The Philadelphia Eagles come off of a huge momentum win on Monday Night Football, winning big against the Washington Redskins. Now turning to week 11, the Eagles have to shift their focus to another division rival, the New York Giants.
Both the Eagles and the Giants are tied for first place in the NFC East, and the winner of this game is going to become number one and take an indefinite lead in the playoff race. This is a huge game for both teams, and it could have playoff implications.
The Eagles get the home field advantage, and you can put money down that it will be loud and rocking in Philadelphia. There are few things that work better in Philadelphia than, the Eagles playing a Sunday game at home, and coming off of a big win.
Here are five keys to the Eagles winning the game:
The Giants lost a heartbreaker at home to the then, 1-7 Dallas Cowboys. This was clearly a big hit to the recently named, best team in the NFC. The Giants were outplayed on all sides of the ball and it clearly showed. This was a double whammy due to the fact that it was a rivalry game, and at home.
As to the Eagles, who have just come off of a huge rivalry win, on the road. So the Eagles head back to Philadelphia all smiles, and have a huge amount of momentum in their favor. The Eagles are also on a two game winning streak, and look to move that up to three.
The Giants are fighting to regain that momentum, and that is never an easy thing to do on the road. Especially when you have a tough rival opponent. The Eagles have a severe advantage in this category, and they are going to look to blow past the Giants and get their NFC East first place title back.
When Eli Manning has time to throw the ball, he will burn your defense. There is really no other way to put it. Even though Manning's receiving corps are a banged up, he will still be able to find the open man and get big yards.
Manning was dropped quite a few times against a really poor, Dallas Cowboys pass rush. I don't see how the Eagles and Trent Cole could have any problem dragging him down. However, in the Eagles vs Redskins game, even though the Eagles defense played well, there was really not much pressure on McNabb.
That has to change if the Eagles want to pick up the win.
Eli Manning is really similar to Peyton Manning. In the way, that you want to keep him on the sideline and not allow him to get in an offensive groove. Manning has the ability to get on the field, use up a ton of time and still score.
The Eagles need to run the ball more than usual, and keep Manning on the bench. The more time the Eagles have possession, is less time than Manning can burn them.
Last week, the Eagles experienced their first taste of Jerome Harrison, and I can see him being a really valuable player in the Eagles organization. Especially in this Giants game. The Eagles need a big physical back that can power and smash through to keep the clock moving.
Harrison is a nice blend of power/speed and I see him getting a lot of carries in this game.
Last week, Sean McDermott decided to pull a page from the Jim Johnson manual, and that page happened to be blitzing. The Eagles were running the blitz almost every down, and although they were not getting to McNabb, they were forcing him to make mistakes.
The same will go for the Eagles when they play the Giants. Not only will blitzing help stop Bradshaw out of the backfield, it will also help the Eagles get more pressure on Manning. If the Eagles defense can continue their success with blitzing, it should help stop Manning from throwing to an open receiver on every single play.
The Eagles should have no problem covering the Giants WR's, seeing how Steve Smith is injured and the Eagles secondary has been playing on such a high level. If the Eagles secondary can back up the blitz, Manning could have a really hard time doing anything this game.
Michael Vick had a record shattering game against the Redskins. It was awesome to watch as an Eagles fan, and as someone who supports Vick. But, I have this fear that the bulk of Philadelphia fans are expecting Vick to come out on Sunday and have an even better game than last week.
The thing is, that performance is not going to happen again this season. That was the one game where everything just, clicked. Vick had no problem doing anything that game and he was able to tear up the defense. It was an amazing performance.
This is the Giants. The Giants have a great defense, and they are ranked very high in almost every single category. Vick will not be able to post up the same numbers as he did last week, against a mediocre and aging Redskins defense.
But! Vick can come out of the gates and play like an NFL QB. If Vick can continue his success and have solid numbers, there is no need for him to have games like his last. Vick is a great athlete and that last game was something amazing, but Philadelphia can't start holding him to such a high standard.
My guess is that the Giants are still a little sore that they lost a game to the Dallas Cowboys, and there play is going to show it. The Eagles have a huge momentum advantage this game and I'm expecting an easy Eagles victory.
My Prediction: Giants- 28 Eagles- 38