New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles: 3 Key Matchups
Point spread: Eagles favored by 3.5 points
Over/under: 51.5 points
Location: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles have one of the most heated rivalries in the National Football League. This, of course, should come as no surprise given their proximity to each other — their stadiums are separated by only a two-and-a-half hour train ride — and the fact that they are both members of the NFC East.
The Giants lead the series 85-78-2, but the Eagles have won three of the last four meetings by a combined score of 104-62. In this meeting, both teams appear to be fairly evenly matched — statistically speaking — and the winner will be in the driver’s seat in a wide-open race for the NFC East title. With that being said, here is a look at three key matchups that will play a major role in deciding the outcome of this game.
1. Odell Beckham Jr. vs. Byron Maxwell
The Eagles signed Maxwell to a six-year, $63 million contract for situations like this. Beckham, despite dealing with a nagging hamstring injury, is one of the league’s premier wide receivers, and is a tough matchup for anyone — including the game’s best defensive backs. Maxwell will likely spend the majority of the game matched up with Beckham, and his performance will go a long way in deciding the outcome of this AFC East rivalry matchup. If he allows Beckham to take over the game, the Giants will likely walk out of Lincoln Financial Field with a road win over one of their biggest division rivals.
2. Eagles’ offensive line vs. Giants’ defensive front seven
A lot of the Eagles’ early-season offensive struggles can be traced back to poor offensive line play, and most of the Giants’ defensive success in 2015 can be attributed to outstanding play from their defensive front seven. In Philadelphia’s week-five win over the New Orleans Saints, the team’s offensive line played its best game of the season, which made the Eagles nearly unstoppable on offense. They will need to keep their level of play up if they hope to have any chance tonight, as the Giants have statistically the best rushing defense in the league this season.
3. Eli Manning vs. Sam Bradford
The quarterback position is hands down the most important position in the NFL. Both quarterbacks in tonight’s matchup are former No. 1 overall draft picks, have the ability to almost single-handedly lead their teams to a victory, and are coming off of strong performances in week five — Manning had a 441-yard, three touchdown, one interception game against the San Francisco 49ers, and Bradford had a 331-yard, two touchdown, two interception game against the New Orleans Saints. Anything can happen when these two bitter division rivals meet, but the team with the better performing quarterback will likely be the team that comes away with the win.
Final prediction: Giants 31, Eagles 30
The Giants, behind a huge game from quarterback Eli Manning, will win this shootout on a late field goal by veteran kicker Josh Brown. The win will put the Giants firmly in the driver’s seat in the wide-open race for the 2015 NFC East title.