Eagles by 9
This will be the 172nd career meeting between the Eagles and Giants, with the Giants leading the lifetime series 86-83-2 (84-81-2 regular season, 2-2 postseason). Philadelphia defeated the Giants 27-24 on Sept. 24 (Week 3).
EAGLES INJURY REPORT
QUESTIONABLE: Offensive lineman Stefan Wisniewski (ankle)
GIANTS INJURY REPORT
OUT: Safety Nat Berhe (hamstring)
DOUBTFUL: Safety Landon Collins (ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: Cornerback Brandon Dixon (heel/hamstring), wide receiver Roger Lewis (ankle), wide receiver Travis Rudolph (hamstring)
WHEN THE GIANTS HAVE THE BALL
Last week, the Giants looked apprehensive against Dallas. They appeared to be playing not to lose as opposed to playing to win. In order for the Giants to have any chance at winning this game, they will need to be aggressive and have some explosive plays down the field.
The Giants only had two plays for more than 15 yards against Dallas, putting up only 10 points. In the Week 3 meeting, Eli Manning threw for 366 yards and three touchdowns with Sterling Shepard accounting for 133 yards and a touchdown. Of course, they still had the services of Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall in that game. The Giants will need huge production from Shepard and Evan Engram.
The Giants should also try to get the ball to Wayne Gallman and Orleans Darkwa more. The rookie out of Clemson had a career-high 99 yards from scrimmage last week. In the Giants’ two wins against the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs, they rushed for more than 100 yards on the ground. Manning does his most damage when the ground game moves the chains.
The Giants are facing the NFL’s fourth-ranked defense. They are particularly stingy against the run, where they’ve only allowed six rushing touchdowns all season. The Eagles’ front seven combined has 29 tackles for a loss while the secondary has an NFL-leading 16 interceptions.
Cornerbacks Jalen Mills and Patrick Robinson and safety Rodney McLeod have three interceptions apiece. Brandon Graham, who leads the Eagles with 8.5 sacks, recovered a fumble and returned it for a touchdown last week against the Rams. Fletcher Cox is one of the Eagles’ best defenders but the true strength of the defense is the depth that has wore down offensive lines all season.
WHEN THE EAGLES HAVE THE BALL
The Eagles lost Carson Wentz for the season last week with a torn ACL and will turn to Nick Foles. In two career games against the Giants, Foles is 37-of-59 for 445 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. He is 2-0 against the Giants, including a 27-0 blowout in Week 6 of the 2014 season.
Foles has Alshon Jeffrey and Zach Ertz to throw to. Jeffrey has a team-high 732 receiving yards and eight touchdowns, including six in his last six games while Ertz leads Philadelphia with 57 receptions. Ertz suffered a concussion two weeks ago against the Seattle Seahawks and sat out last week.
The Giants’ secondary will be more than likely be without Landon Collins, arguably the team’s best defensive player since he was drafted in 2015, and his backup Nat Berhe has already been ruled out. They will need Andrew Adams, Darian Thompson, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to be on top of their game. Rodgers-Cromartie has an interception, a forced fumble, and three passes defended in his last three games against Philadelphia.
Philadelphia’s air attack is formidable but their ground game makes them especially dangerous. LeGarrette Blount, Darren Sproles, and Wendell Smallwood rushed for a combined 176 yards in Week 3. Since then, the Eagles picked up another workhorse back in the form of Jay Ajayi. The Giants will need an almost flawless performance from their front seven in order to slow the ground game.
WHO WILL WIN?
Philadelphia clinched their 10th NFC East title last week and needs a win plus a loss by the Minnesota Vikings to secure a first-round bye. For the Giants, they will need a perfect game in all three phases in order to get their first division win/first conference win and that still might not be enough. The Giants cannot afford to fall behind early as they did in Week 3 because they simply don’t have the offensive firepower to get into a shootout. Simply put, Philadelphia is the better team. They’ve won six of seven and 15 of their last 19 against the Giants and the streak will continue unless there is a complete collapse.