When the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles meet there is always a lot to discuss. Let’s cover some of that ground with Brandon Lee Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation in our latest ‘5 questions’ segment.
Ed: I know the Eagles are healthier than they were in Week 7. Can you go through the list of guys who should play Sunday but did not play in the first game?
Brandon: Wednesday’s practice marked a momentous day for this franchise. For the first time all season, the Eagles didn’t have a single player sit out due to injury. It’s a miracle!
The answer to your question is a long list: Dallas Goedert, Isaac Seumalo, Alshon Jeffery, Miles Sanders, Jalen Reagor, Jason Peters, T.J. Edwards, Malik Jackson, Jack Driscoll, K’Von Wallace, Rudy Ford. So, nearly 21 percent of the Eagles’ current 53-man roster.
From that group, Sanders, Jackson, and Seumalo aren’t necessarily locks to play. Sanders and Jackson were limited in practice. The former seems to have a better chance than the latter. The Eagles activated Seumalo’s 21-day practice window this week and we’ll see if they take him off injured reserve before Sunday.
Driscoll, Wallace, and Ford are the only backups on that list so the Eagles will have up to eight new starters from their last foray against the Giants. On paper, that seems good for Philly. Then again, the Eagles started 0-2-1 when they had a number of these guys in the lineup early this season.
Ed: I can’t ask which Giants player you would take for the Eagles roster since I did that a couple of weeks ago. Let’s try this. Which Giants players do you fear, if any? Maybe one on offense and one on defense.
Brandon: I don’t think there’s a single Giants player that’s especially fearsome. Darius Slayton and James Bradberry come closest to belonging in that category. But I already wrote about them in our last exchange so it’s not fun if I go on about them again.
I could be a troll and pick Andrew Thomas because I’m afraid of what the Eagles’ defensive line will do to him after he allowed five pressures (one sack, one hit, three hurries) in the first meeting. But I would never do that.
Sterling Shepard and Logan Ryan come to mind. Shepard led the Giants in receiving in the last matchup despite just coming off injured reserve. Could see Ryan picking off Wentz once or twice.
Austin Mack is on my radar after watching him make some big plays against a quality Washington defense. Not sure how much he’ll be playing with Golden Tate back but I’ll be keeping an eye on him.
Ed: Last time I asked you about Carson Wentz. This time, let me ask you about the Giants’ quarterback. From your perspective, Daniel Jones is … what?
Brandon: … a quarterback I wouldn’t mind the Giants keeping around.
Not unlike Wentz right now, Jones is a turnover machine. 46 combined fumbles and interceptions in 22 career games played seems kinda bad to me. It’s 94 in 56 games if you go back further to include his stats at Duke. But it’s not like I’m telling you anything you don’t know.
In fairness to Jones, I don’t think Dave Gettleman has done a great job of getting him help. And I do think there are flashes of legitimate talent that make me see why you can try to talk yourself into him. By contrast, I can’t say the same for his fellow draft classmate Dwayne Haskins.
Ultimately, though, the Giants could do a lot better. So I hope they keep Jones around for a long time instead.
Ed: In Week 7, the hit by Madre Harper that injured DeSean Jackson was obviously late and unnecessary. Might Harper be well-advised to keep his head on a swivel Sunday afternoon?
Brandon: I considered naming Harper in the “Which Giants player do I most fear?” question from above. Have to worry about him taking another cheap shot.
It’s hardly like DeSean is the heart and soul of this team so I’m not really expecting guys to get super emotional and riled up about that. Maybe a little extra shoving, if anything.
Ed: I saw that you actually predicted a Giants’ victory on Sunday. I’d like for you to expand on why, and my real questions ‘how well have the faithful at BGN taken that prediction?’
Brandon: My longstanding philosophy on predicting Eagles vs. Giants games is that there’s no real good reason to take New York until they prove they can actually beat Philly. Because, as we know, it’s always the Eagles who own this matchup.
But the Eagles are a bad team! They actually rank lower than the Giants in DVOA (28th to 25th). They lost to the same Washington squad that the Giants have now beaten twice. If not for a convenient Evan Engram drop, the Giants very well could’ve beaten the Eagles in Week 7. Not to mention how Wentz is mightily struggling and Joe Judge has the Giants playing hard.
My opinion clearly doesn’t represent the majority with 66 percent of Eagles fans saying they like the team to cover the 3.5-point spread in this matchup. I think the bye week has helped people to forget just how bad the Eagles looked as recently as Week 8. Sunday’s game will be a painful reminder as the Birds fall in a close game to the Giants. It just feels like New York is due.