Big Blue Gonna See Green

After a week of waiting, Tom Coughlin's Giants now know whom they'll be playing Sunday at Giants Stadium in their first playoff game. It's going to be bitter rival Philadelphia, which knocked off the Vikings in Minnesota by a 26-14 count.

TGI now takes a closer look at the Birds, with whom Big Blue split its season series. New York won at Philadelphia, 36-31, on Nov. 9. Then they lost to the Eagles, 20-14, on Dec. 7 at Giants Stadium.


Record: 9-6-1.

Division Finish: Second in the NFC East.

Most Convincing Victory: 20-14 over the Giants on Dec. 7 in East Rutherford.

Most Ominous Loss: 10-3 to Washington on Dec. 21 in Landover, Md.

The Matchup: They won four of their final five games in the regular season to overcome a 5-5-1 start and blew out Dallas, 44-6, last Sunday at home to secure the final NFC postseason spot. Andy Reid's halftime benching of quarterback Donovan McNabb during a 36-7 loss to Baltimore on the road on Nov. 23 seemingly motivated McNabb. The 10-year veteran threw nine touchdown passes and only one interception and completed 64 percent of his passes in the Eagles' last five games.

With Reggie Brown (18 catches for 252 yards) and Kevin Curtis (33 catches for 390 yards) healthy, McNabb spreads the ball around to them, standout rookie receiver DeSean Jackson (62 catches for 912 yards), tailback Brian Westbrook (54 catches for 402 yards), tight end L.J. Smith (37 catches for 298 yards) and reserve receivers Hank Baskett (33 catches for 440 yards) and Jason Avant (32 catches for 377 yards).

The Giants didn't sack McNabb in either of their two regular-season meetings, either.

Westbrook, meanwhile, is still nursing a knee injury that limited him to 41 total carries in Philadelphia's final three games. Capable backup Correll Buckhalter has been productive while Westbrook recovers, however. He averaged 9.2 yards on six carries during the Eagles' Week 15 defeat of Cleveland and accounted for an average of 6.3 yards on 10 attempts against Dallas.

While McNabb's comeback has attracted a lot of attention, Philadelphia's defensive turnaround has been as responsible for the Eagles' playoff push as anything. They've permitted just 12 points per game since Baltimore bombarded them. They outscored opponents 145-60 in their final five games as well.

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