Know your enemy: The Eagles battle the Giants for all the marbles in week 18

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Bills vs giants
New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, left, is greeted by head coach Brian Daboll while leaving during the second half of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

It is must-win football for the Philadelphia Eagles in the season finale. While Eagle and Giant games always have a weird mix to them, the Giants are in an interesting position.

With New York locked into the sixth seed of the NFC playoffs there is plenty of reason for Brian Daboll to sit his starters. There could be quite a few backups facing the Eagles on Sunday.

While the Giants have not fully stated if their starters will play or not, Philadelphia will need a win regardless of who they play. A win would lock up the NFC’s top seed and the NFC East crown.

There is a lot riding on Sunday’s matchup so let’s look into the Eagles’ opponent.

New York Giants (9-6-1)

Last Game: 38-10 win over the Indianapolis Colts

Offensive Ranking: 17th

Defensive Ranking: 24th

Head-to-Head Matchup: Philadelphia leads the all-time series 90-87-2

New York Giants Coaching Staff

Head Coach: Brian Daboll

Offensive Coordinator: Mike Kafka

Defensive Coordinator: Wink Martindale

Special Teams Coordinator: Thomas McGaughey

Offense

Will the Eagles see the Giants starters on Sunday? That will ultimately decide what the scouting report will look like. Tyrod Taylor and even Davis Webb should be seeing sometime and force the Eagles to change some of their defensive skillsets throughout the game.

It will be shocking if the team chooses to play Saquon Barkley and their other top weapons. My expectation would be that Philadelphia’s defense dominates on Sunday against the Giants’ second stringers.

Defense

The Giants may have issues in regards to their defensive injuries, but this is still a talented and frustrating group to play against. Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams are two of the best defensive tackles the Eagles will face this season, and Kayvon Thibodeaux can cause a bevy of problems.

Xavier McKinney and Adoree Jackson are in line to play this week and will probably be the two players most likely to get time on Sunday. What does that mean? It means the Eagles should have an edge along the offensive line.

X-Factor: Daniel Jones

Whether Jones plays will determine if the odds will be in the Eagles’ favor or not. Daniel Jones has played very well this season and has taken care of the football like a franchise quarterback is expected. If he plays, it will make Philadelphia’s task much harder. Pressure will always be a key against a quarterback who runs as much as Jones does, but it’s clear that the Eagles should hope that they don’t have to see any of the Giants’ starters.

AP Photo/Seth Wenig