The battle for the top spot in the NFC Least takes center stage this Monday night when the 3-2 New York Giants square-off against the 2-3 Philadelphia Eagles. There are three other NFL teams (Green Bay, Cincinnati and Denver) that have as many wins as these two teams combined, but somebody has to win the division this year.
The Giants appear to be the front runner through the early part of the season with a three-game winning streak, but the Eagles showed some signs of life with last Sunday's romp over New Orleans. Both teams have shown the ability to play at a high level and both have also made an art of shooting themselves in the foot at the worst possible times. New York started the season 0-2 by blowing two late-game leads and Philadelphia was in excellent position to beat both Atlanta and Washington but it could not seal the deal.
Turning to Monday night's matchup, it will still come down to which team's quarterback makes the most plays and the fewest mistakes. Following that ugly loss to Dallas in Week 2, I benched Sam Bradford for Eli Manning on my fantasy football team and I now have the most points in the league. This week I decided to go back to Bradford for two reasons. First, I am still a die-hard Eagles' fan and I could never root against my team because I had the opposing team's quarterback in my fantasy lineup. The second reason I am going with Bradford is that I honestly believe that he is going to make more plays and fewer mistakes than Manning on Monday night.
Eli has been a thorn in the Eagles' side at times, but over the course of his entire career I would not say that he has had his best games against his bitter rivals. Bradford, on the other hand, is still a blank canvas in this heated division tilt and he should have an automatic edge given the Giants' lack of experience playing against him. The former first overall pick in the draft is still trying to shake off the rust from two devastating knee injuries and while his early report card in Philadelphia is barely a passing grade, I think he is primed for a coming-out party on Monday night under the prime-time lights at Lincoln Financial Field.
I have already picked the Eagles and lost. I have gone against them and lost. Things have gotten off to such a bad start with my NFC East picks (0-5)in general that my weekly preview for this division for Doc's Sports has been put on a shelf because I was costing their readers too much money (if they were dumb enough to actually bet on my unit plays).
That being said, I am going to press-on with an official pick for Monday night's showdown. I really like Philly's chances to win this game, but giving four points to the Giants is probably going to be one too many in what I see being a three-point spread. What I do like is the OVER on a total line of 49.5 as I think both teams are going to put some points on the board. I also forgot to mention that I went 2-13 with my first 15 "over/under" picks on the total line in another article for Doc's and that piece got canned as well.