Friday, January 9, 2009

What to Watch For: Eagles @ Giants

Eagles @ Giants

The Eagles are top two least deserving playoff teams, but much like the Chargers, displayed that they belong by moving on to the next round. The Eagles sport the NFC's top defense and strong playmakers on offfense. They got by the Vikings with a little trouble but advanced nonetheless. It took a 70 yard screen to seal the game, but they did what they needed to leave with a win.

The Giants were the best team in the NFC all season and did so with a powerful running game and a tough-minded defense. Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward both got 1000 yards on the ground for the season running over or around everything in their path. Plaxico almost derailed the season but the team seems to be past the drama and back on the right track. The proved in week 15 in a win over the second seeded Panthers that they're still the top dogs in the NFC. However, the division rival Eagles is the last team they wanted to play in the playoffs after the bye.

Here's what to watch for:
  • Asante Samuel running for cover everytime Jacobs comes his way. Asante does the "Ole" with much less imposing backs, I can't think for a second he'll be throwing his fragile body in front of the human eighteen-wheeler.

  • Donovan McNabb's feet. If McNabb is quite in the pocket and still, he's comfortable and poised for a good day. If he's got happy feet and is dancing all over, then I'm sad to say it's going to be a long day for the Eagles. This doesn't mean he shouldn't run, it's just all about pocket presence.

  • Brian Dawkins anytime he isn't playing. Dawkins is awesome to watch in pre-game huddles, his introduction, dancing on the sidelines, and in between plays. I can imagine that Giants fans hate it, but his raw emotion and love for the game is rare in a league that is progressively more and more self-centered.

  • The Manning face. Made famous by The Sports Guy on ESPN, Eli has a fantastic "oh crap, what's happening now"" face. Every drop and interception is met with this classic show (or non show) of emotion.

  • How the Giants defense will play to stop Westbrook. They say they won't et him beat them, which could work in the Eagles favor. If they devote too much attention to West, they play-action passing game should flourish.

  • Which Giants team is going to show up? Tom Coughlin did a terrific job coaching throughout the Plax nonsense this season and his team normally comes out firing. But they've been flat before, especially in the second game against the Eagles. I don't think he's a particularly asute coach, but he is great motivator.

  • Which Andy Reid is going to show up? Andy has done a good job so far, but I won't be surprised if he abandones the run out of no where and submarines the Eagles chances at victory.

  • My brother tells me all the time that Andy Reid looks like the Heat Mizer from some Christmas movie with his new playoff beard (he saw the comparison on tv somewhere). What do you think?

  • Can the Giants D-Line win the battle in the trenches? In other words, how much will the be ablse to disrupt Philly's efforts to run the ball and get time in the passing game? Depending on how healthy Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan are, it may not be much.

  • Is Eli good enough to win the game if the running game is stifled? I don't know that he can put the team on his back and throw successfully to Toomer, Hixon, and Boss. I see another Asante TD in Eli's future.

  • Another predicition, DeSean Jackson is either DeSeawesome or DeSeawful in the punt return game and it swings the turn out of the game.

Prediction Time: Eagles 17, Giants 10

If the game is any higher scoring than this, I don't know that the Eagles will win it, but the Eagles defense has been FANTASTIC and the Giants should have plenty of trouble moving the ball if the Eagles don't miss tackles and play disciplined on defense. Yes, I'm a homer but this is how I see it, so deal with it.

1 comment:

  1. Which is why Eli Manning threw the Giants game...

    BTW congrats to the Eagles winning over the Giants...


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