Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Giants: Prediction, preview, pick to win

By The Sports Xchange
Eli Manning and the New York Giants face the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Eli Manning and the New York Giants face the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo




KICKOFF: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, MetLife Stadium. TV: FOX, Thom Brennaman, Chris Spielman, Peter Schrager (field reporter).

SERIES HISTORY: 166th regular-season meeting. Giants lead series, 83-80-2. A Giants win would give them their second straight season split with their NFC East division rivals. If the Giants lose, they will have been swept in three out of the past four years.

KEYS TO THE GAME: The Eagles turn to quarterback Nick Foles as they try to secure a first-round bye in the playoffs.

A week ago, Foles replaced the injured Carson Wentz and led Philadelphia on successive field goal drives in their come-from-behind, 43-35 win over the Rams.

The Eagles' coaching staff will likely ease Foles into his new role by depending on the running game. That will mean a lot of Jay Ajayi, who rushed for 78 yards on 15 carries in the win in Los Angeles.


Foles, who has 36 career starts, would be wise to look for wide receiver Nelson Agholor, who has 15 catches -- including nine for first downs -- in the Eagles' past two games.

Another plus for Foles: The Giants have one of the worst pass defenses in the league.

New York quarterback Eli Manning, who returned to his starter's role after being benched for one week, was 31-for-46 in a 30-10 loss to Dallas but averaged less than five yards per attempt.

When the Giants have had success in the passing game, it has been with dink and dunks. One of the few bright spots in a lost season has been the play of tight end Evan Engram. The rookie has become Manning's No. 1 third-down target.

Manning will try to exploit Philadelphia's red-zone defense, which was 0-for-7 trying to stop Russell Wilson and Jared Goff the past two weeks. The Eagles allowed just 12 red-zone touchdowns during the first 11 weeks.


--Eagles RB Jay Ajayi vs. Giants MLB Calvin Munson. With Wentz out, the Eagles' running game becomes more vital than ever. Munson is replacing the injured B.J. Goodson.


--Giants TE Evan Engram vs. Eagles S Malcolm Jenkins. Engram has been the Giants' most effective third-down receiver. He had five catches for 45 yards against the Eagles in Week 3.



--Questionable: G Stefen Wisniewski (ankle)


--Out: S Nat Berhe (hamstring)

--Doubtful: S Landon Collins (ankle)

--Questionable: CB Brandon Dixon (heel, hamstring), WR Roger Lewis (ankle), WR Travis Rudolph (hamstring)

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Eagles QB Nick Foles. Foles will make his first start of the season, replacing injured Carson Wentz. Foles led the Eagles to their last playoff appearance in 2013. He led the league in passing that year.

FAST FACTS: Eagles QB Nick Foles threw two touchdown passes in his only career start against the Giants. He has eight touchdowns and two interceptions in his past four starts vs. NFC East opponents. ... WR Alshon Jeffery is tied for third in the NFC with eight touchdown catches. ... WR Nelson Agholor has 205 receiving yards and a touchdown catch in his past two games. ... TE Zach Ertz ranks fourth among NFL tight ends in receptions (57) and receiving yards (663). ... DE Chris Long had a sack and a forced fumble last week. ... CB Patrick Robinson had a sack in Week 14. He had an interception in his last game against the Giants. ... CB Jalen Mills had a career-high 12 tackles in the last meeting. ... QB Eli Manning has 1,530 yards (306 per game) and 14 touchdowns in his past five games at home vs. the Eagles. He completed 35 of 47 for 366 yards and three touchdowns in the last meeting. ... RB Orleans Darkwa has 213 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown in his past three home games. ... WR Sterling Shepard had seven receptions for 133 yards and a touchdown in the last meeting. ... TE Evan Engram leads all rookie tight ends in receptions (55) and receiving yards (623) and ranks first among NFL rookies in touchdown catches (six). ... S Landon Collins has 48 tackles in his past six home games. He has 43 tackles, a sack, two interceptions and a forced fumble in five career games against Philadelphia.


OUR PICK: After leading a game-winning, fourth-quarter drive against a playoff contender last week, Nick Foles gets an easier assignment for his first start this season: the 2-11 Giants.

OUR PICK: Eagles, 26-14.

--Ched Whitney

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