Eagles-Giants predictions by our (cough) experts

Eagles-Giants predictions by our (cough) experts

The Eagles do not have much to play for and the Giants do.

On a five-game losing streak, the Eagles (5-9) look to play spoilers Thursday night at the Linc against the Giants (10-4), who can clinch a playoff berth with a win.

Here are our (cough) expert predictions for the Week 16 matchup.

Reuben Frank (7-6)
It's really hard to lose every game, and I think this is the week the Eagles end their losing streak.

You saw in that Panthers-Redskins game how a team that's already been eliminated and has nothing to play for can be loose and carefree against a playoff-hopeful team that desperately needs a win and can be tight and play not to lose. Even the Eagles-Ravens game, we saw a lot of that, although the Eagles fell just short.

But I just don't think the Giants are that good. They're 10-4 and I don't think they're an 11-4 kind of team.

I think the Eagles go in loose and play their best game since they beat the Falcons back on Nov. 13. They know the Giants, they know how to beat them — they're 13-4 against the Giants in the last 17 meetings, and 4-1 in the last five, and a lot of the current roster has been a part of those two trends. The Eagles are still 4-2 at home. So I say the franchise can delude itself into believing this means something.

Eagles 24, Giants 20

Dave Zangaro (6-8)
It goes against a ton of logic to pick the Eagles this week, but that's exactly what I'm doing. 

Believe it or not, I was ready to predict a win over the Giants even before seeing the game against the Ravens. The 27-26 loss Sunday only cemented the pick. 

I know the Eagles are 0-6 in one-score games this year. I know that's the worst record in such games this year. On the flip side, I know the Giants are 8-2 in those games, with one of the wins coming against the Eagles in November. 

But the Birds and Carson Wentz showed me something on that final fourth-quarter drive against the Ravens and I think they're ready to snap their five-game losing streak. 

And I think they pick up their first one-score win of the year. 

Eagles 26, Giants 21

Derrick Gunn (7-7)
It's a short turnaround for the Eagles and Giants, and the Giants are on a mission. If they win, the Giants will clinch a postseason spot. The Eagles have nothing to play for except pride and hoping to spoil the Giants' playoff celebration.

After losing to Seattle, Green Bay and Cincinnati by double digits, the Birds were more competitive against Washington — losing by five — and Baltimore — a one-point loss.

Lane Johnson is finally back to stabilize the right side of an offensive line that found a potent run game against the Ravens' previously-top-ranked run defense.

The Giants' defense has played better every week. Since Week 7, Big Blue has allowed an average of 14.9 points per game. Jason Pierre-Paul is out, and Janoris Jenkins may miss this one as well.

The Eagles are poised to snap their current losing streak. I'm tempted to pick them in an upset, but don't feel confident enough they can pull it off.

Giants 23, Eagles 20

Ray Didinger (7-7)
I've been talking down the Giants all season but here they are at 10-4 with two wins over Dallas and a chance (OK, an outside chance) to win the NFC East. I'm still not impressed with their offense. The line is nothing special, they can't run the ball and Eli Manning has been up and down. But the Giants are killing it on defense. They shut down the Cowboys and Lions the last two weeks, so if they were able to put the clamps on those two offenses, they shouldn't have much trouble with the Eagles.
I'd like to make a case for the Eagles rallying here, playing for pride, finishing strong, yada, yada, but I don't think it matters. The Giants are hot and have everything to play for. I don't expect them to score much but they will score enough.
Giants 20, Eagles 10

Andrew Kulp (7-7)
For whatever reason, the Giants do not play well at Lincoln Financial Field, and in particular have struggled when the Eagles wear all black. The Eagles' offense should be the strongest it's been since September too now that Lane Johnson is back in the lineup.

I wasn't going to pick the Eagles anymore this season except maybe against the Cowboys' backups next week, but they've played hard the past couple games and are due for a win. Starting to think they still might have a shot at finishing 7-9 after all.

Eagles 27, Giants 17

Corey Seidman (7-7)
Call me crazy but I actually think the Eagles can win this game, especially if Jenkins doesn't play. And that's coming from a guy who's picked the Eagles to lose six weeks in a row.

They're at home, which didn't matter against Washington or Green Bay but has made a difference most of the season.

Wentz at home: 66 percent completions, 7.1 yards per attempt, 253 yards per game, six TDs, four INTs.

Wentz on the road: 60 percent completions, 5.7 yards per attempt, 234 yards per game, seven TDs, nine INTs.

They have their full offensive line back in tact, they're familiar with Manning and have beaten the Giants four of the last five times.  

The Giants are 10-4 but they're not an overwhelming, dominant 10-4. Six of their wins are by five points or less and only two were by more than a touchdown.

I'm foreseeing the Eagles scoring on defense or special teams in what's expected to be an ugly game, like all Thursday nighters. Also, I think Wentz builds off that final drive in Baltimore, which probably removed a boulder from his shoulder even though the Eagles lost.

