With their victory over the 13-win Minnesota Vikings, the New York Giants showed that they could hold their own against the finest in the league. Now in the NFL Divisional Round, the Giants travel to the City of Brotherly Love to take on the top-seeded Philadelphia Eagles. With this game, the Giants and Eagles will now play each other five times in the playoffs. Each club has triumphed twice. This is going to be a great rubber match for a spot in the NFC Championship Game. That said, let’s look at our bold predictions for the Giants as they face the Eagles.
The Eagles have had a strong record against the Giants since 2013, winning 16 out of 20 regular season games. They even recently defeated the Giants in Week 18 with a score of 22-16, while the Giants sat out most of their starters. In Week 14, the Eagles also won with a score of 48-22, which is seen as a more accurate representation of the teams’ strengths. We’ll see if this third meeting will be much closer than that game.
For our Giants-Eagles preview and full Divisional playoff predictions, listen below:
Keep in mind that the Giants have had mixed results since December 11, with a record of 3-2. However, they have been getting healthier and their offense has improved. This game will be a big test for them, as it is the furthest they have gone in the playoffs since 2011. The season has already been considered a success, but a win on Saturday night would be absolutely ballistic.
That said, here are four predictions for the Giants in the playoffs as they face the Eagles in the Divisional Round.
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Gearing up for the divisional round 😤 pic.twitter.com/soPeTnITy8
— New York Giants (@Giants) January 18, 2023
4. Saquon Barkley balls out
New York RB Saquon Barkley had a standout performance in the Giants’ Wild Card win over the Vikings. He amassed 109 yards from scrimmage and scored two touchdowns. He ran the ball nine times for 53 yards, scoring a 28-yard run in the first quarter and a 2-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Barkley also caught 5-of-6 targets for 56 yards. Despite Daniel Jones leading the team in rushing yards, Barkley made the most of his carries and proved to be a crucial asset for the team’s win.
In the next round, he will face the Eagles, who limited him to only 48 yards from scrimmage in their previous meeting. Remember, though, that Barkley is one of the best running backs in the league. He had a successful regular season, finishing with 1,312 rushing yards and 1,650 yards from scrimmage. Take note as well that the Eagles kind of struggle against pass-catching RBs. We expect him to ball out here. He should put up 100+ yards plus one touchdown.
3. Giants receivers cool down
In their win over the Vikings, Isaiah Hodgins caught 8-of-9 targets for 105 yards and a touchdown. He recorded his first career 100-yard performance and scored a touchdown for the fifth time in his last six games. However, he is currently limited in practice due to an ankle injury.
Meanwhile, Darius Slayton caught four targets for 88 yards in the same game. He provided the Giants with big plays but faces a tough matchup against the Eagles in the next round. For his part, Richie James caught just four targets for 31 yards in the Wild Card Round.
Keep in mind that the Eagles secondary is one of the best in the league. Couple that with Hodgins’ status, and this Giants receiver corps will struggle here. We have these three guys combining for just 80 yards in this game.
2. Daniel Jones holds his own
Giants QB Daniel Jones had an impressive game against the Vikings last weekend. He had 301 yards, two touchdowns, and a game-high 78 rushing yards. He led the Giants to their first playoff win in 11 years. It’s clear that Jones has greatly improved under first-year head coach Brian Daboll.
However, he will now face the Eagles defense, which led the league in sacks (70). Philly’s pass rush made it difficult for him in their previous matchup at MetLife Stadium, where he was sacked four times in a blowout defeat. In order to be successful in this game, the Giants offensive line must protect Jones like never before. Remember, however, that the Giants o-line has been inconsistent throughout the season. We expect Jones to get wrapped up no less than thrice in this game.
That said, Jones can still hurt the Eagles in a few ways. His arm has been solid, yes, but his feet have been better. We expect him to carry the Giants ground game alongside Barkley. As such, we have Jones putting up a total of 250+ yards with one touchdown. He will hold his own despite getting sacked a ton again.
1. Giants put up a fight
A key aspect of coach Brian Daboll’s game plan here will be to contain the Eagles’ strong rushing attack. That’s led by Philly RB Miles Sanders and star QB Jalen Hurts. They are also supported by a well-rested offensive line. If the Giants can slow down the Eagles run game, they may have a chance to win and move on to the NFC Championship round. However, if Jalen Hurts is at full strength and comes out strong, the Giants may struggle to stop the Eagles at all.
Remember that in the regular season, the Eagles had a 16-point average lead over the Giants in their meetings. On the flip side, the Giants have comfortably settled into the role of underdogs. They will certainly make things difficult for the Eagles.
Of course, the Eagles have a strong home-field advantage. They were 7-2 at the Lincoln Financial Field during the regular season. That gives them an edge here. The Giants will put up a good fight, but ultimately the Eagles are expected to come away with the win. They will be carried by Hurts, Sanders, and their wickedly excellent defensive line.