Our Eagles vs. Giants predictions for Week 18 of the NFL season

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Our Eagles vs. Giants predictions for Week 18 of the NFL season originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Eagles (13-3) are hosting the Giants (9-6-1) on Sunday afternoon at the Linc.

To the predictions:

Reuben Frank (12-4)

There’s absolutely no question in my mind the Eagles win this game. They’re the better team, they’re at home, they have more at stake, they haven’t lost to the Giants at home since Chip Kelly was coach and they just beat them by 26 in East Rutherford last month. Jalen Hurts raises everybody’s level of play, and whether or not the Giants play their starters or backups, I just can’t imagine Hurts letting the Eagles lose this game to this team in this situation. That said, if Gardner Minshew starts? I have no faith in him winning a must-win game against anybody in any stadium. Minshew has ability, there’s no question about that. But the quarterback I saw against the Saints last weekend looked like he just wasn’t up to the challenge of facing a competitive team in a high-leverage situation. I get that it takes the entire team to win or lose a game, but it all starts with the quarterback and Minshew’s inability to make even the simplest throws in key moments was alarming. You can put up good numbers with a bad Jaguars team or against a bad Jets team. But can you win an important game with a No. 1 seed on the line? I’m not optimistic. So assuming Hurts starts. … If Minshew starts? Just flip those numbers.

Eagles 29, Giants 12

Dave Zangaro (12-4)

The Giants have done a good job playing coy all week but it wouldn’t be wise for them to play their starters with the 6-seed already locked up. So even if Jalen Hurts wasn’t expected to play, the Eagles would still win this game because Gardner Minshew is capable of beating the Giants’ backups. And the Eagles still need this game to get the top seed in the NFC. That 14-point line is pretty telling.

We saw a few weeks ago when the Eagles beat up on the Giants 48-22. This game might not be that lopsided but I think by the end of this one both teams will have their backups on the field. And then the Eagles can use that bye week to get ready for the divisional round.

Eagles 28, Giants 12

Barrett Brooks (12-4)

It’s the last regular season game of the year and the Birds are still playing around with the No. 1 seed. The Giants have already locked up the No. 6 seed and the probability of Brian Daboll playing his front line starters is slim to none. There is no way Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley will play on Sunday. The Eagles must play to win, meaning they must play their starters until there is a lead to sit the starters. As long as Jalen Hurts is playing and the entire offense is playing, the Eagles win this game and get the bye week to rest the entire team.

Eagles 28, Giants 17

Mike Mulhern (13-3)

Jalen Hurts might be an extreme long shot to actually win the MVP at this point, but we’re going to find out just how much he means to the Eagles. After the offense put together one of their worst performances in years, Hurts will be back to be the ultimate problem solver. It shouldn’t hurt that the Giants are likely to sit most of their key starters.

While there has been some doom and gloom amongst the fanbase following a second straight loss, the Eagles are set up to land the number one seed and are getting healthy at the right time. They’ll take care of business on Sunday and be in prime position to make a run toward their second Lombardi Trophy in five years.

Eagles 31, Giants 13

Adam Hermann (14-2)

This is a strange matchup to gauge, because neither side is revealing much about their respective players — who will play and who won’t play? Sports-related mind games may have gone too far, but that’s an argument for another day.

It doesn’t make much sense to dive into the numbers on New York’s side if their starters aren’t going to see much (or any) action. I trust the Eagles at full strength vs. the Giants at full strength, so I certainly trust the Eagles at 90% health vs. the Giants’ backups.

As long as the Birds don’t come out and lay a second straight egg, they should win and lock up the No. 1 seed. You could see and hear the frustration and outright anger in the players’ responses after last week’s loss. I can’t imagine a team with this kind of veteran leadership (and talent) will lose a third straight, particularly against a team with nothing to play for.

Hopefully Jalen Hurts is able to go at full speed and we can see what the face of the franchise looks like post-injury before he dives into the biggest sporting month of his life.

Eagles 27, Giants 20