Eagles at Giants predictions for Week 18 of NFL season

Eagles at Giants predictions for Week 18 of NFL season originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Eagles (11-5) will finish out their regular season on the road facing the Giants (5-11) at MetLife Stadium:

Let’s get to our predictions:

Reuben Frank (12-4)

In the closing seconds of the loss to the Cards, I said to myself, “I can’t in good conscience pick this team to win another game.” Of course if they win a playoff game next weekend, I reserve the right to change my mind going into the conference semifinal round. But, honestly, after what we’ve seen the last five weeks? I just literally can’t picture this Eagles team beating anyone. I don’t care who it’s against, how little or how much is at stake, how little or much the starters play, whatever. I feel like they'll eventually just find a way to lose. Maybe they’ll surprise me up at the Meadowlands. Maybe they’ll put it all together for the first time in a couple months, avoid the dumb mistakes and penalties and turnovers that have plagued them lately, and score a resounding, riveting two-point win over a Giants team whose season has been over for months. I’ll believe it when I see it. The other reason to pick the Giants is that I’m tied with ace Eagles Postgame Live producer Mike Mulhern for the NBC Sports Philadelphia prediction contest lead at 12-4. I missed on the Rams, Jets, Seahawks and Cards games. I’d rather lose than tie and I assume Mike will pick the Eagles, so I’m going to go with the two-point conversion for the win and either finish one game up or one game down. Riverboat Roob right here.

Giants 30, Eagles 28

Dave Zangaro (10-6)

This is a bit of a weird game because it just might not matter. Unless the Commanders upset the Cowboys, the Eagles are locked into the No. 5 seed in the NFC. But because the Cowboys-Commanders game is at the same time, the Eagles have to play to win. They’ll have most of their starters playing aside from DeVonta Smith (ankle) and Darius Slay (knee). Of course, the Eagles should keep an eye on that other game. If Dallas is up a few touchdowns in the second half, then it’s time to pull the starters and get out of there. That’s what makes predicting this game so tricky. The other thing that makes this tricky is that the Eagles are clearly the better team but they proved last week that they can lose to anybody.

Still, I think they’ll be able to do enough in this game. Ideally, the Eagles can get some of that bad taste out of their mouths from that disastrous loss to the Cardinals last week. It’s also fair to wonder if the Giants will be excited to get to Cancun or to the golf course. I think the Eagles do enough to win this game and then it’s on to the playoffs.

Eagles 24, Giants 21

Mike Mulhern (12-4)

There’s no doubt the Eagles will be scoreboard watching on Sunday considering the circumstances necessary to win the NFC East. While the Commanders knocked off the Cowboys in week 18 a season ago, Josh Harris was not the owner in Washington and the 2 nd pick was not in their sights. Couple that with the Eagles’ injury report - which already ruled out DeVonta Smith and Darius Slay - and I have a feeling they’re going to have a quick hook for their starters. I know a division title and home games sound enticing, but a first-round road game against the NFC South champion isn’t a bad consolation prize. Of course, the following round is where you’d really miss out on the perks of the 2nd seed. A likely trip to face the 49ers would await, barring the Cowboys or Lions being upset in round one. Winning in San Francisco was always going to be the biggest hurdle in the Eagles’ path the moment they lost control of the top spot in the conference.

The question becomes: just how much do you need to see from the starters before you pull the plug? In an ideal world, the offense puts together a couple of touchdown drives out of the gate and the defense shows a baseline level of competency, giving the backups a cushion to work with. The offensive issues have largely been about turnovers, penalties, and mismanaging game situations. I’m personally more concerned with the defense getting more game reps and nailing down the communication of assignments. It’s looked like a fire drill pre-snap under Matt Patricia.

This will probably have the look and feel of a preseason game, but I’ll give the Eagles the edge.

Eagles 20 Giants 16

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