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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

Prediction: NYG 24, PHI 23

Update: Brandon Jacobs has only had limited participation in practice so far this week and HC Tom Coughlin has only said that he is making good progress. He still is not a lock to start and I am lowering his projections. Reuben Droughns would likely have a role anyway but could end up the starter this week if Jacobs cannot play. There is still a big risk in relying on Jacobs unless he manages a full practice on Friday.

Brian Westbrook has been held out of practices so far this week but is just being rested. He is still expected to play.

The Eagles have lost their last two games and are 2-4 in home games while the Giants are 5-1 on the road and already won 16-3 in week four against the visiting Eagles. The Eagles are out of the playoff chase for sure with a loss here while the Giants can stay in the lead for a wild card with a win.

New York Giants (8-4)
Homefield: Giants Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @DAL 35-45 +5.5 44
2 GB 13-35 -2.5 38.5
3 @WAS 24-17 +3.5 40.5
4 PHI 16-3 +2.5 47
5 NYJ 35-24 -3 41
6 @ATL 31-10 -3 43.5
7 SF 33-15 -9.5 40
8 @MIA 13-10 -9.5 48
9 BYE - - -
10 DAL 20-31 +1.5 49
11 @DET 16-10 -2.5 49.5
12 MIN 17-41 -7 41
13 @CHI 21-16 -1.5 43
14 @PHI   +3 42.5
15 WAS 16-Dec SUN 8:15 PM
16 @BUF 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 NE 29-Dec SAT 8:15 PM
NYG at PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning     190,2
RB Brandon Jacobs 60,1 20  
TE Jeremy Shockey   50,1  
WR Plaxico Burress   40  
WR Amani Toomer   50,1  
WR Sinorice Moss   20  
PK Lawrence Tynes 1 FG 3 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Giants hope to have Brandon Jacobs back this week which will be in the nick of time since Derrick Ward just landed on injured reserve with a broken fibula. The schedule remains tough for the G-Men with a game against the Skins, then in Buffalo and finally a home game against the Patriots who the Giants pray will lose a game so they do not care about starting players on the final week. But the Giants have a two game lead over all other NFC teams for a wildcard spot so just a couple more wins will lock it down.

Quarterback: Eli Manning is trying to have a traditional late season slide but came back to life last week to take the win in Chicago. He has scored once in each of the last four games while having new problems with interceptions and losing fumbles. He's also getting sacked more often with 12 over the last four games but only eight in the first eight games. Manning did not need to do much in the first meeting to beat the Eagles but he won't be as lucky this time.

Manning passed for just 135 yards and one score in the first meeting with the Eagles.

Running Backs: The Giants placed Ward on injured reserve but plan on using Brandon Jacobs this week. He has missed two games with a hamstring strain but practiced on a limited basis last week and according to HC Tom Coughlin, the plan all along was to use him in this interdivisional game after two weeks of rest. Jacobs has been a powerful runner this season when healthy but only has managed to play in five full games. In those contests, he never had less than 86 rushing yards and scored twice.

The Giants have signed the rookie Danny Ware from the Jets practice squad to replace Ward. Reuben Droughns is now the official #2 running back.

Ward ran for 80 yards on 19 carries against the Eagles in week four.

Wide Receivers: Amani Toomer comes off a six catch, 69 yard game in Chicago where he scored his third touchdown on the season. Toomer has been a bit more productive lately but remains primarily just a possession receiver. Plaxico Burress is a concern with only three catches for 36 yards last week. He has only scored once in the last seven games and his last three road games have all been scoreless with less than 50 receiving yards. Unfortunately, Sinorice Moss has never stepped up to more than being a slot receiver worthy of more than three or four catches per week.

Burress only had four catches for 24 yards but scored once against the Eagles earlier this season.

Tight Ends: One of the bigger surprises has been the decline of Jeremy Shockey. He had a big game against the Cowboys but otherwise has been locked in with less than 50 yards during the last six weeks. He only has three scores on the season and none in the last three games.

Shockey only had one catch for 17 yards against the visiting Eagles in week four.

Match Against the Defense: The Giants may catch a break since DT Broderick Bunkley has an injured knee and may not play. He is a nice run stopper in the middle and with the bruiser Jacobs playing this week, it could make a difference. Look for a decent game here by Jacobs who has always ran well if healthy which he is, at least for the moment. He should manage at least one score against a defense that just gave up two rushing touchdowns to the visiting Seahawks last week.

