NFL Thursday Night Football: Eagles/Giants Preview

by Big Al Staff

The Thursday Night Football game on Fox is a battle of two NFC East teams with losing records yet who remain very much alive to win the division and make the playoffs.

The New York Giants won their first game of the season last Sunday with their 20-19 win over Washington. Philadelphia has lost two straight games after their 30-28 loss at home to Baltimore last week. They are a half-game behind the first-place Dallas Cowboys with a 1-4-1 record. With six victories on the season quite possibly being the magic number to win their division, this is a critical game despite it being between two teams with just two combined victories between them.

Injuries have played a significant role in shaping the seasons for both of these teams. Philadelphia has placed nine players on the Injured Reserve list, and they have another six players declared out for this game. The Eagles have received some good news so far on the short week with head coach Doug Pederson declaring on Wednesday that he expects left tackle Lane Johnson, wide receiver DeSean Jackson, and cornerback Avonte Maddux to play on Thursday. Philly still has plenty of holes to fill.

Philly running back Miles Sanders is out with a knee injury, which will leave their ground game in the hands of Boston Scott and Corey Clement. The 5’7" Scott will likely be the primary ball-carrier, but he has rushed for only 67 yards on 21 carries this season.

Wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey remains out, proclaimed Peterson, after not playing yet this season with his foot injury. Jackson plans to give it a go with his hamstring injury, but it remains unclear how effective the often-injured 33-year-old will be. Tight end Dallas Goedert is on IR with an ankle injury. The Eagles have yet to comment on Zach Ertz, who left the game on Sunday with an ankle injury that will reportedly keep him out three to four weeks. That tight end duo combined for 1523 receiving yards last year. Travis Fulgham has come off the practice squad to generate 284 receiving yards in three games with three touchdowns.

The Philadelphia offensive line is without three starters with Jason Peters and Isaac Seumalo on IR and Andre Dillard out indefinitely. Peters resigned in the fall after his replacement, Brandon Brooks, suffered a season-ending Achilles injury. Backup tackle Jack Driscoll, who had been playing for Johnson when he suffered his ankle injury, is out with an ankle injury of his own. Backup lineman Matt Pryor has been taken off the COVID list to offer this team some much-needed depth.

The Eagles defense will be without defensive tackle Malik Jackson, who has a quad injury. Middle linebacker T.J. Edwards is one of their projected starters now on IR. Several players remain questionable, including linebacker Duke Riley. This unit is allowing 29.2 points per game along with 355.2 yards-per-game.

The Giants have seven players on Injured Reserve, which does not include running back Saquon Barkley who is out the season with his torn ACL. They added Devonta Freeman, who only gained 61 yards on 18 carries against Washington.  Quarterback Daniel Jones leads the team with 204 rushing yards this season. New York is third-to-last in the league, with an 87.8 rushing yards-per-game average.

New York is also without wide receiver Sterling Shepard, linebacker Lorenzo Carter, and safety Xavier McKinney, who are all on Injured Reserve.

Philadelphia has won the last seven meetings between these two teams after they swept their two games last season. BetAnySports lists the Eagles as a 4.5-point favorite with the total set at 45. Kickoff is set shortly after 8:20 PM ET.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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