Eight teams remain in the NFL Playoffs, and your Philadelphia Eagles are one of them. The Birds begin their quest for the franchise’s second Super Bowl title on Saturday night when the rival New York Giants come to town, fresh off an upset of the Minnesota Vikings in the Wild Card round.
Will the Eagles complete the first leg of the three-win journey to a title? Or will a thrilling fall that an invested and devoted fanbase didn’t really see coming but enjoyed the bejeezus out of anyway – a developing theme around these parts – fizzle out at the hands of Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley?
John hasn’t quite clinched the title yet, but he’s right on the cusp. Will it be this week, or will Joe hang on?
John (8-5-5): This will be closer than we want it to be, but the Eagles are in position to regain their mojo with a playoff win.
Look for Hurts to hit A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith in the end zone, helping the Birds get one step closer to the Super Bowl. Eagles 28, Giants 21.
Offensive Standout: A.J. Brown
Defensive Standout: Brandon Graham
Joe (5-8-5): It’s true, John is right on the edge of clinching the title. But the Eagles were right on the edge of clinching the top seed for the better part of a month and it took them until the final game, so…
Of course, they took care of business in that final game, but that’s probably the most generous way to describe it. A Giants team that wasn’t all that interested in doing anything other than getting out of South Philly in one piece made a game of it, but it ended up being too little too late.
That won’t be the case on Saturday; the Giants are going to play for real. But so are the Eagles, and the Eagles, quite simply, are better. Significantly better.
If the best team always won, we wouldn’t bother with playoffs, so it’s not a done deal. But if Lane Johnson is back and at something like 75% of his normal self, and Jalen Hurts’ shoulder is two weeks healthier, and both Shane Steichen and Jonathan Gannon have gotten it out of their system and are prepared to take things seriously, the Eagles should be fine.
(Yes, it’s the last thing that I’m least confident in.)
I feel like John is hedging here, and I have to go a different way just to try to win. But I actually believe it this time; I think we see some big flashes of that potent offense early, the Eagles get a lead, and then Daniel Jones sees nothing but Haason Reddick, Javon Hargrave, and the Lincoln Financial Field turf for much of the night. Eagles 31, Giants 13.
Offensive Standout: DeVonta Smith
Defensive Standout: Haason Reddick