Written by: Tony “The Prophet” Yantosca
Dust off the 1969 song from the Three Dog Night, Eli’s Coming. Yes, Eli Manning is back. After just starting the first two games of the season with two losses, it was time to give “Danny Dimes”, a chance. Eli makes his 233rd start. He is 116 and 116 for wins and losses. He just needs just 8 yards to pass Big Ben for 7th in all-time passing yards. Eli has been an Iron Man, never missing a game for injury. There was the McAdoo debacle for sitting him a game. Roethlisberger has missed many more games than Eli.
Looking back on Eli’s career, he only made the playoffs 6 times in 16 years. He is 8-4 in the playoffs, but all the wins came in the 2 super bowl seasons when they won 4 games as a wild card team each year. Eli has 4 first game playoff exits. He has .67 interceptions for every touchdown. He has only thrown for 4000 yards 6 times. 4000 yards is the Mendoza line for quarterbacks in this pass happy era. Three of those years he barely made it over 4000 yards with 4002, 4021 and 4027 yards. He will make the Hall of Fame for the 2 super bowl wins and for throwing over 50,000 yards. He was super bowl MVP in both games but we all know Justin Tuck and the NASCAR 4 person Spagnola A gap pass rush were the MVP’s in Super Bowl 42. He did have that great Manningham pass on the drive to win Super Bowl 46. That is definitely his best pass ever and a top 25 play in Super Bowl history.
Eli, who is making $23.2M this year, is earning most of it by holding a clipboard. Eli threw for 306 yards in week 1 vs. the Cowboys on 30 passes out of 44 attempts with 1 touchdown and 1 fumble lost. The Giants lost that game 35-17. The next week vs the Bills he threw for 250 on 26 passes with 45 attempts. He had 2 interceptions that did him in. The Giants lost this game 28-14. You can see from his high attempts; the Giants were trying to catch up from behind in both games.
Turning to the Monday night game, the Giants are 6-11 at the Linc in Philadelphia. They also are not good on Monday night vs the Eagles. They are 1-7 lifetime. The Giants are facing losing their 9th straight game. That would tie the all-time record going all the way back to 1976. When the Giants have the ball,they have to get off to a fast start. They have got off to a slow start all year. They have the worst 1st quarter point differential of any team as I have been pointing out all year. They are -61 in first quarter points being outscored 95 to 34. This leads to throwing out the game script and playing catch up where they are put in bad situations. They lead the league in turnovers at 28, and are tied for the worst turnover ratio with Miami at -14. You can thank “Danny Dime a Dozen” for most of these with 15 fumbles and 10 lost and 11 interceptions.
The way that Giants can win this game is through the air. Fitzpatrick last week threw for 365 yards and 3 touchdowns with a pick. The Giants run game has been anemic in recent games. The Giants had five rushing scores in their first four games and just one in the last eight games. That is definitely an indictment on Shurmur. The Eagles are 17th vs the pass giving up 242 yards a game. It was much worse earlier in the season. They have made improvements vs the pass but are still vulnerable there. They are 3rd vs the run, only giving up 91 yards a game. Barkley will have to get his 100+ scrimmage yards but he will have to get most of it through the air. The Giants get back Tate, but Engram is still out for his third straight game. Eli will have to get Shepard and Tate involved. Kaden Smith replacing Engram has been getting better every week. He had 6 catches for 70 yards on 8 targets last week. Eli will have to get rid of the ball quickly. He will have to deal with Derek Barnett, Brandon Graham and the old reliable Fletcher Cox who will be looking to sack him.
When the Eagles have the ball, like all other teams recently, they will be looking to pass on the Giants, “Get Well Defense”. Aaron Rodgers got beat badly one week before playing the Giants by the 49ers 37 to 8. It is no problem the next week, just visit the get-well Giants. Against the Giants and he throws for 4 touchdowns in the snow. Wentz threw for 310 with 3 touchdowns and a pick last week. Now that Jeffrey is back, he is the receiver of choice. He had 137 yards on 9 catches and a very high 16 targets. They need him since losing Jackson after week 1. They had no one else who can stretch the defense.
You cannot talk about the Philly passing game without talking about the tight ends. Wentz targets the tight ends 36.4% of the time! The Giants have been much better vs the tight ends this year after 4 years of being torched by them. The Giants have been getting killed all year on crossing patterns and I expect Pro Bowl TE Ertz and Goedert to be used on those routes. Ertz saw 74% of the snaps last week and Goedert 57%. Ertz has scored on 3 of his last 4 home games and has scored in 4 straight games in this series. Goedert has seen seven targets of caught a touchdown in his last 3 games. When the Eagles run, it will be all rookie Sanders, who had over a 100 scrimmage yards last week. Howard is doubtful to play and the recently added Ajayi saw only a handful of snaps last week.
The Eagles have lost 3 straight. Dallas also cannot win recently. As crazy as it sounds if the Gmen could have put a few wins together this season they would be in the race for the division. I expect Eli to be a little rusty. He had 2 good games against them in 2017 but lost. The weather is going to be bad so I think it hurts the Giants on the road. Turnovers are always an issue. The recent history for the Giants is bad. They have lost 9 out of the last 10 games vs the Eagles. So, history repeats itself. So, I am going to call this game Eagles 31 and the Giants 24. I can see them being down and the Gmen get a garbage time touchdown for the cover. The rain may hinder the scoring so it may beEagles 28-21 or 24-17, but I like a touchdown margin of victory. You could also have some defensive scores with the weather.