The Philadelphia Eagles will take on the New York Giants Monday night at 8:30 p.m. at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in what is going to decide early control of the NFC East. The Eagles come into the matchup with a 2-3 record, which is tied for last place in the NFC East with the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins. The Giants lead the division with a 3-2 record, which is currently good for first place in the NFC East. For two teams that have suffered various injuries in recent weeks, quarterbacks Sam Bradford and Eli Manning will decide who wins the matchup.
For a team that was predicted by many analysts to be Super Bowl contenders, the Eagles have gotten off to a nightmarish start. After losing their first two games to the Atlanta Falcons and Dallas Cowboys, the Eagles finally won their first game against the New York Jets. Since this victory, they lost to the Redskins and defeated the New Orleans Saints.
While the Giants come into the matchup with a winning record, they have not exactly been impressive. They lost their first two games to the Cowboys and Falcons, and then won the next three against the suspect Redskins, Buffalo Bills, and San Francisco 49ers. While a win is a win in the NFL, the injuries piling up may hurt their chances of becoming a playoff team.
After Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford was acquired in the offseason via trade, many analysts and fans warmed up to him after seeing his play in training camp and the preseason. Bradford always had the tools, but he could never put it together on the field. Coming into the game against the Giants with a line of 1,281 passing yards, eight touchdowns, and six interceptions, Bradford’s play has been average, at best, so far. He did come alive in last week’s game against the Saints, though, where he threw for 333 yards and two touchdown passes. According to Philly, he may be turning into the leader the team needs. Before the Saints game, he gathered the team in the shower area of the locker room to fire his guys up. Bradford spoke on the issue to the press.
“It really wasn’t that big of a deal. Something needed to be said. Hopefully, it got the guys fired up.”
Eagles coach Chip Kelly commented on the meeting after the game.
“For anybody coming in new to an organization or a team, there’s got to be – you’ve got to establish yourself a little bit before you can start to say, ‘Hey (listen up).” Because I mean, anybody would be like, ‘Why is this guy telling me something to do? He just go here. I think Sam has handled it really well. He was a little bit more quiet in April and May because he wasn’t really full-go in terms of what we were doing. But I think as he has gotten more snaps, as he came back to preseason camp and we started rolling here in August, you could start to see him assert himself a little bit more. So I think it’s a process.”
While the Eagles will be without rookie wide receiver Nelson Agholor, and running back Ryan Mathews is questionable, Bradford still has to get it done. Even though his receivers and running game have not been helping him, there have been numerous passes he has missed. He has also thrown costly interceptions in the red zone area.
By comparison, Giants quarterback Eli Manning is off to a hot start with 1,417 passing yards, 10 touchdowns, and only two interceptions. Yahoo notes that a lot of Manning’s success this year is because of his effectiveness before the snap. The injuries to his wide receivers are piling up, though. Victor Cruz will not play against the Eagles, and Odell Beckham Jr. is questionable with a hamstring injury. Rueben Randle is also injured, but believes he will play. With the Eagles defense improving, Manning could be in for a long night with the Eagles pass rush.
Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants games are always close, and this one is looking to be another nail-biter. Because of the numerous injuries to the Giants receiving corps and Bradford’s newfound confidence, it is likely that Sam Bradford plays better than Eli Manning, and the Eagles defeat the Giants to take control of the NFC East.
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