Thursday, January 8, 2009

Divisional Round Preview Philadelphia @ New York

What: The rubber match for the year between the Eagles and the Giants
Who: The Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Football Giants
Where: Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
When: 1:00 EST
What Channel: Fox
Announcers: Joe Buck and Troy Aikman with Pam Oliver and Chris Myers working the sidelines.
Announcers' Talking Point of the Game: The Eagles are the New York Giants of last year.
Weather Forecast: Mostly Cloudy, 33 degrees
Regular Season Meetings: Week 10: Giants 36, Eagles 31; Week 14: Eagles 20, Giants 14

It's round three of the Giants and the Eagles (and the first round 3 we have seen thus far in the playoffs) and this should be a good one to say the least. The underdog Eagles come in red hot, winning five out of their last six games, whereas the favorite Giants are struggling, having lost 3 of their last 4 games.

The first game that these two played was a 36-31 thriller that was won by the Giants because the Eagles could not convert in a 4th and short situation. The second game was a game that was dominated by the Eagles, yet the reason the score appears close is because the Giants scored a TD via a block field goal return and another TD in garbage time with less than a minute to go in the game.

However, this game will be a lot different than the last time the Eagles were in the Meadowlands when the Eagles dominated them. The reason: Brandon Jacobs will be in the line-up this game and he was part of the reason the Giants were able to score 36 points on the Eagles in the first meeting. If the Eagles can contain Brandon Jacobs than they may be in good shape, but, it must be noted that the Eagles seemed to struggle a bit with the Vikes' change of pace back, Chester Taylor and frankly I'm surprised the Vikes did not go to him more often. So even if the Eagles can stifle Brandon Jacobs, it will be interesting to see how they deal with Earth, Wind, & Fire.

The Eagles offense on the other hand, will need an all-around big day from Brian Westbrook. Why? Because Westbrook, while somewhat smaller in stature, is a Giant killer, having been the dagger many times including the '03 punt return for a TD in the Meadowlands winning a game for the Eagles that they had no business winning. And of course, one can't forget the huge plays he made a month ago in the Meadowlands. The Eagles will need another solid effort from Donovan McNabb who will have to be mistake free in this must win game that both teams are sure to get up for. If the Eagles can drive the ball consistently, they stand a chance at winning. If the Eagles' offense from Cincinnati and Baltimore shows up this time, unlike last weekend against the Vikings where the Eagles' D stood a chance at saving them in case they laid an egg, the defense may not be able to hold their own against the Giants potent rushing attack. And oh yeah, they have a Super Bowl winning quarterback named Eli Manning, in case you forgot.

Prediction: Sigh.....sometimes going into games you have feelings about the outcome, whether they be positive or negative. And sadly, despite beating the Giants at Giants Stadium a month ago, I do not have a good feeling about this game. There is just something in me that says that this will be a game where the Eagles fight hard and give it absolutely everything they got, and yet, it just won't be enough to overcome the Giants in the playoffs. As much as it pains me to say it, I'm picking the Giants in a close one, 31-28 over my beloved Eagles.

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