It’s kind of hard to believe that the Super Bowl defending New York Giants are playing the basement-dwelling Philadelphia Eagles and doing a lot of praying over three other games today just in the hopes of making a wild card spot in the playoffs. But here they are, at home, hoping to send Philly back down the NJ Turnpike and over the Ben Franklin Bridge to wait and see what shakes out next season.
What won’t be shaking out: Andy Reid and Mike Vick.
Reid, who was told prior to the season that another 8-8 year would be unacceptable, fell well-below the bar that owner Jeff Lurie set and will most likely be job hunting. Vick, who lost his starting position to rookie Andy Foles, will be playing what most likely will be his last game as an Eagle today. In his first start since leaving with a concussion back in November, Vick will line up behind center, thanks to Foles and his broken hand.
Vick vs. Eli Manning. We remember how this panned out earlier this year. Late, fourth-quarter drive, Vick gets within field goal range, Eagles go up 19-17, Manning responds, gets the ball into Eagle territory, missed field goal as time expires.
Some of the superstitious Eagles fans and stats geeks could probably tell you that since late in the 2008 season, the Giants are 1-for-9 versus the Eagles. Since Vick joined the Eagles, the Eagles are 3-1 versus the Giants.
So why are the Giants not overly anxious about this game? Well, they are 5-2 at home this year. Giants coach Tom Coughlin said in a press conference, “Our fans are here. We’re expected to play in front of our fans, and I hope that engenders the same kind of result this Sunday.”
Manning seemed more concerned about the other teams’ performances than how he’s going to beat a resolved Philly team. “Obviously the scenarios are very possible,” he said. “It’s not like a bunch of huge upsets have to happen.” In that statement, he was referring to the Vikings-Packers and Bears-Lions games. New York needs Viking and Bear losses. They will also be watching the Washington-Dallas game tonight. If the Skins win, the Giants are in.
One thing Eli may not be counting on is the fact that Vick is looking for a home. He’s going to showcase his better stuff today. And for this reason, I’m picking the Eagles over the Giants.