Three-And-Out: Eagles-Giants Predictions

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Player I’ll be watching:

McManus: Zach Ertz. 

Michael Vick told us this week that he believes Ertz will turn into one of the best tight ends in the game. The sooner that happens the better for No. 7. Defenses are keying on DeSean Jackson, as they should. The Eagles need another option to emerge in the passing game to help loosen the clamps.


Ertz could be particularly useful in the red zone. The tight end trio of Ertz, Brent Celek and James Casey still does not have a single red zone catch. Consider that Jackson has also been shut out inside the 20, and it's no wonder the offense is stalling.

At 6-5, 250, the rookie out of Stanford can be a nice, big target for Vick when the windows get tight. Sunday would be a good time for their first touchdown connection.

Kapadia: Fletcher Cox.

When Chip Kelly said earlier this week that Cedric Thornton has been the Eagles' best defensive player, it was a nice compliment for the former undrafted free agent out of Southern Arkansas. But it also made me think about one of the guys Thornton lines up next to: Fletcher Cox.

Based on talent alone, he has the most potential on this defense. And I'm not sure there's a close second. But through four games, Cox hasn't been the disruptive lineman we saw at the end of last year. Part of that is the two-gap scheme. But the Eagles are often in nickel, and even in those situations, Cox hasn't distinguished himself.

I'm not saying he's been invisible - he leads the team with two sacks and five hurries - but he hasn't passed the eye test of someone who really is impacting the game. This is the week to break out. He'll often be matched up against veteran David Diehl, who hasn't played a snap all season and hasn't played right guard since 2003, and backup center Jim Cordle. The Eagles need Cox to dominate that matchup and put pressure on Eli Manning.

Prop Bet of the Week: Giants turnovers -- 2. Whaddya got?

McManus: I'll try the over.

The Giants have a -9 turnover differential through four games, which is far and away the worst in the NFC. Eli Manning already has nine interceptions on the young season, and as a team New York has coughed up the ball 16 times.

The Eagles came up with five turnovers in the first two games but none since. There are not many playmakers on this defense (at least from what we've seen so far) but the Giants have been generous. The guess here is that the Eagles will take advantage 0f New York's leaky offensive line and force Manning into some mistakes.

I'm thinking your boy Fletcher Cox is due for a big game, Sheil.

Kapadia: You're really trying to make me a Debbie Downer here, aren't you McManus? Is B-Dawk suiting up? Did Asante sign a special one-game contract?

I understand the Giants have been flat-out giving the ball away, and that certainly could happen Sunday afternoon, but I just don't know who's going to force a turnover on this defense. Last week, Manning's first fumble came on a Tamba Hali strip-sack where the Chiefs had great coverage. And, well, Tamba ain't walking through that door.

The defensive backs will have opportunities. Manning is in full "chuck it up and hope they make a play" mode with this offensive line unable to provide adequate protection. I just don't have enough confidence in the Eagles' secondary right now to capitalize.

Predictions

McManus: 28-24, Eagles.

I expect a spirited game. It's Eagles-Giants for one, and it's also a game that both teams really need. I'm betting that the Eagles' offensive line starts showing improvement this week, giving Vick enough time to operate. I can definitely envision Victor Cruz having a big game for the Giants, but think the defense holds its own overall.

It's close, but I believe the Eagles are the better team right now.

Kapadia: 31-30, Giants.

When did I take on the Razor Ramon bad guy persona?

To be honest, our audience should be happy because I'm wrong with my prediction pretty much every week. Offensively, I see no reason why the Eagles should have trouble moving the football. Expect Jackson to hit on at least a couple big plays and LeSean McCoy to make life miserable for the Giants' D.

The issue for me is the other side of the ball. For the Eagles to have success, I think they need to get multiple unforced errors from the Giants. That very well could happen. But the Cruz matchup is a bad one, and if Manning shows any patience at all, he should be able to find Hakeem Nicks on intermediate routes all game long. The Eagles' main goal is to not get beat deep. The underneath throws are there every week.

Because the Giants can't run the ball, maybe Davis can find a way to scheme up some pressure. But we just haven't seen it in the past few weeks. I can see the Eagles taking a 30-28 lead with 1:47 left only to see it evaporate. It's a toss-up, but I'm going with the Giants.

