The Philadelphia Eagles lost a heartbreaker in Atlanta to the Falcons, following an exciting comeback performance, and a nice showing from back-up quarterback Mike Kafka. The question going into Philadelphia’s week three game against New York was — Would Michael Vick be recovered from the concussion he sustained against the Falcons? Good news for Philadelphia, as Vick was cleared for practice and is expected to start against the Giants this Sunday.
New York is coming to Philadelphia following a relatively easy win on Monday Night Football against the St. Louis Rams, and are looking to capture an early lead on the division. The rivalry between the Giants and Eagles has heated up substantially in the past few seasons, and this season has been turned to a whole new degree. As last season the Eagles comeback win in the Meadowlands essentially ended the Giants playoff chances, and this game they are coming for revenge.
Here are five bold predictions for the Giants vs. Eagles week three match-up:
5. There Will Be a Number of Turnovers For Both Teams
In the early goings of the season, both the Giants and the Eagles have struggled with turning the ball over on offense. There have been numerous miscommunications on hand-offs, routes down the field, and even poor blocking, all of which have led to a shockingly high number of turnovers. The Eagles have coughed up the ball in incredibly inconvenient situations, and have managed to give up a defensive touchdown already this season.
The Giants are in a similar situation, as Eli Manning has proven to be incredibly interception happy, and Ahmad Bradshaw has shown that he can be loose with the ball. Both the Eagles and Giants defense will be all-over, and ready to jump on any mistake made by either offense.
4. Philadelphia’s Defense Will Contain Ahmad Bradshaw
The Eagles rushing defense is the hottest topic in Philadelphia. The Eagles seem to have every single piece together on both the offense and defense, except their linebackers have struggled containing the run. Following last weeks abismal performance from rookie Casey Matthews, he was benched in favor if Jamar Chaney, who started the latter half of last season at middle linebacker.
I feel that the Eagles defense has worked increasingly hard at containing the run, and they will prove this game that they can keep it under control. The move of Chaney back to middle will be huge to the success of the front seven, and it should have an immediate impact on Bradshaw and the Giants running game.
3. Eli Manning Will Struggle Finding Open Receivers
As stated earlier, Manning has had a rough stretch recently. He has been throwing interceptions left and right, and that has not been helped by his lack of receiver depth. There seems to be a curse in New York as every single receiver Manning is getting comfortable with, they go down with injury. The most recent being Domenik Hixon, tearing his ACL last week against the Rams, for the second straight season.
Combine that with Mario Manningham with a questionale status, and Manning is going to have a hard time. Any time a quarterback has to play the Eagles trio of corners, it is never easy, but with the current injuries in New York, it is going to be nearly impossible. Considering that the Giants are now starting Brandon Stokely, that should be some indication of how little Manning has to work with.
2. Michael Vick Won’t Finish The Game
Last week against the Falcons, Michael Vick was forced to leave the game following a sack in which he fell into an offensive lineman and suffered a concussion. Since then, he has been cleared by team doctors, and also an independent source, and he is reportedly going to start Sunday’s game. The Eagles have had quite a few players suffer concussions, and most have not been able to bounce-back in less than one week.
I have a feeling that Vick will start the game, but he may get pulled due to residing effects of the concussion. The Giants are a physical team, and Vick can only take so many hits after an injury like this. I don’t see how Vick can start and finish a game after getting back into pads, and suffering a concussion less than a week ago.
1. The Eagles Offensive Line Will Look Terrible
The second most discussed topic this off-season for the Eagles was the offensive line. Despite drafting heavily in offensive lineman, the Eagles still have not improved much from last season. But keep in mind the teams the Eagles have played, (Falcons, Rams), do not have anywhere near the caliber of defensive line that the Giants have. I would venture to say that the Giants have a top-three pass rushing defensive line in the NFL, and will be a true test Philadelphia’s offensive line.
I think this will also be a test that they fail. Considering how poorly the line has done protecting Vick so far this season, I don’t imagine it will turn around much in this game. I am aware that there are technically two starting rookies on the line, but that won’t change the Giants dominating pass rush. Considering the fragile state that Vick is in, with a mediocre offensive line, and an elite pass rush — The Eagles should be worried.
The Giants and Eagles always seem to have good games, regardless of who has the better season or better team. It also seems that if the game is not incredibly close and down to the last minute, it will be a blow-out. This is an early season match-up that has not received a lot of attention, but I think it will be one of the best games of the week, and one that will be determined in the fourth quarter. Giants 24 – Eagles 31