I tend to throw away the Accuscore computer simulations and statistical predictions when previewing a Giants-Philly game. The traditional rivalry aspect of these matches tends to trump all the stats...and sometimes all logic.
That's because these games between the Giants and Eagles are played with a little more emotional investment by both clubs. It's not just the history and the tradition of the rivalry, which goes back to the 1930's. It's also because both teams know each other's tendencies and strategies so well. And both teams see each other as their main competitive obstacle to winning an NFC East division title.
8:20 p.m EST, Sunday night, September 30, 2012, at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia:
Records: New York Giants (2-1, 0-1 division); Philadelphia Eagles (2-1, 0-0 division).
TV/Radio: NBC- Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya. WIP-FM 94.1(Philadelphia), WIP-AM 610 (Philadelphia)
Latest lines: Eagles, minus 1. Over-under, 47½
Coaches: Tom Coughlin (9th season, 144-115), Andy Reid (14th season, 128-82-1).
Coming off a very flat outing in Arizona last week against the Cardinals, the Eagles want and need badly to put out a great show against the Giants, especially at home before a prime-time TV audience and with former star defender Brian Dawkins being honored at halftime. But it won't be easy. The Giants are coming off a thumping of Carolina. They are talented, resilient, well-coached---and they seem to have an internal clock which usualy brings out their best at crunch time.
The Giants' defense can look awful at times, but then become brilliant when it counts the most. Perry Fewell is their defensive coordinator. Fewell's defense is only as good as its pass rush. This is a big key to the game's outcome.
The Eagles seem to have in DeMeco Ryans---at least for now---what the Giants are lacking: a true middle linebacker who is an impact player. The Eagles also have a better secondary defense than the Giants have currently.
At the QB position, the overall stats currently favor Eli Manning as more likely than Michael Vick to play well enough to beat his opposing defense, avoid devastating mistakes and manage his game well enough to win...But something about these rival games with the Eagles brings the worst out in Manning. I don't know what it is exactly. Certainly the Eagles pressure schemes have something to do with it. Maybe it's an emotional reaction to the increased speed of play on the field which seems to manifest in these rival games. I'm open to suggestions...
Last season our own GK Emeritus Brizer pointed out something about the Giants---that when they beat the Eagles 29-16 in Philly last September 25th, even though they were out-manned, out-"dreamed", and slowed by key injuries at the time, they seemed to hustle to the opportunity for big plays. The Giants as a team never quit, even though they looked terrible at times in that game. It was clear to our GK that the Giants "wanted it more" than the Eagles did that day.
I take heart from that observation that "wanting to win" still matters even at the professional level of football. And to me, that is what the Eagles will need to bring most to Sunday night's game if they want to get a leg up on their division rival.
Here are some other key matchups to keep an eye on:
Giants tight end Martellus Bennett vs. Eagles strongside linebacker Mychal Kendricks.
Bennett is rounding into a very good third option for Manning. He’s averaged more than seven targets and five catches per game and has caught a touchdown in each of the first three games. Kendricks had a great game against the Ravens. He was thrown at 11 times but allowed just six catches for 19 yards, yet he took a step back against Arizona with four receptions allowed on four targets for a 10.5 yards per reception and a 110.4 QB rating against...
Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul vs. Eagles left tackle Demetress Bell.
This is a mismatch, a clear, enormous advantage for the Giants. Pierre-Paul has 14 quarterback disruptions with two sacks. Bell had a not-so-good game against Arizona with seven hurries allowed and two penalties. The sheer fact that Bell cannot handle Pierre-Paul alone means the Eagles will have to go with more max protection — possibly limiting the pass-receiving effectiveness of leading receiver TE Brent Celek.
But Andy and Marty have an offensive weapon they may trot out to take the steam out of JPP, Justin Tuck and Osi if the Giants' pass rush gets too heavy. It's called "the halfback wham" — a cutback run designed to exploit the pass-rush-first tendencies of the Giants defensive ends. Expect the Eagles' offense to bounce back against a Giants' defensive attack which is very familiar..and expect Shady McCoy to be a big part of that counter-attack.
See you around 7:00 P.M. EST for the Livefyre Broadcast set-up? I hope so.
Everybody - Don't know if TJack put it on the home page yet but the new blurgg is in the archives for posting.
Palm - Broz is already there crying in his beer (LOL) bout getting beat.
@AbeLinc64 you could have told them nicer than that !!!!!!!
Awesome.... I a 20 minute window to go get some beer before kickoff!!!!!!! We are gonna have an AWESOME DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Aww saaaa -weet.!!!... an Hour till kickoff, dunno about you guys, but feels like I been waiting a WHOLE week for an Eagles game...
@tboned208 You just found that out?
Thought I had you Broz... way to go!
Green Bay D sucks and I think we made Ariz D look better than it is!
Kolb throws an INT looking for Fitz from 2nd and goal at the 2... mercy! Cards hanging on to 1-point lead...
obtw... Dan Teo Nesheim started at DE for the bucs.
Looks like he wasnt that bad of a pick after all.
Did we make them look better?
Woody's anti-Marty rant has reached a fever pitch over at OTI... someone needs to calm Woody down...with a tranquilizer dart.
I like the idea of a well-officiated game by the best refs and umpires and field judges for a change... It sure livens up the pace of the game...which you might think could play into Eagles' favor...just a hunch.
Big game tonight!!!!!11!1
I think Ray Mercer said it bestto sum up this situation when he stated... "When you go into battle... you either die or you live. Right now... I'm living... until I'm dead."
I'm so nervous I could break out in song,...I was born in Brooklyn,.you know,..and no matter who wins tonight,..someone in my family will be angry,..except for Miss Vicky,..who is on leave from me at the moment,..something about an audition with John Bon Jovi?,..ohhhhh,...I know what you're thinking,...