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Eagles schedule preview: Giants—same team, different year

But every year is different

New York Giants v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

We’re on to Weeks 3 and 15 as we go game by game down the schedule, today looking at this year’s Giants. Who look a lot like last year’s Giants.

Lost: WR Victor Cruz, K Robbie Gould, DT Jonathan Hankins, T Marshall Newhouse, CB Coty Sensabaugh

Added: CB Valentino Blake, RB Shaun Draughn, TE Rhett Ellison, G DJ Fluker, WR Brandon Marshall, QB Geno Smith

Drafted: TE Evan Engram, DT Dalvin Tomlinson, QB Davis Webb, RB Wayne Gallman, DE Avery Moss, T Adam Bisnowaty

Why they’ll lose to the Eagles

Because they could have lost the first game in 2016, did lose the second, and the Eagles have improved more than the Giants have.

The Eagles-Giants games last year were a microcosm of how to play successful football in today’s NFL: pass the ball well, protect the QB, get to the other team’s QB, get at their WRs, and don’t screw up the coaching. In their first meeting last year, Eli Manning threw 4 TDs, Carson Wentz threw none, and Doug Pederson had a poor game. In the second game, the Eagles kept Carson Wentz clean, Manning threw 3 interceptions, and the Eagles closed out the game by keeping Odell Beckham out of harm’s way.

Those five factors should be why the 2017 games will be decided, because the biggest moves by both teams are all related to the passing game.

In 2017, the Eagles should have Lane Johnson for both games, giving them the blocking advantage they enjoyed in Week 16. If Derek Barnett and/or Chris Long are an upgrade over Connor Barwin (and Timmy Jernigan over Bennie Logan), they’ll have an advantage against a Giants offensive line that has been neglected for years. The Giants have a strong secondary, but now the Eagles no longer have the worst WRs in the league, which closes the gap. In 2016 the Eagles lost by 5 and then won by 5 against the Giants. In 2017, they’re a better team, and it’s not hard to see how that would be enough to make them the better team in these games.

And that’s just taking into account the Eagles upgrades. If Brandon Marshall’s 2016 season wasn’t an aberration, the Giants offense, which stunk last year, isn’t any better. On defense, their instant turnaround last year makes them prime for a regression they can’t afford.

Year DVOA Points Yards
2016 2 2 10
2015 30 30 32
2014 24 22 29

Coming back to the pack could be disastrous for the Giants. New York won five games by four points or less last year, a non-elite defense would have made them a mediocre team, and the 2017 Giants are mostly the same roster as the 2016 team.

Why they’ll beat the Eagles

Because the Giants are still a tough match-up, and it’s unrealistic for the Eagles to catch all the breaks. If Barnett and Long aren’t upgrades, which is possible considering that Barnett is a rookie and Long wasn’t significantly more productive than Barwin last year, then there’s no advantage gained against the Giants offensive line, which gave up just 1 sack to the Eagles in 2016. The Eagles WRs are much improved, but the Giants still have the talent advantage and a second year leap by Eli Apple could make the Giants secondary ridiculous. On the other side, the Eagles secondary could struggle all year, while Brandon Marshall could be a significant addition to the Giants, and Evan Engram could give them a receiving threat at TE that they haven’t had in years.

The Eagles could be a much better team and still split the series. Sometimes division games are strange beasts.


How does the Eagles-Giants series go?

This poll is closed

  • 55%
    Eagles sweep
    (811 votes)
  • 33%
    (498 votes)
  • 10%
    Giants sweep
    (159 votes)
1468 votes total Vote Now

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