Manning has to be careful with his early game errors and not be the source of losing this game early on. CB Lito Shepherd is nursing a sprained knee again and may not play this week which would be another gift for the Giants offense and Toomer in particular. The Eagles decent ranking against quarterbacks has come in part to playing some very bad passing offenses (MIA, MIN, NYJ) and Manning should manage to throw at least one score in this game if not two. I like Shockey to get involved again this week as he did in Dallas and for the other to go to Toomer if Sheppard does not play and Burress if he does.

Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 15 6 17 13 20 7
Preventing Fantasy Points PHI 11 8 23 9 15 22


Philadelphia Eagles (5-7)
Homefield: Lincoln Financial Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @GB 13-16 -3 43.5
2 WAS 12-20 +7 38.5
3 DET 56-21 -6.5 44.5
4 @NYG 3-16 -2.5 47
5 BYE - - -
6 @NYJ 16-9 -4.5 43.5
7 CHI 16-19 -4.5 40.5
8 @MIN 23-16 -1 37.5
9 DAL 17-38 +3 46
10 @WAS 33-25 +2.5 37.5
11 MIA 17-7 -10 40.5
12 @NE 28-31 +22.5 50.5
13 SEA 24-28 -3 43
14 NYG   -3 42.5
15 @DAL 16-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
16 @NO 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 BUF 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
PHI vs NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Donovan McNabb     250,1
RB Brian Westbrook 60,1 70  
TE L.J. Smith   40  
WR Reggie Brown   50,1  
WR Kevin Curtis   70  
WR Jason Avant   20  
PK David Akers 3 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Eagles still have dim hopes to catch the last wildcard bid but need to probably win out to get there. This week will be challenge enough and then the next game is in Dallas. It will be a tall order to accomplish but with Brian Westbrook, all things are possible. And with a returning McNabb, they could return to being not possible. Underlying the bad record is a defense that has allowed four of the last five opponents to score 25 points or more. With more injuries from last week, it makes it hard to reverse that trend.

Quarterback: HC Andy Reid said he expects that Donovan McNabb will start this week after missing two games with an injured thumb and sprained ankle. McNabb looked good again against the Redskins in week ten when he passed for 251 yards and four scores but then was injured yet again the following week. And he had not scored more than once in his five previous starts.

McNabb passed for just 138 yards in New York during week four and was sacked 12 times.

Running Backs: Brian Westbrook has been in top form with a score in five of the last six games and 11 total touchdowns on the year. He is only six yards shy of a 1000 rushing yard season and easily leads all running backs with 604 receiving yards and four touchdowns via a catch. He's a dual threat that has kept the Eagles competitive this year and has not shown signs of wearing down despite having 285 touches this year.

Westbrook did not play in the previous meeting with the Giants and left Correll Buckhalter to gain 103 yards on 17 carries.

Wide Receivers: Kevin Curtis comes off his best game since week six with 111 yards and a score against the Seahawks last week. Unfortunately that was with A.J. Feeley as quarterback and the last four efforts with McNabb ended with around 60 yards per game and no scores. Reggie Brown has been usually unproductive in yards and catches lately but did score once in two of the last four games. He hasn't managed to top 55 yards for the last five weeks.

After scoring twice on four catches for 88 yards against the Skins, Greg Lewis returned under his rock and had no receptions last week.

No wideout had more than 21 yards in the first meeting with the Giants this season.

Tight Ends: L.J. Smith has been consistent around 40 yards per week since returning five games ago but he's only scored once and rarely has more than three receptions.

Match Against the Defense: The Eagles were decimated by the Giants in week four but that was without Westbrook and the offensive line was injured. Look for a great game here by Westbrook who will likely add as many yards as a receiver as he does being a runner.

McNabb gets back this week and no doubt his mobility will be no better which will call for more blitzing but the Giants always give up at least one passing score and have been mostly burned by flankers which could mean Brown finally has a decent game this week. Look for one passing score here and decent yardage. The previous meeting was a combination of a lot of bad factors for the Eagles that should be resolved this time.

Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 11 2 12 27 19 32
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 22 5 20 26 6 25

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

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