Nick Foles has traveled a long and winding road throughout his NFL career, and it’s one that has taken him back to the field as the now-starting quarterback of a high-powered offense. Foles steps in for the injured Carson Wentz as the Philadelphia Eagles look to improve upon their postseason positioning on Sunday when they visit the New York Giants.
“I feel comfortable in this offense. I love this offense. We’re going to run this offense. So nothing is going to change,” said Foles, who authored a 27-touchdown performance in 2013 before being traded and released and was contemplating retirement before returning to the City of Brotherly Love. The 28-year-old Foles answered the bell after Wentz tore his ACL on Sunday, guiding Philadelphia to field goals on consecutive drives en route to a 43-35 win over the Los Angeles Rams. While the Eagles can clinch a first-round bye with a win on Sunday and capture home-field throughout the playoffs with two victories in their final three games or one win and one loss by the Vikings (10-3), the hapless Giants have less on their plate to worry about. “Obviously, it hasn’t been the season that we hoped for, but you don’t want to look back,” running back Orleans Darkwa said. “At the end of the season, we’ll reflect on all that, but right now we’re focused on Philly this week and getting a win.”
TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Eagles -7.5. O/U: 40.5
ABOUT THE EAGLES (11-2): Philadelphia can lean on the NFL’s second-ranked rushing attack to ease Foles back into action, with Jay Ajayi averaging a robust 7.0 yards per carry since being acquired from Miami. The passing game also gets a boost from the return of tight end Zach Ertz (team-leading 57 receptions), who cleared concussion protocol after sitting out last week’s game versus the Rams. Ertz is tied with Nelson Agholor for second on the team with 663 receiving yards, with nine of the wideout’s 15 catches over the last two games resulting in first downs.
ABOUT THE GIANTS (2-11): A lot was made of New York’s handling of its benching Eli Manning, but the veteran recorded season highs in completions (35), passing yards (366) and touchdown passes (three) in a 27-24 loss at Philadelphia on Sept. 24. While two of those scoring strikes went to Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard also had one - his only of the season - and is dealing with an ailing hamstring that kept him limited in practice. Tight end Evan Engram has proven to be a trusted target with 55 receptions and 623 receiving yards and ranks first among NFL rookies in touchdown catches with six.
1. Darkwa has three of New York’s four rushing touchdowns, with Manning having the other.
2. Philadelphia K Jake Elliott, who won the first encounter with a 61-yard field goal, has made 18 of his last 20 attempts.
3. Giants G Justin Pugh (back) was headed to injured reserve for the first time in his career, interim coach Steve Spagnuolo said on Thursday.
PREDICTION: Eagles 24, Giants 10