One of the most heated and intense divisional rivalries will be on full display Sunday as the New York Giants head down to Lincoln Financial Field to take on the Philadelphia Eagles (8.20pm ET, September 30).
Both teams will be coming into this game holding a 2-1 record but when all is said and done, one will be 3-1 and will have the outright lead in the always competitive NFC East.
The Philadelphia Eagles Seasonal Record
Sitting at 2-1, the Eagles look on the surface to be having a pretty good season. Keeping that in mind, this is probably the most deceiving 2-1 record you’ll ever see as Philadelphia is lucky not to be 0-3.
Conventional football wisdom says that a team doesn’t and will not win games when they turn the ball over more than their opponents. For the first two weeks of the season however, the Eagles defied conventional wisdom. Despite leading the league in turnovers, they were able to record back-to-back one point victories over the Cleveland Browns and more impressively over the Baltimore Ravens.
As many expected however, the Eagles and their continued turnovers, including three by Vick in their last game, ended up catching up with this team. They were unable to overcome the free points they gave the Arizona Cardinals resulting in a 27-6 blowout loss.
Pressure on Eagles’ QB Vick Could Yield Big Gains for Giants
So far this season, Eagles QB Michael Vick has not fared well when it comes to the pass rush. Part of this problem has been because of Vick’s tendency to run first and pass second. The other part of it has been due to an offensive line with a string of injuries that can be seen as patchwork at best.
Ultimately, Vick just hasn’t been able to handle the pressure. Unfortunately for him and the Eagles, the Giants have been bringing the pressure all season. With Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul up front, their pass rush has really been lethal. Against the Eagles and Vick, the Giants have utilized this combination to great success.
When forced out of the pocket or throwing out of duress, Vick has struggled greatly. He is only completing 22.2 percent of his passes in these situations and has thrown two interceptions.
Again, this is an area where he could face major problems on Sunday as the Giants’ defensive ends are some of the best in the league.
How Will the Eagles Defense Stop the Giants’ 2nd Ranked Offense?
Finally measuring up to the lofty expectations from last season, the Eagles passing defense has performed well. With two of the best cornerbacks in the league in Nnamdi Asomugha and Domonic Rogers-Cromartie, the Eagles have prevented too many big plays on defense. With the exception of Larry Fitzgerald, who burned the Philly defense for 114 yards, the Eagles have kept opposing wide receivers under wraps.
Against the Giants and their second best passing attack, the task will certainly not be easy. They will be forced to defend against two legitimate deep ball threats in Victor Cruz and potentially Hakeem Nicks if he plays (right now he is listed as doubtful). The task is undoubtedly easier if Nicks doesn’t play but even then, the Giants still pose a huge offensive threat.
This year QB Eli Manning has utilized the entire field, confusing defenses as he spreads the ball around to all of his receivers. Against the Eagles and their top notch defense, Manning will look to do that again. To his benefit, Manning knows that the Eagles won’t be able to defend the entire attack. If the deep ball threat is not an option, Manning has a great target in tight end Martellus Bennett. If Bennett is covered, the Giants have decent running backs that can be utilized in a shuttle pass situation.
Can the Eagles Keep Winning Against the Giants?
When DeSean Jackson returned a punt for a touchdown on the final play of the Eagles 38-31 win against the Giants on a game late in December of 2010, it just seemed like fate. The Eagles came back from 31-10 down late in the fourth quarter and most believed it was over. As we all know, the Eagles came back to win it, to beat the Giants like they always seem to.
To look at the Eagles and Giants head-to-head over the past few years and call it a fluke would be an understatement. The truth is, in some of these games, the 2010 game included, the Eagles were better lucky than good. It just seemed that something about the losing to the Giants wasn’t possible.
The Jackson punt return wasn’t the only big Eagle win against New York. The way Philly plays every time they match-up against their rivals seems to indicate that it won’t be the last.
To put this into perspective, the Eagles are 7-1 against the Giants in their last eight match-ups. Interestingly enough, the Birds are also 7-1 against the spread in this same span of time. To fans thinking about betting on the Eagles this week, it is a small consolation, especially considering that the Eagles are 0-3 against the spread this season.
Giants v Eagles Betting Picks
The spread sits at -1 point with the Eagles as favorite. It probably would have been more but considering the way New York dominated the Carolina Panthers 36-7 and how Philly was killed by the Cardinals 27-6, I can see how the sportsbooks have arrived at a one-point spread.
Although the Eagles have had great success against the Giants in the past and although they always seem to find a way to win against this team, it is hard to pick them to cover the spread. They have won two games by just one point and have failed to cover the spread already three times this season.
The trends here are interesting though because within the division, the Eagles are 9-2 against the spread in their last eleven. They have the offense and defense on paper to dominate this match-up but none of that matter if they don’t minimize the turnovers.
Simply put, if the Eagles turn the ball over three or more times, they won’t win this game. If they turn the ball over less than three times, they’ll probably win.
- The advice is to bet on the Giants +1 @ +105 with BetOnline Sportsbook (the same bet is evens with Bovada). Non-Americans use Bet365.
- The game is also set at the over/under of total points at 47.5. Recent trends have seen eight of the last 12 between these teams go under. So bet on the total to be below 47.5 @ -110 with BetOnline Sportsbook or Bovada.
Wager with these online sportsbooks:
- All Americans: BetOnline Sportsbook.
- All Americans except Utah, NY, Washington & Maryland states: Bovada Sportsbook.
- Non-Americans: Place these bets with Bet365.