The Eagles aren’t the matchup the Giants want

Brian WestbrookTom Coughlin and the New York Giants aren’t going to admit it (at least not publicly), but the Philadelphia Eagles weren’t the matchup they wanted for their first playoff game.

Thanks to Donovan McNabb’s 300-yard passing day, Brian Westbrook’s 71-yard touchdown reception off a screen pass and Jim Johnson’s blistering defense, the Eagles beat the Minnesota Vikings 26-14 in their Wild Card playoff game Sunday at the Metrodome.

Had the Vikings won, the Giants would be hosting the Arizona Cardinals next weekend – the same Arizona Cardinals that have played like complete crap on the East Coast all season. But thanks to the Philly’s victory, the G-Men “lucked out” and get the sixth-seeded Eagles. They luck out by getting a team that has already beaten them once at Giants Stadium, has a seasoned playoff quarterback in McNabb, a secondary that rivals any defensive backfield in the league, and will face a defense that blitzes more than Chris Berman stutters through a highlight.

Even though the Eagles have largely been inconsistent this season, they aren’t your typical sixth-seeded playoff team. That said, Philly has to do a better job against the run next week because unlike the Vikings, the Giants have a quarterback in Eli Manning that can make plays in the passing game.

The Eagles allowed Minnesota to rush for 148 total yards and were gashed by a 40-yard Adrian Peterson touchdown run. If they can’t stop the Giants’ dynamic rushing game, Manning will likely strike for big plays via the pass. Philly definitely has the edge in terms of their secondary vs. the Giant wideouts, but it won’t matter if the Eagle safeties have to sell out to stop the run every play and leave the corners on an island. Eventually Manning will pick them apart.

Again though, there’s no doubt the Giants would have rather faced the Cardinals and allowed the Carolina Panthers to take their chances with the Eagles. But with Philly’s win, fans are treated to an NFC East clash with everything on the line. And what makes this matchup even more compelling is that both of these teams know each other so well. It’s going to make for a great week leading up to the contest, and the game itself will likely live up to expectations.

Next weekend couldn’t get here soon enough.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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