Has Michael Vick finally lost his magic? Is his career in jeopardy? After the first several weeks it may be easy for some to come to that conclusion, but in primetime against the Giants we are going to get a good read on the future of Vick’s career. Vick and the Eagles will welcome their division rival to Lincoln Financial for a Sunday night showdown. The atmosphere at Lincoln Financial should be electric for an important early season matchup with the much hated Giants. The Eagles are 2-1 on the year after dropping their first loss of the season to the Cardinals last week, 27-6. That 2-1 could easily be 0-3, however. The Eagles needed a late touchdown with just seconds remaining to beat the Browns by 1 and again in week 2 against the Ravens. The Eagles couldn’t overcome mistakes last week against a surging Cardinals team that has now knocked off the Patriots and Eagles in consecutive weeks.
The Eagles are currently 2-1, so there is no need to overreact over the Eagles, but Vick has to settle down and play like he is capable of. So, the problem isn’t the record, Vick’s numbers may be a cause for concern, though. The primary problem has been the turnovers, oh the turnovers. If the Eagles didn’t give other teams so many gifts then I don’t believe I would be discussing this right now. The 1-point win over the Ravens should have never been that hard. The Eagles had several impressive looking drives shot after turnovers deep in Ravens’ territory. Last week it was the fumbling, as Vick coughed the ball up on two separate occasions. This has become a common theme for the Eagles in 2012. On the year, Vick has thrown six interceptions and fumbled the ball away three times. He turned the ball over a total of eighteen times in 2011 and is already at nine in week 4! Vick isn’t the only one to blame, LeSean McCoy hasn’t helped the cause with two fumbles of his own. The offense hasn’t really been that bad, they are the 4th best offense overall, putting up 416 yards on average a game.
If you look at the defensive statistics, coupled with the offensive numbers, one would think this is an undefeated team that has a comfortable road so far. The defense has been great against the run and pass, allowing only 275 yards a game (5th). They have improved leaps and bounds from a season ago. Mainly against the pass, where they are 3rd in yards given up a game at 172. Is the defense really that good, or is it more a result of the opponents they have played so far this season. The Eagles have played the Browns, Ravens, and Cardinals; the first game being against rookie Brandon Weeden in his first start as a pro. The Ravens are truly the only offense the Eagles defense has played that is worth anything. It’ll be interesting to see if the defense can stay near the top as the season progresses forward.
The Giants will try and counter the Eagles defense with Eli Manning. Manning has already eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark with 1,011 yards for an average of 337 yards per game. He has also thrown 5 touchdown passes. Manning will need to operate in this one without one of his favorite targets, receiver Hakeem Nicks. Manning will still have capable options surrounding him, however. Manning has been without Nicks before and still produced, so I think some people are overacting in a sense. Nicks was absent last week against the Panthers, and he still managed to pass for 288 yards in a 36-7 blowout. He connected with seven different receivers, including a big day for seldom used Ramses Barden who finished 138 yards on nine receptions.
Giants vs. Eagles Spread and Betting Odds:
New York Giants +1 (+100)
@Philadelphia Eagles -1 (-120)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Giants vs. Eagles Pick:
I think this could be one of those games that could come down to the last few minutes. Whoever has the ball last could be the winner. I don’t foresee the Eagles laying an egg in front of their hostile fans on SNF. Vick has heard rumblings all week long that his job could be in trouble if he struggles against a division rival. Again, this offense hasn’t been all that bad in regards to moving the ball. Unfortunately for the Eagles, part of football is finding the end zone and not turning the ball over to the other team. They haven’t grasped this concept thus far this season, but still are 2-1, the same record as the Giants. After weeks of sloppy football, I think this is a week where they wake up in primetime. The over is 3-0-1 in the Eagles last four games at Lincoln Financial, so it is a setting the offense feels comfortable in.
In my opinion the Eagles defense isn’t a top-5 unit as advertised, as a result I think this is a game they could get exposed in. After playing the Browns and Cardinals two out of the three weeks, the Giants are going to feel like a different animal. Even without Hakeem Nicks, they should be able to move the ball effectively through the air. I see the Eagles jumping out to an early lead, leaving the ball in Manning’s hands to play keep up. I have a lean on the Eagles (-1) with an official play on the over. Hopefully the points pile up and we can cash this one early in the contest.
PICK =OVER 46.5