Eagles Head Up the Turnpike To Take On Last Place Giants
Through five weeks the NFC East has been the worst division in football, but that has created an extremely important matchup between two teams with losing records on Thursday Night in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Week 6 kicks off as the Super Bowl champion head up the Jersey Turnpike to take on the last-place . Both teams have failed to impress thus far, but will be right in the thick of the division battle with a victory on Thursday.
The Eagles did a lot of things right in 2017 en route to their first title, but have not been the same team to start their 2018 campaign. Perhaps some of that is due to key injuries and a bit of a Super Bowl hangover, but regardless there are a number of areas they need to clean up if they want to repeat in a division this is “ripe for the picking.”
Last year the Eagles ran the ball efficiently, converted third downs at an incredible rate, and finished drives in the red zone with touchdowns. This season they have been unable to get the running game going, have put themselves in a lot of third and longs, and have failed to punch the ball into the end zone with consistency. A lot of that has been due to an offensive line that has been a disappointment.
The Giants drafted Saquon Barkley instead of going with a franchise quarterback with the second pick in the NFL Draft. That has left Eli Manning at the helm and the results have been less than ideal for “Big Blue.” There is little doubt that Barkley is a generational talent, but poor play on the line along with a lack of mobility from Manning has led to a very inconsistent offense despite big time playmakers in the huddle. This is unlikely to change without better play upfront.
Both teams are difficult to endorse with confidence in this spot where the Eagles are currently listed as a 3-point road favorite. My gut tells me that the Birds will find a way to win on Thursday, but my eyes have been unimpressed thus far. On the other hand, the Giants come off an extremely tough 33-31 loss in Charlotte when Panthers placekicker Graham Gano connected on a 63-year game-winning field goal as time expired. Couple that with potential issues in the locker room due to Odell Beckham, Jr.’s interview and you have a squad I am unwilling to back in Week 6.
The OVER has hit in all four games between the Eagles and Giants over the last two seasons, but I think that changes on Thursday night. Both teams have struggled on the offensive line, which should give the advantage to the defenses.
The Eagles are likely to get a lot of pressure on Eli making life difficult for the veteran signal caller. The G Men are likely to get back star pass rusher Olivier Vernon who has been sidelined with an ankle injury. This bolsters a defense that has played well despite the 1-4 record to start the year. This should lead to a tightly contested, low-scoring battle in MetLife Stadium.
UNDER 44 1 unit
Year to date record: 17-5-3, +11 units