Week 16 of the 2016 NFL season gets underway this evening when the New York Giants take on the Philadelphia Eagles from Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
After the Eagles’ 3-0 start to the season, fans in Philadelphia had visions of a Super Bowl type team dancing in their heads as rookie quarterback Carson Wentz looked like a seasoned veteran and the Eagles were steamrolling the opposition. Unfortunately, after Week 3 the wheels came off and heading into tonight’s game that 3-0 start in late September has virtually been forgotten.
Following a 34-3 victory over Pittsburgh on September 25, Philadelphia has lost nine of their last 11 games including the last five in a row.
According to the Giants official website, tonight the Eagles will face a Giants team that has been on fire. Winners of two in a row and eight of their last nine, New York can sew up a playoff spot with a win vs. the Eagles this evening. While it is never easy to beat a division rival on the road, the Giants should be up to the task.
New York boasts one of the best defensive units in the NFL. The G-Men are giving up just 17 points per game so far this season, but if they do have a weakness, they have been a bit weaker on the road than at home.
Nevertheless, the Giants know how big the final two games are, they also know that the Eagles will be loose since they have nothing to play for – which makes them dangerous in many ways.
New York also doesn’t want to see Carson Wentz have another field day against their pass defense.
Wentz threw for a career-high 364 yards in the first meeting with the Giants, however, that was many moons ago if you are a Giants fan. Since Week 5, New York has allowed an NFL-low passer rating of 70.0. They would like nothing better than to clinch a playoff berth vs. the team that had great success against them earlier this season.
On the injury front, the Eagles running game will get a boost in the backfield as running back Darren Sproles is expected to return to the lineup. The bad news for Philly is Sproles’ replacement Kenjon Barner won’t be available for tonight’s game due to a hamstring injury.
The Giants will be without their running back Shane Vereen who injured his triceps last week vs. the Detroit Lions. New York will most likely give the bulk of the running load to Rashad Jennings.
Las Vegas odds makers have the Giants listed as a 2.5 point favorite, with the over/under number set at 41.
While the Giants have struggled a bit on the road this season, if they want to show they belong amongst the teams who will make the postseason, then they need to win this game.
The Eagles have talent, but they have been stumbling for over a month now. New York needs to take advantage of a team that seems to have packed it in until next year. It will be close for awhile, but in the end, the Giants should win by a touchdown or more.
Pick – New York -2.5
Fans can catch all of the action for the Giants vs. Eagles game nationally on NBC or streaming live through NBC Sports.com If you are on the go, you can watch every play through your cell phone or tablet or other hand-held device by downloading the NBC Sports App. Game time is scheduled for 8:25 p.m. ET.
[Featured Image by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images]