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Thursday Night Football Preview: Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants
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10 Oct 2018 05:47 PM EST

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz attempts pass. (Image Source: Corey Perrine/Getty Images)

Here’s a look at the matchup between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles:

Series: Giants lead 83-81-2; Streak: Eagles have won the past three; Last Meeting: Eagles 34, Giants 29 (12.17.17)

Time: 8:20 PM ET; TV: FOX/NFLN/Amazon (Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews)

Where They Stand:

The New York Giants come into this Thursday night contest with a 1-4 record but they have a chance to join the rest of the NFC East with two wins on the season. Like the G-Men, the Philadelphia Eagles are coming off back-to-back losses, as both teams suffered two-point defeats a week ago. With a win, the Eagles can tie Washington atop the division with a .500 record. New York is 0-2 at home and Philly is 0-2 on the road.

When the Eagles Have the Ball:

The return of Carson Wentz hasn’t straightened things out for the Eagles, but he’s more than held his own. The former No. 2 overall pick is coming off consecutive 300-yard games, including a 311-yard, two-TD, no-INT effort against Minnesota. In his past five division games, Wentz has 11 TDs to two INTs with a 101.7 rating, comparable to his recent road numbers. Over the past three road games, Wentz has averaged 329 yards with seven scoring strikes (2 INTs). His main target is tight end Zach Ertz who led the way with 10 receptions for 110 yards and a touchdown last week, his second-straight 10-catch, 100-yard game. His 41 receptions and 437 yards leads all tight ends. The Eagles will be without running back Jay Ajayi, who is out for the season, which means a bigger role for Wendell Smallwood (6.0 YPC), especially with Darren Sproles expected to miss another game.

The key defender for the Giants this week might be safety Landon Collins who recorded a team-high eight tackles in Week 5. He’s posted a pass-defensed in the past three games, while cornerback Janoris Jenkins had an interception last week. In his past seven games, Jenkins has four interceptions, including a 53-yard TD return. Former Eagles outside linebacker Connor Barwin busted through with his first sack as a Giant in last week’s game. During his four years in Philly, Barwin had 31.5 sacks as an Eagle. It appears that edge rusher Olivier Vernon could make his 2018 debut on Thursday night, which would be a big boost to the defense.

When the Giants Have the Ball:

There’s much debate in New York over how much Eli Manning has left in the tank and he’s put up some decent numbers over the past four games: six touchdowns, two interceptions, and 289.3 yards per game with a 103.7 rating over that span. He’s thrown for 350-plus yards in his past three against the Eagles, including 434 yards with three scoring strikes in their past meeting. Star wide out Odell Beckham Jr. had eight receptions for 131 yards and a touchdown last week, his 14th game with at least 130 yards since 2014, the third most over that span. Running back Saquon Barkley had two touchdown grabs last week and is just the third rookie to have five-straight 100-yard scrimmage games to start their career. Unfortunately for Manning & Company, they will be without Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram.

Leading an experience D-line is tackle Fletcher Cox, while defensive end Brandon Graham had a sack last week and has four, along with a forced fumble, in his past three divisional road games. The rotation upfront includes known names like Chris Long and Michael Bennett, however they will be without the space-eating Haloti Ngata. They all have a sack, but only Cox (three) has more than second-year edge rusher Derek Barnett (2.5). Linebacker Jordan Hicks has 1.5 sacks among his team-high 40 tackles (9 last week) with three passes defensed and a fumble recovery.

Score: Giants 21, Eagles 20

Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards.

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