Eagles 20, Giants 17

Andy Schwartz (7-7)
The Giants are on a roll, having won eight of nine after a three-game losing streak. 

The highly-paid defense is on a roll too. The Giants have allowed a combined 13 points in their last two games and have allowed less than 17 — Jim Johnson’s benchmark — in four of five.

So no chance for the Birds, right?

Wrong. Upsets happen.

Lane Johnson is back. He’ll be rusty, but he’ll certainly help the offense.

Plus, the Giants don’t pile up the points (19.4 per game), so the Eagles’ defense, like it did in Baltimore, should give them a chance.

This time, they’ll take advantage of it and end this five-game losing streak.

Eagles 27, Giants 24

Eagles LB Joe Walker named Ed Block Courage Award winner

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Eagles LB Joe Walker named Ed Block Courage Award winner

Eagles linebacker Joe Walker, who missed all of last year with a serious knee injury, has been voted by his teammates this year's Eagles recipient of the prestigious 2017 Ed Block Courage Award. 

Walker joins such hallowed names in Eagles history as Andre Waters, Kevin Turner, Correll Buckhalter, Chad Lewis and Jason Avant in receiving the award, given annually to a player on each team who shows a commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage on and off the field.   

Walker, a seventh-round pick out of Oregon in 2016, suffered a knee injury the second week of training camp last summer but bounced back to make the 53-man roster this year and has played in all six games for the 5-1 Eagles.

With Jordan Hicks hurt in the second half Thursday night in Charlotte, Walker played a career-high 13 snaps on defense against the Panthers. He's played 53 special teams snaps this year.

Ed Block was the Colts’ trainer from 1954 through 1977 after earning a Purple Heart in the Army under General Patton in the tank corps in World War II.

The 32 Ed Block Courage Award winners will be honored at the annual Ed Block Courage banquet in Baltimore this spring.

For more information on the program, go to www.EdBlock.org.

Here is a list of all the Eagles’ Ed Block Courage Award winners since the inception of the program in 1984: 
2017     Joe Walker
2016     Nolan Carroll
2015     Fletcher Cox
2014     Jeremy Maclin
2013     Jason Kelce
2012     Colt Anderson
2011     Mike Patterson
2010     Jason Avant
2009     Michael Vick
2008     Jon Dorenbos
2007     Montae Reagor
2006     Jerome McDougle
2005     Chad Lewis
2004     Derrick Burgess
2003     Correll Buckhalter
2002     Shawn Barber
2001     Duce Staley & Tommy Brasher
2000     Cecil Martin
1999     Mike Mamula
1998     Bobby Taylor
1997     Rhett Hall
1996     Kevin Turner
1995     Charlie Garner
1994     Fred Barnett
1993     Andre Waters
1992     Jerome Brown
1991     David Alexander
1990     Ron Solt
1989     Mike Quick
1988     Wes Hopkins
1987     Gerry Feehery
1986     Jody Schultz
1985     Ron Jaworski
1984     John Spagnola

Despite raising bar in 2017, Philadelphia won't host 2018 NFL draft

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Despite raising bar in 2017, Philadelphia won't host 2018 NFL draft

The City of Philadelphia did an incredible job hosting the 2017 draft.

And it still wasn't enough to keep it. 

The NFL has announced the 2018 draft will be held in the Dallas Cowboys' home, AT&T Stadium. Dallas — or technically Arlington, Texas — will be the third city to host the draft in three years, following Chicago and Philly. 

It has been rumored for months that Jerry Jones had his city as the favorite to host the next draft. Turns out those rumors were right. 

Good luck topping what Philly did in 2017 though. 

“Philadelphia raised the bar by taking the Draft to another level, and this new opportunity in Dallas will enable us to continue the event’s evolution and grow it even further,” commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “We are grateful to the Dallas Cowboys, the cities of Arlington, Dallas, and Frisco, and the Dallas Sports Commission for their leadership in turning this vision into reality.” 

The 2018 draft will begin on April 26. The NFL's release said the draft site will include the field, stands and outdoor plazas. 

According to the NFL, at the 2017 draft, a record 250,000 fans attended the three-day event along the Ben Franklin Parkway. The estimated economic impact for the city was $94.9 million. 

“The Draft was a family-friendly event for Philadelphians and visitors across the country,” Mayor Jim Kenney said. “I thank all of our public and private partners, especially the City employees and first responders, who made this event a success and allowed Philly to shine in the national spotlight once again.”

Aside from the numbers, the draft in Philly was aesthetically pleasing. The television shots from the Parkway were gorgeous and the vibe around the entire event was special. 

Things went so well, NFL Senior Vice President of Events Peter O'Reilly said the draft in Philly was a "resounding success." 

It won't be coming back in 2018, but the next time it does, the city will be ready.