Our four Eagles beat writers predict the outcome of the 1 p.m. game Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
The combination of an immobile Nick Foles — who hasn’t worked much with the starting receiving corps — and a hobbled Eagles offensive line, on the road, concerns me, even against as hapless a foe as the Giants. I do not see this as a blowout. I think the Eagles’ defense is good enough to force a few turnovers and secure a victory, but as poor as the Giants’ results have been, they haven’t been uncompetitive in most games; they were tied, 10-10, in the fourth quarter against Dallas last week before the snowball started rolling downhill.
Maybe I’m just reacting to what I see as a denial of reality by some media people and fans – everything is not going to be fine. Carson Wentz made the Eagles special. Without him, maybe they can slog past the two-win Giants, but if you’re expecting much beyond that, I think you’re delusional. I’d be happy to be wrong; it would be a great story to cover.
Prediction: Eagles 20, Giants 16.
The Eagles will be without their starting, MVP-caliber quarterback. They will likely be without their starting left guard and play one of Stefen Wisniewski’s backups, Chance Warmack or Isaac Seumalo, a drop in talent as considerable as the one between Carson Wentz and Nick Foles. Despite the injuries, I don’t think the Eagles will fall in North Jersey. The Giants are a divisional opponent, so anything is possible. But the post-Ben McAdoo, interim-Steve Spagnuolo-led Giants have been reeling for months. Eli Manning is back in at quarterback after a one-game benching. And he has running back Orleans Darkwa to hand off to and tight end Evan Engram to throw to. But that’s about it. And his offensive line should be no match for the Eagles’ front four. On the other side of the ball, I think Foles does enough to win, and the three-headed running-back monster of Jay Ajayi, LeGarrette Blount and Corey Clement comes up big with the additional load.
Prediction: Eagles 23, Giants 17.
There have been 2-11 teams that have never quit, that have continued to fight and play hard until the final minute of their final game.
The Giants aren’t one of those teams. The players and the coaches all wish it was New Year’s Day right now. They want the season to end. Their only shot at winning Sunday is if somebody hijacks the Eagles’ team bus and drives it to Phoenix.
New York’s injury-riddled defense can’t stop the run and can’t stop the pass. Eli Manning has spent much of the week practicing his patented shoulder turn to protect himself from the Eagles’ pass rush.
The Eagles’ offense isn’t going to be as explosive without Carson Wentz. But it’s not going to matter one iota. At least not this week.
Prediction: Eagles 27, Giants 13
Yes, Carson Wentz is injured. Yes, the offensive line has injuries. But have you seen the team they’re playing? The Giants haven’t scored more than 24 points in a game this season, and have topped 20 points just once in the past seven games. Pair that listless offense with the 32nd-ranked defense, and this is a favorable matchup for the Nick Foles-led Eagles. Foles will be efficient, Jay Ajayi will lead the running game, and the Eagles will nurse a lead through much of the game. I don’t think the offense will be explosive, but the Eagles will have far more firepower than Eli Manning and the Giants. Watch how the Eagles cover tight end Evan Engram – he’s the Giants’ biggest offensive threat, and Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz will treat him accordingly. The Eagles will win easily and clinch a first-round bye.
Prediction: Eagles 27, Giants 16