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  • Peter

    Hate to admit it. but its hard to disagree with Sheil’s analysis on the final score

    • G_WallyHunter

      I look at it this way. the eagles Oline should be able to hold off the Dline, the Eagles Dline should be able to overpower that dismantled Oline. The trench wars should be won by Eagles, therefore Eagles win.

      • UKEagle99

        Far too many should’s for that to be anything more than hope. At what point did you get the feeling that either line could dominate anything? I’m curious because I need that hope, I have access to all the games, please tell me what I need to watch.

        The Eagles OLine was touted as potentially one of the best in the league, it flat out isn’t.

        The Dline was touted as the only strength on a weak D, it isn’t.

        I would say this game is a coin toss but Chip wins a lot of those, this game, like most divisional games is up in the air. I hope the Eagles win, I really do.

        • G_WallyHunter

          You’re right, that’s all we have right now, hope. I guess I’m mainly going by paper and also by how badly the Ginas O and D lines are beat up. Giants Oline is completely dismantled, they’re playing with the 4th combination in 5 games and their RG hasn’t played RG since 2003, so that’s where that comes from. I’m confident these BD disguises (preferably not the Blitzen Boykin) will confuse the s*** out of this Oline and cause havoc for Eli and whatever run game they attempt with Wilson and Jacobs.

          Eagle’s Oline vs Ginas Dline is a little cloudier, I’m more going off of the fact that Giants have 4 sacks in 4 games and that Eagles’ Oline is above average. Not to mention their two starting DTs are out (Joseph and Jenkins) and the starting ones are banged up (Rogers). I have faith the Oline will give Vick (protection) and McCoy (blocking) what they need against A Dline (and defense) that is missing many players. I envision McCoy running up the gut all day on that Dline.

          I’m well aware how badly both lines are playing for the Eagles, but the Giants are just in terrible shape on both sides with injuries and unfamiliarity, if the Eagles’ lines can’t win the battles sunday, then we’ll have real confirmation that they, for lack of better words, absolutely blow chunks.

          Agreed, it is a toss up, we’ll have a great idea if I’m right after the first quarter or so, Miracle at Meadowlands 3

  • Kev_H

    For the past 2+ years, key Eagles’ players talk as if they are an elite team to which the mounting losses just happen. This week I heard more of the same- no examination of their games, Vick is happy with his season, McCoy is happy with his season. Those guys are losers (football is a team sport, not about individual stats and glory) and the Eagles will continue to lose until their key players feel uncomfortable with losing.

  • Weapon Y

    It would be a very Eagle like move if the Birds don’t win this weekend.

  • BleedGreenJames

    These TEs need to get involved. I’m tired of seeing DBs hanging out of Avant and Cooper’s pockets like they’re the lanyards for their car keys.

  • dislikedisqus

    Sadly, I lean toward Sheil’s pov. I expect Peyton has spent a good bit of time helping Eli figure out how to pick the D apart. And the way the offense and ST have played the last 2 games, I can’t find any part of the team to be optimistic about.

  • Token

    Hard to win when ur offense relies on 40+ yard TDs to score points. That may work in college but you have to be able to work in the redzone in the NFL. I want to see some changes from Chip this week.

    • cliff henny

      certainly agree, but that’s been the issue for 3 or 4 yrs. great when it works,tough to grind out W’s. kelly has salary cap restrictions, only so much he can do with team Reid left behind. just cant blame kelly for same struggles ’13 eagles are having that basically same players had last couple season.

      • Token

        What restrictions? They are like $20 mil under the cap now. They could have cut anyone, dead money be damned.

        Chip thought his coaching was the difference maker. Thus far, im not seeing anything from a coaching standpoint that gives me a bunch of hope for the future. They should be able to get some points on the board against the Giants. You should expect the defense to get torched by Cruz and Nicks all day.

