Philadelphia Eagles (5-9) vs. New York Giants (10-4)
Thursday, 8:25 pm ET at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia
Spread: Giants -2.5
Another week, another Philadelphia Eagles loss. In their past two games, however, the Eagles showed some fight, but were simply beat by the better team. As frustrating as that may be, it is far preferable to watching players quit on their teammates. Carson Wentz even orchestrated an impressive come-from-behind drive that brought the Birds within a point of the Ravens, but fell short on the two-point conversion attempt that would have cemented the rookie quarterback’s first signature fourth-quarter comeback win. It was a little disappointing to see the team come together at the end and not get the win, but maybe a little adversity can help motivate Wentz, who’s basically only ever won at football from high school through college, to continue to accept coaching on his mechanics and to continue to spend the hours in the film room that are necessary to win at this level.
This week, the Eagles face a surprisingly successful Giants team that already sits at the top of the NFC Wildcard standings with ten wins. The Giants enter Thursday night’s game coming off a dramatic Sunday Night win over the NFC East champion Dallas Cowboys two weeks ago and good win against the NFC North leading Detroit Lions. A win for New York would clinch their spot in the playoffs – ending a drought that stretches back to 2011. Will the Giants be focused and determined to finish strong and lockdown their playoff berth? Or will they have a hard time getting up for a game against a struggling Eagles team at the bottom of the division? On the other side, will the Eagles continue to show some fight and rally around their teammates to push for a win, despite playing only for pride? Or will they play cautiously with a mind toward next season and avoiding injuries?
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:
Last week I predicted the Ravens would win, but fail to cover the pointspread. The game was even closer than I predicted, and could have gone to overtime, had Pederson decided to kick an extra point (and assuming Caleb Sturgis knocked it through on a windy day). This week, I’ve got a feeling the Birds could pull the upset. Vegas is offering just a 2.5-point advantage to a team with twice as many wins as the Eagles. With a little more security in the offensive line [editors note: at publishing time, Lane Johnson has not yet been suspended for PEDs since his last suspension ended on 12/19, but you never know] and a familiar, division opponent, the Eagles are in a good position to pull off the upset at home on a short week. I like Wentz to have one of his best games to date and lead the Eagles to victory. Eagles 31-28
The line may favor the Giants, but the Eagles are winning this game. The Eagles get back starting RT Lane Johnson as well as starting LG Allen Barbre. So what does the mean? It means an Eagles offensive line that dominated the first for games of the season is intact again and facing off against a Giants team without Jason Pierre Paul. As per unofficial NFC East rules, this will be a close game, but give me the Eagles, 24-21.
Maybe it’s the return of the cold weather. Or maybe it’s the impending ChristMakkuh season, and the resulting end of the Holiday shipping crush at work, but I have a good tingling in my bones about this game for the Philadelphia Eagles. The “for amusement purposes only” players seem to agree, as the by all accounts Hot New York Football Giants are a FG or less, road favorite against our down-trending Birds. Last week the Eagles showed more fight than they had the previous games and the return of Lane Johnson who has much to prove to himself, his teammates, and the Phans, can only help the cause. This will be a typical down to the wire rivalry game w/ Caleb Sturgis – who IMHO could easily be a Pro Bowl pick – winning it w/ a late FG. Eagles 17-14
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