What an incredible season.
Up and downs. Pitfalls and peaks. A stunning comeback of a team reminiscent of 2002, when our Eagles were led by AJ Feeley to the playoffs.
Now the birds have the Giants this weekend, on Sunday at 4:30pm.
Here's my thoughts on that. First, I think the Giants are a dangerous team. I respect many of their players, and think that in many ways the Giants and Eagles are two very similiar teams, on paper. I think the coaching is completely different. Reid isn't a taskmaster, he has a quiet calm about him. I like that a lot. There is only so long that a coach/parent/teacher/commander can yell at a subordinate until it falls on deaf ears.
Aside from that I think this weekend is anybody's guess. In the last two matchups, I think the Eagles have looked good. I think the Giants win in September was a fluke, more based on stupidity by the Eagles than the Giants beating them outright. I think the recent win by the Eagles in December, the game was a close contest. Eagles didn't make as many bone headed mistakes, and shored up a run defense by playing Tiki very tough.
This weekend has to be the same. Box in Tiki. Force Manning to thow the ball and beat our secondary with his arm. I have no doubt that Manning COULD do that. Plaxico is enormous, i'd just practice about 3 different plays to maximize his height advantage against the birds. Get Shockey the ball across the middle about 10 times in the game - I don't understand why he isn't used more. Eagles would have it much more rough if they did this.
Birds just have to play the same ball they have been playing. I see nothing wrong with our offense. They score points on the ground and in the air. Its a good 50/50 mix of football. I'm all for some trick plays, too. One play i'd like to see is the fake FG that the birds did on 10/15/00 against the Cardinals. It is the play where the holder takes the snap on a FG, flips it behind his shoulder to the kicker, who is already running for the first down. Akers did this play before (albeit with Koy Detmer as the placekicker), but it might be too risky for a playoff game. Who knows?
This is a "Devil You Know". We play the Giants twice a year, and anything can happen when division rivals meet. Barring any major injuries this week or during the game, I think we should be able to dismantle the Giants. A good lesson to learn is the game vs the Falcons - with our system of play, our coaching and using our backup players we still beat a first team offense. That's a very good sign of talented depth to a team. Even if someone gets hurt we have players ready to step in and step up.
Prediction this weekend is that you are going to have an angry, loud crowd at the Linc. Manning and company are going to have a very hard time establishing a rythym. Birds should do what they need to do to win and Eagles sail to a victory 31-23.