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Eagles favored to beat New York Giants in battle for first place in the NFC East

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles are still very much alive after beating the New Orleans Saints on Sunday and advancing to 2-3. In fact, the Eagles are so alive that they can actually be in first place of the NFC East as soon as next week.

The Eagles are scheduled to play the New York Giants on Monday Night Football seven days from now. The G-Men are 3-2 after barely managing to the defeat the awful San Francisco 49ers this week. It took a few dropped interceptions and an intentional grounding penalty that wasn't called near the end, but the Giants ultimately got the job done and moved into sole possession of first place in the division.

New York might not hold that lead for long. If the Eagles can beat the Giants, it could be Philadelphia who stands on top of the division. In that situation, the Eagles and the Giants will both be 3-3 and tied with a division game record of 1-2. The Eagles would have the head-to-head tiebreaker over New York, thus putting them in first. The Dallas Cowboys (2-3) can't move into first next week because they're scheduled to be on their bye week. Washington (2-3) will play on the road against the New York Jets (3-1) who are coming off their bye week.

The good news for the Eagles is that they're already favored to beat the Giants. The Birds have opened as 3.5 point favorites, which is half a point more than the standard three point home favorite line.

Chip Kelly's Eagles have gone 3-1 against the Giants in four meetings. Philadelphia has outscored the G-Men by a total of 104-62 in that span. The only game the Eagles lost is when an injured Michael Vick started and a rookie Matt Barkley had to take over, and it only ended up being a one possession difference in the final score.

Of course, Kelly's past success hardly guarantees future wins. The Eagles still have a lot of issues to work out. They are still very much a flawed team. But after Philadelphia's blowout over the Saints in Week 5, there's at least some room to be hopeful about the Eagles.

It's a big spot for the Birds. They need to win the game or else risk falling to 2-4 overall with a 1-4 conference record and an 0-3 division record. It's yet another must-win game.

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