NY Giants (10-4) at Philadelphia (5-9)
When: Thursday, December 22nd 2016
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
Time: 8:25 ET | TV: NBC
The New York Giants have a chance to wrap-up a Playoff berth for the first time in five seasons when they visit the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night. The Giants are coming off two home victories over division leaders – Dallas and Detroit – but are just 3-3 away from home. They’ll be on short rest for Thursday’s tilt with the Eagles, but it’s just a short bus ride down I-95. Eli Manning threw two of his season-high four touchdown passes to Odell Beckham Jr. in New York’s 28-23 victory over Philadelphia on November 6th and has tossed multiple TDs in six of his last seven games. Beckham hauled in a one-handed grab for a touchdown in Sunday’s 17-6 victory over Detroit and joined John Jefferson and Randy Moss as the lone players in NFL history with at least 1,000 receiving yards and 10 TD catches in each of their first three seasons. Both Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie have a team-best 17 pass deflections in addition to three interceptions, but Jenkins’ status is in doubt with a bad back. New York’s opportunistic defense has stepped it up by recording at least one turnover in eight straight games. DE Olivier Vernon has a team-leading 8.5 sacks with 7.5 of them coming in his last seven games. If the Giants can’t clinch a berth in the postseason this weekend, they’ll have a chance next week at Washington.
The Eagles promising start to 2016 is nearing an end as they have dropped five straight contests and are eliminated from playoff contention. Rookie Carson Wentz failed to throw for a touchdown in the first meeting with the Giants and for the fourth time in seven games in the Eagles’ 27-26 loss to the Ravens last week. RB Ryan Mathews continued his hot streak at the expense of the Ravens’ top-ranked defense last Sunday, rushing for a season-best 128 yards on 6.4 yards a carry while scoring his fifth touchdown in six games. Mathews found the end zone in the first meeting with the Giants, but was limited to just 15 yards on five carries while fellow running back Darren Sproles had 57 yards on 13 touches in that contest. Sproles was limited to just 19 carries for 81 yards in his last five games before sustaining a concussion, but the veteran is in line to return on Thursday after practicing on Tuesday. The Eagles will get a boost on the offensive line Thursday as RT Lake Johnson is expected to be in the starting lineup after serving a 10-game suspension for a second violation of the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. The Eagles finished the season with a 1-7 mark on the road, but are 4-2 at home.
The Eagles have won the last two meetings with New York at Lincoln Financial Field by a combined 54-7 and have covered the spread in five of the last seven meetings overall. The Eagles have played much better at home this season and the Giants have struggled on the road. I’ll take Philly in an upset here.
Pick: Eagles +2.5