The Philadelphia Eagles are hosting the New York Giants at Lincoln Financial Field in the final week of the 2022 NFL regular season. It’s a big game for the Birds with the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoff picture available to them win a win or tie. The G-Men, meanwhile, have nothing to gain or lose in this game.
In order to preview this Week 18 matchup, I reached out to our enemies over at Big Blue View. The excellent Ed Valentine took the time to answer my questions about this upcoming battle. Let’s take a look at the answers. [For my answers to Ed’s questions about the Eagles, stay tuned to BBV.]
Our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook have all of the odds for this week’s games.
1 - Everyone is wondering if the Giants will rest starters against the Eagles. Will they? Should they?
Brian Daboll has been non-committal about that. I suspect how the Giants will handle Sunday will become clearer as the week goes along. I just have to say that it is an incredible twist that the Giants are in the playoffs with nothing to play for Sunday, and the Eagles have so much on the line.
Giants fans romanticize the memory of Tom Coughlin playing starters Week 17 against the 16-0 Patriots and nearly winning that game, something that helped springboard their Super Bowl run. Daboll said Monday that something that happened in 2007 has nothing to do with what he will do, and that his decision will be based solely on what is good for the GIANTS.I think you will see a mix. I think a guy like Leonard Williams, who is nursing an injury, won’t play. I would not at all be surprised if the Giants treat it a bit like a preseason game, where players like Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, Dexter Lawrence, Andrew Thomas and a few others make ‘cameo’ appearances and then call it a day. I would be fine with that. I agree with Daboll — the Giants need to do what is best for the Giants.
2 - For the sake of this question, let’s pretend that we know the Giants are going all out to win on Sunday. What gives you the most confidence they’d be able to pull off the upset?
I don’t know that I would be ‘confident’ even if the Giants go all out. I will say this — the Giants have played much better the past three weeks than they did in the 48-22 blowout loss to the Eagles a few weeks back. Saquon Barkley is healthier. They have gotten a few other players back. And, I think it’s apparent the Eagles have not been playing as well since that game. Also, all the pressure on Sunday is on the Eagles. The Giants can just play with no fear of consequences. The Eagles can’t do that.
3 - Who wins this game and why? With DraftKings Sportsbook listing the Eagles as 14-point favorites, what’s your score prediction?
I think ultimately the Eagles win this game. They simply have more to play for and, in the end, my guess is the Giants opt for trying to get through the game without getting any of their top guys banged up.
4 - What do you think the ceiling is for this Giants season? How far can they go in the playoffs?
In all honesty, this season has already been a massive success for the Giants. They had five straight double-digit loss seasons before this. I think they are playing with house money at this point and have everything to gain and nothing to lose in the playoffs.
Now, how far can they go? I think the current matchups, with the Giants facing Minnesota, give them a chance to win a game. The Giants lost to the Vikings, 27-24, on a last-second 61-yard field goal a couple of weeks ago. I do not care about Minnesota’s fancy 12-4 record, I don’t believe the Vikings are better than the Giants. So, that game is a tossup.Honestly, I believe the Giants can play with the Cowboys, too. Can they win? I don’t know. I think it would be a monumental upset for the Giants to beat the 49ers or an Eagles team with a healthy Hurts in the playoffs.
In the end, I think it’s a massive accomplishment for the Giants to actually win a playoff game this season.
5 - How would you rank the nine teams in the NFC playoff picture from least threatening to most threatening entering the postseason? (Listed in order of current standings: Eagles, 49ers, Vikings, Buccaneers, Cowboys, Giants, Seahawks, Lions, Packers)
2) Eagles (Only because of the health questions about Jalen Hurts. They’re No. 1 if he’s 100 percent.)
4) Buccaneers (I will never take Tom Brady lightly in the playoffs, even though the Bucs are really a so-so team.)
5/6) Vikings/Giants or Giants/Vikings. I think that’s a tossup, honestly.