There’s just not a lot hype for this game. The Eagles are 11-2. The Giants are 2-11. Philadelphia needs just one more win in their last three weeks to land a bye. It’s not like New York can seriously play the “spoiler” role. Even if they wanted to, they’re just so banged up.
But today’s Eagles game is still worth watching, and not just because it’s the Eagles.
It’ll actually be interesting to see how this team fares without Carson Wentz moving forward. Is Nick Foles going to step right in and be OK? Will the Eagles shift to a more run-heavy attack by featuring Jay Ajayi? Is Philadelphia’s defense going to step up to the level it needs to in order for this team to go deep in the post-season? We should have some more information to answer these questions after today.
The Eagles offense should be able to move the ball on a Giants defense that’s allowed the most yards per game in the NFL. As if New York wasn’t depleted enough, the Giants are expected to be without one of their best defenders and 2016 Defensive Player of the Year candidate Landon Collins.
A big concern with the Eagles’ offense, however, is how their offensive line holds up with left guard Stefen Wisniewski potentially out. It could be Chance Warmack, who has been bad, starting next to Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who has also been bad recently. We all know Foles doesn’t have the kind of mobility that allows Wentz to avoid pressure.
If the Eagles’ offense has a “decent” day, that’s acceptable. It’d be preferable if they performed better, obviously, but we can’t realistically expect the Birds to continue to average 31.1 points per game (their current pace).
Jim Schwartz’s defense is what really needs to be on point today. This Giants offense is very uninspiring. Philadelphia should really be able to lock them down. Anything much more than 10 points allowed isn’t a very good day for Philly. The Eagles’ defensive line should be able to shut down the run and limit what the Giants can do in the passing game.
Ultimately, today is a really big test for Doug Pederson. This is the first regular season NFL game he’s ever had to play without Carson Wentz. We’ll see how he handles this challenge against a team that shouldn’t be very challenging.
Score prediction: Eagles win, 23-10
Bold prediction: Jay Ajayi breaks the 100-yard rushing mark
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