NFL Thursday Night Tips: Eagles need to take flight at the Giants

Philadelphia have started their defence of the NFL championship slowly, but a loss at the Giants tonight could really put them in a hole....


Unsurprisingly given the celebrations last February, Philly seem to still be suffering a hangover from their Super Bowl win.

A first title win, coming against the odds (and the Pats), probably deserves to linger longer than other championship runs, especially given the troubles at QB the Eagles had to endure.

It does however mean they come into this divisional game at 2-3, and are fortunate to have those two victories on the board given how they’ve played.

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Atlanta in the season opener whiffed repeatedly in the red zone in yet another game they should have won. The Colts, who look better under Frank Reich and with Andrew Luck back but who are nowhere near the finished article, also could’ve take down the Eagles.

The Titans overtime loss is one the Eagles would love to have another shot at – Marcus Mariota’s fourth down conversions in that game made it essentially a coin-flip result – but the Eagles haven’t looked like the same team that lit up the early weeks of last season before their playoff rally around Nick Foles.

Their problems stem from the lines, both on offence and defence. Injuries have seen several crucial bodies miss time, though many are returning to health now. Tackle Jason Peters will likely suit up here and can hopefully play the full game, which should help Carson Wentz and a beaten up backfield.

Sep 6, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (24) runs with the ball against Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (94) during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Defensively, Derek Barnett is back, but Haloti Ngata will be unavailable along the line, and Corey Graham’s pass defence talents will also be absent.

Heck, Eli Manning might even make some passes!

Time and excuses are running out for the two-time Belichick Super Bowl conqueror. That new GM Dave Gettleman’s front office didn’t pursue the many QB options open to them during the offseason still staggers, though at least there were some signs of life in their play at Carolina last week.

The Panthers almost managed to throw that game away, but just topping 30 points was encouraging for Big Blue, with Odell Beckham and Saquon Barkley both blazing past 100 yards and sharing three touchdowns. Any signs of life for the G-Men are encouraging at this stage consideirng Eli’s waning powers.

during their preseason game on August 9,2018 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Best Bets

Handicap: Eagles -3 – 10/11

There are several factors running against the Eagles this week. The injuries in the backfield – Jay Ajayi is gone for the season and Corey Clement is working his way back to full fitness – and on defence aren’t encouraging, and they’re the road team on a shortened week.

But the line at -3 still appeals because the Giants have been so disappointing this season. Last week looked more like the Panthers playing down to the Giants level than New York improving. Also, the Eagles dropping to 2-4 here would bode very ill for their prospects this season. I’ll take the champs to cover the -3.

Away Team Total Points: Over 23.5 – 10/11

Defensively, the Giants aren’t very good either. Philly haven’t topped 30 points yet this campaign, but this is a good chance to do that. The Eagles total points line is set at 23.5, and I’d fancy the over there.

First Touchdown Scorer: Corey Clement – 17/2

On TD markets, Clement should see the majority of running back work, is good receiving out of the backfield and can get in the end zone against an uninspiring Giants team.

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