Philadelphia Eagles vs New York Giants

The Giants struggled in week fourteen at home versus the Eagles due in part to two key injuries to the offensive line, a very mediocre defensive effort, and the suspension of Plaxico Burress but still lost by just six points. Expect a maximum effort this week from the defending Super Bowl Champions.

I not going to let the Giants poor play at the conclusion of the season (three loses in the last four contests) change my opinion of this club. They established themselves in my mind as the best club in football long before their consecutive victories over the Steelers, Cowboys, Eagles and Ravens.

The Burress situation was a major distraction and bears noting today. Quite obviously it re-channeled the focus of the entire organization at a critical time in the season. It had a major affect on game plan preparation, the passing and running game and forever altered the team's substitution packages; for example an Amani Toomer, in the twilight of a brilliant career, goes from a descending number two receiver to the team's number one, a Steve Smith taken out of his role as a slot and thrust into the number two slot. In the end an already suspect receiving group becomes even weaker at a critical time in the season.

It also altered their opponents defensive philosophy Giants immediately saw a bevy of eight man fronts, which had an immediate affect on distribution and how the Giants would now block a particular play. Finally many of the things (tendencies) the Giants employ in their red zone offense package (fades, stop and slant routes) were altered.

The Eagles season has been very much like the proverbial roller-coaster ride; any highs and lows and just when you thought their season was over they somehow summoned up the stuff to save their season.

Their ever changing defensive package, put together by one of the very best coaches in the league's modern history, Jim Johnson has really confused apposing offensive schemes and has allowed the Eagles to maintain both a possession and field position advantage for much of the last third of the season.

The Eagle's problem; you just don't know which Donovan McNabb is going to show up from week to week! I do know this, if the Giants can not put some significant pressure in this go-round, this one could get rather interesting.

As I stated last week, the Eagles will need to bring their "A" game, but more importantly they better hope that the Giants don't bring their's.

If the Giants running combination of Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward can get some running room (I think they can), and the front can protect Eli (I think it will), I don't think this one's going to be as close as most of the pundits gave forecasted.

Giants 27 – Eagles 16

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