The Eagles will not beat the Giants on Sunday. It’s plain and simple. But according to NFL.com, the Eagles have all the “ingredients” to pull off an upset of the 11-1 Giants.
I am not here to be a cocky Giants fan or to make it sound like the Giants are unbeatable because the Browns proved back on Columbus Day that if you turn the ball over you will lose and that can happen on any given day. But the Eagles are not going to beat the Giants they just aren’t. And since NFL.com is posting an article that makes it seem possible, why don’t we pick apart the different points given by the league’s official site.
“The Eagles are riding high after playing one of their best games of the season on Thanksgiving night. The defense gave Cardinals QB Kurt Warner fits and the offense got untracked as Brian Westbrook scored four touchdowns and Donovan McNabb looked like his old Pro Bowl caliber self.”
The Eagles won in big fashion AT HOME against the Cardinals. The same team that the Giants handled easily ON THE ROAD. But let’s not forget that the Giants played at Arizona on Sunday. Then four days later after being banged up agains the G-Men the Cardinals flew to Philly to take on another NFC East opponent. If you give the Eagles the Arizona schedule, they would be in the playoffs too, so let’s not pretend the Arizona Cardinals are a great football team just because they are the best of the NFC West. And let’s not forget that the same day the Cardinals played the Giants, the Eagles played a couple miles down the road at Baltimore.
“Philadelphia has actually won in three of its last five trips to New York and will be confident after nearly beating the Giants earlier this season.”
Philly has won three of its last five trips to East Rutherford. Who cares? Considering that their last win there came on December, 17, 2006, it is a completely irrelevant stat since both teams have changed drastically since the first of the these three wins, which came on October 19, 2003. Kerry Collins was the QB that day and Eli Manning was still the QB of Ole Miss, so I guess that is relevant to the game Sunday. If you are going to mention that the Eagles have three of five at Giants Stadium, maybe you should add in that the Giants have won three straight against the Eagles, and that the Giants can win no matter where the game is. And I’m glad the Eagles “nearly” beat the Giants. The Giants beat them on the road by five (36-31), which translates into a whole lot more at home in the NFL. And the last time I checked “nearly” beating someone doesn’t matter. A win is a win and a loss is a loss.
“After a season that had gone mostly according to plan for the Giants, they are now facing some serious adversity. Star WR Plaxico Burress accidentally shot himself in the leg at a Manhattan nightclub over the weekend and was subsequently suspended for conduct detrimental to the team.”
When you star defensive player retires (Michael Strahan) and the next coming of that player (Osi Umenyiora) is injured for the year in preseason and your defensive line is left with gaping holes, I think that classifies as adversity. So, when a player who has had very little value to his team that particular season and has already missed three games or 25% of the season to date, I don’t think it is such a big deal to lose that person, especially when the replacement for him (Domenik Hixon) has already proven he is more than capable of handling a significant role in the offense.
I like the attempt by NFL.com to hype the game up and get people to believe in the Eagles. But face it, the Giants just aren’t going to lose at home, not to the Eagles at least.
We are talking about a 6-5-1 football team going on the road to beat a team that is 11-1 and has already beaten the 6-5-1 on their home field. The Eagles got embarrassed by the Ravens two games ago, the same Ravens team that the Giants embarrassed and the Eagles tied the Bengals on the road in the game before that. The same Bengals team that has one win this season.
So while I commend NFL.com for trying to get the city of Philadelphia up for the game and give them a false sense of hope, it is going to take more than Plaxico Burress shooting himself in the leg, when he wasn’t going to play in the game anyways because of a hamstring injury, to bring down the New York Giants.