The Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants are only separated by a half-game in the standings, but Thursday night’s matchup between the division rivals should show that only one of them has a realistic chance of winning the NFC East.
With both teams owning just one victory entering Week 7, the betting line favors Philadelphia at home by 3.5 points, according to odds compiled by OddsShark. The over/under is 44.
New York won its first game of the season Sunday, holding off the Washington Football Team 20-19. The Giants were one of three teams to start the year 0-5.
Philadelphia was defeated by the Baltimore Ravens 30-28 in Week 6, falling to 1-4-1. The Eagles are on a two-game losing streak after beating the San Francisco 49ers in Week 4 for their only win in 2020.
There have been encouraging signs in Philadelphia’s last two games. The Eagles totaled 57 points against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Ravens, who own the NFL’s two best scoring defenses. The Giants’ defense has exceeded expectations, but New York only ranks 16th in points allowed.
Carson Wentz might have been the NFL’s worst starting quarterback in the first month of the season. While still struggling with accuracy, Wentz has played better in recent weeks. He’s kept the Eagles competitive with Super Bowl contenders despite a poor offensive line and a banged-up receiving corps.
After being sacked six times by Baltimore, Wentz has been sacked more than any signal caller in the league. Maybe he’ll receive better protection against an average Giants’ pass rush.
Desean Jackson is expected to return. Miles Sanders and Zach Ertz are expected to sit with injuries. Travis Fulgham has 18 catches for 284 yards in three games for Philadelphia.
Without Jackson and Ertz in Week 17 last year, Wentz led Philadelphia to a 34-17 win over New York to clinch the NFC title. If the Eagles can get anything going on offense, it might be very hard for the Giants to win this one.
Carson Wentz played quite a bit better on Sunday than those number things indicate pic.twitter.com/u0kvmKKOVL
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) October 19, 2020
New York put up a season-high 34 points against the Dallas Cowboys’ last-ranked scoring defense in Week 5. They only totaled 300 yards of offense while doing so. The Giants are averaging 13.4 points per game in their other five contests.
The Eagles are seventh in opponents’ yards per play.
Daniel Jones threw for 279 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the season opener. The quarterback is averaging 188.8 passing yards per game since that contest. Jones has one touchdown and seven turnovers in the last five weeks.
Philadelphia’s defense has excelled against bad quarterbacks. Dwayne Haskins was limited to 17-31 passing for 178 yards against the Eagles. Nick Mullens threw for 200 yards and two interceptions in a loss to Philadelphia.
A road game against a team that can get to the quarterback likely isn’t where Jones’ season turns around. If Wentz can avoid making back-breaking turnovers—Jones has at least one seemingly every week—Philadelphia should beat New York and cover the spread.
The Eagles have a seven-game winning streak against the Giants and 11 wins in their last 12 matchups with New York.
Prediction: Philadelphia over New York, 24-16