Thursday, January 8, 2009
Why The Giants should not fear the reap-er, Eagles
1. Rest. The Giants needed to get healthy. Actually, that's a dumb thing to say. This time of year, every team needs to get healthy. But the Giants DID get healthy. More so than the Eagles. The bye week gave key players like Jacobs, Boss, Ross, and Robbins a chance to heal up as much as anyone can this time of year. Other than our top pass rusher (Osi) and our top receiver (he of the self inflicted flesh wound) this team is basically healthy for the stretch run. In related news, Brian Westbrook didn't practice this week.
2. The Eagles aren't that good. Let's say that Oakland loses to Tampa Bay during the final week of the season. You know where that puts the Eagles? The team that would have gotten in to the playoffs but for a loss to the lowly Redskins. The Redskins had two wins in the final 8 games of the season. One of them was to the Seahawks. The other was vs. the Eagles. Oh, and the Eagles scored 3 points that game. All of this is to say that the Eagles are amazingly streaky, up one week, down the next. And in case anyone has missed it, the Eagles have been up the last two weeks...
3. The Giants are that good. And no one's saying it. The Patriots invented the "no respect" card, but it's now the Giants' turn to use it. (Props to White Boy, last year for saying "I don't mind the Patriots going undefeated; they're that good, and everyone knows it. I just don't want to hear them say 'no one thought we could do it.'") Everyone and their mother is saying that this is going to be the closest game of the weekend or the game most likely headed for an upset. That's quite a slap in the face to a defending Super Bowl Champion with home field throughout the playoffs playing a 6 seed, no? And the pundits may be right about the close game, but you have to think that the Giants are noticing this and using it for motivation. Then again, if the fact that it's a playoff game against a team that torched you isn't enough to motivate you, maybe it's time to take it easy and sit out a few plays.
4. Antonio Pierce has learned to play with an indictment hanging over his head. So the Giants have that going for them, which is nice.
5. This isn't your Jim Fassel Giants. Death, taxes, and a flat Giants team during the first week after the bye week. That's what the Giants were guaranteed from 1997-2003. But Tommy Coughlin Giant teams don't come out flat after the bye. Well ok, they did last year, but that was Dallas. And they may have come out flat in years past, who knows. But this year? Giants 44, Seattle 6. So yeah, I'll trust Tommy C. with an extra week. He aint Jim Fassel, and more importantly, he ain't Wade Phillips.
6. Usually, these games are lopsided. I don't have time to research or anything like that, but there's always at least 2-3 games during the divisional playoff weekend that have an obscene score, something like 38-3. That will happen when a wildcard team that is lucky to get into the playoffs has to go and play one of the top 2 teams in the league which is real rested.
The Pick:Giants. And it won't be close. 27-7 Giants.
Baltimore (+3) over TENNESSEE 16-13
CAROLINA (-10) over Arizona 31-14
PITTSBURGH (-6) over San Diego 20-13