For Eagles it should be “No Excuses Week”
by John Kincade
The Eagles finally learned their first round opponent late on Sunday afternoon. The Giants going to Minnesota and winning sends them to Philadelphia on Saturday night for the Divisional Round Playoff. It will be the third matchup for the two teams this season. What that third matchup means should give Eagles fans more confidence. Unfortunately too many of our listeners and callers seem spooked by the proposition of facing the Giants. It annoys me to no end. Please, low me to explain.
Here are the facts for you. In the NFL Playoffs since the league expanded to 32 teams the home team wins 59% of the time. So let me help you feel better about it. When a team won both regular season games and hosts the playoff game they have won 68% of the time. You are much more likely to win a home playoff game AFTER beating a team twice in the regular season than if you hadn’t. So the ridiculous “it’s hard to beat a team 3 times in a season” caller needs to be stopped immediately.
The trepidation for many going into the game seems to focus on the health of Jalen Hurts and Lane Johnson. That is fully understandable and is at least based in logic. We learned that the Johnson injury was not as severe as initially reported so that is fantastic news. How he plays through pain and if that affects his performance is yet to be seen. Thankfully the Giants are not a team with a ferocious pass rush so Lane will have a week to get back in the swing of things before a potential NFC Title Game. The Hurts injury is what it is. He is going to have to play through pain and manage it. What he can’t do is be operating in a severely limited game plan or turning the ball over. The Eagles need to have a crisp, efficient and balanced game plan.
The Giants are a nice upstart story and a team that I have a lot of respect for. Brian Daboll looks like a home run hire and there are similarities between last years Eagles and his squad. His team won a playoff game and was the 6 seed so he actually had a superior rookie campaign to Nick Sirianni. Expect the Eagles rivalry with the Giants to heat up over the next few years. This game is being played this year and that should be great news for the Eagles.
The Eagles are touchdown plus favorites and playing at home after a bye week. Those are huge advantages. When Jalen Hurts started the Eagles were 14-1. The Eagles faced the Giants in December when both teams were still playing for something unlike the Week 18 meeting. That game was a complete domination. The Eagles wide receivers ran wild and Dallas Goedert didn’t even play. The Giants have trouble covering receivers, let along a huge tight end target.
in summary, it’s Tuesday but it should be considered a No Excuses Week. Don’t spin it any other way. The Eagles should be heavy favorites and they should win this game. Don’t spin this game any other way. If you don’t believe in the Eagles chances, you watched this season and were not convinced. I was. I refuse to buy into these boogie man scenarios. The better and far more talented team should win. If they don’t, it was a huge failure.