The New York Giants (sixth seed) will visit the Philadelphia Eagles (first seed) for an NFC Divisional round matchup this Saturday night in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Here are three reasons for optimism entering the game.
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New York is on a revenge tour this postseason as they now face back-to-back opponents that they lost to during this season. Their first test against the Minnesota Vikings ended up going almost perfectly as Big Blue controlled the game from their opening offensive drive. Now it’s time for New York to get revenge against Philadelphia.
It’s hard to beat any team in the NFL twice, and three times usually proves rather tricky. In the Giants’ last game against the Eagles, they only fell by six points as they played Philidelphia without most of their starters. Now with the team almost fully healthy (only Azeez Ojulari is questionable), New York should be able to get their long-awaited revenge against the Eagles.
Favorable matchup for Saquon
AP Photo/Matt Rourke
While the Eagles have had one of the best defenses in the NFL this season, much of it has to do with how well they defend the air attack with their All-Pro cornerbacks and edge rushers. However, when it comes to defending the run Philidelphia is simply average. The Eagles have allowed 121.6 yards per game on the ground this season making them 17th in the league in this category.
Success for the Giants has come from running the football. In their nine regular season wins, New York has averaged 4.9 rushing yards per attempt and 175.9 rushing yards per game. This is a team that already averages the fourth-highest rushing output (148.2 yards per game) in the NFL and has two 700+ yard rushers in Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley.
With the help of the right playcalling from Mike Kafka, this duo can take advantage of an exposable Eagles rush defense.
AP Photo/John Munson
While many may think Jalen Hurts may be a reason for pessimism, it is not as simple as it looks. The MVP candidate has had a difficult time when it comes to facing the Giants in his career. In six games against Big Blue, Hurts has averaged only 129 passing yards per game with an even touchdown to interception ratio and a mere 72.7 passer rating.
Hurts also has minimal experience in the playoffs as he made his first and only career postseason start last year. In that game, Hurts threw for 258 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions on a 53.5-percent completion percentage.
Now combine all of this with the fact that he has only played one game since his shoulder injury and this makes for a sneaky good matchup for Wink Martindale’s defense.