Phenomenal Previews Presents : The 2009 NFL Playoffs (Divisional Round)
This is a do-or-die game for McNabb, in my opinion. Reid’s already not a fan of his, and both are in jeopardy of being out of Philadelphia. McNabb’s shown two sides to him all season long. He’ll either come out and win you the game, or he’ll get benched. It all depends on his state of mind, apparently.
The Giants are learning how to keep Eli Manning’s morale up by not forcing him to win the game. They’re using their fantastic running game, you know—the one that has two 1,000-yard rushers, to control the clock and keep their defense off the field.
Tough game to decide. Records go out the window in this NFC East match up. I’d expect a blood bath here.
Eagles' Keys to the Game
Stop the Run
Gee, that seems like the theme of the week. Guess it’s kind of important in football. Who knew? Anyway, the Giants have three lethal rushers coming into this game. They lead the league in rushing with 157.4 yards a game. Of those three, none of them average below five yards per carry.
Jacobs (1,089 yards, 5.0 average, 15 Touchdowns) will run over anyone in his way, without mercy. Ward (1025 yards, 5.6 average, 2 Touchdowns) brings a more elusive style to the table. Throw in Bradshaw (355 yards, 5.3 average, 1 Touchdown) and you have a three-headed monster to contend with.
If the Eagles stop the run, the Giants are going to have to rely on Eli Manning, and his somewhat less than stellar group of receivers.
Get Brian Westbrook Involved As Much As Possible
Another no brain-er for the Eagles, they live and breathe on the back of this man. He’s one of the most, if not the most, dynamic backs in football. He can do it all, run, catch and he can probably throw as well as LaDainian Tomlinson too. He’s the heart of his team. He’s the Eagles' playmaker, the one constant that this team has had in years. Get him started, and he doesn’t stop.
Giants' Keys to the Game
Contain Brian Westbrook
Notice that it doesn’t say “stop” him. Because, that’s near impossible. You can stop him on the ground, but that opens up the pass to him and vice verse. Keep Westbrook under 100 total yards, and you’ll keep the Eagles off of the scoreboard.
Run, Run, Run
They don’t need to pass. They need to run the ball every down. Well, okay, not EVERY down, but every down where it’s a viable option. Jacobs up the middle, Ward to the outside, Bradshaw on either. I’d love to see them bring Ward and Jacobs in at the same time, in the same backfield.
Run it, or motion Ward to the slot and throw it. The Eagles defense would have a conniption.
Eagles 17, Giants 14