The Eagles have won 13 of the last 16 meetings against the Giants. But the Giants have won the last two home games.
Probably doesn’t mean much come Sunday.
There is plenty on the line. The Giants are battling for an unexpected playoff spot. The Eagles want the NFC top seed.
Eagles coach Nick Sirianni and Giants coach Brian Daboll go way back. Sirianni praised Daboll all week for his mentorship. Eagles cornerback James Bradberry plays his first game against the team that released him in the spring.
3 PREDICTIONS YOU’LL LIKE
1. TEAM OF DESTINY?
One week, the Eagles win with the running game. The next week, it’s the passing game. Another week, the defense is overwhelming.
Even the shaky special teams contributed in the victory against the Titans.
Who’s left to contribute? Stadium vendors?
Expect the Eagles to emphasis running this week. The Giants’ run defense is ranked 26th and after Jalen Hurts’ passing exhibition last week, Miles Sanders is ready to go. He only had 10 rushes against Tennessee.
2. OFFENSIVE LINE
Hurts’ challenge this week could be the Giants’ blitz. They blitz as much as any team.
- “I know this style of defense, it can create a lot of issues and you have to be on it as far as your rules and do everything with your rules and make sure you have plays that can block these things,” Sirianni said.
The Eagles’ offensive line continues to excel. They just go out, protect Hurts, open holes for the run game and call it a day. The Giants’ defense is ranked 23rd while the Eagles’ offense is ranked third and the running game is ranked fifth.
The best way to beat the blitz? Run the ball. We’ll see the O-line dominate, again, against the Giants.
3. EAGLES WIN
As with most games, the Eagles appear to have the better roster. Hurts might be the league’s MVP — he has won the last two NFC Offensive Player of the Week awards.
With some rain in the forecast, expect the Eagles to control the ball and the clock.
We’re thinking it’s an Eagles’ victory, 27-16.
3 PREDICTIONS YOU WON’T LIKE
1. SAQUON BARKLEY
Barkley is having a bounce-back season with 1,055 yards in 12 games, fourth in the league. He has eight rushing touchdowns. Last year, in 13 games, he had 593 yards and two rushing touchdowns.
The Giants (7-4-1) have fed Barkley and put games on his shoulders. He has 242 carries.
- “Obviously, he got picked that high [second overall] for a reason,” Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon said. “He can run it; he can catch it; they split him out wide; they throw it to him; they hand it off to him, jet sweeps, tosses, inside runs; he lines up as a receiver; he lines up as the quarterback.
- “He has a very unique skill-set. He’s explosive. He’s big. He’s strong. He can hit home runs. He can break tackles. We’re going to have to be on it.
- “He looks like the premier back that he is right now on tape.”
Eagles have the 17th-ranked run defense, so Barkley might be a problem. He has averaged 76.8 yards per game in six meetings against Philly but hasn’t had a 100-yard game since 2018. He’s due. Expect something special Sunday.
The Eagles lead the league in turnover differential at plus-13. They protect the ball. Hurts has thrown only three interceptions. The Eagles have lost seven fumbles.
The Giants are tied with the Cowboys for the most fumbles recovered with 11. Eight of their 11 recoveries have come in their seven wins. Hmmm.
The surest way to pull off an NFL upset is to win the turnover battle. I can see that happening on a potential rainy day in the Meadowlands.
3. GIANTS WIN
Daniel Jones presents a rare problem for the Eagles — a mobile quarterback. They’ve only faced one this season, Arizona’s Kyler Murray in Week Five. Murray gained 42 yards on four carries against the Eagles, not enough to win the game.
Jones isn’t afraid to tuck the ball and take off. He has gained a career-high 522 yards this season, fifth in the league behind more-celebrated running quarterbacks Justin Fields (905), Lamar Jackson (764), Hurts (609) and Josh Allen (581).
- “Brian Daboll and [offensive coordinator] Mike Kafka know what they’re doing,” Gannon said.
- “Bobby Johnson is the O-line coach and he knows what he’s doing. They know how … to maximize their quarterback skill-set in a way that makes it very challenging for the defense because it challenges your rules and your structures.
- “They find their match-ups, their one-on-one match-ups because of the quarterback skill-set.
- “So, we’ve got a big-time challenge ahead of us, and we’ve got to be on it. It’s a game where you can’t just line up and play your stuff, or you will get gashed.”
Recipe for a Giants win? Jones, who completes 66 percent of his passes, will pass productively and Barkley will run effectively. The Giants will win time of possession and keep Hurts on the sidelines.