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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
September 13, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday night
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DET at CHI OAK at BAL STL at SF   updated

Prediction: NYG 27, PHI 23

The Giants come off the small side of the Manning Bowl but played well enough on both sides of the ball to have won with just one or two breaks. The Eagles had little problem introducing Texans HC Gary Kubiak into life without a top offensive line and now the battle for the NFC East starts in Philly. The Giants swept the Eagles in 2005, winning 27-17 in week 11 and then again in week 14 by the score of 26-23 but that was well after the wheels went careening off the Eagle's wagon last year.

Update: Brian Westbrook left practice on Thursday and was added to the injury report as probable due to an inflamation in his knee. He is still expected to play but I am lowering his numbers as they won't want to over work him. Correll Buckhalter ran strongly last week and should see more carries against this week if only to prevent Westbrook from aggravating his knee.

New York Giants (0-1)
1 21-26 IND 10 --- CHI
2 --- @PHI 11 --- @JAX
3 --- @SEA 12 --- @TEN
4 Open Bye 13 --- DAL
5 --- WAS 14 --- @CAR
6 --- @ATL 15 --- PHI
7 --- @DAL 16 --- NO
8 --- TB 17 --- @WAS
9 --- HOU - MON SAT
NYG at PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning 0 0 240,2
RB Tiki Barber 80 40 0
RB Brandon Jacobs 40,1 0 0
TE Jeremy Shockey 0 60,1 0
WR Amani Toomer 0 60,1 0
WR Plaxico Burress 0 70 0
WR Tim Carter 0 20 0
PK Jay Feeley 2 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: While the Giants fell to the Colts, they still out gained them in most statistical categories which included penalties. But several were subjective if not rather questionable and all too often, game changing. The Giants still feel good about their chances in the NFC East this year and this week is the time to show that they remain the best in the division.

Quarterback: Eli Manning went against the tough Colts' defense and had 247 yards and two scores but also lost a fumble and threw one interception that proved costly. His knock last year was that he had the tools but needed more maturity and better decision making skills. He showed the skills were up to the task last week - and that the decision making still needs some work.

Manning threw for 218 yards and three scores against the Eagles in week 11 and later had 312 yards in Philadelphia with one score and three interceptions during week 14 last year.

Running Backs: Tiki Barber may be too small and too old to play in "prototypical" terms, but nothing about Barber fits into a box. He was already in mid-season form last week when he had 110 rushing yards on only 18 carries and he added 61 more yards on five receptions. Barber is not the beast that runs you over, he's the fox in the henhouse that you can never catch.

The beast, however, is Brandon Jacobs who had eight carries for 54 yards and one score. About the only think elusive about him are the defenders trying to get out of his way. Jacobs was a bruiser last year and has found a higher gear this year with improved speed and actual cutting moves.

Barber recorded games with 134 and 195 yards against the Eagles last year with one score as a visitor.

Wide Receivers: Plaxico Burress picked up where he left off in 2005 when he recorded four catches for 80 yards and one impressive touchdown catch. Amani Toomer had almost as many passes and ended with five receptions for 41 yards. Tim Carter had a great catch too, at least until the referee called a phantom pass interference call on him. The crew looks just as good as last year.

Burress had 113 yards and a score in New York against the Eagles but only had 37 yards in Philadelphia three weeks later. Toomer had around 55 yards in each game and scored only when at home.

Tight Ends: Jeremy Shockey remains the premier tight end in the scheme here, with five catches for 59 yards and one score against the Colts, He plays on an even level with Burress and Toomer in catches and targets.

Shockey did not play in the first meeting with the Eagles last year but as a visitor in week 14, he had ten catches for 107 yards.

Match Against the Defense: The Eagles defense was decimated by injury last year but they returned to renew their dominating ways last week against the rebuilding Texans. There's little to confuse the Texans with the Giants though so expect Barber to get it done once again via both the run and pass and for Jacobs to figure in again with a score. The duo presents a true thunder and lightning attack with one of the smallest and largest running backs in the league.

Manning will need to hold down the turnovers against an opportunistic Eagles defense but he's already showing signs that he's ready for the next level. Look for a solid showing here that could climb if there is a shootout in the second half. Shockey always matches up well against Philadelphia and the Eagles have CB Lito Shepard out with an ankle injury. That should give Amani Toomer more breathing room this week.

Philadelphia Eagles (1-0)
1 24-10 @HOU 10 --- WAS
2 --- NYG 11 --- TEN
3 --- @SF 12 --- @IND
4 --- GB 13 --- CAR
5 --- DAL 14 --- @WAS
6 --- @NO 15 --- @NYG
7 --- @TB 16 --- @DAL
8 --- JAX 17 --- ATL
9 Open Bye - - MON
PHI vs NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Donovan McNabb 10 0 270,2
RB Brian Westbrook 60 50 0
RB Correll Buckhalter 50 0 0
TE L.J. Smith 0 60,1 0
WR Donte Stallworth 0 70,1 0
WR Reggie Brown 0 50 0
WR Greg Lewis 0 20 0
PK David Akers 3 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Eagles looked like everything was back to normal when they dismantled the Texans last week. Sure, Terrell Owens is gone now but Donte' Stallworth certainly took his place for one week. He did have a favorable match-up in Houston though because almost all match-ups are favorable in the Texans secondary. Brian Westbrook was deadly effective once again and it's like 2003 all over again - No Owens and lots of good defense and short passing.

Quarterback: In his first game back after the nightmarish 2005, Donovan McNabb wasted no time in re-establishing himself as a premier quarterback with a week one best showing of 314 yards and three touchdowns. If you just wrote Owens name over Stallworth's in the box score, it would look exactly like something from the 2004 Super Bowl season.

McNabb was already lost for the season during both games against the Giants last year.

Running Backs: Also returning from injury none the worse for the experience was Brian Westbrook who covered 71 yards in 17 carries and added four catches for 61 yards and a score. Westbrook looked every bit as elusive and quick as he did in year's past. Correll Buckhalter also turned in 50 yards on eight carries as the relief back. It's not exactly the same Thunder and Lightning as with the Giants, but there's plenty of lightning none the less.

Wide Receivers: Donte' Stallworth wasted no time in becoming the top wideout for the Eagles, catching six passes for 141 yards and one score against the Texans. Reggie Brown also scored but only had two snares for 20 yards in the game. This week will show if this was a one game event or if there is a repeating pattern to the scheme but the speedy Stallworth certainly started out his life in green with a bang.

Tight Ends: As expected, L.J. Smith was a major target for McNabb as well, bringing in six catches for 56 yards last week. He was used as much as Westbrook and second only to the big game of Stallworth.

Match Against the Defense: After all the streamers and party favors are distributed after the big win over the Texans, the question remains - how much of that was Philadelphia and how much was just Houston? The Giants had no trouble keeping a thumb on the rushing game of Indy last week but Westbrook is a double threat that will get his yards one way or the other. He's safe for yardage and receptions, but a score is less likely this week.

McNabb faces a secondary that surrendered 113 yards to the same flanker role that Stallworth now mans. Of course, Harrison is still probably better than Stallworth and McNabb is not quite to Manning's level (though reasonable close). Look for McNabb to toss two scores on Sunday, with both Stallworth and L.J. Smith most likely to catch them. This should be a good game and could turn into a shootout. If it does, McNabb appears to have the tools to compete.