And so it begins.
The post-Carson Wentz Era [for 2017 and the beginning of 2018] officially begins Sunday afternoon at 1:00 P.M. on FOX in East Rutherford, New Jersey as the Philadelphia Eagles look to sweep the season series from the 2-11 New York Football Giants. With Thom Brennaman and Chris Spielman on the call and Peter Schrager on the sidelines, the Eagles will look to lock up at least a first-round bye as we head into the postseason.
It’s still a hard pill to swallow knowing Wentz won’t be playing another game this season, but we’ve no choice but to get behind Nick Foles as the answer. The season is not over. Foles orchestrated a game-winning drive last week against the Rams. It’s entirely possible he can hold the fort down.
And his first test will be a Giants team looking for revenge. It won’t be an easy task. But Foles and the Eagles know this, and I’m sure they’ll prepare accordingly.
We’ve got to hope they do, anyway.
To the predictions:
Candis McLean (12-1, @CandisRMcLean):
According to my Apple Watch, between Sunday night and Monday morning I got a total of 1 hour and 10 minutes of sleep. I would love to say Apple is wrong, but to be honest, I spent the night with a bottle, “End of the Road” on repeat, and Carson Wentz highlights. It’s been several days since we lost him for the season and the prospect of playing a decrepit team like the New York Giants gives me great confidence in selecting a victory this week. The Eagles should win as they take part on a stop in Eli Manning’s retirement tour. The Birds are the better team, the Giants have no playmakers to speak of, and we don’t need Nick Foles to do anything near elite level QB play.
Dave Uram (12-1, @MrUram):
It’ll take some time for the Eagles to get rolling with Foles at quarterback, but once they do, they’ll roll over the putrid Giants.
Caleb Weiler (1-1, @TheBitter_Caleb):
The Eagles have suffered a huge blow in the loss of Carson Wentz but they have had a “Next Man Up” mentality all season. Now Nick Foles is that next man up. Being one of the better backup quaterbacks in the league, Foles will look to impress in his re-debut with the Eagles against the New York Giants. After the Giants fired their head coach, they are still not on track to be much of a threat. Chances are it will take some time for Foles to get some chemistry with the first team but he will lead the Eagles to a victory on Sunday.
Anthony Mazziotti (7-1, @AntMazziotti):
Even without Carson Wentz the Eagles will beat the Giants on the road for their 13th win of the season.
The defense will pick up the slack. The Giants don’t have much of a run game, so once the G-men become one dimensional, the pass defense will have to step up. They have what it takes to hold the Giants’ lackluster offense in check.
The offense will do its job. I think Foles can still move the ball well, and he should finish with two touchdown passes. Jay Ajayi will have his best game as an Eagle, as well.
Tony Cutillo (10-3, @TCutillo23):
Just like “Biggie” once said, “It was all a dream.” But in this case, it’s a nightmare. The Eagles have been decimated all year by injuries, but #11 was the one piece of the puzzle that we couldn’t lose. Unfortunately, that piece is gone and now we are left with a heap of hope that resembles the infamous New Jack City line from G Money, “We all we got!”
Let’s be honest, Nick Foles is no Carson Wentz and to be acting like we will just roll along is absurd. Doug Pederson must have drank his own version of the West Coast Kool-Aid when he said with the utmost confidence, “We don’t have to change a thing.” Maybe it’s just me, but the last time I saw Foles play, he didn’t quite quite resemble the mobility we’ve been accustomed to. That being said, a more run-heavy offense and three-step drops could be all that is needed in order to prevail over the hapless Giants.
Adrian Fedkiw (12-1, @AdrianFedkiw):
The Giants are the perfect opponent for the Eagles following Wentz’s ACL tear. They struggle stopping the run, they struggle stopping the pass, hell, they struggle with everything. I expect Foles to have a solid outing in his first start of the season, to see some more Jay Ajayi and the defense to suffocate New York’s offense. Wentz or not, this game should still be a cakewalk for the Birds.
Sean Brace (10-2, @Sean_Brace):
“Next Man Up” works when the player that went down isn’t Carson Wentz. No doubt in my mind the Eagles are a good squad, but Wentz was the band-aid that masked all cuts and wounds. Insert Nick Foles who I know has low INT totals, but seems to get away with fluttering passes. Nothing about the Giants scares me this week, but I’m hoping Foles limits in future games. Eagles roll on Sunday and clinch that first-round bye!
Nick Piccone (12-1, @nickpiccone):
It seems pretty amazing to me that a lot of people were up in arms over Doug Pederson’s comments that the Eagles’ offense won’t change. I mean, he knows Nick Foles and understands his strengths and weaknesses. What else is he supposed to say? That’s not the head coach’s job to be completely transparent, but even part of me thinks Pederson does have the utmost confidence in Foles, and was completely transparent when talking to the media this week.
We all know Foles is no Wentz. But in this worst-case scenario, I’m comfortable with Foles taking the reigns. That doesn’t mean the team won’t skip a beat. The defense needs to be better. The running game needs to show up each and every week. The offensive line has to play even better than they have all season. But we’ve seen how well-coached this team is, and I know these coaches have all of that in mind.
With a chance to clinch home-field with a win and a Vikings loss, I expect the Eagles to show up as they have every game this season. I’m not exactly expecting a blowout, but this game should never be in question. Limiting mistakes, taking advantage of the poor Giants defense, and just knowing it’s the last road game of the season should get these boys up to the challenge. Nobody’s really expecting the Giants to win, but that just means the chip on their shoulder gets a little bigger. And I think this Eagles team has the ability to stomp that chip out.
You can follow Nick Piccone on Twitter (@nickpiccone) and e-mail him at email@example.com. Subscribe to his podcast on iTunes here and listen live on WildfireRadio.com every Friday at 2pm. Click here to read his pro wrestling articles on PhillyVoice. Follow Philly Influencer on Twitter (@PHL_Influencer), Facebook and Instagram.