Last night's Falcons/Cowboys game was either a win/win or lose/lose situation for the Eagles, depending on how you looked at it. If the Cowboys won, which they did 38-28, the best the Eagles could come out of today's matchup with the Giants is one game back of the NFC East lead. Of course, if the Falcons lost, which they did, the worst they could do is be tied for a playoff spot. On the other hand, if the Cowboys had lost, and the Eagles win today, the Eagles would've been at the top of the NFC east, holding the tiebreaker, but the Falcons would be right there for the wildcard, tied with the Eagles. I was rooting for the Falcons basically because I hate the Cowboys and I'd rather see the Eagles win the division.
Phil Sheridan has a column today which describes how this game will define the season for both the Eagles and the Giants. Will the Eagles emerge has the gritty team who wouldn't wilt and die when their leader, or will they simply not be able to stop the run, again? Will the Giants overcome shaky play from their quarterback, a pro-bowl calibur running back who's been nothing but a distraction with his impending retirement and whining about not getting enough touches to take the NFC East, or will Eli be smirking at the post-game press conference as he talks about turning the ball over 4 times in a lopsided loss?
A couple things in the Eagles' favor: Strahan's out, Westbrook may be returning punts, which should help in the battle for field position, Elis is definitely the lesser Manning, Garcia hasn't turned the ball over. The main thing going against the Eagles: They still haven't been able to stop the run, at all. This game is going to come down to how effectively the Eagles can stop Tiki Barber. If they take the run away, and make the Giants' offense one-dimensional Eli will make mistakes. The Eagles just need to capitalize.
Prediction: Eagles 27, Giants 17
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