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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Bye Week
* Updated

Prediction: NYG 20, PHI 16

This is probably a must win game for the Eagles though they trail the Giants by only two games in the NFL East. Both teams are on three game winning streaks. The difference is that the Giants beat SF, PIT and DAL while the Eagles only beat SF, ATL and SEA.

The Giants swept the Eagles last year, winning 16-3 at home and later 16-13 at Philadelphia.

New York Giants (7-1)
Homefield: Giants Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 WAS 16-7 -3.5 41
2 @STL 41-13 -8.5 41.5
3 CIN 26-23 -13.5 42
4 BYE - - -
5 SEA 44-6 -7 43.5
6 @CLE 14-35 -8 43
7 SF 29-17 -10.5 45
8 @PIT 21-14 +2.5 42
9 DAL 35-14 -8.5 41
10 @PHI - +3 43.5
11 BAL - - -
12 @ARZ - - -
13 @WAS - - -
14 PHI - - -
15 @DAL - - -
16 CAR - - -
17 @MIN - - -
NYG @ PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning     190,2
RB Brandon Jacobs 70 10  
RB Derrick Ward 20 20  
TE Kevin Boss   40,1  
WR Plaxico Burress   70,1  
WR Amani Toomer   30  
WR Steve Smith   30  
PK John Carney 2 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Giants are cruising towards the playoffs this season and in such a dominating fashion that it almost begs the question - "are they peaking too early?" Other than the one trap game loss in Cleveland, the Giants have been solid on both sides of the ball and their win in Pittsburgh alone says this team is one to beat. But the rest of the schedule is not kind and the Giants have only played in three road games so far this year. There will be more challenges ahead but this week should be yet another win over the Eagles.

Quarterback: Eli Manning continues to score at least once in every game though he usually has just the single passing score each week. Last week was a a three score affair over the Cowboys but only had 147 passing yards. That made it four straight games that Manning rang in under 200 passing yards but the rushing game has been successful and reduced the need to pass.

Manning never passed for more than 219 yards or one score against the Eagles in 2007.

Running Backs: Brandon Jacobs has a horrible rushing schedule ahead of him but all he has done is deliver this year anyway. He has scored seven touchdowns over the last six weeks and topped 100 yards three times this year - all of them at home. He has only scored once in a road game though and his yardage has been lowest away from New York. Oddly enough, Derrick Ward usually has an uptick in yardage in road games.

The Giants never had a touchdown from a running back against the Eagles and Jacobs rushed for just 70 yards on 22 carries in Philly last season.

Wide Receivers: Plaxico Burress has been suspended from a game, he has been benched for the first quarter and after such a promising start to the season, he has really cooled fast. Burress has not turned in more than 58 yards in a game since week two and only has three scores on the season. His last two games against tougher opponents - PIT and DAL - had him only catching three passes in each game and never gaining more than 34 yards. Burress will come into play later on to be sure, but he has really slowed down this season.

Both Amani Toomer and Steve Smith scored last week but it was the first of the year for Smith and Toomer has not been in the endzone since week two. This unit has been only mediocre with fantasy points this year.

Burress scored in both meetings with the Eagles in 2007 - the only touchdowns of either game. He had seven receptions for 136 yards and one score in Philadelphia.

Tight Ends: Kevin Boss rarely has more than 30 yards in any week but he has scored in each of the last two games and now is tied with Burress with three receiving touchdowns. It is encouraging that Manning looks for Boss more lately and more in the more challenging games.

Match Against the Defense: The Eagles sport a top ten defense against quarterbacks, running backs and wideouts and at home are even more of a challenge. Look for Jacobs to have a much more moderate game this week and this is likely going to be a rare game without a touchdown for him.

Manning goes against a secondary that has been very good but is weak against tight ends. I like Manning to toss two touchdowns here that should favor Boss for sure and then could go anywhere. Burress seems overdue but he has been in a funk lately and on the road to Philly seems a tougher place for him to turn around but he was an Eagle killer last year.

Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 12 2 7 24 2 5
Preventing Fantasy Points    PHI 7 5 7 30 13 5

Philadelphia Eagles (5-3))
Homefield: Lincoln Financial Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 STL 38-3 -7 44
2 @DAL 37-41 +7 47
3 PIT 15-6 -3 45
4 @CHI 20-24 -3 45
5 WAS 17-23 -5 43
6 @SF 40-26 -5 43
7 BYE - - -
8 ATL 27-14 -8.5 46.5
9 @SEA 26-7 -6.5 43
10 NYG - -3 43.5
11 @CIN - - -
12 @BAL - - -
13 ARZ - - -
14 @NYG - - -
15 CLE - - -
16 @WAS - - -
17 DAL - - -
PHI vs NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Donovan McNabb     220,1
RB Brian Westbrook 60 60  
TE L.J. Smith   20  
WR Reggie Brown   40  
WR DeSean Jackson   30  
WR Kevin Curtis   60,1  
PK David Akers 3 FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Eagles remain in the thick of the NFC East race but need this win to remain in strong contention. Problem is that the three losses - @DAL, @CHI and WAS were the only tough matchups other than PIT. The Eagles have already lost their only two divisional games and the Giants have already beaten those teams. This is a must win for the Eagles but the Giants are also aware of that and can maintain their lead with this win.

Quarterback: At the midpoint to the season, Donovan McNabb already has ten passing scores and two 300 yard games. But the problem is that seven of those touchdowns came in the matchups against the 49ers, Seahawks and Rams. Otherwise, McNabb has not thrown for more than one score in a game and has pinballed on yardage from 281 yards down to just 196 yards. Bottom line here - McNabb plays far better against weak opponents. And much worse against a quality team.

McNabb never passed for more than 179 yards versus the Giants last year and only had one score.

Running Backs: Brian Westbrook has already missed two games this year and played only a part in a third making this one of his more injurious seasons. But he came back in week eight to record a season high 167 rushing yards and two scores on Atlanta. But in Seattle he was held to only 96 total yards. Westbrook does play better at home and regardless of the venue, he has caught six passes in each of the last four games he played.

Westbrook ran for 116 yards on 20 carries and added 38 yards on five receptions against the visiting Giants last year. He also had the only touchdown for the Eagles.

Wide Receivers: McNabb is finally getting his full complement of receivers back but that has only served to reduce the individual impact of the player. Kevin Curtis had 83 yards on six catches in Seattle for an encouraging sign while Reggie Brown also came back to play and had a 22-yard catch for a touchdown. DeSean Jackson remains a weapon but he has only scored once this year and has been a bigger factor in the easier games.

Reggie Brown caught seven passes for 71 yards but no other Philly wideout had more than 26 yards against the Giants last year and none scored.

Tight Ends: L.J. Smith is expected back from his concussion this week but in his place, Brent Celek had a team season high game when he caught six passes for 131 yards last week. Smith hasn't topped 39 yards this season nor had Celek until his freak performance on Sunday.

Match Against the Defense: Westbrook goes against a defense that knows him well and that has not allowed more than 88 yards to any running back and only three rushing scores this season. Look for Westbrook to have moderate rushing yards and to use his six catches to do as much as his carries.

McNabb faces a very good secondary that always loves to apply the heavy blitzes on him. Figure McNabb for one passing score and potentially two but no quarterback has done more than that and only one has passed for two scores. Look for Kevin Curtis to get his first touchdown of the season this week.

Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 7 8 11 16 1 2
Preventing Fantasy Points    NYG 4 2 18 4 4 3

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