It’s gameday! The Redskins have been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, leaving the Eagles and Cowboys to justle it out for divisional honors. Dallas gave Philadelphia a lifeline by laying a thanksgiving Egg, but will it hatch into an Eagle?
Here are five bold predictions ahead of the matchup:
Record so far: 16-50
The Eagles pass-rush has been red-hot recently and there’s no reason it should cool off under the Monday Night lights. The G-Men have allowed 96 QB hits this season, the third-most in the NFL, and now have a stationary target in Eli Manning calling the shots.
Daniel Jones isn’t exactly Lamar Jackson, but Manning is about as statue-like as they come and hasn’t seen game action since week 2. He’ll be playing against a defense that now has 34 sacks this season and that just doesn’t bode well.
My first bold prediction is for the Eagles to muster five sacks against the fifteen-year veteran.
Wentz takes over
If there is ever a game for Wentz to really take over and silence the doubters…it was actually eight days ago, but now is just a good a time as any.
The Giants defense is giving up 8.5 yards per passing play, ranking 31st in the NFL and with injuries across the board not making things any easier (Jabrill Peppers was the latest G-man to have his season come to an end), even a depleted wide receiving corps that’s struggling for production should be able to find some leverage.
I’m predicting Wentz will throw for 300+ yards and 3 TD’s with 0 INT against the Giants, slicing them up with relative ease.
After an incredible rookie season, Saquon’s sophomore campaign looked as if it would pick up where it left off, with a pair of 100+ yard performances in the opening weeks of the season. But since returning from injury in week 7, he’s been unable to surpass 83 rushing yards in a single game and is averaging 4 yards per carry. Of course, he remains a threat in the passing game, but if the Eagles can wipe away the threat of the run and force Manning to throw all night long, it’s a big-win for the defense.
The Eagles run defense has had no problem smothering some very talented running back flames this season and I think that’s a trend that continues here, with the defense playing with an added chip on its shoulder after the embarrassing loss to Miami.
Thirdly, I predict that Saquon Barkley will have under 100 total scrimmage yards, and under 50-yards rushing.
Captain Cre’Von sets sail
LeBlanc’s return to the Eagles wasn’t one that was filled with production. unfortunately, with the position being the healthiest it has been in quite some time, he only played in 17 defensive snaps. With the secondary taking a battering thanks to Ryan Fitzpatrick however, there’s a chance that LeBlanc sees a healthier chunk of playing time in his second game back.
His matchup would likely be slot receiver Darius Slayton, who has 505 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns to his name. But with Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard both returning to the offense, things could get tricky quick and the need for a reliable nickel corner could be greater than we see at first glance.
With some new mouths to feed and a veteran QB to do so, a fiesty young cornerback could be exactly what the doctor ordered, and if LeBlanc does see an uptick in snaps, I’m predicting that the Captain will intercept his first pass of the season, pushing for more snaps as the importance of each game grows.
Penn State pride
Two former Nittany Lion teammates will collide on Monday night, and we’ve already established it could be tough-sledding for Saquon Barkley. Miles Sanders meanwhile, has a chance to break out of his former running-mate’s shadow once and for all, by outshining him in the big leagues in a head-to-head clash.
Oddly, the Giants run defense has been one of their biggest strengths this year…at the expense of their pass defense (sound familiar?). But with Jordan Howard likely sidelined again and Ajayi proving to be nothing more than a short-yardage back in his opening two games, the pressure on Sanders will be heavy.
But with the Eagles having everything to play for, this may be a game that Sanders remembers for the rest of his career. I’m going to end this article by predicting a 100+ yard rushing performance from the second-round pick.
What are your bold predictions? Let us know in the comments!
Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports