At some point on Sunday night, after the Giants players have celebrated their well-earned win over the Vikings, a new reality will set in. The Eagles are waiting. Philadelphia earned their back first-round bye after the week 18 win against the New York Giants. While the story is much deeper than the win, the fact of the matter is that stage has now been set for what could be an entertaining matchup.
The storylines that will flood your social media timelines and national media headlines will be much deeper than this historical rivalry. This game will be a franchise-changing moment for both organizations in a positive way. Both teams entered this season with chips on their shoulders.
The Eagles were coming off an embarrassing blowout loss in last year’s playoffs to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Hurts and the offense struggled to move the ball in his playoff debut but that loss only fueled the Eagles QB to be greater this season.
As for the Giants, they’ve completely reshaped their front office and their coaching staff. New head coach Brian Daboll came in with tunnel vision and rehydrated a franchise that hadn’t won a playoff game since 2011.
Eagles vs Giants, round III
Now, these two division rivals will meet in Philadelphia for what will be the last game for one of these teams. Both teams though will be committing long-term to more than a handful of their players this offseason which will be headlined by Daniel Jones and Jalen Hurts.
Following the quarterbacks will be the running backs. Both, Miles Sanders and Saquon Barkley, had an incredible season even though it was Miles who broke some personal records on his way to this playoff matchup against his close friend and former college teammate.
The strengths of both teams are not only in their QB-RB duo but also in their defensive lines. From Leonard Williams to Javon Hargrave, from Kayvon Thibodeaux to Haason Reddick, the pressure will be on against each offensive line. While the Eagles do boast an incredible pass defense, Daniel Jones is coming off a career game and is seeing the field better than ever.
The big advantage for Philadelphia will be their stud wide receivers. Together, DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown have tallied 1,252 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns in their last six games. The strength of the Eagles’ offense is in the connection between Jalen Hurts and his two dynamic weapons.
While the Eagles are the favorites to win, I would expect a slugfest between New York and Philly. The Giants want to prove that they belong while the Eagles need to prove that they’re still the top dog. Hurts. Jones. Barkley. Brown. Sirianni. Daboll. The stage is set for a date in Philadelphia for the Divisional round.
AP Photo/Chris Szagola