his last matchup against the Eagles. In week 7, Slayton finished with just two catches for 23 yards.
The Giants need their top receiver to play at his best against the stingy Eagles’ secondary, and he needs to be targeted early and often.
Defensively, the Giants give up an average of 360 YPG. The Giants’ passing defense ranks 8th worst in the NFL giving up 265.2 YPG.
However, the Giants have the 6th best run defense in the NFL. The Giants only give up an average of 94.8 YPG on the ground, so the Giants will be looking to bottle up Miles Sanders (if he plays) and Boston Scott.
Will the Giants’ defense be able to stop Carson Wentz and the Eagles’ weapons?
Eagles win 26-21, Eagles (-3.5), Over 43.5
Both of these teams are better than they were in their first matchup, but the Eagles have improved just a bit more.
While the Giants almost beat the playoff-bound Buccaneers, the Buccaneers have also proved they are unstable, so that performance loses some credibility.
In the end, I can’t trust someone else on the Giants’ offense to step up. Daniel Jones is better than people give him credit for, but he can’t do it all.
I think the Eagles defense will step up and force Jones to make some mistakes. However, if Wentz continues to turn the ball over, this game could be incredibly close.
Because I have major questions about both teams, I think the game will be one that comes down to a few key plays.
Even though the Giants pushed the Eagles to their limit in their last matchup, I think the Eagles will have made enough adjustments to win this one.
Give me the Eagles with a six-point victory, and give me the over, too. An over/under of 43.5 is way too low.