Every week during the season, we’ll scout out the Eagles next opponent. This week, that opponent is the New York Giants.
The Opponent: The New York Giants, aka the Jints (again I must point out that no Giants fan organically pronounces the team's name like this), a.k.a. Knee Grabbing Surrender Monkeys
The Line: Eagles by 7.5. And if you're betting on this game without knowing whether or not Michael Vick is going to play, well then you sir are drinking the crazy juice.
Last Game: A desultory 28-16 win over a beaten up Rams club that featured the Giants diving to the turf to slow down that juggernaut known as the Rams offense. No one watching that game came away convinced the Giants are any good this year. But the Giants have a way of surprising you right after looking like the most uninspired team ever.
The Coach: Tom Coughlin. I feel like Coughlin should have quit or passed away from anger at least two years ago. Apart from Marvin Lewis's corpse in Cincinnati, there isn't a staler coaching situation in the league right now.
The Offense: The Giants are hurting all over the place. Wideout Domenik Hixon was lost for the season Monday night when he tore his ACL, and both Mario Manningham and top target Hakeem Nicks have been battling injuries. Nicks will be out there on Sunday, but Manningham suffered a concussion and, like Vick, won't be cleared to play until he can pass his mandatory head tests. That means you're going to see a lot of Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs on Sunday. A LOT. After what the Rams and Falcons did to this Eagles rush defense, it's hard to envision the Giants doing anything but running the ball 40 times on Sunday. Bradshaw remains as elusive as ever, and Jacobs still acts as the hammer. If the Eagles stop this run offense, they win. Period. Vick or no Vick.
The Defense: Again, injuries. REAL ones! Defensive end Osi Umenyiora missed practice Wednesday and is listed as questionable. Justin Tuck will likely play but was questionable going into the Rams game. The Giants have spent the past five years relying almost exclusively on their pass rush to win games. The secondary is average at best, so if the line can keep Vick or Mike Kafka upright (I personally think Vick will end up playing), there will be plenty of chances for Philadelphia to get the ball to DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin downfield. Again, a very simple matchup issue: Stop the pass rush, and you win the game.
Key Matchup: The Eagles run defense versus Bradshaw and Jacobs. This team needs to prove it can stop another team's running game. Otherwise, they aren't going anywhere in the postseason. If they get there