By Charles Jay
The New York Giants have fulfilled one of the objectives – and rather urgent one – they had in the off-season, which was to shore up a defense that was the worst in the league last season and ultimately led to the departure of head coach Tom Coughlin. They now have a stop unit that is feared throughout the league, and ironically, the offense is lagging behind, even as Ben McAdoo, the architect of a successful conversion to the west coast attack, was elevated to the head job. These Giants can secure a playoff spot for themselves if they can come up with a victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in the Thursday night game that is slated to begin at 8:25 PM ET at Lincoln Financial Field in Philly. NFL Network will televise it, and BetAnySports patrons can watch it and place wagers in real time as they access all that Live Betting Ultra has to offer.
Of course, the Eagles began the season 3-0 and looked very strong on both sides of the ball. Carson Wentz was fitting in nicely into the quarterback spot, which was remarkable since he had missed much of training camp with a rib injury. Of course, the trade of Sam Bradford accelerated his schedule. But he has faltered since that quick start. In his last seven games he has thrown just four TD passes and ten interceptions. And the Eagles have found themselves backtracking all too much. The result is that they have allowed at least 26 points in seven of their last eight contests.
He won’t find things any easier with the Giants’ defense, which is the best in the NFL when it comes to preventing teams from scoring TD’s in the red zone, allowing just a 40% success rate. And since New York is also yielding the fewest yards per drive, that will make the task even more difficult for the Eagles to keep their offense on the field. Why is that important? Because they depend on controlling the football; indeed, they lead the NFL in possession time.
In the Thursday night NFL betting odds on this game, as they are posted at BetAnySports, the Eagles are actually the favorites at home:
Philadelphia Eagles -1.5
New York Giants +1.5
Over 42.5 points -110
Under 42.5 points -110
Eli Manning has been on the mark – sometimes. He is a 63% passer, although we’re not sure what that means these days. He has thrown 13 interceptions, and that may be a result of McAdoo’s promotion, as the two had been very successful working together. With McAdoo having to take on more responsibilities, that just isn’t possible. Of course, there is a wide receiver named Odell Beckham who can help him erase a lot of his mistakes. Beckham, who is probably the most spectacular pass-catcher in the game, has caught 85 of Manning’s passes for 1173 yards, and he had two touchdowns the last time these teams met, which was a 28-23 Giants victory, despite just 54 rushing yards. Oh yes, those rushing yards; this team can’t move the ball on the ground, and that is going to hurt, in all likelihood, come playoff time.
We should note, for the benefit of BetAnySports patrons, that there are a couple of injuries that could have an impact on this game. Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who just found himself named to the Pro Bowl, has a back bruise that is allegedly very painful, so he will be a game-time decision. And Philadelphia wide receiver Jordan Matthews is operating on a bad ankle, but he is a probable starter. The Eagles have also been shuffling around a lot on the offensive line, but maybe the return of right tackle Lane Johnson, who was suspended for ten games, will add some stability.
If the Giants win, they are in the playoffs. It’s that simple. But they can also get in with a tie or loss by the Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers or Tampa Bay Buccaneers, or with an Atlanta Falcons defeat. Don’t make us explain the whole thing; just take our word for it. They trail the Dallas Cowboys by two games in the NFC East, but if they win the last two games and the Cowboys LOSE their last two, they will win the division because they swept Dallas.
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