One of the weaker divisions in the National Football League will be on display Thursday night as the New York Giants travel to Lincoln Financial Field to take on the Philadelphia Eagles at 8:20 pm EST.
The Giants are coming off their first win of the season in game where their offense continued to underperform, however, its defense was able to put some points on the scoreboard with a 43-yards fumble recovery by linebacker Tae Crowder in the final quarter to break a 13-13 tie to give the Giants the lead over the Washington football team. Important to note that New York was favored for the 1st time all season versus Washington, yet fell short of the two point line to go 2-1 ATS in their last three contests. Philadelphia rallied in the second half of their home matchup versus the Baltimore Ravens Sunday afternoon only to fall short in the end. Nonetheless, the Eagles have covered in two of their last three games.
The Giants have covered in four of their last four games versus the Eagles while Philadelphia covered in their last meeting at MetLife Stadium in December of 2019 as four point favorites. It should be mentioned that the Giants have covered the number in each of their last two meetings in Philly while winning outright as heavy favorites in each. Currently, the Eagles are favored by six, down from 6.5 points at opening, while the total stands at 44.5 points, down from 45 at opening.
Giants defense comes through in the clutch for winCrowder not only recorded a huge fumble recovery and touchdown for the Giants in their win over Washington, but recorded a total of six tackles (4 assisted) as well for a Giants defense that has been middle of the road as a defense in 2020. Important to note that linebacker Kyler Fackrell (15 tackles, INT, ff) recorded his 3rd sack on the season in the contest while cornerback James Bradberry also picked off his second pass. It will be interesting to see how their defense plans to contain running back Miles Sanders for the Eagles, who is averaging a tad over six yards per game this year while coming off a 100+ yard rushing day in the Eagles defeat versus the Ravens. Nonetheless, the Giants have done well for themselves in stopping the rush this season in allowing just 107 yards per game, good for 9th in the NFL.
However, worth mentioning that the team lost linebacker Lorenzo Carter (11 tackles, sack) a week ago due to an achilles injury while the secondary may be a bit thinner if Darnay Holmes (8 tackles, .5 sacks) and Adrian Colbert (7 tackles) are not able to go due to neck and shoulder injuries.
Team reactions to win against Washington— New York Giants (@Giants) October 18, 2020
Full video 🎥: https://t.co/OjYSQ7PliO
Offensively, Daniel Jones and the offense for the Giants are ranked 30th or worse in the league in most major offensive categories, except for turnovers (10) to which they rank 29th. Jones threw for just 131 yards versus Washington while completed 63% of his passes for a touchdown along with a pick, his 6th of the season compared with just three touchdowns. And while his passing numbers have been less than stellar, Jones is averaging just under eight yards per rush while recording 204 rushing yards in 2020 to lead the team.
Davota Freeman (222 yds, TD) has been their best option in the backfield thus far as the team continues to find some type of production in the rushing attack that lost Saquon Barkley earlier in the year due to a knee injury. And while Freeman is averaging just 2.5 yards per rush this season, he may find some holes versus an Eagles defense that is giving up an above average 126 yards per contest. Evan Ingram serves as their second best option at receiver with just 177 yards along with a touchdown, yet has caught just three passes in the last two games while their leading receiver Darius Slayton (406 yds, 3 TD's) is day to day with a foot injury.
Eagles seek to prevent 3rd straight defeatThe Eagles' defense gave up 30+ points in their 2nd straight week as they gave up a total of 182 rush yards to the Ravens last weekend. Important to note that they surrendered 136 yards to the Pittsburgh Steelers in their previous outing, thus ranking them 22nd in the NFL. Maybe a week versus one of the worst offenses in the league can provide some confidence for an Eagles defensive unit that can certainly use a pick-me-up game, right?
It must be mentioned that Philadelphia is dealing with a ton of injuries both in the secondary as well as linebacking corps with Duke Riley (12 tackles, .5 sacks, ff) being day to day with a rib injury while the secondary may also be thin if Avontae Maddox (19 tackles), K'Von Wallace (4 tackles), and Marcus Epps (9 tackles) are not able to go as they are all day to day. Lastly, defensive tackle Malik Jackson is also day to day with a quad injury.
Much like the struggling Giants offense, Philadelphia's offense has struggled as well in 2020 as they are averaging just 24 points per game while committing a total of 12 turnovers, ranking them last in the NFL. QB Carson Wentz happens to be responsible for a total of nine of those turnovers alongside just eight touchdown tosses. Furthermore, the signal caller is completing just 59% of his passes while going only 21-40 for 213 yards in the team's loss to Baltimore. Nonetheless, while Wentz had a TD to INT ratio of 4:5 in his first four games of the year, it has improved to 4:2 in his last two starts.
Running back Sanders, however, has been the bright spot for the offense as he is averaging around ten yards per game in his last two contests. Yet, he is day to day for this contest with a with a knee injury. Nonetheless, if he is able to go, it will be interesting to see how he performs versus a Giants rush defense that has been stingy in giving up yardage to opponents thus far. Important to note that tackles Lane Driscoll and Lane Johnson with ankle injuries while receiver Desean Jackson also being day to day with a hamstring injury.
However, Wentz will have leading receiver Travis Fulgham (284 yds, 3 TD') in the lineup as well as tight end Zack Ertz (178 yds, TD) along with John Hightower (107 yds) who combined for a total of 24 targets in their loss to the Ravens while catching 11 for 158 yards and a score.
Stats & Trends
- Giants are 4-2 ATS in last 6 contests versus Eagles
- Giants are 3-0 ATS in last 3 road games
- Eagles are 2-4 ATS in last 6 matchups versus Giants
- Eagles are 2-4 ATS in last 6 games
- Eagles are 2-6 ATS in last 8 home games
Despite the Eagles matching up versus the Giants, I must say that I do not trust a team that has not only gone winless against the number in three straight games as favorite, but has also failed against the spread in two of three home games in 2020. On the other hand, the Giants have played much better away from the hostile surroundings of MetLife Stadium these days in going undefeated against the spread in their three road games on the season.
The Eagles are hurting (literally) on the defensive side of the ball and may have to take the field without some key figures Thursday. It is for this reason that I happen to feel as though the Giants, despite their dismal play on offense, will have some opportunities to effectively move the ball in this contest. The Giants are the much safer pick here as evident by the line movement, which has already moved slightly in favor of the road team (6.5 at opening) and may continue as this matchup approaches.