P.A. Predictions: Must-win division game – Eagles vs Giants

Philadelphia Eagles (4-3) vs. New York Giants (4-3)
Sunday, 1 pm EST at Met Life Stadium, New Jersey
Radio: 94.1
TV: FOX
Spread: Giants -2.5

After a disheartening loss in overtime in Dallas, it’s clear the Eagles are terrible and everything is bad. Alright, perhaps a road-loss in overtime to a division opponent that’s among the best in the NFC doesn’t spell disaster for a young team with rookies at head coach and quarterback. The New York Giants present an opponent that is beatable, but is not without deadly weapons – namely Odell Beckham Jr. To balance the terrific threat of Beckham down the field, the Giants have the worst rushing attack in the NFL. New York has rushed for a total of 117 yards in the last three games – and won two of them! The uneven Giants give the Eagles a chance to cleanse their palate of a rough loss and the distraction of the Josh Huff arrest and dismissal. The trajectory of the rest of the season could very well be determined by what happens at 1:00 today.

As we await kickoff, here are the predictions from the football minds here at Pattison Avenue and what we’ll be watching throughout the game – please follow and harangue them on twitter dot com:

Hal Greenblatt (@HMGreenblatt)

Umm, win? I just kind of want to go all Peter Griffin and repeatedly say “aw crap, aw crap, aw crap.” Why? Because obviously I have no idea what kind of team these Eagles are. The Eagles, if they knew how to close out games, coulda/shoulda/woulda been 6-1, instead, they are staring down the barrel of a gun at a possible 4-4 record. Then I think about how Eli Manning just isn’t very good at home versus the Eagles, and that provides some relief. The Eagles defense leads the way, en route to a 23-17 victory. Eagles win.

 Josh Jablonski (@fightinz)

It’s hard to know what to expect from the Giants – at times they look quite good, especially when Odell Beckham Jr. is catching the football, but often they look lost offensively. The Giants have rushed for over 100 yards just twice this season. If the Eagles defense can pressure Eli Manning and hurry his throws, it will be hard for New York to get much going down the field. I expect Carson Wentz to have a decent game, though the Giants have held their opponents to an average of 20.1 points per game, good for tenth-best in the NFL. Division games are always a crapshoot, but I like the Eagles’ chances. Eagles 28-21

Brett Krasnov (@brett5355)

I am totally frustrated with trying to analyze this 2016 Eagles team, so as joked to my PatAve colleagues I am leaving this week’s pick up to my cats. Juan, the younger and more phanatical pointed out that the Birds have won eight of the last nine trips to the Meadowlands, including the last three, scoring over 30 points each time. He went on to say that the Giants D has only 9 sacks, 31st in the NFL, and 22nd against the pass overall. Bela, the older and more cynical, countered with the fact that the Birds have lost three out of their last four games, and often looking sloppy and predictable doing so. Their total offense of 317. YPG is 28th in the league. After a spirited wrestling match all over the house, Juan finally earned the last meow, and that being what the line at 2 pts tells him, which is that the Giants can be beaten at home, not even being given the usual 3 pt home advantage. Eagles 24-20

Zach Bates (@ZachBatesSJSD)

The Eagles have had an interesting week with the arrest and then release of Josh Huff. I think the last thing this team needed was a distraction, but we will see how they overcome. Last week’s loss to Dallas show light a fire under them and help get a win over the Boys in Blue. It hurts the Eagles that they Cowgirls are playing Cleveland, so all you can do is say on par with them with a win. The good thing for the Eagles, as Brett pointed out, is that the Giants D is struggling and Carson Wentz should get some more time in the pocket. If one of our receivers could catch, it would be a huge bonus. Doug Peterson had mentioned that he is thinking about making Darren Sproles the No. 1 running back, but after some of the hits he took last week, it will be interesting to see how he comes out. I think our defense is good enough to force Eli Manning to make mistakes and allow D/ST to possibly score a few points. And unlike Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley said at the CMA’s on Wednesday, “(in progressive jingle tune) Eli is not our favorite QB. Eagles 28-21


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