        • cliff henny

          he’s not a miracle worker. i’d rather them roll 18m over, ibstead of overpaying for a peice they’re not even sure about. eagles will easily be 40+ million under in ’14, and the have cole, herrmanns and graham off in ’15, another 15m.
          .
          dead money be damned…you are on this site WAY too often to utter something like that. once a month poster, who only tunes in mid sept can get away with that nonsense

      • nicksaenz1

        I honestly think it’s somewhere in the middle. Chip can certainly get a little blame. He brought in a couple of TEs and he’s barely used them in the red zone. The Casey drop certainly sticks out, but there’s been little running inside the red zone it seems, and the pass plays just look too Andy/Marty-esque.

      • Loke1988

        Disagree, Salary cap? How many millions are they under? $18,596,254 He added Ertz and that guy Casey I saw on a milk carton at WaWa. He got the O line back healthy. He has 3 good RB’s. Please stop making excuses for this guy. Everybody said the O would be good.

        • Token

          Yep. People making excuses for Chip offensivly sound ridiculous. Theres certainly enough talent there to score. People think good teams have all stars at every position. Chips offense has looked quite a bit like last years.

    • Loke1988

      Over the last few years Ive likened this team to a basketball club that relies heavily on the three ball with very little post up half court game. Seems like not much has changed., They either score from 21+ yards out or end up kicking a FG or worse yet turn it over. Those teams rarely make it that far in the NBA or NCAA.

      • Token

        The franchise needed a tear down and rebuild. Instead Lurie just changed coaches and they both are similar in some ways. Doesnt Oregon score most of its points on big plays? Jist doesnt work in the NFL and its a reason Oregon would struggle with high caliber teams. If Chip doesnt show he can adapt his stay will be short.

  • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

    I need:
    A game like SD from the Offense
    A game like KC from the defense
    A game like Washington from the ST

    We do that…we win.

    • nicksaenz1

      Simple enough.

    • Loke1988

      True but I would hold onto the ball more than they did against SD or Ely will do it to the Birds. TOP isn’t as overrated as Chip makes it out to be.

    • #7

      We can never do all of these things at the same time. Never

  • nicksaenz1

    Fact of the matter is that this is a game between two teams who have been humbled by their SoS so far. Giants have had the hardest, followed by us. We got one win taking advantage of a completely overrated team in Washington. I won’t be shocked if we lose this game because I don’t think the Giants are as bad as their record and we were a 4-12 team last year with many of the same players, an equally as bad defense, and the same red zone struggles.

  • George

    If the Eagles beat the Giants, Kapadia should be given a two-week notice to find another job. Eagles 28 Giants 13.

  • Loke1988

    How the hell are Ertz and Cooper not more involved in the redone at 6’5″? Where are the back shoulder throws and the balls thrown high where only the taller receiver receiver can come down with it? Rhetorical question BTW…

  • GEagle

    Games are won and lost in the trenches. At full strength, I would give the advantage to both the Eagles offensive and defensive lines…with all the Midget injuries, expect the Eagles to dominate both sides of the trenches…which should bring us a win!

    Cruz needs to be defended the way Desean is…with a safety glued behind him. Nate isn’t going to make any plays…He plays so scared of getting beat deep that when its 3rd and 7, Nate still lines up 20 yards deep..Well we might as well use his fear of getting beat deep to keep Cruz from getting behind us…Take Cruz deep threat away, the way teams do to Desean, and I like our chances against their supporting Cast..
    ..
    Myers is a good TE, but he isn’t crafty like Gates, and he isn’t the athlete that Julius Thomas is…Kendricks should do well today….
    ..
    Boykin and Nate double teaming Cruz all day
    Fletch n Cary should be fine against Hakim ad Rueben, especially if the pass rush gets there like I expect it to
    …..
    like Ryan Mathews, Wilson is dying to cough up that Chicken…meco needs to force one today
    ….
    We are playing the Pugh-trid Midgets!!!Get it?lol Justin PUGH-trid,…Cant wait to see the average athlete with Trex arms have to deal with Currys burst
    ….
    Eagles 34, Midgets 24

  • GEagle

    Much better Giant defenses have always struggled against Shady n Desean…Whats this group of old and injured Muts going to do to stop those two…

    If Vick takes care of the ball again, throws it away, runs out of bounds, then we wont lose this game.