Sunday Night Football will play host to an NFC East showdown as the New York Giants host the Philadelphia Eagles. Normally there is hype and trash talk and fans at each others’ throats during the tailgating festivities in the parking lot. This time we don’t see much sizzle but here are the stats:
Kick off: 8:30 p.m. TV: NBC available in all markets for worldwide consumption.
Spread: NY Giants by 4.5
2011 records: Philadelphia 3-6, NY Giants 6-3
Last meeting: NY Giants 29, Philadelphia 16 (2011)
Passing: Philadelphia ranks 10th in the NFL while New York ranks 5th. With Michael Vick out and Vince Young starting, give Eli Manning and the G-Men benefit of the doubt. With swirling winds at the New Meadowlands in a night game this could affect the passing game. Advantage: Giants
Rushing: Philadelphia ranks first; New York comes in at No. 29. Advantage: Eagles
Passing yards against: Philadelphia ranks 11th in NFL. New York is No. 17. Advantage: Eagles
Rushing yards against: Philadelphia No. 17 while New York is ranked 20th. Advantage: Eagles
Intangibles: The Eagles season has been a disaster thus far punctuated by last week’s disaster vs. Arizona – and to make matters worse, they will be without QB Michael Vick (ribs) and Jeremy Maclin on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Giants are coming off a tough loss to the San Francisco 49ers but remain in the driver’s seat in NFC East.
Both teams like to air it out but with Vick’s status (broken ribs), Eli Manning and the Giants will have the decided edge. Eagles have the clear rushing advantage with LeSean McCoy among NFL leaders in all categories. Philly should try to expose the Giants average run defense. Talent wise, these two teams are pretty equal but Eagles injuries plus Giants at home, New York gets the nod here. Overall Advantage: Giants
OUTLOOK: If there is any hope for the Eagles to salvage their season it comes down to this game. A second loss to the division-leading Giants would stick a fork in the Eagles season, which already needs to run the table and get to 10-6 with any hope of contention. Even then the hopes are slim.
Essentially this is a playoff game for the Eagles and it serves as an NFC East clincher for New York. DeSean Jackson returns to the lineup after serving his sentence last week but with questions at QB and flanker it might be easy to negate what remains of the Eagles offensive weapons.
Vince Young has been terrible throwing INT or fumbling for turnovers on three of four attempts this season leaving Mike Kafka as the only viable option for success among healthy Eagles QB. Eli Manning should use Victor Cruz and hopes to free up his tight ends to beat Eagles linebackers.
The real difference in this game will be the defense. New York’s secondary is average and their pass rush only passable but the Eagles have the potential to wreak havoc on the unsuspecting Giants.
Last year it was a 21-point comeback capped by a punt return to spread holiday cheer among Eagles fans. This year it will be a pre-Thanksgiving feast of a superior offense attacking a lesser defense. Hopefully Cullen Jenkins, Jason Babin and Trent Cole will knock the stuffing out of Eli Manning and the Giants rushing attack. With pressure, Philadelphia could force New York’s offense to be one dimensional.
Dictating a low-scoring sackfest will afford the Eagles their best chance at staying in the game until the fourth quarter – but the load will still be heaped upon the shoulders of LeSean McCoy and the Eagles rushers. If Ronnie Brown and Shady can hoard the clock with ball control then this game will come down to field position and big plays on defense.
Look for Nnamdi Asomugha or Asante Samuel to lurk in the shadows waiting for a chance to ball hawk a Pick 6 the other way and ice the game late. The Giants can avoid this by keeping a two score cushion over a severely disadvantaged Eagles offense and making use of their own rushing game to secure the time of possession and the lead. If they fall behind, the game could become an ugly turnover battle.
PREDICTION: NY GIANTS 23 EAGLES 21
Blood Makes the Grass Grow – Kill (Giants), Kill, Kill http://www.prosportsblogging.com/2011/09/22/blood-makes-the-grass-grow-kill-kill-kill/
New Miracle New Meadowlands http://www.prosportsblogging.com/2010/12/19/new-miracle-new-meadowlands/
Thanksgiving Fantasy Games http://www.prosportsblogging.com/2010/11/25/thanksgiving-fantasy-games/
About the Author
Written by Christopher Rowe
Contributing writer Comcast Sports, NY Times contributing stringer 1996-2000, Contributing writer Yahoo Sports (2001 World Series). Contributing writer Newsday Long Island (1992-1994, Jets Training Camp) and Newak Star Ledger. Freelance Copywriter, Editor/Founder Atlantic Times Weekly (1993-2003) fantasy football magazine, produced screenwriter and general humorist. Hofstra University grad, Marist College honorary alum, Salesian; Purveyor of the Value and Valor of Philadelphia Eagles 1960 NFL Championship; Adrent believer that Eagles could have won Super Bowl XV...and Super Bowl XXXIX...plus modern decade of Eagles 5 NFC Championships... Believer in the Broad Street Bullies and the 1983 Sixers... Witness to Philadelphia Phillies World Series championships 1980 & 2008, Suffered Phillies first pro sports team to reach 10,000 losses,witnessed "1980 Cardiac Kids," 1983 "Wheeze Kids," 1993 "Macho Row" and many, many, many not-so-memorable seasons in-between... until the Philadelphia Baseball Renaissance of 21st Century, Five NL East division titles 2007-2011, 3 NLCS appearances 2008-2010, 2 consecutive World Series berths 2008 & 2009. 2008 World Champions of baseball [miss ya Harry and Richie]; "collector" of MLB ballparks (42 stadiums including 15 which are gone); Fantasy Football & Baseball player since 1992. Always a sports fan... Tenui Nec Dimittam Contact me firstname.lastname@example.org