2022 NFC Divisional Round Preview: New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Following their win at Minnesota, the New York Giants will now travel to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to play the top-seed Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles open as the heavy favorites, but do the Giants have some more magic in them to upset this high-flying Eagles team?
But anyway, let’s go over this key intradivisional playoff matchup and the different ways each team can win.
9-7-1 New York Giants at 14-3 Philadelphia Eagles
Saturday, Jan. 21, 8:15 p.m. ET on Fox
Spread: PHI -7.5 Over/Under 48
How the Giants can win
1. Brian Daboll might be the best coach in the NFL
The fact that this Giants team has made it this far is frankly astonishing to me. The biggest factor leading the sudden turnaround has been the hiring of Brian Daboll. I don’t know what he is telling these guys but it clearly sticking.
Last year under Joe Judge this team just looked dead, as if they didn’t even want to be on the field. But the complete opposite can be said for Daboll’s effect on this team. Those guys want to go out and win for him and it is shown week-in and week-out.
They aren’t going to take the top off you — they really can’t with their current wide receiver situation — but they go out and play a hard, gritty kind of football and it’s seen them make it this far. The Eagles may have the advantage in terms of their roster, but Daboll surely has the ability to bridge that gap with his leadership and uncanny ability to win games.
2. Let Saquon feast
As I previously mentioned, this Giants receiving core leaves a lot to be desired. When your best option on the outside is Darius Slayton or Isaiah Hodgins, it’s safe to say you won’t be winning the game on the outside. To the Giants credit, they, for the most part, have realized that.
The offense this year has largely run through Saquon Barkley, and I don’t think that should change against the Eagles.
Philadelphia has the pass rushers to make Daniel Jones‘ life a living hell. One of the best ways to help relieve that burden is to get the ground game working. Make the defensive line have to respect the run game and in turn, your passing game will open up.
Barkley got you this far so it stands to reason you would continue to feed him. He is your best player on offense, get him the ball and as the kids say, let him cook!!
3. Catch the Eagles offense out of rhythm
Prior to Jalen Hurts‘ injury, the Eagles offense looked like a finely oiled machine. Every piece seemed to play its part and it led to an almost perfect product. But after the Hurts injury, some chinks in the armor have appeared, especially within the offense.
Hurts came back for the Eagles last game against these very Giants, who were resting basically every starter, so it is very possible that this Eagles offense won’t immediately be the juggernaut we have seen all year.
The best way to take advantage of this is to try and get out to a fast start. Hurts could very well be rusty, along with the rest of the offense after a week off. If that slow start does come, then the Giants HAVE to jump on the opportunity and take an early lead. Doing that also allows you to follow my second point and let Barkley feast.
How the Eagles can win
- Don’t beat yourself
The Eagles far and away have the better roster here. But we’ve seen countless times the lesser roster come out with the win in the playoffs. Hell, it’s not like the Giants have done it two times before or anything like that.
When we see a worse team upset the favorite, it’s usually because the latter shot itself in the foot over and over again. If the Eagles don’t want to lose this game, they just have to play mistake-free football. Don’t give this Giants team any breaks or make their life any easier by making stupid turnovers. Make them come out and play a complete game and beat you as the better team.
The Eagles are heavy favorites with a more complete roster and so long as they can take care of the football, I don’t see why they shouldn’t win easily.
2. For the love of God run the ball
Shane Steichen has done a great job as offensive coordinator for this Eagles team this year. But if there is one thing I would point out as a problem it would be his confusing option to sometimes just give up on the ground game. I understand that sometimes the game script calls for more passing, yet it just seemed like this year there were a lot of times when I just wished the team had run the ball more.
In Hurts’ absence, I fully expected Miles Sanders to go off. Almost the exact opposite happened, though. He basically became a nonfactor along with the Eagles rushing attack.
You have one of the best offensive lines in the league, trust them and Sanders to pick up yards and chew some clock. This will help limit mistakes and allows the true strength of this Eagles offense to shine. Good running equates to winning football, the Eagles know this and should fully embrace it.
3. Jalen Hurts is Him
Now listen, I know there are a lot of factors that have led to the resurgence of this Eagles team. Howie has done a phenomenal job at building this roster at all three levels and it shows. But by far the biggest factor leading to the Eagles success has been Hurts’ breakout campaign.
Hurts finally took that leap all Eagles fans for hoping for and it’s taken this offense to a whole new level. I know I said the Eagles need to run the ball to win, but equally important to their success is the continual dominance Hurts has shown throughout the year.
Hurts have given every Eagles fan a reason to believe this postseason and I am confident that won’t change after this game against the Giants. Hurts is Him and the Giants don’t have the playmakers to stop him.
Well, call me biased, but I am taking my Eagles in this matchup.
The Giants do seem to maybe have a little bit of magic to them, but the Eagles boast a much better roster and that’s just too much to ignore. I think the Giants will keep it close for a bit and play a very hard game. Over time though, I think the Eagles’ talent will start to dominate and pull away later in the game.
The Eagles should win this matchup, no questions about it. They are the heavy favorites for obvious reasons but if they don’t come ready to play, this Giants team will punch them in the mouth.
Score Prediction: 27-14 Eagles
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