Key NFC East Tilt Finds NY Giants In Philadelphia
By: Michael Robinson
Thursday, September 27, 2012
The Philadelphia Eagles are under a ton of pressure to perform well when they host their NFC East rival New York Giants on Sunday Night Football.
The Don Best Pro Odds have a wide variety of opinions on this Week 4 game with Philly anywhere between a pick ’em and 2½-point favorite. The total is pretty steady at 47½ and NBC will have the 8:20 p.m. (ET) national broadcast from Lincoln Financial Field.
These teams met in Week 3 last year on this field. Each had a 1-1 straight up record heading in, but Philadelphia was a huge 9-point favorite with the ‘dream team’ nonsense still in full force. Alas, New York won 29-16 with a big fourth quarter and went on to win the Super Bowl. The Eagles meanwhile didn’t even make the playoffs.
Despite that game, coach Andy Reid’s team has had a lot of success against the Giants overall, going 7-1 SU and against the spread in the last eight.
Philadelphia (2-1 SU, 0-3 ATS) is again feeling the pressure despite being in a 3-way tie in the division along with Dallas and the Giants. The Eagles haven’t covered yet and were fortunate to squeak out wins at Cleveland (17-16) and vs. Baltimore (24-23) before a horrendous effort at Arizona last week (27-6 loss).
Quarterback Michael Vick is getting a lot scrutiny in completing just 55.3 percent of his passes and his QB rating (66.3) ranks fourth-worst in the league. He’s been responsible for nine turnovers (six picks and three fumbles). Another two fumbles were recovered by his team.
Reid has no intention of sitting Vick down, especially with his backup an unproven rookie in Nick Foles. The Eagles do have one of the best running backs in the league in LeSean McCoy (261 yards), but refuse to implement a run-dominated offensive attack.
It’s imperative that Vick plays smart football as the G-Men can get after and knock out a quarterback. Philly’s offensive line has also struggled with nine sacks. Vick is fearless in the pocket and running the ball, but that leads to injuries, especially with his small frame.
New York (2-1 SU, 1-2 ATS) may have the same record as Philly, but comes into this game with far more confidence. First was the sterling Week 2 comeback versus the Buccaneers, outscoring them 25-7 in the fourth quarter. The team didn’t need any dramatics last Thursday at Carolina, dominating ‘box-to-wire’ with a 36-7 final.
Quarterback Eli Manning is playing like a guy who just won his second Super Bowl in five years. He did have three picks in the Tampa game, but showed his unending resiliency in leading the comeback. There is more good offensive news with receiver Hakeem Nicks (foot) upgraded to probable after missing last week.
The running game should also get Ahmad Bradshaw (neck) back, although Andre Brown (184 yards, 5.6 ypc) has been a big surprise after getting 33 carries the last two games.
The Philadelphia defense is fifth in the league in yards allowed (275.7 YPG), but just tied-for-13 in points (22 PPG) with the Vick turnovers a big reason. The unit tied for the league lead in sacks last year (50) and has seven this season. A lot of pressure on Manning is needed even though he’s looking unflappable at the moment.
Total bettors will note that both games between the teams went ‘under’ last year. The ‘under’ is 5-1 in the Giants’ last six NFC East games and 6-0-1 in Philly’s last seven in the division.