Written by: Tony “The Prophet” Yantosca
Daniel Jones and the Giants were able to take advantage of a decimated Washington Redskins.
Defensive backs Norman, Moreau, and Dunbar were out last week. Nicholson and Collins who were questionable last week are out this week giving you an indication of how beat up the Washington secondary was.
Kudos to Jones for his performance. As Bill Parcells would say, Don’t put him in Canton yet.” Needless to say, Jones has exceeded expectations. if you analyze what he has done you see his major production:
14 out of 23 touchdowns, has come against the worst pass defenses.
He has 6 touchdowns vs the Redskins.
He has 4 touchdowns vs the Jets. Even the Ravens who have the best rush offense in the league by 60 yards a game threw 5 touchdowns vs the Jets because it is harder to run vs the number 2 rush defense than throw.
Jones has 4 touchdowns vs the Lions who are 32nd vs the pass giving up an average of 283 passing yards/game!
You would think that Giants won the Super Bowl after this win. The fact is that they blew a 14-point lead and had to pull it out in overtime. They were lucky that the less experienced Haskins started. If Keenum had played the whole game against this Giants get well pass defense, they probably would have lost. He was responsible for the comeback. Keenum engineered a 14 play, 99-yard drive to tie the game with 29 seconds left!
As I pointed out in the Prophet’s Point After last week, Barkley turned a touchdown into what should have been a 6-yard gain. He was lined up as a wide receiver. He caught the ball 2 yards behind the line of scrimmage. Both Webster and Payne whiffed on routine tackles, and he had a 51-yard touchdown with 53 yards of YAC padding the stats. Congratulations on a rare win but it knocked the Giants out of the Chase Young Sweepstakes. Now the best strategy is to trade their pick to one of the teams looking for the franchise quarterbacks in this strong draft class and amass picks to fill the plethora of holes on this team.
Turning to this week’s game, I will give you the spoiler alert now.
The Giants have two chances to beat the Eagles, slim and none. The Eagles have beaten the Giants 6 straight times and 10 of the last 11 games. They own the Giants.
In the last meeting in week 14 on Monday night, with the return of Eli for his first game since week 2, the Giants got out to a 17-3 lead at the half. Eli was able to get 2 bombs to Slayton againstan Eagles team that was also decimated by injuries including the secondary.
That game was an example of how mentally tough the Eagles are. They dominated the rest of the game. The weather conditions were horrible and the entire game was played in a driving and windy rain storm. They had the edge in time of possession in the second half 25:15 to 8:55! The Giants had 6 3 and outs! Players were dropping like flies for the Eagles. Running back Howard and reviver Agholor were out in this game. At the beginning of the second half, wide receiver Jeffrey went out for the rest of the game negating any deep threat they had. The Giants could crowd the line which has been the Eagles problem all year since DeSean Jackson only played 1 game, week 1. He only had 8 receptions for 154 yards and 2 touchdowns! Right after that they lost Pro Bow left tackle, Lane Johnson. In the 4th quarter they lost Arcega-Whiteside. The Eagles were down to 1 WR, Greg Ward, and the running backs and tight ends. The only credible weapon was TE Zach Ertz and the Giant could not stop him. You would think Bettcher would double his every move. He scored both the game tying and game winning touchdowns. On the overtime one, there wasn’t a defender within 9 yards of him. Running back Boston Scott by necessity had a strong game with 59 rushing yards and 69 receiving yards and a touchdown.
We turn to this week and all the Eagles have to do is win this game and they win the division and they are in the playoffs. That is motivation! They had another mentally tough game last week holding the number 1 Dallas Cowboys offense to 3 field goals in a win.
When the Eagles have the ball, they will use the short passing game to win the time of possession battle like last game. They get running back Howard back this week. He has missed 6 games in a row. He has a slightly better than average 4.4 YPC. He does have 6 rushing TD’s and 1 receiving one. I think with the one, two punch of Sanders and Howard, they may try to run more than the past 6 games. The rookie Sanders is being used more in the second half of the year. He has averaged 78 yards/game the last 5, and had a touchdown the last 2 weeks. They also have the elusive Boston Scott for third downs and remember he had over 100 yards from scrimmage in the last game.
They will also want to get the pass game going against this get-well Giants pass defense giving up 263 yards/game. The Giants moved up to 26th vs the pass but they are only 2,5 yards/game from being 29th. Wentz has become the first quarterback to have 30 completions in 3 straight games with no picks. Because of the lack of weapons on the outside Wentz has had to throw 40 or more times the past 6 weeks. His YPA over that time is only 6.2 indicating that he is throwing to the backs and tight ends. He has averaged 44 attempts over the past 6 games. He has had some decent yards the past 4 weeks: 310, 325, 266 and 319. He has 9 TD’s and 1 pick over the last 4 games. That one pick was a Hail Mary at the end of the game. Ertz is out and that is a big blow to the Eagles. That will mean double the work for Goedert who has come into his own this year with the absence of the wide outs. He has had at least 6 targets the last 6 weeks. Last week with Ertz hurt that doubled to 12 targets, 6 receptions for 91 yards and a touchdown.
When the Giants have the ball, they will have to attack the weak point of the Eagles defense and that is the secondary. Shepard has become a weapon again after missing 5 games. He had 15 receptions the last 2 weeks for 187 yards and a touchdown. Tate has become less of a factor but he had 96 yards last week vs theporous Redskins defense after having just 2 catches the previous 2 weeks. Kaden Smith has been filling in nicely for the often-hurt Engram who has missed 13 games the past 2 years. Smith had 2 touchdowns including the game winner in overtime lastweek. He has been becoming the new red zone threat.
Barkley became only the fifth player in the Super Bowl era to have 275 yards with both a rushing and receiving touchdown. He will not do that the Eagles rush defense. Unlike the Redskins who give up 141 yards a game, the 3rd ranked Eagles run defense only gives up 88 yards/game. They will have to use Barkley in space. The Redskins had no pass rush last week. The Eagles will certainly put more pressure on Jones. The Giants are 30th in turnover ratio at -15, only better than the Chargers and Bengals tied for last at -16. Jones did not turnover the ball last week. He has 10 lost fumbles on 16 fumbles and 11 interceptions. If you are -2 in turnover ratio in a game you have a greater than 80% chance of losing the game. That is a contributing factor in why he is 3-8 in games he has played. The Eagles are also negative in turnover ratio at -5 so there could be some opportunity for the Giants. Both teams had 2 fumbles in the last game. The Giants recovered both of theirs. Wentz lost 1 of the 2 on the 4th down try in the first quarter. It didn’t matter as he was stopped and the Giants were getting the possession anyway.
So, it is prediction time. Here are the factors to consider. The Eagles have won the last 10 out of 11 games. The Giants have played better on the road the past 2 years than at home where this game is being played. They are 5-3 against the spread away and only 2-5 at home this year indicative of this trend. Of course, just like the last game it is going to rain also. The Eagles are playing for the playoffs. Seven of the last 10 games in this series have been decided by 6 points or less. The Giants are playing to maybe save some of the management. I think this game will also be within one possession. I am calling this game the Eagles 27, the Giants 21. Then we will see what happens to Shurmur and Bettcher. Both should be gone, However, the pompous Gettleman may have 9 lives with Mara and Tisch like Jerry “Reach” did.