You need not be a rocket scientist to already understand that we will likely be facing the Eagles. Having just seen Minnesota up close and personal, barely losing to them in the home advantage stadium without ~half of our roster, we were not impressed. Nor was the betting public, who make the Eagles a -3 FG FAVORITE IN MINNESOTA. As long as the Eagles show up, which they will, they will beat this team. They are perfectly suited for Tarvaris Jackson. Jim Johnson will disguise their looks and throw the blitz at this turnover machine. Jackson will get eaten up, make enough mistakes and the Eagles will head to the Meadowlands. If for some inexplicable reason the Eagles pull a boner (the worst enemy of Andy Reid is Andy Reid) and somehow lose to the Vikings, then all the more power to the Giants… Just expect the Eagles.
We will have plenty of time to analyze another Eagles-Giants matchup on Jan 11th. But for now all we will say is that the NY Giants’ chances for seeing the Vikings again this season is nil.
On the other side of the bracket, the Falcons fly into Phoenix for a game with the Arizona Cardinals. I am sure you are not shocked to find that the Falcons are road favorites there too, -3. The rookie QB will have his moment in the sun, probably beat AZ (but I do believe AZ has a better shot of an upset than MINN does vs the Eagles), and then get his NFL wakeup call vs the Carolina Panthers.
So without getting too far ahead of ourselves, the joy of the bye is that you can fairly see how straightforward the path to the Super Bowl is. Probably face the Eagles. Probably face the Panthers. For those of you who are waving your finger at me for getting the gmen too far ahead of themselves, the Giants have been around the block enough times to know not to look past WHOEVER they face two weekends from now. All we are saying here is that this is not Everest. This is the NFL is 2008, and there is no one who the Giants are not capable of beating. If the Giants should face the Eagles and/or Panthers and lose to either one of them, they are not deserving of ANY consideration. But if the Giants play their hand properly, heal up, take one game at a time, properly game plan each opponent and play with the urgency of the playoffs, the Giants will be more than ready to not only get to the Super Bowl but go all the way. We predicted a Super Bowl victory for the Giants after the Eagles loss in W14 and see no reason why this cannot and will not happen.
Sidenote: in the next 13 days we are going to hear from media pundits about how the Giants have lost 3 of the last 4, how the Eagles (or Falcons) have won 5 of the last 6, how the Giants are not that great, blahblahblah. These people do not know what they are talking about. Fact: the Giants had a Plaxico hangover vs the Eagles, played a stinker, next. Fact: Gilbrown showed his illustrious talent in not adapting to the Cowboys or else we win that one easily. Fact: the Giants got their mojo back vs the Panthers. Fact: the Giants could have easily won yesterday if (to borrow a term from Simms) there was no money in the bank. With the exception of the Dallas game, Coughlin has done a very good job and the Giants are exactly where they are supposed to be.