The Philadelphia Eagles (14-3), who have already beaten the New York Giants (9-7-1) twice this season, will fight to make it three on Saturday in the NFC Divisional Round. While the first two wins got Philadelphia the No. 1 seed, a win in this game will get the Eagles a spot in the NFC Championship Game.
The Giants are coming into this game after defeating the Minnesota Vikings 31-24 in the Wild Card Round, a victory which avenged a three-point Christmas Eve loss as well as handed the Vikings their first loss in a one-score game all year. As this NFC East rivalry fires up for the 183rd time, Philadelphia will count on quarterback Jalen Hurts to lead them to an important victory.
Series Record: This is the 183rd meeting between these two division rivals. The Philadelphia Eagles are 92-88-2 overall and 2-0 this season.
5 Keys to the Game
1. Can the Eagles stop the Giants' running game?
The Giants averaged 148.2 yards on the ground in the regular season, good for fourth in the NFL. The Eagles' defense allowed 121.6 yards per game which ranked 16th in the NFL. Saquon Barkley paced the Giants with 295 carries for 1,312 yards.
The Giants ran the ball 30 times for 142 yards against the Minnesota Vikings in the Super Wild Card Round and will look to use Barkley as well as quarterback QB Daniel Jones in much the same way. If Philadelphia can stop the run game, it can rely on its top-ranked pass defense (179.8 yards).
2. Can the Eagles force the Giants' offense into turnovers?
The Eagles were tied for fourth in the league with 27 takeaways. The Giants' offense only gave the ball up on 16 occasions which ranked second in the NFL. If Philadelphia can get into the backfield and cause turnovers from Jones, the Eagles' offense can get into a rhythm and control the pace of the game.
3. Can the Eagles run the ball and avoid the Giants' pass rush?
While the Giants were fourth in the NFL with 148.2 yards rushing, the Eagles were fifth with 147.6 yards per game.
The Eagles have a multi-headed run game with Miles Sanders and Kenneth Gainwell both getting involved alongside quarterback Jalen Hurts. Going against the New York Giants' run defense which ranked 27th at 144.2 yards per game, Philadelphia will need to run effectively to avoid the pass rush of Dexter Lawrence, Leonard Williams, and Kayvon Thibodeaux.
4. Can the Eagles keep the Giants out of the end zone?
If the Eagles want to feel comfortable in this game, they must be able to stop the red zone offense of the Giants and hold them to field goals.
In the Super Wild Card Round win against the Minnesota Vikings, the Giants scored touchdowns on 3 of 4 opportunities inside the 20-yard line. Jones was 24-of-35 for 301 yards against Minnesota. On top of this, he was able to run the ball for 78 yards on 17 carries. Preventing this type of production will be a key factor for a Philadelphia victory.
5. Will the Eagles be able to get to Daniel Jones?
The Eagles were able to sack the QB 70 times in the 2022 season. With 4 players getting over 10 sacks for the first time in NFL history, it was a truly historic season indeed. With the ability of Jones to run for first downs and touchdowns, the Eagles' pass rush will need to keep him contained in the pocket.
Haason Reddick and company will not just need to worry about a 1,000-yard rusher in Barkley, the unit must also make sure to get to Jones and avoid being hurt by his rushing acumen.
In every corner of Philly, you can tell it's playoff week! Check out the best photos from both the team AND the city's preparations for Saturday's game against the Giants.
6: There were six Eagles standouts who made the All-Pro team. RT Lane Johnson and C Jason Kelce were named to the first team. QB Jalen Hurts, WR A.J. Brown, Edge Haason Reddick, and CB James Bradberry were all named to the second team.
70: The Eagles' defense was able to sack the opposing QB 70 times this season. Four separate players had double-digit sacks for Philadelphia, with Reddick leading the way with 16, tied for second most in the league.
1,496: A.J. Brown, in his first season with the Philadelphia Eagles, broke the franchise record for receiving yards previously held by Mike Quick (1,409). With 88 receptions for 1,496 yards and 11 TD, Brown has shown to be the receiver Philadelphia hoped it was acquiring when trading with the Tennessee Titans during the 2022 NFL Draft.
1,269: Miles Sanders broke the 1,000-yard rushing threshold this season. He was fifth in the NFL with 1,269 rushing yards and complemented this with 11 TDs.
Edge LB Haason Reddick vs. LT Andrew Thomas
This matchup is a showdown between 2 of the top players at their respective positions.
After being drafted No. 4 overall by the New York Giants in 2020, New York hoped it had its left tackle of the future. In becoming a second-team All-Pro this season, Thomas has rewarded those hopes.
Haason Reddick, a second-team All-Pro in his own right, led the Eagles and was tied for second in the NFL with 16 sacks. The Camden, New Jersey native and Temple alum had his best year as a pro – his first with the Eagles – and looks to continue this against one of the best linemen in the NFL in 2022.