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GIANTS - EAGLES 2007 WILD CARD GAME
This game is certainly a game between two teams that had much different stretch runs. You have the Giants winning only 2 of their last eight games going up against an Eagles team that has had a rebirth of sorts with QB Jeff Garcia at the helm. The Eagles won 5 straight to end the season and capture the NFC East while most had written the Eagles off when Donovan Mcnabb went down with an injury.
But while the Eagles had a nice stretch run, there's really only one game which stands out. The 23-7 road win over the Cowboys. The other games were a 3 point win over the Panthers, a game which they never led until the 3 minute mark of the 4th quarter. A two point win over the Redskins. Their last game which meant nothing, a touchdown win over the Falcons, and of course their win over these Giants in the Meadowlands, 36-22. But the win over the Giants was much closer than the score indicates. The Giants led that game 22-21 with 6:69 to go in the game. Philly went up by 7 with just under 3 minutes to go and then picked of Manning and took it in for a TD.
The Giants troubles really began on November 26th. They led the Titans 21-0 at the half and looked like they were starting a stretch drive of their own. Then the roof caved in. Vince Young led the Titans back and scored 24 points in the 2nd half to beat the Giants 24-21. That's when the finger pointing kicked into high gear in New York. Even so, they hosted division rival Dallas next, and were tied with the Cowboys with a minute to go, only to lose on a 46 yard field goal as time expired. They then beat the Panthers, and then played the Eagles in the game we described above. They finished up against the Saints at home in a game where they were soundly beaten, and then beat the Skins to get into the playoffs.
So this breaks down as a game between a Philly team that while hot down the stretch, nothing really stands out as eye popping. It's not as if they dominated. They went on a little roll and won a few close games and came up big on the road in Dallas. Going up against a Giants team that, while they lost 6 of 8, most of those games were close and could have gone either way.
These two division rivals are very familiar with each other. In two games this year they managed to hang 112 points on the scoreboard between them. So both teams will be confident that they can move the ball on the other. As in most football games between evenly matched teams, this game will end up going to the team that makes the fewest mistakes. That will be the key. If the Giants play mistake free football, they can play with an other team in the NFC. Of the Giants 8 losses this year, the margin going into the 4th quarter was less than a touchdown in all but two of those games, the Seattle game and the Saints game are the only two games all year where the Giants had no chance to win.
Our number on the game is the Eagles by 6. So, we'll take our chances with the G-Men in a game that figures to be up for grabs when the 4th quarter begins. If Eli Manning can keep from throwing the game away, the Giants can pull the upset here. If all that's not enough, you also have the Sports Illustrated jinx in your favor as well as Jeff Garcia appeared on the cover of the magazine this week.
We're going play this for less than a regular play however. With our regular play for the playoffs being a 3* and an opinion being a 1*, we'll make this one a 2*.
OUR PICK - NY GIANTS +7 (2*)