Well, here we are.
It’s only Week 6 and in some ways it already feels like the reigning Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles’ season is on the line.
Beating the New York Giants tonight means advancing to first in the division at 3-3. Losing means dropping to dead last at 2-4.
But tonight’s game isn’t just about the impact on the standings. It’s about gauging this team’s makeup. How are they going to respond to losing their last two games in disappointing fashion? Are the Eagles a good team going through some struggles or are they just a flat out bad team?
The Eagles have an opportunity to answer those questions tonight, and it all starts with the guy under center: Carson Wentz. This is the kind of game where a franchise quarterback needs to put the team on his back and carry them to victory.
Wentz should be aided by the fact that the Giants have a pedestrian pass rush; New York ranks dead last in sacks and 27th in hits. At the same time, the Eagles could potentially be without Lane Johnson, who reportedly has an up-hill battle to play tonight. That’s not good for an Eagles offensive line that’s already had some issues protecting Wentz.
Defensively, we all know the Eagles’ pass rush is a mismatch for the Giants’ offensive line on paper. But we thought the same thing last year and New York countered by having Eli Manning getting rid of the ball super quick.
A big reason why the Eagles were ultimately able to beat the Giants twice in 2017 is because Manning turned the ball over. He threw three picks in those two games combined. The Eagles will likely have some chances to intercept him again tonight. They need to capitalize on those opportunities. So far this year, Philadelphia has only logged five takeaways. Only two teams have fewer.
I’d be lying to you if I said I had immense confidence heading into this game. It’s not that the Giants are some super scary opponent. It’s just that the Eagles have been their own worst enemy so far this year. It’s hard to fully believe in them when they’re constantly shooting themselves in the foot.
Here’s hoping the Eagles will be able to get out of their own way tonight. I do think they have the capability to right some of these wrongs. It’s not like they’ve been getting blown out all year. They still have a lot of talent.
It won’t be easy tonight. Missing Johnson could really hurt. The weather being bad makes me a little uneasy because Wentz hasn’t had his best games in the rain.
Ultimately, though, I’m taking the Eagles because I think they’re the better team. Real invigorating analysis there, I know, but I’m not taking the combo of an inspiring Pat Shurmur and a washed Eli Manning over Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz.
Score prediction: 33-30, Eagles win.
Bold prediction: Corey Clement scores three touchdowns in his return.
Bleeding Green Nation FanPulse (survey of Eagles fans): Eagles favored by 5 points
Big Blue View FanPulse (survey of Vikings fans): Eagles favored by 1 point
Leave your own predictions in the comments.
Will the Eagles beat the Giants?
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