Editor’s Note: Steve Fini takes a look at tonight’s completely meaningless, nationally televised Giants-Eagles game. Because he has to. I chime in with my prediction, too.
When the Eagles have the ball: The key here again will be LeSean McCoy. With Vince Young starting at quarterback, the Andy Reid needs to find ways to take the pressure off him. If you rely on Young to win the game with his arm you’re setting yourself up for defeat. By handing the ball of and allowing him to make plays with his legs in big situations gives the Eagles their best chance.
At this point, the Eagles offensive line has been together now for over half a season. That means they should be “gelling”, but they aren’t. It’s been a very inconsistent performance for the entire line, excluding Jason Peters. Peters has reemerged as the premiere left tackle the Eagles thought they were getting when they signed him away from Buffalo. Whoever he goes up against should be taken out of the game, but look for the Giants to move their linemen around a lot to create match-ups. Herremans will need to have quicker feet against Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul because he’s a monster coming off the edge.
Don’t look for the Eagles receivers to do much. Jeremy Maclin will not play and Vince young isn’t accurate. Look for Young to get the ball to tight end Brent Celek and screens to McCoy.
When the Giants have the ball: Giants quarterback Eli Manning picked apart the Eagles secondary in the first meeting between the two teams to the tune of four touchdown passes. Manning has established himself as one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL this season. Victor Cruz has also continued to make plays in the slot since his breakout game in Philadelphia. With Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie out, Joselio Hanson will be responsible for Cruz. Good luck with that.
The Eagles need to get pressure. With Trent Cole and Brandon Graham back they should be able to. But the Giants offensive line has kept Manning relatively clean thus far this season. The Eagles pass rush has fallen off recently but if they have any chance of winning it’s going to need to reappear in a big way tonight.
Steve Fini: I’ve picked the Eagles to win every game this year. Until they prove it can happen consistently I can’t do it again. The Giants know they need this win and to stay ahead of Dallas and I expect them to get it. Let’s go with the Giants, 28-17.
Bob Wankel: I suggested last week that it was possible John Skelton could beat the Eagles. Then I picked the Eagles. And they proceeded to lose yet again. I detest this team and their heartless play. The people that believe the Eagles can actually win this game tonight ARE F***** CRAZY. There’s no chance. I’ll take the Giants, 30-13.