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Fact or Fiction: Predictions for Week 7 in Philly


A win in Philadelphia would mean more than a normal road game.

John Schmeelk: Fact- The Giants are playing in the division against a team which has handed them six straight road losses. The Eagles have beaten the Giants in 20 of their past 24 matchups since 2008. The Giants have lost 14 straight games to the Eagles and Cowboys. Until the Giants figure out a way to defeat the Eagles and Cowboys, they are not going to be able transform themselves into a consistent winning team.

It is also important to look at the current state of the NFC East. The Cowboys are in first place at 2-4. The Eagles are 1-4-1. If the Giants beat the Eagles this week and the Cowboys lose to Washington, there would be a three-way tie for first place. If the Giants can figure out a way to get over the hump against the Eagles, talking about winning the division becomes legitimate.

Lance Medow: Fact- Normally, I'd say there's no point of separating one game from the rest of the pack because all 16, including eight road games, hold value, especially in a season when seven teams will make the playoffs from each conference. But divisional games always carry more weight because the easiest way to win your division and make the playoffs is by handling your business against your rivals. On top of that, the Giants haven't won in Philadelphia since 2013. That's six straight losses and, based on that trend, it's fair to say the Eagles have had New York's number in their own backyard.

Daniel Jones will lead the Giants in rushing on Thursday night.

John Schmeelk: Fact- The Eagles play man-to-man defense on nearly 50% of their passing snaps, which could provide opportunities for Jones to scramble away from a fierce Eagles pass rush, and gain a lot of yards on the ground since defensive backs could have their backs turned to the line of scrimmage. Maybe we see some more designed runs for Jones to prevent the Eagles from crashing down the line of scrimmage on traditional running plays. The Eagles' defense on traditional runs is strong (4.1 yards per carry, 11th in the NFL), and they do not hesitate to bring eight men in the box (81 snaps, this season, fourth-most in the league).

Lance Medow: Fact- The Eagles played the Ravens last Sunday and Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson led the way with 108 rushing yards. Philadelphia is tied for 20th in the NFL against the run as it's surrendering 126 yards per game on the ground but the most rushing yards a conventional running back has collected against the Eagles this season is 81 by Rams running back Darrell Henderson in Week 2. Combine that with the fact that Jones leads the Giants in rushing on the season and has led or tied for the team lead in that category in four of this season's six games, the chances of Jones accomplishing that feat once again is high. It's been a clear trend.

Carson Wentz is the most dangerous player on the Eagles, offensively or defensively.

John Schmeelk: Fiction- Wentz is dangerous, but he has made many mistakes (nine interceptions, five fumbles) to go with his creative plays. On the flip side, Brandon Graham is tied for the fourth-most sacks in the NFL with five. He also has five quarterback hits and 16 quarterback hurries, according to Pro Football Focus. Graham will line up primarily over right tackle Cameron Fleming, who has allowed three sacks and 15 quarterback hurries this season. Graham has the potential to wreck a game and force game-changing turnovers if he is not blocked up properly.

Lance Medow: Fact- Given all the injuries the Eagles have suffered, specifically on offense, all signs point toward Wentz. Although his numbers don't necessarily jump off the page this season, he usually hurts the Giants. In their last five meetings, he's thrown for eight touchdowns with no interceptions and has extended plays with his legs. The Eagles have been very effective in utilizing their depth chart and filling voids across the board and the quarterback is the most integral piece to make sure everything functions correctly. Althought they have several playmakers on defense, coordinator Jim Schwartz is very effective in rotating his personnel, specifically upfront, that it becomes more about the entire group than one particular player.

Darius Slayton will have more than 100 yards receiving.

John Schmeelk: Fact- Darius Slay, the Eagles' top cornerback, plays primarily on the left side of the field, but he has spent more than 80 snaps on the right side of the formation following the opposing team's top wide receiver. Right now, Darius Slayton is undoubtedly the Giants' top wide receiver by any metric. Don't be surprised if Slay follows him for most of the game, since the Eagles play man defense more than all but three NFL teams. Daniel Jones has excelled against man defense in the past, and PFF's data shows Slay has allowed 25 catches for 264 yards this year. The Giants are going to have to win 1-on-1 battles outside if they want to win the game and Slayton is their best shot.

Lance Medow: Fiction- In three of the last four games, an opposing player (two receivers) has surpassed 100 receiving yards against the Eagles. In Week 3, Bengals wideout Tyler collected 10 catches for 125 yards and it was Pittsburgh rookie Chase Claypool, who piled up seven receptions for 101 yards in Week 5. Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz has been relying on his top corner - Darius Slay - to play a lot of man-to-man coverage against the opponents' top wide receiver and that means I think we'll see Slay matched up with Slayton plenty. In addition, the Eagles' secondary is also getting healthier after dealing with several injuries. Slayton has posted two 100+ yard receiving games, but he's had no more than 53 yards in any of the other four. Based on this matchup, I think getting over the century mark will be challenging.

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