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First Look at Giants-Eagles

From NJ.com:

“GIANTS VS. EAGLES

Sunday, 1 p.m., Giants Stadium, Ch. 5

3 REASONS IT’S A GOOD MATCHUP FOR THE GIANTS 

1. YOU AGAIN? 
There will be no surprises, as they know the Eagles well. Plus, they’ve fared well against Philly of late, winning three of the last four over the past two seasons. 

2. THE BIG GUY’S BACK 
The Giants’ leading rusher has eaten up the Eagles defense this year. In the teams’ first meeting, Jacobs ran for 126 yards — his second-highest total of the season — and two touchdowns. And in the second game, Jacobs had 52 yards on 10 carries before leaving the game when he aggravated a nagging knee injury. The Giants offense immediately hit the skids and didn’t get back on track until Jacobs returned against the Panthers two weeks later. His knee is rested after this past weekend’s bye.

3. HITTING THE WALL 
The Eagles have been playing must-win games since Thanksgiving. Sure, that can be a positive thing, as teams will rally behind the thought they’ve been winning playoff games longer than their opponent. But often, there’s only so many of those games a team can survive before finally collapsing from mental and physical exhaustion. Perhaps the Eagles, after almost two months of having their backs against the wall, are due to fall apart against the well-rested Giants. 

3 REASONS IT ISN’T 

1. NO FEAR
The Giants might be the No. 1 seed and playing at home, but the Eagles have a good reason to be confident: they beat the Giants at the Meadowlands in Week 14. That started the Giants’ mini-slide into a loss the following week against the Cowboys. 

2. PUBLIC ENEMY NO. 1 
The Giants have often had issues keeping Eagles RB Brian Westbrook in check. Westbrook hurt the Giants in the playoffs two years ago and had touchdowns of 30 and 40 yards while compiling 203 total yards last month. Hey, at least he’s not returning punts anymore, right?

3. IN NO RUSH 
Everybody remembers the 12-sack game the Giants had against the Eagles last year. That’s nice, but if you haven’t noticed, Winston Justice has been back on the bench for a while and the Giants had a whopping total of zero sacks in two games against Philly this season. That’s right: no sacks for a defense that relies upon pressuring the QB. Not to mention how elusive QB Donovan McNabb has looked recently when a rusher gets close to him. 

KEY MATCHUP

WESTBROOK VS. GIANTS DEFENSE
A lot of blame was thrown LB Antonio Pierce’s way when Westbrook beat him for his 40-yard touchdown catch a few weeks ago. But the truth is all 11 guys in blue were at fault. Before each game against the Eagles, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo says the Giants need “22 eyes on No. 36.” Westbrook’s touchdown, which came on a play during which he was a check-down option, shows what can happen if only two eyes are on him. The Vikings found that out, too, Sunday. 

PLAYOFF HISTORY

The Giants have faced the Eagles three times in the postseason: a 27-21 victory over the defending NFC champions in 1981, a 20-10 win on their way to Super Bowl XXXV in 2001 and a last-second loss on a field goal by David Akers in 2007.

THE QUOTES

QB ELI MANNING: “The Eagles are a very good football team that has done a tremendous job of battling back during the latter part of the season. Obviously, we had two very tough regular season games against them. Last week was good for us. We got some good work in during those two practices, but it’s good that we now know who we are playing. We are excited to get to work this week. We need a good week of practice and preparation because it’s about execution at this time of year, especially against a team we face twice a year in games that always seem to come down to the fourth quarter.”

DE JUSTIN TUCK: “I think the Eagles are the hottest team in the NFL right now. They may be the sixth seed, but they sure aren’t playing like it. We know them well, which is a good thing, but they know us well, too. I’m glad this game is going to be at home because I know our fans will be into it. It’s going to be the tough NFC East battle you’d expect, and we are really looking forward to it.”

ONE MORE THING

There are no ties in the postseason, Donovan.”

 

As the week goes on, Giants Gab will have the details and analysis on the Giants-Eagles Division Matchup, so be sure to check the site frequently. Giants Gab is your Giants playoff headquarters!


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