Another week, another “must win” game for the Philadelphia Eagles. After destroying the New Orleans Saints last week, they’ll have a much tougher test this week. Under the bright lights of Monday Night Football, the Birds will host the division leading New York Giants.
There may not be a quarterback in the NFL that’s playing better than Eli Manning right now. But the Giants were on a roll last season before they got shut out by the Eagles on national television. Could we see a repeat performance this Monday? Nobody knows and that’s the beauty of the NFL.
That being said, let’s get right into this week’s preview for Monday night’s game between the Eagles and Giants at Lincoln Financial Field!
Three Storylines To Watch For
1) Can the Eagles’ offense put together a repeat performance?
There’s no doubt the Giants’ defense is far better than the Saints. But that being said, they certainly have their vulnerabilities and weaknesses. Yet will the Eagles be able to take advantage of them? Last week was just a glimpse of what their offense is capable of.
When the offensive line plays as a cohesive unit, the possibilities are endless. Although the Saints have one of the worst defenses in the NFL, they just did a damn good job last night against the Atlanta Falcons. So maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to brush last week’s offensive performance under the rug. Although it’ll be interesting to see if Philadelphia’s offense can have a similar performance against New York’s defense.
2) Injury bug bites the Giants once again
It seems like this happens every year but the Giants have once again been bitten by the injury bug. They’ll be without starting cornerback Prince Amukamara, a big blow to their underrated secondary. But it looks like wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Reuben Randle are day to day as well. Although both of them likely won’t miss a game of this magnitude.
For what it’s worth, Jordan Raanan of NJ.com seems optimistic that “OBJ” will play against the Eagles despite missing back to back practices:
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) October 15, 2015
Either way, it’s worth keeping an eye on which players will miss Monday’s game. Outside of Mychal Kendricks, Kiko Alonso and Brandon Bair, the Eagles remain relatively healthy. Luckily the unexpected play of Jordan Hicks has offset the absence of both Kendricks and Alonso. If the Giants are without one of their top wide receivers, that could be a huge blow and make them relatively one dimensional in terms of Manning’s targets.
3) How can the Eagles slow down Eli Manning?
As I mentioned before, Eli Manning is on fire right now. He’s taken a page out of his older brother’s book with how fast he’s getting rid of the ball. Despite playing behind a patched togethet offensive line, Manning is having one of the best starts to a season in his career. How in the world will the Eagles be able to slow him down?
It’s quite simple, honestly. The Eagles will have to get in Manning’s face early and often. Once he’s worrying about pressure, that’s when he’ll make errant throws and ultimately costly mistakes. Yet that sounds a whole lot easier than it will be on Monday night. It’ll be up to players such as Fletcher Cox, Bennie Logan, Connor Barwin and Brandon Graham to make Manning’s night in the Linc a living hell.
Key Matchup To Watch For
Byron Maxwell vs. Odell Beckham Jr.
Although it’s highly unlikely that Byron Maxwell shadows Odell Beckham Jr., it may be the key matchup of the game. Maxwell had a rough start to the season but has looked much more comfortable recently. It’ll go a long way on Monday night if Maxwell can get in Beckham’s head early on in the game.
Sure, he’s one of the best wide receivers in the game but Beckham has a hot temper. If things aren’t going his way, he begins to throw a tantrum. That might be exactly why Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis will have Maxwell shadow Beckham. “B-Max” is known for his physicality and if he follows Beckham around the field and jams him at the line all game long, that will eventually throw Beckham off his game.
As of now, the Eagles are four point favorites over the Giants, according to Covers. But it seems like everyone is split on who will actually win the game, when it comes to writers and analysts. Yet the line could shift even more in Philadelphia’s favor if more key players are ruled out for the Giants. The over/under for the game is currently set at 49 as well. I’m no betting man, but I’d take the under in that case.
It’s always great to see a good old fashion NFC East game on primetime television. That being said, I think Monday’s game will be a close one. Both teams possess underrated defenses that could make this an unexpected low scoring affair. It’ll ultimately come down to which team can move the ball through the air better. In that case, the Eagles get the nod due to their starting secondary being intact and not dealing with any major injuries like the Giants currently are.
Final Score Prediction: Eagles 23, Giants 20
That’s all for my Eagles vs. Giants preview, be sure to check back here at PhillyInfluencer.com for all of the latest news regarding your beloved Birds and everything else happening in Philadelphia!