The 2-3 Eagles took one square on the beak in Week 5 against the Minnesota Vikings, whose defense was able to keep Phili quarterback Carson Wentz out of the end zone until three minutes into the fourth quarter. After a touchdown pass with 1:11 left on the clock, the Eagles couldn’t grab the ball on an onside kick and the Vikings won 23-21.
The Eagles defense is one notch away from top-ten status, and it was obvious against the Vikings, who they limited to a field goal three times which kept the Eagles in the game. Wentz and the offense will have to get started earlier in the game against the Giants, who are eighth in the league against passing but 27th in the league against the run.
Talk about painful Week 5 losses, the 1-4 Giants suffered a 31-33 loss to the Carolina Panthers after being up by one with just 30 seconds to go. The Giants defense bended and the Panthers kicked a field goal and New York lost their third game this season by one score or less.
Despite having a veteran quarterback (Eli Manning), arguably the league’s number one receiver (Odell Beckham Jr.) and the best all-around athlete to come out of the 2018 draft (running back Saquon Barkley) the Giants have only managed to win once against the Houston Texans in Week 3 and score just 20.8 points per game. Though apparently that’s all they’ll mathematically need against an Eagles team that only puts up 20.6 points per game.
If the Eagles win this game, they’ve won one more than the Redskins and Cowboys, which puts even more pressure on both teams to win their Sunday games. But if the Giants win this one, they basically drag the Eagles down to the NFC East cellar with them in a 2-4 tie, though New York would have one more divisional win than Philadelphia and would be listed above in the standings. At this point in the season, this division could still belong to anyone.
Who’s favored to win this Week 6 Eagles-Giants matchup?
Which team has a better offense? Defense? Special teams?
Which team’s quarterback is more likely to lead his team to victory?
We’re going to compare the Eagles and the Giants and attempt to answer those questions and more.
Wentz is having to operate his offense around a lot of injuries this season. It does not appear that running back Darren Sproles (hamstring) will be returning for this matchup, and running back Jay Ajayi has been placed on injured reserve (torn ACL).
Wide receivers Mike Wallace (ankle) and Mack Hollins (groin) have both been placed on IR, as has tight end Richard Rodgers (knee). Receivers Alshon Jeffrey, Nelson Agholor and Kamar Aiken are all healthy, as is ball-catching tight end Zach Ertz, so Wentz still has plenty of targets if running back Corey Clement can fill in and balance out the attack.
The good news for the entire offense is that the O-line, including two First-team All Pro players – center Jason Kelce and right tackle Lane Johnson – looks to be healthy, though they need to step up their game to help an offense ranked 21st in the NFL.
The Giants are trying everything, including Manning throwing the ball to Barkley out of the backfield 4 times for 81 yards and 2 touchdowns and Beckham throwing (lofting) the ball to Barkley last week for a 57-yard touchdown. They’ve only averaged 337.8 total yards of offense per game, which puts them at the bottom of the league at 25th.
Saquon Barkley came up limping slightly after a 15-yard touchdown reception. Head coach Pat Shurmur has told the media that, “He’s fine. He’s moving around, he’s fine. That was a good play on his part.” The rookie Barkley has 582 total yards from scrimmage and 5 touchdowns this season with a reception rate of 79.5% and is ranked 16th for total receptions with 31.
Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox has 3.0 sacks, defensive end Derek Barnett has 2.5 and the whole squad has a total of 12, so they’ll be looking to jump all over the Giants’ offensive line who have allowed Manning to get sacked 16 times so far this season, tied for eighth most.
The Eagles have only had two interceptions total, those by cornerbacks Ronald Darby and Rasul Douglas, so Manning will probably test the secondary with Beckham’s deep routes. Cornerback Jalen Mills has already defended a pass and combined for 23 tackles, but it might be time for an interception like he did three times last season.
The Giants’ defense is comparable to the Eagles, they’ve only allowed 10 more yards per game and .1 more yards per play. The Giants have got twice as many interceptions with four, but only 6 total sacks which puts them last in the league in that category.
Last week Janoris Jenkins and Curtis Riley each had an interception to match the two that Manning threw. They’ll have to shut down Wentz and crew, who’ve passed for 304.7 yards per game, 12th most in the league.
Philadelphia’s second-year punter, Cameron Johnston, signed as an undrafted free agent last season, has punted 24 times for a net average of 43.5 yards per punt, ranked 3rd in the NFL.
New York’s punter, Riley Dixon, acquired in a trade with the Broncos this offseason, has punted 21 times for a net average of 42.0 yards per punt, ranked 11th in the league.
Philadelphia’s placekicker, Jake Elliott, promoted from the practice squad last season, has gone 8-for-10, his longest was a 37-yarder. He hasn’t missed an extra point attempt (9/9).
New York’s placekicker, Aldrick Rosas, a second year player, both with the Giants, has gone 11-for-11, his longest was a 53-yarder. He hasn’t missed an extra point attempt (7/7).
Philadelphia’s punt returner, wide receiver Deandre Carter, is ranked 23th in the league in return yards. He’s returned 2 punts for 42 yards and no touchdowns, averaging 21.0 yards per return, his longest for 42 yards.
New York’s punt returner, wide receiver Jawill Davis, is ranked 5th in the league for return yards. He’s returned 8 punts for 378 yards and a touchdowns, averaging 17.9 yards per return, his longest was for 71 yards. Last week against the Panthers, wide receiver Odell Beckham returned a kickoff for 26 yards and 3 punts for 15 total yards.
The oddsmakers have the Eagles favored over the Giants by 3 with an over/under of 44.0.
CBSSports.com has two final score predictions:
Pete Prisco goes with the over and has it Giants 27, Bears 21
John Breech takes the over and predicts it Giants 27, Eagles 24
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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