NFL

AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR NFL PREVIEW Sun: Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants

Plenty of playoff implications surround this game with the need for a win more desperate for the hosts than the visitors who can certainly lay claim to be the best side in the NFC and one of the best in the NFL.

This will be the first of two meetings between the two sides in the next month with the Eagles looking to press ahead with their claims for the NFC No1 seed as they stand at 11-1 currently. The Eagles can clinch a playoff berth with a win or tie. But even if they lose, they can clinch this week with losses from the 49ers and Seahawks.

The position for the Giants is a little more precarious although at 7-4 they have a shot at the post-season and have outperformed expectations this year under new head coach Brian Daboll. However, itโ€™s easy to see why Daboll has reservations about this contest, the Eagles have the higher-ranked offence, defence, passing and running attacks. When Daboll was asked this week what impressed him about Philadelphia on tape, he said, “Everything!” It’s another tough matchup for the Giants, who have won twice (2-4-1) in seven contests against teams that currently have winning records.

This is the first meeting between the Eagles and Giants since 2010 in which both teams are multiple games above .500 but it looks from a matchups point of view that the Eagles very much have the upper hand.

In terms of quarterback play the Eagles certainly have the most dynamic of the two signal callers at that position with Jalen Hurts playing a near-MVP level. With Hurts calling the shots the Eagles have been dominant, winning their last three and scoring 75 points in the previous two weeks and they havenโ€™t lost on the road in five games this season.

Versatility has very much been a byword within the Eagles offence and led by the dual threat of Hurts they can beat you on the ground and through the air. Since their bye week they have posted points totals of 35, 29, 21, 17, 40 and 35 and they showed how diverse they can be with their offence last time out taking down the Titans through the air as Hurts threw for 380 yards and three touchdowns. A week earlier, Philadelphia piled up 363 rushing yards against the Green Bay Packers.

Against the Giants I can see the Eagles taking to the air again as New York will be without their top cornerback Adoree Jackson and this is a secondary that has already allowed top class wide receivers such as the Cowboys CeeDee Lamb and the Commanders Terry McLaurin to go for 106 and 105 yards, respectively. Hurts will need no second invitation to link up again with his main receiver A.J. Brown who eviscerated his former team (the Titans) last week to the tune of 165 yards on 12 catches and three TDs. Hurts has an array of other targets also with DeVonta Smith and Quez Watkins two other dangerous customers.

We canโ€™t rule out the Eagles on the ground either with Hurts already having run for 609 yards this year and nine TDs. Hurts loves to take over in the red zone, especially around the goal-line and with Miles Sanders, Kenneth Gainwell, and Boston Scott all capable of scoring rushing TDs (the Eagles have 23 rushing TDs this year) the Giants will have to be aware of that threat also. Philadelphia have had at least two scores on the ground in consecutive games.

The G-Men are trying to bounce back from an odd game against the Commanders last week which ended in a tie (20-20). Giants quarterback Daniel Jones faces a tough task against an Eagles defence that ranks first in the NFL in interceptions (15) and has allowed a league-low 5.3 yards per pass attempt, and only the Cowboys (48) have more sacks than the Eagles defensive group (42). The Eagles defensive line looks overmatched against the Giants offensive line, and I expect the Eagles to be adding to their statistics in the sacks department.

The Eagles defensive line had a notable success last week against the Titans shutting down one of the leagues premier running backs Derrick Henry restricting him to just 30 yards on 11 carries. This time around they face another threat at that position in the Giants Saquon Barkley, but heโ€™s been far from electric in recent weeks with a best of 63 yards on the ground against Washington last week since erupting for 152 yards against the hapless Texans run defence in Week 10.

The Giants top perimeter wide receiver Darius Slayton also finds himself in a tough spot this week facing up to the top Eagles cornerback duo of Darius Slay and James Bradberry. The rest of the Giants receiving corps looks thin and apart from Slayton the main target for Jones may well be his tight end Daniel Bellinger who last week caught all five of his targets for 24 yards against the Commanders.

The Giants are 7-1 against the spread as an underdog this season. The seven cover wins as an underdog are the most in the NFL. The Giants are 5-2-1 outright as an underdog and they are indeed the underdog once more to the tune of 7.5 points. Itโ€™s hard to see how the Giants stop the Eagles from scoring with an offence as diverse as the one that Philadelphia has, and I can see the Eagles taking another step along the road to the No1 seed in the NFC and that all important first round bye in the playoffs.

ANDY RICHMOND


ANDY RICHMOND is a lifelong punter and sports enthusiast who now writes extensively on horse racing and the NFL. His CV includes long spells on Timeform Radio and Racing UK having previously held several positions at the then-fledgling Betfair Exchange where he worked for six years. He has a particular love for the statistical and analytical side of sports which fits in well with the NFL. He writes all the NFL content on Paul Jones subscription service as well as having his own betting advisory service.


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BACK Jalen Hurts over +226.5 passing yards 1pt at 10/11 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)

BACK A.J. Brown to score a TD 1pt at 6/5 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)

BACK Philadelphia Eagles to win by 7-12 points inclusive 1pt at 4/1 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)

BACK Philadelphia Eagles to win by 13-18 points inclusive 1pt at 9/2 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)


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