As I type this, it’s Thursday morning just before 6am. No, I haven’t had my coffee. But that doesn’t matter; I’m still absolutely fired up. Why? Because there is absolutely no way that the Giants hang with the Eagles on Sunday. I know it’s the playoffs, and I know it’s a divisional opponent, and I know they just took down the 13 win Vikings last weekend on the road. None of that matters when they walk into Lincoln Financial Field Saturday to play the top seeded birds. When you look at the two rosters, you’d be hard pressed to find a single spot where the Giants are clearly better than the Eagles. Philly is better in just about every facet of the game, and that puts them in prime position to move on to the NFC Championship Game. Don’t worry, though. This isn’t just a gut feel thing. The numbers tell you the same thing as the eye test.
Let’s start with the seeding. In the history of 1 seeded NFL teams playing 6 seeds, David has only knocked off Goliath a total of 6 times since the playoffs expanded back in 1990. It’s an absolute rarity, one that you rightfully shouldn’t be expecting on Sunday. In fact, 1 seeds more often lose in the Super Bowl (29.0% of the time) than lose in the Divisional round (25.8% of the time). The birds are almost 2 times more likely to make it to the Super Bowl than they are to lose in the Divisional Round, regardless of opponent. Historically, 1 seeds are juggernauts when it comes to their first playoff games, and that should inspire even more confidence when it comes to Saturday night’s matchup with New York.
Ok, so the numbers look good overall, but any given Sunday, right? Maybe this Giants team is not your typical 6 seed? Not so fast there my friend. The numbers on this year’s Giants team’s performance should push you even further towards confidence for Jalen Hurts and company. First of all, the Eagles have already downed the Giants twice this year, and statistically, that makes them more likely to win against New York again (despite the common saying that it’s tough to beat a team 3 times in a year, which is a misnomer). But even outside of the head to head matchups between these two sides, the numbers look favorable for Philly. The Giants have the 15th ranked pass defense in football, and the 27th ranked rushing defense. They are mediocre at best on the defensive side of the ball, and the offense isn’t much better. New York is the 27th ranked passing offense in the NFL this season, and but the 4th best rushing offense. Ok, so they can run the ball. They’re bad at just about everything else, making them 1 dimensional. 1 dimensional teams do not have extended playoff success in the modern NFL.
Maybe the most comforting stat of all, though, is the Giants’ point differential this season. They are at a cool -6 point differential, which normally indicates just about a .500 team. Oh wait, that’s right! At 9-7, that is what the New York Giants are. They are mediocre, and they are playing well, but the Cinderella story does not hold up when that glass slipper gets smashed by a better team. The Philadelphia Eagles are the better team. There’s no reason to be afraid of the New York Giants whatsoever. The birds are winning this game, and the numbers should give you all the confidence you need.