The struggling New York Giants (1-4) are hosting the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles (2-3) in a Thursday Night Football match up between NFC East division rivals. The Eagles already matched their loss total from last year and appear to still be recovering from a Super Bowl hangover. The Giants are in rebuilding mode, but have a glimmer of hope with the immediate impact of rookie running back Saquon Barkley.
The Giants enter the game coming off a tough loss against the Carolina Panthers. Graham Cano nailed a heroic 63-yard field goal in the last second of the game to beat the Giants 33-31. But the Eagles have hardly shown themselves to be a dominating force this season and are trying to bounce back after a 23-12 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
Philadelphia Eagles (2-3) at New York Giants (1-4)
Location: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Kickoff: 8:20pm ET
Point Spread: Eagles -3
Saquon Barkley doesn’t look like a rookie. The Giants knew that had something special when Barkley rushed for 106 yards in his debut against a tough Jaguars defense. In his first 5 games as a pro, Barkley produced 100+ combined yards every game and rushed for 308 yards with 3 TDs, while adding 274 receiving yards plus 2 TD catches.
Barkley emerged as a vital safety value for Eli Manning with 31 receptions out of the backfield.
In a loss against the Panthers, Barkley generated 129 yards from scrimmage and caught his first career TD on a pass from WR Odell Beckham.
ODB Throwing TDs and Eli Shade
Odell Beckham has thrown (1 TD) for as many touchdowns as he caught this year (1 TD). During a double-pass trick play, Odell Beckham connected on a 57-yard touchdown pass to Saquon Barkley.
In a post-game interview, a frustrated Beckham threw shade toward his quarterback’s inability to throw deep balls. Beckham later apologized for his blunt statements about teammate Eli Manning.
Did ODB have a legit gripe? Eli Manning’s QB rating is a dismal 55.2. Manning tossed 6 TD in five games, but also has 3 interceptions.
G-Men Can’t Score
Currently, the New York Giants are 23rd in NFL in scoring with 20.8 points per game.
The 31 points in a loss against Carolina marked the Giants’ highest point total of the season and the first time the Giants scored 30+ since Week 17 of the 2015 season.
No Easy Road for Champs
When the NFL released the 2018 schedule, it looked like the Super Bowl champions were gifted with an easy road to the start the season. Many prognosticators expected the Eagles to begin the season 4-0 and possibly 5-0. Instead, the Eagles are 2-3 and hellbent on snapping a two-game losing streak.
Good Philly D, but Where’s the O?
The Eagles have the 7th best defense in the NFL only allowing 20.8 points per game. In their two victories, the Eagles D yielded only 14 ppg.
Even in their losses, the Eagles never gave up more than 27 points. Two of the three losses were in games decided by 3 points or less. Their biggest loss was a 6-point loss against the Tampa bay Fitzmagic.
Ranked 25th in the NFL, the Eagles averaging 20.6 points per game. In their two wins, the Eagles averaged 19 points per game.
Frank Reich, former offensive coordinator, said goodbye to the Eagles after the Super Bowl when he accepted the head coach job for the Indianapolis Colts. Receivers coach Mike Groh got promoted internally to OC. The play calling has come under questioning and Groh’s inexperience is showing right now with the Eagles’ scoring woes.
The Eagles are 19th overall in passing with 253 yards per game.
QB Carson Wentz (5 TD, 1 INT) is still a long way from recovering from his knee injury and doesn’t look anything close to returning to peak form. At what point will the Philly boo birds start calling for the return of Nick Foles?
Return of Shady?
The Eagles lost another running back. Jay Ajayi is out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL. With two other RBs (Darren Sproles and Corey Clement) nursing injuries, the Eagles are aggressively pursuing a replacement. The Buffalo Bills received a call about Sean McCoy possibly returning to his old team.
The South Point Casino in Las Vegas has the Eagles’ odds of repeating as Super Bowl champions at 25/1.