The New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles have one of the fiercest rivalries in the NFL, and this week they will meet for the first time this season. The Week 9 matchup is made more important by the fact that the two teams have identical 4-3 records and are both trailing the Dallas Cowboys by two games at the top of the NFC East. Considering the way Dallas is playing, it could be tough for either team to catch the Cowboys at the top of the division, leaving both the Giants and Eagles chasing a wild card spot and making their head-to-head matchup this week a must-win game for both teams.
At the moment, the two teams appear to be moving in opposite directions. After a promising start, the Eagles have lost three of their last four games, albeit in close games. Meanwhile, the Giants have bounced back from a three-game losing streak and have won their last two games. New York is also coming off a bye week, giving them a little extra time to prepare for the Eagles. With all that in mind, here are five bold predictions for this week’s rivalry game between the Giants and Eagles.
Eli Manning Gets Sacked Five Times
Philadelphia’s defense is tied for third in the NFL with 22 sacks on the season, and the Eagles are definitely not shy about getting after the quarterback. When New York’s problematic offensive line gets factored into the equation, the result is Manning picking himself up off the ground time and time again on Sunday. The Giants are also the worst rushing team in the NFL, which will make it even easier for the likes of Brandon Graham and Connor Barwin to pin their ears back. Manning will be able to make some plays, but if no receivers are open, he’ll have no choice but to take a few sacks against the Eagles.
Darren Sproles Scores Two Touchdowns
Sproles is a versatile offensive threat, and while the Giants are solid defensively, the Eagles will move him around the field in order to put him in position to make plays. After a season-high 20 touches last week, the Philadelphia Inquirer believes Sproles is the team’s top running back, and he is becoming a bigger part of Philadelphia’s offense. He will reward that confidence by finding the end zone twice against the Giants.
Not sure if Usain Bolt could have gotten over in time to block Sean Lee, who sniffed the Darren Sproles screen out immediately: pic.twitter.com/RR97s2o4Tu— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) October 31, 2016
Odell Beckham Jr. Can’t Be Stopped
There’s no denying that Beckham has had plenty of ups and downs this season, but he’ll have his way against Philadelphia’s cornerbacks this week. During the bye week, the Giants will have had time to think of new ways to get Beckham the ball, and all that extra time will pay off against the Eagles. Also, after Beckham played through pain in his last game against the Rams, ESPN reports he is close to full health heading into this week’s game against the Eagles. Expect Beckham to be targeted at least 10 times against the Eagles, and look for him to turn a few of those into big gains, as he’ll approach 200 yards receiving for the Giants.
Carson Wentz Commits Three Turnovers
Wentz has had a great rookie season for the Eagles, but once again, the Giants having an extra week to prepare will work in their favor. The Giants have enough of a pass rush to force Wentz to fumble the ball a couple of times. New York will also mix up their coverages to confuse the rookie quarterback, leading to an interception or two. Wentz will have his moments, but for the most part, the Giants will get the better of him as he has one of the worst games of his young career.
Giants Win On Last Second Field Goal
The Giants and Eagles are bound to play a close game on Sunday. Both teams are in the top 10 in the NFL with regard to points allowed, so despite strong performances from playmakers like Sproles and Beckham, it’ll be difficult for either team to score more than 20 points. This has all the makings of a field goal game, and late in the 4th quarter, Beckham will make a play to set up new Giants kicker Robbie Gould for a game-winning field goal. New York will win 23-20.
[Featured Image by Al Bello/Getty Images]