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November 27, 2021

Five over/unders for Eagles' Week 12 matchup vs. the Giants

Eagles NFL
Hurts_Sanders_Eagles_49ers_Frese.jpg Kate Frese/for PhillyVoice

Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts hands off to running back Miles Sanders.

The Eagles will play their second division game on Sunday — and their first of five over their final six games of the season — when they travel up I-95 to the Meadowlands for a date with the New York Giants. 

In a game that features two teams heading in the opposite directions, with the Eagles recently finding their new run-first identity and the Giants suddenly looking for an identity of their own after firing offensive coordinator Jason Garrett this week, there's more than just a win or loss on the line. Following Dallas' loss to the Raiders on Thanksgiving, the Eagles could move to a game and a half back of the NFC East lead with a win over New York, not to mention potentially gaining some ground in the wild card race. 

We've already broken down the injuries on both sides, given you some matchups to watch and offered up our own predictions — as well as rounded up some picks from the local and nation media. Now, as we do every week, let's take a look at some numbers to keep an eye on in the form of our five over/unders for Eagles vs. Giants... 

[A quick reminder for those new to our over/unders: Unless explicitly stated otherwise, these are my own numbers based on how I think the players/teams will perform on Sunday — and the advice that follows is where I would put my money if I had to.]

Total points: 45.5

That's the number currently being offered at most sports books, and it seems about right considering we're looking at a game between two teams who both rank in the 20s in terms of points allowed per game. On the offensive side, the Eagles are eighth in the NFL when it comes to scoring the football (27 PPG) while the Giants are eighth from the bottom (18.9 PPG). 

One of the things that could keep this game from hitting the over is the lack of offensive players not named Saquon Barkley expected to be available for the Giants, combined with the Eagles suddenly becoming a run-heavy team. If there are a lot of slow, monotonous drives — or a lot of three-and-outs, obviously — then this one could certainly find the under. But despite the Eagles not throwing the ball a ton, they've still been a dangerous team when it comes to hitting the big plays, which is coincidentally something the Giants defense has actually been good at, at least against the run. 

That being said, it's hard not to like what you've seen out of the Eagles offense, and even if they do get out to a big lead, that could result in some garbage time points for the Giants. Boy, it's fun to be talking about garbage time points when it's not the Eagles scoring them...


Eagles rushing yards: 217.5

Is that an absurdly high total? Absolutely. Is it crazy to think that could be how many yards the Eagles run for on Sunday? Nope.

Since Nick Sirianni decided his team was a running team four games ago, that's exactly what the Eagles have averaged on the ground per week. On the season, they're averaging 153.4 yards per game, but that includes several outings in which the Eagles only ran the ball a literal handful of times. That's not who this Eagles team is anymore. And unless Sirianni suddenly decides to change his ways (again) — or if the Giants jump out to a big lead and force the Eagles to throw the ball — there's no reason to expect them to revert to a pass-happy unit against New York.

That being said, the Birds will be without Jordan Howard, who had been the team's most effective rushing during their recent hot streak. In his place, however, the Birds will have Giant Killer Boston Scott, who has more TDs against the Eagles' division rival than nearly any other active player.

They obviously have Miles Sanders, who looked good in his first game back from injury last week, and presumably Kenny Gainwell, who was inactive against the Saints with Sanders returning but should be back out there on Sunday with Howard out. Oh, and they also have Jalen Hurts, who isn't just the team's leading rusher but also has the second most rushing yards of any QB in the NFL ... and the ninth most of any player at any position.

With the expectation being that the Eagles will get out to a lead against the Giants, there's every reason to believe it's going to be another run-heavy day for the Birds. And while I think they hit 200 on Sunday, I also think they come up just shy of hitting this number. 


Jalen Hurts total TDs: 2.5

Hurts had three rushing touchdowns on his own last week in the Eagles' win over the Saints, but unlike most NFL teams, the QB finding pay dirt has not been a necessity when it comes to winning games. In the Eagles' biggest win of the season, 44-6 over the Lions, Hurts never set foot in the end zone, with four rushing touchdowns and a defensive score leading the way that Sunday. Against Denver, a 30-13 victory, Hurts had a pair of passing TDs, but that was it. And there have also been games where Hurts has scored three times, like against the Bucs, that the Eagles have lost. 

This Sunday, the Eagles will face a Giants team that is in the bottom third of the league in points and yards allowed, and with Howard out there's a chance Hurts is even more involved than usual in the red zone, especially down by the goal line. Sirianni has shown he's not afraid to use his QB in the running game, something that wasn't quite as obvious earlier in the year. Two rushing touchdowns and one through the air sound doable against a defense that's allowing close to 25 points per contest. Of course, we've already established a Giant Killer is playing in this game, and maybe he vultures one or two from Hurts, but we like the over here.


Sacks by Eagles defense: 2.5

It may feel like the Eagles defensive front has been playing better in recent weeks, and in many respects they have. But one of the main areas in which they've continued to struggle is in getting to the quarterback. Since their six sacks against Jared Goff and the Lions (which is 1/3 of their season total), the Eagles have just one sack in their last three games combined. That looks even worse when you consider in two of those games the Eagles were nursing big leads, meaning opposing quarterbacks were passing plenty. In fact, in those three games, that lone sack came on 114 passing attempts.

They haven't been great all season at bringing down quarterbacks, with just three teams totaling fewer sacks so far this season, and two of those teams have already had their bye weeks. But the Eagles could go feasting again on Sunday against a Giants team that hasn't done a great job at protecting Daniel Jones, especially in recent weeks. Over the last five games, Jones has been sacked 13 times, good for an average of 2.6 per game. On the season, he's been brought down multiple times in every game but two, but in one of those games he only attempted 13 passes. 

If this game goes as expected, and the Eagles are able to use their rushing attack to get out to a nice lead, then there's no reason why Jonathan Gannon's defense shouldn't be able to join the list of unit's who have sacked Jones multiple times this season. Will they get three? We're going to bet they do, two from the defensive line and one from a well-timed blitz. 


Eagles defensive TDs: 0.5

The Eagles have three defensive touchdowns in their last four games — all of them from cornerback Darius Slay. Perhaps not so coincidentally, the Eagles won each of those three games. While we're predicting a Birds win on Sunday, counting on another defensive touchdown is a bit much. It wouldn't shock me against a bad Giants team, but I'm going to err on the side of caution here.


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