The No. 1-seeded Eagles host the No. 6-seeded Giants on Saturday in the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs.
Ruben Frank (13-4)
It’s natural to feel nervous about this game. We just saw the Giants play their best game of the year, on the road, against a Vikings team with 13 wins. We just saw their young quarterback fashion a masterpiece in his playoff debut. We just saw their rookie coach lead his team to their first playoff victory in a decade. But facing a near-healthy Eagles side that went 14-1 under Jalen Hurts and are playing at home and resting after a bye week is something else entirely. The Giants scored 31 points against the Vikings’ 31st defense. If they score 31 on the Eagles’ No. 2-ranked defense, more power for them. But I don’t think they can. I expect Jalen Hurts to be close to 100%, and with a healthy Hurts, the Eagles are just a better team than the Giants on every level. Hats off to Daboll and the work he’s done this year, but it ends at the Linc.
Eagles 27, Giants 20
David Zangaro (13-4)
The Eagles are better than the Giants. They simply are. I understand the Giants looked good last week against the Paper Tiger Vikings and I give them credit. But the Eagles had a more impressive weekend sitting on their couch. They won that No. 1 seed and let’s be real: if they had had to face the Seahawks last week as the No. 2 seed, they would have crushed them. Brian Daboll has clearly pointed the Giants in the right direction, but the Giants talent just doesn’t match up.
We’ve seen a few different versions of that Giants defense this season, but I’m confident the Eagles will be able to dissect either one. If the Giants want to be aggressive and blitz Jalen Hurts, then Hurts will beat them with 1-on-1 offsets with AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith and also have the ability to walk away from the pressure. If Wink Martindale wants to do what he did last week against the Vikings, then Dallas Goedert is going to have a huge game like TJ Hockenson did in the wild card round.
And when the Eagles are on defense, the Giants just don’t have enough firepower. Saquon Barkley looks healthy, Daniel Jones has improved and they have a good receiving trio. But it will take a perfect game for the Giants to beat the Eagles. Of course it is possible. But as long as the Eagles don’t fight, they’ll host the NFC Championship Game next weekend.
Eagles 33, Giants 24
Barrett Brooks (13-4)
It’s time to stop talking about what the Giants have accomplished this year. I respect head coach Brian Daboll and what he has done producing wins with the level of talent he possesses. I’m tired of all the hype the Giants got from beating an average Vikings team. Offensively, the Giants have a very good running back in Saquon Barkley. He looks like the rookie who was so explosive. Daniel Jones has also taken over the attack, meaning it’s no longer Saquon on the left and Saquon on the right. Daboll trusts Jones’ arm and his ability to open up the passing game. Jones is now starting to use his legs and scramble more. In my opinion, Mike Kafka is telling his QB that if the first read isn’t there, shoot the ball down and run.
DC Don ‘Wink’ Martindale is a blitzer by nature. When I watched the movie Vikings, Wink didn’t send the blitz as much. Saying that, I don’t see Wink blitzing Jalen Hurts, because you have to run man-to-man. When playing this style, the backs of the DBs are flipped allowing Hurts to rush for more yards. I also see the Eagles running game as a powerful weapon against the Giants’ poor defense.
Eagles 32 Giants 18
Mike Mulhern (14-3)
The Giants will fight, they will do their best, but they just won’t have enough to beat the Eagles. The national and New York media seem desperate for any semblance of success from either East Rutherford team, but are dampening comparisons of the 2007 Super Bowl with the Giants. It would be like expecting the Eagles to lift the Lombardi Trophy every time the backup quarterback comes along just because Nick Foles was magic in 2017. Yet winning three of your last nine games, including a win over the fraudulent Vikings, now equates to the Giants being “on a roll”.
Yes, Daniel Jones looked great a week ago, but Minnesota’s defense is one of the worst in the league. He should have diced them. In fact, he had just done it in week 16, but with much less fanfare. The Eagles pass rush is on a different level. They have two elite corners on the back. Keep Jones in the pocket, and it’s going to be a long day for him.
Brian Daboll built a great culture in New York, but Nick Sirianni also here in Philadelphia. His Eagles will be laser focused, starting with Jalen Hurts and his healing shoulder. The Birds quarterback faced some detractors after last year’s ugly playoff exit against the Buccaneers. On Saturday, he will show how far he has come. I expect an MVP level performance which has become the norm for him this season. The Giants will likely bring a lot of pressure, which should create plenty of opportunities for AJ Brown and Devonta Smith on the court. Also, Dallas Goedert saw how little resistance the Giants put up against TJ Hockenson last week and told our John Clark he asked for more plays this week as a result. He himself could be online for a big day. The Eagles are getting closer to Arizona.
Eagles 34, Giants 20
Adam Herman (15-2)
If you listened to some football analysts this week, they told you that the Giants were hitting their stride at the right time and that Daniel Jones had become a reliable, borderline elite QB.
Let’s be realistic.
The Giants have won four games since early November. They beat the Texans (3-13-1), they beat the Commanders (8-8-1), they beat the Colts (4-12-1) and last week they beat team 13 -4 most fraudulent in the NFL. the story.
They are a perfectly acceptable to good football team, one with young people and advantages and one that is absolutely playing better football than I thought possible this season. Hats off to Brian Daboll, Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones.
But the Eagles beat that team by multiple scores this weekend.
1. The Giants can’t stop the run. They rank 31st in rushing yards per attempt allowed, 27th in total rushing yards allowed, 20th in rushing touchdowns allowed. The Eagles are one of the best running teams in the NFL, especially when Jalen Hurts is healthy and cleared to play his full game. The last time these two teams met, the Birds rushed for 253 yards. I have no reason to expect anything different this time around.
2. The Giants can’t stop good tight ends. Guys like TJ Hockenson, Dalton Schultz and Evan Engram have completely abused the New York defense this year: Hockenson caught 23 passes for 238 yards and two touchdowns in two outings. Yeah. Dallas Goedert only saw action against the Giants once, in a crippled version of the Eagles’ offense, and caught six passes for 46 yards. I expect Goedert to be heavily involved Saturday in various ways — and good luck putting the clamps on Goedert when your secondary is fighting for its life against AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith.
3. The Giants offense doesn’t scare me. There is no doubt that Barkley is a dangerous weapon and Jones has figured out how to stop turning the ball around at an absurdly high rate. But you’re telling me I should sweat Richie James and Darius Slayton when the Eagles have one of the best cornerback duos in the NFL and CJ Gardner-Johnson is back from injury? OKAY. The only thing that worries me is Jones’ legs beating the Eagles over and over again. But if your biggest threat in a Linc playoff game is runaway Daniel Jones, I’ll take those chances.
You may have all the questions in the world about Hurts’ shoulder, Lane Johnson’s adductor and rust of the week goodbye. The Eagles are a superior team. We saw him in Week 14 when the Eagles almost snagged a 50 burger on the G-Men, and we’ll see him again this weekend.
Give me a scorching first half and a double-digit margin of victory.
Eagles 34, Giants 23
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