Predicting divisional games is always tough, but in this Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Giants matchup, the recent form should make this one easy to pick … right? Let’s take a look at the top storylines as the Eagles head to MetLife Stadium to face the Giants, examine the current NFL odds, and make a prediction for the game.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Giants prediction | Top storylines for Week 12
Things in the NFL change extremely quickly. After Week 7, both the Eagles and Giants were sitting at 2-5, with major question marks being asked about both teams. Now, heading into Week 12, the Eagles are 5-6 with an excellent opportunity to make a run for the playoffs.
In contrast, the Giants are 3-7 and just moved on from their offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. Suddenly, this game has hugely different implications for both teams. A win for the Eagles gets them back to .500 and right in the thick of the NFC playoff race. Meanwhile, a win for the Giants will give an under pressure coaching staff some immediate relief.
The Eagles have an incredible chance to make a run at the playoffs in 2021
When the Las Vegas Raiders sent the Eagles home in Week 7 with a 33-22 loss, the season looked over. A 44-6 victory over the Lions seemed to paper over some cracks before a close loss to the Los Angeles Chargers left the Eagles at 3-6. Two games later, and instead of thinking about a top-five selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, Eagles fans can be forgiven for dreaming about the playoffs.
Sitting at 5-6, the Eagles are just one loss outside of the NFC Wild Card race. Granted, it is a crowded picture with 13 teams having at least four wins. However, when you look at the Eagles’ schedule, there is reason to be optimistic.
The Eagles play the Giants this week, followed by the Jets in Week 13. They then get a Week 14 bye to rest before finishing with an all-division schedule that sees them play Washington twice, the Giants again in Week 16, and the Cowboys in Week 17.
The key for the Eagles is they cannot let this good work fall by the wayside. It is easy to start looking ahead and think that the next two weeks are easy wins. We’ve seen enough upsets in 2021 to know that victory can never just be assumed in the NFL.
Can the Eagles’ run game continue to carry them?
The Eagles’ ground game has been imposing over the past few weeks. If they have the same success, predicting their game against the Giants is simple. Philadelphia has gone over 200 rushing yards in each of the last two games and three of their last four. During that four-game stretch, they have averaged 217.5 yards rushing per game, and it has helped them go 3-1.
The Eagles have committed to the run in spectacular fashion. Since Week 8, they have been running the ball on 66.9% of offensive plays. During that period, the next closest team is the Patriots at 55.7%, who are on their own four-game win streak.
In Week 12, the Eagles go up against the Giants’ 12th-worst run defense in terms of yards per attempt. New York has allowed over 100 yards rushing in five of their last seven games. Philadelphia has a great chance to put up another strong rushing performance this week.
That has two impacts. It plays into the athleticism of Jalen Hurts, who has over 50 rushing yards in each of his last five games. It also takes the pressure off him as a passer and prevents any weakness in that area from getting exposed. In the last four weeks, Hurts has averaged just 19.5 pass attempts per game.
The Giants coaching staff needs an immediate response
Whenever a member of a coaching staff is fired, it can leave the rest of the coaches feeling uneasy. Garrett’s departure needs to be a wake-up call for the rest of the Giants coaching staff.
Interestingly, it is Freddie Kitchens who will take over play-calling duties. Kitchens previously took over as the play-caller in Cleveland when Hue Jackson and Todd Haley were fired. Under Kitchens, Baker Mayfield flourished, finishing as the runner-up for NFL Rookie of the Year. His performance as interim OC in 2018 saw Kitchens get the head coaching job for Cleveland in 2019.
With questions over the future of Daniel Jones and head coach Joe Judge, Kitchens’ role in the coming weeks will be crucial. Can he help Jones demonstrate he is the future of the Giants’ franchise? Equally, a strong finish to the season from the offense would give Kitchens and Judge a chance to make their case to lead the Giants again in 2022.
That change will not come immediately, but the Eagles’ defense is a good unit to try and exploit. They rank 21st this season in points allowed, 21st in third-down conversion rate (41.5%), and 23rd in red-zone conversion rate allowed (64.3%).
Eagles at Giants betting line and game prediction
The Eagles being 3.5-point favorites on the road is very telling as to how the sportsbooks feel about these two teams. The Giants winning this game would be their most surprising victory of the season, given the form of the two clubs. The Eagles have the talent and the game plan to control the clock and win.
This feels like it should be a comfortable victory for Philadelphia. The Giants won the last meeting between the two sides, but the Eagles had won the previous eight matchups before that. A win of somewhere between 3-7 points feels about right, so my lean would be towards the Eagles laying the points.
Eagles vs. Giants prediction: Eagles 33, Giants 27