Two longtime NFC East rivals will face off in their biggest matchup of the season, as the New York Giants will head to Lincoln Financial Field to play the Philadelphia Eagles. The Giants are coming off of a victory on Wild Card Weekend, dispatching of the Minnesota Vikings by a final score of 31-24.
Philadelphia’s most recent game came against New York in the regular season finale, which resulted in a 22-16 win for the Eagles.
The two teams also met in early December, as Philadelphia throttled New York 48-22 at MetLife Stadium.
We’ll take a look at three things we’ll be looking out for in Saturday night’s tilt.
Rest Versus Rust
NFL teams work hard during the regular season to finish up with the best record in their respective conference. This allows them to clinch a number one seed, which comes with the benefit of not having to play in Wild Card Weekend, and homefield advantage throughout the conference playoffs. The Eagles were far and away the best team in the NFC this season, but faltered somewhat down the stretch.
They were able to solidify their standing in the NFC with their Week 18 win over New York, but there are a lot of open questions about the Eagles. The most important revolves around Jalen Hurts’ shoulder ailment, which seemed to be a non-factor in Week 18. There will also be the question about how Philadelphia will come out in this game, as sometimes it takes teams with the bye week a quarter or so to reacclimate to game speed.
Danny Dimes Reinvigorated
Arguably the most impressive individual performance of Wild Card Weekend came from Giants quarterback Daniel Jones. His production on the ground and through the air against Minnesota made him very difficult to stop, and allowed a Giants offense with limited weapons to move the ball in a playoff setting.
Philadelphia’s defense is much more formidable than Minnesota’s, and it’ll be interesting to see whether Jones is able to replicate his performance on Saturday. He didn’t play against the Eagles in Week 18, and had a pedestrian game in their first contest against Philadelphia. It seems like New York will need him to play with the same level of effectiveness if they want to pull off the upset.
Wrinkles When The Game Matters Most
As we’ve established, these teams know each other very well. Everyone who will be on the field on Saturday night has suited up against the opposition before, and knows what they want to do. This level of familiarity will make the game more of a chess match than other playoff games.
It’ll be up to head coaches Brian Daboll and Nick Sirianni to come up with plays or strategies that catch the opponent off guard. Philadelphia might think that their talent advantage should win the game for them on its own, but we’ve seen New York be a tough out in the playoffs when they get hot.