Philadelphia Eagles or New York Giants: Who Will Win the NFC East?
By crushing the Washington Redskins on Monday night, Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles moved into a first-place tie with the New York Giants in the NFC East.
NBC could not have picked a better Week 11 game for Sunday Night Football. Both teams are now 6-3 and the winner will take over first place in the NFC East with six games left in the season.
The Eagles and Giants are the only teams that have a chance of winning the NFC East.
The Washington Redskins are 4-5 and obviously have serious problems on defense after allowing 59 points. The Dallas Cowboys will play hard for the rest of the season, but their record of 2-7 clearly prevents them from being a playoff team. Do not be surprised if the Cowboys finish in third place though.
The upcoming game at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday night will have major implications, but will it determine which team wins the NFC East?
The Giants and Eagles rank closely to each other in several statistical categories.
Here is a how New York and Philadelphia compare to each other, as well as a breakdown of each team's remaining schedule.
Who Has the Better Offense?
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The New York Giants have gained 86 more yards than the Philadelphia Eagles this season. The two NFC East teams rank second and third respectively, behind the San Diego Chargers in total yards.
The Giants average more passing yards per game and rank sixth in the NFL with 262.9. The Eagles rank ninth, with an average of 249.1 passing yards per game.
However, Philadelphia averages 151.1 rushing yards per game and rank third in the NFL. New York comes in at fifth with 146.6 yards per game.
Basically, the Giants and Eagles are almost dead even when it comes to offensive production.
New York has a better "true" running game with Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs, while Michael Vick is responsible for a large portion of Philadelphia's rushing yards.
However, the newly acquired Jerome Harrison was impressive on Monday night, rushing for 109 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown run.
The combination of Harrison and LeSean McCoy suddenly makes Philadelphia a very good rushing team.
Both teams have a great group of young wide receivers, as DeSean Jackson and Hakeem Nicks are very dangerous weapons.
It comes down to who has the better quarterback.
Michael Vick or Eli Manning?
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If Michael Vick continues to play at this high of a level, he is a lock to win the MVP Award.
Vick showed the nation on Monday night that he is back to being the most electrifying player in the NFL. He also proved that he could play as a "true" quarterback if necessary.
Vick blows the competition away and ranks first in the NFL with a quarterback rating of 115.1. The next closest rating is David Garrard's 104.9.
Manning ranks 11th in the NFL and is posting a quarterback rating of 92.1, right behind his brother.
The difference in their quarterback ratings has a lot to do with the fact that Manning has thrown too many interceptions, while Vick has thrown zero.
However, Eli Manning has a Super Bowl ring and has more experience with his current offense.
He also has thrown for an average of 47 more yards per game, but that statistic may be skewed from the game that Vick had to leave early because of his rib injury.
Currently, though, Vick is the better all-around quarterback than Manning. It is not due to his ability to run, but his mobility in the pocket that allows more time for his talented wide receivers to create separation.
Better Quarterback and Offense: Advantage Philadelphia Eagles
Who Has the Better Defense?
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The New York Giants have allowed the least amount of yards this season and currently rank as the best defense in the NFL.
The Giants rank fourth in the league in passing defense, only allowing 186.9 passing yards per game. The team also only allows an average of 83.3 rushing yards per game, which ranks third in the league.
The Philadelphia Eagles rank 11th in the NFL and have allowed an average of 325 total yards per game.
The team is allowing just over 100 rushing yards per game and its passing defense ranks 16th in the NFL.
However, the Eagles have recorded more sacks and interceptions than than the Giants. Philadelphia also has two defensive touchdowns, while the Giants have zero.
The fact is that Philadelphia's defense is very young and its starting safety Nate Allen is a rookie.
New York apparently is not only skilled at sacking its opponents, but also injuring them and knocking quarterbacks out of the game. Michael Vick may finally have to learn how to slide before Sunday night's game.
Better Defense: Advantage New York Giants
New York Giants' Remaining Schedule
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The New York Giants' disappointing loss to the Dallas Cowboys last week may really hurt their chances of winning the division.
Last week I broke down the Giants' remaining schedule and had them finishing the season with a 11-5 record. However, that was with a win against the Dallas Cowboys.
Here are my predictions for their remaining schedule:
L at Philadelphia
W vs. Jacksonville
W vs. Washington
L at Minnesota (The reason I have them losing in Minnesota is because it may be the Vikings' last chance of staying in the playoff race and they will be a desperate team.)
W vs. Philadelphia
L at Green Bay
W at Washington
The New York Giants will finish the season at 10-6
Philadelphia Eagles' Remaining Schedule
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Monday night's game was a very important one for the Philadelphia Eagles. They needed to gain momentum before next weekend's showdown against the New York Giants by winning back-to-back games.
Right now, it looks the like the Eagles have an easier remaining schedule than the New York Giants.
However, a lot may depend on how the Dallas Cowboys are playing.
Here is my prediction for the Eagles remaining games:
W vs. New York Giants
L at Chicago
W vs. Houston
W at Dallas
L at New York Giants
W vs. Minnesota
W vs. Dallas
I really struggled with the Chicago game. The Eagles are a much better team, but it looks like a trap game for Philadelphia.
It also does not help that Philadelphia will be coming off of back-to-back Monday and Sunday night games, while the Bears will have a long week after playing this Thursday against the Miami Dolphins.
The toughest tests will come against the Giants, Bears, and Cowboys. However, I think the Eagles will avenge last year's results and sweep the Cowboys.
Philadelphia will finish the season 11-5
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The Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants will split the season series, as each team will win their home game.
The Eagles swept the Giants last season, as New York's defense could not stop Philadelphia.
However, the Giants are a much better team this season and their defense has obviously improved. On the other hand, so has the Eagles' offense.
Sunday night's game will be close and will most likely be determined by turnovers.
Philadelphia has all the momentum and Michael Vick will continue to play like the best quarterback in the NFL.
I think that the Philadelphia Eagles will defeat the New York Giants Sunday night and eventually win the NFC East with a record of 11-5.
(The Giants will still make playoffs.)