New York Giants fans and Philadelphia Eagles fans will never see much of anything the same way. That's a given. With that in mind, let's see how Bleeding Green Nation editor Brandon Lee Gowton sees Monday's matchup between the Giants and Eagles in this week's "Five Questions" segment.
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Ed: One lopsided victory over what appears to be an awful New Orleans team can't have cured all of the Eagles' issues, can it? How confident are you heading into this game that the Eagles are really back on track?
Brandon: I was pretty down on the Eagles heading into the Saints game. I thought it was certainly a winnable game for Philly, but I picked New Orleans to win. I was surprised, then, when the Eagles played as well as they did. The Birds weren't perfect, and the Saints truly are terrible, but there were some legitimately encouraging signs from the Eagles' performance.
It's too early to say the Eagles are back on track, but I think they might be headed in the right direction. The Saints game could prove to be the turning point for this team. It felt like the Eagles finally figured out how to get out of their own way for once this season. Add in Sam Bradford's inspirational shower speech, and perhaps this team truly is starting to gel.
With that said, I'm still not very confident in this offense until I see them perform with consistency. Sam Bradford needs to play better. The offensive line needs to prove they're not the disastrous unit they've been early on in the season. The run game, which is ultimately key to Philadelphia's success, needs to be able to get going or else the team will continue to struggle.
Ed: Sam Bradford. Have you seen enough from Bradford to believe Chip Kelly made the right move in going out and getting him to be Philly's quarterback? Do you think Chip made a mistake? Do you think the story of whether this was the right or wrong move is yet to be told?
Brandon: The Eagles were right to move on from Nick Foles. He wasn't the answer. The problem is that there weren't a lot of ideal replacement options. Marcus Mariota was never really in reach. Bradford was arguably one of the best, if not the only option. So I think it's hard to say Chip Kelly made a mistake when he didn't really have a lot of great options to pick from.
The early returns on Bradford haven't been great, especially relative to the price the Eagles paid to get him (Foles, second round pick in 2016, $13 million this year). With that said, there's still time for Bradford to prove himself as a legitimate franchise quarterback. He seems to be trending in the right direction over the past two games.
I think it's possible Bradford could benefit from getting more experience in this system and building up chemistry with his teammates. I also think it's very possible Bradford just might not be the answer. We'll have to see how the rest of the season plays out with him.
Ed: It's ironic that ex-Giant Walter Thurmond is playing safety for Philly, considering how much the Giants have gone through to figure out that position. What are your thoughts on how Thurmond has played for the Eagles?
Brandon: Thurmond's been really great. It's really amazing how this situation has worked out for the Eagles. After Nate Allen signed with the Raiders in free agency, no one had a clue who the starting safety next to Malcolm Jenkins might be. Now the Eagles arguably have one of the NFL's best starting safety tandems.
To put it simply: Thurmond is a playmaker. He has three interceptions this season, and that doesn't come as a surprise. Thurmond made a ton of plays this summer. Even dating all the way back to organized team activities, Thurmond was always making plays on the ball. He's very comfortable in coverage and he's made some big run stops in the backfield as well.
Ed: If you could take one player not named ODELL BECKHAM off the Giants roster and put him in the Eagles lineup who would it be? Why?
Brandon: Good question. Outside of OBJ, there isn't an obvious choice that pops out. I'd consider saving Justin Pugh, who grew up as a big Eagles fan, from having to pretend to like the Giants. Or maybe Geoff Schwartz. The Eagles could afford some help at guard. I'd definitely consider Josh Brown considering how Caleb Sturgis is struggling to even make extra points kicks. Yeah, let's actually go with Brown.
Ed: Your score prediction. Who wins and why?
Brandon: I think this will be a good game. The Giants are riding three wins while the Eagles might have reached a turning point after a slow start. The Eagles are at home in primetime and they're bringing out the all-black jerseys they wore to beat the Giants 27-0 last season. Chip Kelly has had the Giants' number for the most part so far in his brief head coaching career. Kelly's Eagles have gone 3-1 against the Giants in four meetings. Philadelphia has outscored the G-Men by a total of 104-62 in that span. The only game the Eagles lost is when an injured Michael Vick started and a rookie Matt Barkley had to take over, and the difference in that game was only eight points.
The Eagles can win this one. But I'm not confident enough yet to say they will win this one. So I'll take the Giants in a very close game: Eagles 27, Giants 28.
Whoa! I'm actually slightly stunned that Brandon picked the Giants to win in Philly. Brandon, my friend, don't let your readers know where you live. Anyway, thanks to Brandon for the time and the insight.