NFL Wire News

Week 17 Preview: Eagles at Giants

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Philadelphia Eagles (9-6) at New York Giants (6-9)

Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, at MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J. – TV: FOX

*TV announcers: Kenny Albert. Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa

*Keys to the game: The Eagles are sticking with QB Mark Sanchez and vowing to give their best effort to reach double-digit victories. They thumped the Giants in a 27-0 victory at home in Week 6, but New York has found a much better groove offensively down the stretch.

Philadelphia OTs Jason Peters and Lane Johnson struggled in last week’s crushing loss to Washington, but the Giants are 30th in the league defending the run and gave up 149 yards on the ground to LeSean McCoy in the first meeting. That makes it difficult for the Giants to get much going in rushing Sanchez, who is fully capable of making mistakes with or without defenders in his face as he continues to sail far too many passes out of the reach of receivers.

The Giants will give up points, but they are better equipped to keep pace in the rematch. WR Odell Beckham gives QB Eli Manning one of the league’s most dynamic young playmakers in the game and Philadelphia’s aggressive defensive philosophy continues to backfire in the form of big plays allowed in the passing game.

*Matchup to watch – Eagles OLB Connor Barwin vs. Giants OTs Justin Pugh and Will Beatty: Barwin was a one-man wrecking crew in the first meeting, racking up three sacks, two QB hits, two tackles for loss and a forced fumble. He can move around seeking mismatches, including stunts that send him up the middle.

*Player spotlight – Eagles TE Zach Ertz: He entered last week with a single-game career high of six catches, then set a franchise record with 15 against Washington. After being minimize much of the first half of the season, the second-year player has reemerged as a significant weapon down the seam.

*Fast facts: Sanchez and Nick Foles are the second pair of NFL teammates to each throw for over 2,000 yards in the same season, joining St. Louis’ Kurt Warner and Trent Green in 2000.

WHO WILL WIN AND WHY

The Eagles’ self-inflicted wounds as a defense finally caught up with them over the past three weeks and motivation is a big question mark as they close out a highly disappointing lost season.

*Our pick: Giants 30-26


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