By Michael Stewart/@golferbad
Introduction: The Giants enter the final week of the regular season riding a two game winning streak and a chance to play spoiler against the Philadelphi Eagles who are also riding a modest three game winning streak. The Eagles control their own destiny (8-7) with a win over the Giants, but it won’t be easy as the Giants could have won the previous game against the Eagles a few weeks back holding a 17-3 lead going into the half, but allowed the Eagle to score 20 consecutive points and lose in overtime 23-17. Below are my top 5 reasons why I think the Giants could win only if they can win 3 of the 5 categories listed:
- Saquon Barkley-vs-Eagles run defense: Barkley has now had two straight weeks topping the 100 yards marker (112 &189). He definitely looks more confident and stronger with each passing week and needs to be again if the Giants want to win their 5th game of the season. However; it won’t be easy against this Eagle defense; which have allowed only 88 yards on the ground per game all season.
- Giants Offensive line-vs-Eagles Defensive Front 7: The Redskins have not been very productive in the pass rush with only 39 sacks led by linebacker Brandon Graham with 7.5. The Giants offensive line have been a little better over the last several games in both protecting the passer and running the ball. They will need to do both well against this Eagle defense.
- Time of Possession: The Eagles have been very consistent in controlling the line of scrimmage; which reflects on their time of possession of 33:12 minutes per game. The Giants have been struggling in this department with a 28:43 minutes per game; which ranks near the bottom half of the league. Keeping the ball out of Carson Wentz hands would be a good idea for the Giants if they expect to win.
- Turnovers: The Eagles are currently sitting at -5 in the turnover ratio to the Giants; who are at -15. When these two teams play, we usually see a few turnovers from both sides, so the team that can capitalize on them will have a better chance of winning.
- Red Zone Efficiency: The Eagles are currently ranked 4th in the league in red zone efficiency at 66% to the Giants 60%; which is ranked at 11th. In the last game between these two teams, the Eagles capitalized in the red zone better than the Giants and that can’t happen in this game if the Giants want to win.
Final Thoughts: The weather forecast for the game this coming Sunday is calling for a chance of 80% rain before or just around game time; which could affect both offenses. The Eagles are playing for the NFC east crown and a playoff spot as the Giants are only playing for pride. As always, I foresee a very physical game that should be decided in the closing minutes of the game. In the end, I think the Giants will fall short and finish their season on a losing note.
Final Score: Eagles-27/Giants-17