The Philadelphia Eagles are on the road to face the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on Sunday afternoon. In order to preview their Week 14 matchup, I reached out to our enemies over at Big Blue View. The excellent Ed Valentine took the time to answer my questions about this upcoming battle. Let’s take a look at the answers. [For my answers to Ed’s questions about the Eagles, check out BBV.]
Our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook have all of the odds for this week’s games.
1 - The Giants’ season is a success regardless of what happens down the stretch. True or false?
True. I feel like like it would be, although not winning at least a couple of games down the stretch here would be a tough pill to swallow.
I think a lot of good things have happened for the Giants. You can see that they now have a smart front office. They have a head coach who should be around a while, and he has put together an excellent staff. They have identified a number of core young players they can go forward with, many of whom are playing better than they did under previous coaching staffs.
There are questions, and lots of holes to fill. Still, I keep saying the final record in 2022 isn’t important. What is important is that the Giants take steps toward a better future, and I think that has happened.
2 - The Giants are 1-3-1 in their last five games. Why the step back after such a strong start?
During their 6-1 start the Giants established a very narrow path to victory, and were successful in executing it. Run the football, control the clock and the pace of the game, pass the ball on their terms, keep the game close and low-scoring, and make more plays than their opponent in the fourth quarter.
They haven’t been as successful in sticking to the script recently. Mostly, they have not run the ball nearly as well. Teams have done a better job taking the keeper on the zone read away from Daniel Jones. The Giants have also had injuries across the offensive line and at tight end that have impacted their run blocking.
Defensively, missing CB Adoree’ Jackson and S Xavier McKinney doesn’t help.
3 - What is the Giants’ biggest strength right now?
It’s funny. When you ask that, you might expect me to answer with a position group. I don’t think that’s the case here, as there isn’t an obvious one I can point to. Maybe it’s the young core of leaders they are developing. Maybe it’s the fact that this is a resilient team that just keeps coming.
I think, though, that it is actually the coaching staff. Brian Daboll and his group of experienced, excellent assistants have gotten more from this group of players than most thought possible. Many coaches offer lip service to using players to their strengths and putting them in positions to succeed — this coaching staff has worked to do exactly that.
4 - Let’s pretend the Giants can only bring one player back after this season: Daniel Jones or Saquon Barkley. Who are you taking?
Oh, that’s an interesting question. I have always thought of it in terms of both/neither, not either/or. Two months ago I might have said you franchise tag Barkley and give Jones a short-term deal. Now, not sure.If I had to choose one?
Listen, Daniel Jones has done EVERYTHING the Giants have asked him to do this year. He has been careful with the ball, he has thrown it well when given the opportunity, his running has been a huge part of the offense. I wouldn’t argue if the Giants decided to sign him short-term, maybe for two years.That said, if I can only have one I’m talking Barkley. I don’t want to see the Giants give him a mega-deal, either. That would be a mistake. But, a short-term deal? Sure.
Since I only get one, I will take Barkley, try to get a couple of good years out of him, let Tyrod Taylor start in 2023 andtry to draft and develop someone like Will Levis or Anthony Richardson.
5 - Who wins this game and why? With DraftKings Sportsbook listing the Eagles as 7-point favorites, what’s your score prediction? And what do you think this outcome means for the rest of the Giants’ season?
I think the Eagles win. I won’t be surprised if they cover, especially if they can reach the 30-point mark. The Giants have not hit that mark since early in the 2020 season, and if the Eagles pile up the points the Giants won’t be able to keep up. What does it mean for the rest of the season? Well, losing the game narrows the Giants’ playoff window. The NFL is such a week to week league, as Brian Daboll says every week, that its really hard for me to say one week has much of anything to do with the next. So, from that perspective, I don’t know.
Check out John Stolnis interviewing Ed Valentine for this week’s Eye On The Enemy episode for BGN Radio:
Check out Ed Valentine interviewing me for Big Blue View’s podcast network: