Look Out, Philly, The Champs Are Coming Fast
Believe it or not, regardless of my efforts, the Eagles' beat writers and bloggers have the Eagles winning the Super Bowl hands down—smushing the Giants and all comers without a fight.
That was April. It's almost August now. Let's put some perspective and facts to this...
The Oddsmakers Favor The Giants
It is close between the top three teams. If one were to use the axiom 'put your money where your mouth is", the Eagles are just another team in the mix for the division - not the prohibitive favorite Eagles backers would have you believe with all their stumping since the spring.
DC Roulette - Jim Johnson is Gone
Both the Giants and the Eagles will have new Defensive Coordinators. The Giants promoted linebackers coach Bill Sheridan to DC after Steve Spagnuolo accepted the head coaching job in St. Louis.
The Eagles promoted Sean McDermott, a long-serving defensive assistant to DC this week. McDermott takes over for the ailing Jim Johnson, who is sadly battling cancer.
These developments may change the dynamic of the rivalry. Johnson and Spagnuolo were known for the pressure they bring on the quarterback. Will the philosophies change now that both are gone? Stay tuned.
Osi Umenyiora - The Eagle Killer Returns
He's baaaaack! Remember how much trouble Osi brought to the Eagles' blocking scheme? Well, after missing all of 2008 with an injury, Osi is back and in top form according to sources.
That means trouble for the Eagles, who will now have to choose which Giants DE to double cover—Osi or All-Pro Justin Tuck. Good luck with that one, Marty Mornhinweg.
The Giants' Wide Receiver Corps
No one knows what this motley group is going to shape up to be. New faces all over the place, and not one that gives any defense nightmares - yet.
The Giants' top pick—Hakeem Nicks—reminds people of Michael Irvin. Domenik Hixon is a tough, reliable receiver. Ramses Barden, a 6'6" rookie is built like an NBA power forward, and as nimble. Steve Smith and David Tyree make big catches in big spots.
Sinorice Moss, when healthy, dazzles. Mario Maningham was a first-round pick in-waiting before he decided to enter the NFL Draft as a junior in 2008.
Suddenly, there is news that the Giants are considering bringing back Plaxico Burress should he be cleared to play in 2009.
That would scare some people. Especially Philadelphia, who had problems defending him in the past. They also lost their most physical defender - Brian Dawkins - to free agency this past off-season.
All of these factors are working against the Eagles. Their advantages over the Giants, whatever they were, seem to be disappearing one by one.
John Fennelly is the publisher/founder of blogNYG.com, the fastest-growing fan-based blog in New York sports.