Written by: Tony “The Prophet” Yantosca
The Giants won their second game in a row. It felt like they dominated the game. They had 3 gift interceptions from Fitzpatrick. It caused him to be replaced by Winston who also threw one pick but he also scored 4 TD’s in 14 minutes starting at 1:32 of the third quarter. If the game went longer the Giants may have lost.
When the Giants had the ball, they may have come the closet to what Mara and Gettleman envisioned when they drafted Barkley second overall. He had 142 yards on 27 carries and ran in 2 TD’s. He also caught a third. Eli completed 17 of 18 passes for 231 yards and ran in 2 TD’s. Eli completed 17 of 18 passes for 231 yards, TD’s and 0 interceptions. He had a QB rating of 155.8. If Eli can have time and use play action off a strong running game, he does not have to throw over 40 times a game. He can still be effective.
The downside of this game is that the Giants defense got torched for 510 yards, a whopping 67% third down efficiency and 35 points! They would have become one of those rare teams that was +4 in turnovers and still lose. It has to be less than 1% of teams in that category. Since the Giants got rid of Snacks Harrison they are worse against the run giving up 166 yards. Winston threw for nearly 200 yards in 22 minutes! The Giants give up yards to the X receiver, Evans, 6 catches on 7 targets for 120 yards and a TD. They also are vulnerable to the TE, which is nothing new. They gave up 94 yards on 7 catches to Howard and Brate. Remember the week before that Kittle was the most prolific pass catcher vs the Giants defense.
Turning to this week’s game, the Giants should change-up what happened in the last game. They should try to develop the run game so they can take some deep shots off play action. The Eagles’ secondary have been decimated. They have DB’s that were not on the team a month ago. The Eagles held the Giant WR’s in check last game. OBJ just had 6 receptions for 44 yards. Eli was Captain Checkdown throwing to Barkley play after play because he had no time from the porous offensive line. Jamon Brown has been a life saver, solidifying the bad right side of the OL. The Giants have 17 plays of 30 or more yards to receivers this year. Barkley sets everything up for the Giants he should run for over 100 yards and be effective pass catching. OBJ, Sheppard and Engram can do some damage in this matchup. The return game has been dramatically bolstered the past 2 weeks by Corey Coleman. On just 8 kickoff returns he has 3 returns of 40 yards or more! The Browns never figured out how to utilize this first round pick in 2016, 15th overall. Correct me if I am wrong but the Giants have not had this good a return man since Ron Dixon, circa 2000.
The Giants catch the Eagles who are reeling after a 41 point defeat at the hands of the Saints. This is the worst point margin defeat of any defending Super Bowl champion the following year! Wentz had his worst game as a pro with 3 picks, 0 TD’s and just 156 yards. This is bad for the Giants. No doubt Peterson is beating up the troops after such a bad showing. Most teams that get beat badly play much better the next week.
Wentz will look to get the ball to Jeffrey, who had 8 receptions on 12 targets and 2 TD’s in week 6. The Giants give up production to the X receiver. He will also throw to the new TE Giant Killer, Zach Ertz, who takes over for the retired Witten. Ertz had 7 receptions on 8 targets and 1 TD in week 6. I expect the same or better this week. They will also try to work in the recently acquired, WR, Tate. They have not really figured out his role yet, but it is still early. The Eagles have a menagerie for a run game. Adams is the new toy that seems to be the best right now. Coleman, who had a great game in Super Bowl 52, is a non-factor. Smallwood has come up small. Sproles, who is going to retire after this year, might as well retire now. He has missed most of the games this year. If the Eagles are going to win, they will do it with an effective Wentz and their front seven.
As far as my prediction goes, I believe in history until shown otherwise. The Giants are 4 -17 the last 21 games vs the Eagles. They are also 2-8 in their last 10. The Giants can win this game. They have the better skill position players on offense. However, when they play the Eagles, something always happens. They get beat by a miracle 61 yard FG or a long punt return at the end of the game. I think the Giants +5 is a lock. The giants are 4-1 on the road against the spread this year. So I like them to cover. The Eagles have not scored more than 30 points since they played the Giants in week 6, and it was the only time they scored over 30! Eli has some of his best games against the Eagles. Because of the history, and the fact that the Eagles are coming off a bad game, (tougher practices), I am calling this a close game but a Eagles win at home, Eagles 27, Giants 24.