I'm kinda tired of...

People talking about the playoff's already. We haven't gotten there yet. I'll have some explain this in the best way possible...

Jim Mora playoffs (via rayz0818)

And yes while we have had a unbelievable season and we have a very good chance to make the playoffs as the NFC East champs. This game against the Giants could very well be the season for both the Eagles and Giants. Here are the 5 most important factors in the match up.

1. Eagles D vs Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw

Both RB's have had great games recently. Against a decent run-stopping defense like the Vikings, they had over 200 yards on the ground. Ahmad Bradshaw's numbers are very impressive this year, starting at the beginning of the season but then lost his job to Jacobs. The fist match-up at Philadelphia, the Eagles were very impressive in run-stopping. In the first half, the Eagles had 3 tackle for losses, 10 tackles for less than 10 yards, gave up 2 first downs, and also gave up only 1 run for more than 10 yards. Here is the video from YouTube. 

1st Half Run D Eagles vs Giants (via jimmykempski)

One of the most signification things I noticed is that Steward Bradley was a big factor in run defense in this game. He was either making the tackle or swarming to the ball. In the second half the giants ran considerably less, the Eagles had 4 tackles for less than 10 yards and only allowed 1 first down. Bradshaw has put the ball on the ground often this season as well, so our swarming defense should pounce on any opportunities the Giants give us. For us to win, we need to stop the run like we did the first time, forcing Eli Manning to win the game; bringing me to my second point

2nd Half Run D Eagles vs Giants (via jimmykempski)

2. Shake-up Eli's confidence early!

Eli has had a poor season passing to say the least, giving the opponents the ball 19 times passing (as well as that fumble he gave us the first time :) ). So he will force the football into small windows, especially with two more targets down with Steve Smith out for the year with a bad knee and Mario Manningham with a hip-flexor injury. Hopefully we can get Asante back for the game, who has missed the last couple games with a knee sprain(?). By blanketing Manning's number one target in Nicks, it should be easy pickings for this secondary.

3. DeSean's activity early.

Two of DeSean's most memorable games this year were against the Redskins the second time, and most recently against the Cowboys. Both were huge bombs from Vick that quickly changed the tempo of the game. The first meeting with the Giants was a poor showing, as he was virtually a non-factor. He really hurts us when our best play-maker doesn't show up and the Giants will again key on him. So more crossing routes or curl routes to get DeSean going will make a huge difference. 

4. Field position

I not 100% sure but I'm fairly certain that we had good field position versus the Giants. Against the Cowboys, the Eagles consistently gave the Cowboys offense a long field, which was a huge factor in the game. The special teams units have done well lately, so hopefully the continue their good efforts (minus Calvin). Having the Giant's start drives inside their 20 will force them to pass if we shut down the run early, which could easily equal a pick-6 knowing Eli's decision making passing.

5. Giants DL vs Eagles OL

Protection of Vick this game is crucial. Teams are looking to ruffle up Vick, evident from the last meeting with the Giants as well as the last game vs the Cowboys. Plus Andy is showing a running game, either with Vick scrambling, McCoy carrying the ball or short passes to McCoy (which is a equivalent to running for Reid). The Giants are coming off stopping one of the best backs in Adrian Peterson, so our OL have their work cut out for them.

Prediction: Eagles: 24 Giants: 10

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