Defending champion Eagles travel to face Giants
October 11, 2018 7:39 AM
by Bob Christ
Two teams having disappointing seasons will be clashing in the Meadowlands in Week 6's prime-time Thursday game when the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles travel up I-95 to face the NY Giants.
The Eagles, who opened at 10-1 on the Westgate Las Vegas Super Bowl board to repeat as champs, have seen their odds sky to 40-1 – but still not as high as last year when they paid off at 50-1 at Caesars. The Giants, who were 30-1 in late August, now are at 100-1 and tied for the worst record in the league.
Both teams are fortunate, though, to be in the NFC East, the only division that doesn't have a team with a winning record. Even at 1-4, NYG could be only half a game out of first at the end of the weekend with a win here and losses by Dallas (a 3-point underdog to Jacksonville) and a defeat for loop leader Washington (2-2), which is only a 1-point choice over Carolina (3-1).
Now for a closer look at Thursday's game. The line is courtesy of the Westgate:
Philadelphia Eagles (2-3) at New York Giants (1-4)
Time: 5:20 p.m. PDT
Line: Eagles by 3 (44.5)
Facts: Both of the Eagles' victories have come against teams with 1-4 records. Now they face the 1-4 Giants... The Giants are coming off a 33-31 loss at Carolina last week in which Panthers PK Graham Gano used his educated instep to loft a 63-yard FG to sink NYG at the gun. It was much like the Giants' game in Philly last year, when Jake Elliott hit a game-winning 61-yarder as time expired to give the Eagles a 27-24 win... During their Super run last year, the Eagles' offense had 24 short fields in the regular season. Through five games in 2018 they've had three, which have resulted in three points. In fact, in last week's 23-21 home loss to Minnesota, the Eagles took over at the Vikings' 30 in the fourth quarter with a chance to take the lead and wound up punting. Giants foes have had seven short fields but no TDs... In Week 15 last year, a 34-29 Eagles road win, the Giants gained 504 yards, the fourth most for a losing team all season... NYG ended its league-high streak of 37 straight games (counting postseason) without hitting 30 points last week, but became one of nine teams in 2018 to lose despite reaching that plateau.
Analysis: The Super Bowl hangover has the Eagles' heads throbbing, even with the return of star QB Carson Wentz, who is 1-2 since replacing Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles for Week 3. The backfield, meanwhile, just took a hit with the loss for the season of RB Jay Ajayi (ACL). Last season he helped lead a Philly running unit that had a league-best 19 rushes of 20+ yards This year they have 2. Corey Clement (probable) is a capable No. 2, but he's been wrestling with a groin/quad injury. New York, meanwhile, merits an edge with standouts at RB in Saquon Barkley and at WR with Odell Beckham Jr. As for Eli Manning, he tore through the Eagles' Super defense last season for 366 and 434 passing yards and six TDs. In no other game did he hit 300 yards. So long as the Giants give help to that rookie free agent OT who took over for since-released Ereck Flowers, the Giants should do enough to at least stay very close.
Forecast: Giants 28, Eagles 27