This NFC East rivalry has been one-sided over the last four years.
Two teams coming off drastically different Week 3 results will battle tonight when the Philadelphia Eagles host the New York Giants at 8:20 pm EST on NBC. The defending Super Bowl champions went to Carolina 10 days ago and absolutely dominated the Panthers 36-7. On the other hand, the Eagles traveled to Arizona last Sunday and were blown out by the Cardinals by a 27-6 mark. Philadelphia has owned this rivalry in recent years, winning seven of the last eight contests including a playoff game.
When the Philadelphia Eagles have the ball:
The Philly offense has put up major yardage (1,249) through three games but only has 47 points to show for the effort. The obvious factor in the lack of scoring is turnovers, and the Eagles lead the league with 12. Quarterback Michael Vick was harassed into five sacks and two fumbles against Arizona, and the banged-up Philadelphia offensive line must play better versus New York. The Eagles will need to get elite back LeSean McCoy more than the 16 touches he had last week.
The Giants defense has played decently versus the run but has given up 785 passing yards in three games. The vaunted New York pass rush will look to improve on its six sacks this season, but the Giants do have six interceptions on the year. The key against Philadelphia will be stopping McCoy on the ground and forcing Vick into more mistakes and turnovers.
When the New York Giants have the ball:
Quarterback Eli Manning already has 1,011 passing yards, and he has found some new weapons this season. Tight end Martellus Bennett has 15 receptions and three touchdowns on the year, and backup receiver Ramses Barden got the start in place of ailing wideout Hakeem Nicks (also out tonight) against Carolina and tallied nine catches for 138 yards. New York also had a big-time performance against the Panthers from backup running back Andre Brown, who produced 113 rushing yards and two touchdowns filling in for the injured Ahmad Bradshaw.
The Philly defense ranks fifth in the NFL, including third-best in the league against the pass. The Eagles allowed only 29 rushing yards in last November’s win over the G-men, and they will need a repeat performance on Sunday night. If Juan Castillo’s group can stop the New York running attack, then it will have an opportunity to harass Manning. The Eagles have five interceptions and seven sacks this season, and they will need to force the Giants into a lack of balance.
This divisional battle should be a tight contest, and winning the turnover battle will be critical. The Eagles have been able to move the ball all season, but the giveaways have to stop to stay in the NFC East race. Manning has been solid through the three games, but the Eagles pass defense will provide a major challenge. We’ll go with Eagles to protect the ball and win a close one in front of a raucous Philadelphia crowd.
Eagles 27 Giants 24
---By Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)