Breaking down the Eagles-Giants showdown this weekend--
Donovan McNabb has better career numbers, and at his best, is probably better than Eli at his best. However, Eli has something McNabb doesn’t – a Super Bowl ring. McNabb has never been able to get over that hump, and the Super Bowl experience from Eli last season will help in this game.
The Eagles probably have the most dangerous weapon of all, probably on the entire field this game, but Brandon Jacobs is a monster, and he’s only 1/3 of the Giants potent rushing attack.
If Plaxico Burress didn’t shoot himself (Yes, we still find this funny), this advantage would go to the Giants, but without him, the Giants have an average receiving corps. The Eagles receivers aren’t much better, but DeSean Jackson, Kevin Curtis, and Jason Avant have really played well during this Eagles turnaround.
The Eagles offensive line did not look good against the Vikings, when it came to rushing and passing the ball. The Eagles offensive line is still very good, but the Giants may feature the best O-Line in the league.
Kevin Boss is an average tight end, definitely a downgrade from Shockey, but the Eagles don’t get much out of this position. Brent Celek is emerging, and had a good game against the Vikings, but L.J. Smith is a waste of space, and neither Eagles tight end can block very well.
Both defensive lines are solid, and have good players are each position. Both teams are very good against the run, and both teams get pressure on the opposing quarterback. This goes to the Giants because when Tuck, Kiwanuka, and Robbins are playing well, they are dominant.
This may be the most important position when looking at this game. The Eagles linebackers are maybe the best young group in the game, Stewart Bradley is a beast in the middle. How the Eagles linebackers do against the Giants rushing attack is a huge key to this game. Antonio Pierce got punked by Westbrook last game, and Pierce will never get any respect from us.
This may be where the Eagles have an edge on almost anyone in the league. 2 pro bowlers, and the other 2 could easily be pro bowlers if they were bigger names. They should be able to do well without Burress in the lineup. The Giants secondary is better than advertised, but still not as good as the Eagles.
In a game with two evenly matched teams, the special teams will be very important. The kickers may be similar, even though Akers always has a tough time kicking in Giants stadium, but DeSean Jackson gives the Eagles a home run shot every time he returns a punt.
If Andy Reid keeps his head out of his ass, this might be a push, but we have to be wary of Andy Reid resorting back to the pass 80% of the time. Coughlin actually has a Super Bowl as head coach, Reid just acts like he does.
Eagles are the hotter team coming in, and the team you don’t want to play in the playoffs, and the Giants struggled down the stretch. That said, the Giants still have had a week to rest, and are at home, which is always a big deal in the playoffs.
Below is from a New York Giants fans prospective, from our friend Jersey Boy--QB- push (you guys will obviously disagree, but i think both QBs can either be great, so-so, or suck it up every sunday)
RB- Eagles (overall i would say push, but no question westbrook is the best player on the field sunday)
WR- push (both teams have a bunch of solid average receivers-- damn plaxico!!!)
O-Line- Giants (no question)
TE- push (both are average)
D-Line- push (great d-lines on both sides. you could make an argument for either way)
Linebacker- Giants (i can't even name an eagle LB)
Secondary- Eagles (no question)
Special Teams- slight edge eagles (kickers are a push, but desean jackson on punt returns gives you the edge)
Coach- Giants (on Sunday mornings Coughlin polishes his superbowl ring and Reid eats donuts.)
Intangibles- Giants (Confidence. I think if the Eagles take the lead in the game the Giants have the confidence to keep fighting and win it in the end. As for the Eagles, if they are trailing I think the ball game is over. Too many players will realize that they are just an average team this year and it's all over.)