So we have another fun game against the Giants upcoming which should tell us something of where we're headed as a team in 2009. And once again, first place in the NFC East is at stake. So how in the world do the Eagles pull this one out? First off, throw everything these teams have done to date out the window. Its completely meaningless really, because these guys play to the wire every time they meet, regardless of where the game is played. The Eagles have reason to be optimistic, and also reason for concern. Heres why.
Even though the Giants young receivers have played well, they still haven't completely filled the void of Plax. He just used to kill the Eagles secondary with his size. I'm expecting Samuel, Brown, and Mikell to have the edge here over Smith and Manningham. Also, Kevin Boss has been quiet this year (only 14 catches in 7 games), so I'm also expecting Jordan and Witherspoon to win a majority of those battles. The Giants have a great one-two punch with Jacobs and Bradshaw, and while I always thought Jacobs was a bit overrated, the guys need to wrap up and tackle low (as LaRon Landry will tell you). This should also be a great challenge for Sean McDermott, who is faced with trying to get into the head of Manning with his blitz package. This will go a long way in determining the outcome.
Now offensively, I think most of Eagles nation is concerned with our offensive line playing against one of the game's most formidable front sevens. Peters and Justice will need an excellent effort against Osi and Tuck if they hope to keep Donovan on his feet and give us a chance to expose a struggling secondary. The last two outings haven't been good for the men up front, so if there is ever a game to bounce back, here it is. The Giants defense has shown you can run against them, so we'll see how long Andy and Marty stick with the run.
Overall, this will be an enormous challenge for both sides, with the victor earning first place in the division (for this week anyway). I'm looking forward to what is always one of the league's classic battles.