Who’s Picking the Eagles?
Here’s a roundup of national media predictions for Sunday’s Eagles-Giants game.
Four out of five NFL.com experts are picking the Giants.
Kevin Patra of NFL.com puts together his Week 17 Viewer’s Guide:
It could be Mark Sanchez’s last hurrah with Chip Kelly. The free-agent-to-be has stumbled in the last three games, all losses, as the Eagles fell out of the playoffs. In those three contests, Sanchez has thrown for 59.8 fewer yards than his first four games and a TD-INT ratio of 4-4. Pressure has discombobulated Sanchez and could again Sunday, as the Giants have 43 sacks this season (fourth-most in NFL). However, Big Blue has also allowed 72 plays of 20-plus yards (tied for third most in NFL). When Sanchez gets a big play chance he needs to hit it.
In Week 6, Eli Manning was demolished by the Eagles, getting sacked six times and slobber-knocked countless other times. The Giants might want to block Fletcher Cox, who, fresh off a Pro Bowl snub, could be in a mood to wreck the Giants’ offense. However, while the Eagles are on a major slide, the Giants are playing their best football of the season. In his last five games, Manning has completed 69.8 percent of his passes. Thanks to his growing rapport with Odell Beckham, the Giants’ offense has been clicking just in time to give Tom Coughlin another year at the helm and Ben McAdoo another year to run his offense.
Don Banks of SI.com is taking Tom Coughlin and the re-energized Giants over the Eagles:
Giants 27, Eagles 24
This is the first game in the two-year Chip Kelly coaching era that the Eagles have had nothing to play for, and I’m not expecting them to respond well to being in such virgin territory. The Giants on the other hand look fairly well energized by their three-game winning streak and the prospects that, alas, head coach Tom Coughlin’s tenure will not be coming to an end.
Only five of 13 ESPN.com experts are picking the Birds this weekend.
Over at CBSSports.com, five of eight analysts are going with the Giants.
Pete Prisco is one of those five analysts:
Giants 27, Eagles 24
The Giants have won three straight, while the Eagles have lost three consecutive games to fall out of the playoffs. The last time these two met, the Eagles blew them out. This time, the Giants are playing much better. Look for a big day from Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. Giants take it.
Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com has the Giants also:
Giants 34, Eagles 20
Mark Sanchez makes his return to the Meadowlands. The Odell Beckham Show continues for one more week and I have it ending with the Giants’ fourth straight win. In his last eight games, Beckham, who’s now affectionately being referred to as “ODB” on Twitter (hello, Wu Tang fans), has 1,014 yards and eight touchdowns, making him the only rookie in NFL history with 1,000-plus receiving yards & eight receiving touchdowns in an eight-game span. In a year loaded with talented offensive rookies, Beckham may be a unanimous NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year selection.
Four of seven writers at USA Today are picking the Giants.
Both of the guys at Pro Football Talk are taking the Giants:
MDS’s take: The Giants are on a bit of a roll late in the season, and the Eagles are going in the wrong direction. I like Odell Beckham to torch Philly’s secondary and end his sensational rookie season in style.
MDS’s pick: Giants 27, Eagles 20.
Florio’s take: The Giants have improved in recent weeks, and it’s their last chance to save Tom Coughlin’s job. The Eagles with a loss will have a shorter distance to go to get in position to draft Marcus Mariota. But since no one ever tanks games to improve draft position, that’s irrelevant and entirely coincidental.
Florio’s pick: Giants 24, Eagles 14.
Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News has the Giants winning in a shootout:
Giants 34, Eagles 30
The Eagles have been flailing birds for a while, and with no playoffs in sight, they’re bound to get clipped again. The Giants, as usual, are trying to make up for another bad first half of the season by closing strong to ensure Tom Coughlin will and wants to return. As Philadelphia has struggled protecting the ball with Mark Sanchez at quarterback, New York has been creating more takeaways. Both teams can light up the scoreboard, but it’s easier to trust the side of Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. in a shootout at this point.
Matt Cassidy is a journalism student at Temple and an intern at Birds 24/7.