By Michael Stewart
Introduction: The last time these two teams met way back in September the Eagles edged out the Giants by a field goal 27-24. In fact, if not for a controversial call against the Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard in the end zone, the Giants could have won that game. Fast forward to this Sunday as the two teams square off again; with both teams missing arguably their best player. The Giants have been without Odell Beckham for awhile now and the Eagles recently lost Carson Wentz for the season with an ACL injury. The lost of Beckham was the icing on the cake for the Giants as it magnified their other weaknesses. As for the Eagles, losing Wentz will hurt, but they have a reliable backup quarterback in Nick Foles and talented supporting cast that should rally around him and keep the team on track. The Giants offense is averaging 15.6 points per game, compared to the Eagles 31.9. On defense, the Giants are surrendering 24.2 per game to the Eagles 17.3. The Eagles have talent on both sides of the ball, compared to the Giants talent on both sides of the ball not performing well all year.
Top 3 Matchups:
- Giants defensive front 7-vs-Eagles running game: The Eagles are averaging 147.4 yards per game on the ground versus the Giants giving up 131.7 per game. This matchup on paper doesn’t bold well for the Giants and if they want to have any chance against the Eagles, they need to neutralize their running game.
- Giants offensive line-vs-Eagles defensive front 7: The Eagles have a scary and productive defense, which has 35 sacks thus far this season, led by Brandon Graham with 8.5. With depth and talent on the defensive side of the ball the Giants offensive line will have a very difficult time providing time and running lanes. If so, this game will be decided by halftime.
- Turnovers: The Giants and the Eagles have similar takeover ratios this season, hovering around zero. However; the Giants need to create turnovers more than the Eagles to give themselves a better chance to win the game.
What to look for: The weather could play a part in this game as rain is being forecasted (60%) for Sunday. This could limit both teams through the air; which would make the running game essential. On paper, this game has all the makings of a blowout despite the absence of Carson Wentz. Manning doesn’t have the wide receivers or the time to stretch field and must rely on short slant ins and slant outs to move the chains through the air. The running game for the Giants has struggled and I expect the same against the Eagles. The Eagles will utilize a balance attack and if rain does play a part in the passing game. The Eagles will pound the ball on the ground and chew up the clock.
Final Score Summary: The Eagles are still a solid team even without Wentz in this game as Nick Foles is more than capable of leading this team to victory on Sunday. At some point in this game if the Giants are trailing by a wide margin, perhaps it would make a little sense to give Davis Webb a little playing time. Look for the Giants to play inspiring football to start the game (like they did last week against Dallas), however; too much pass rush and running game by the Eagles will eventually wear the Giants down and the results will be an Eagles win on Sunday.