Charles Robinson, Jori Epstein and Charles McDonald discuss the divisional round matchup between the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles. Can Giants Head Coach Brian Daboll scheme up some magic against a dominant Eagles roster? Or can Eagles QB Jalen Hurts overcome his injury to lead his team one step closer to the Super Bowl? Hear the full conversation on the You Pod to Win the Game podcast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen.
CHARLES ROBINSON: The next biggest line is the Eagles minus 7 and 1/2 against the Giants. Still, Lane Johnson's back in practice. That's a big deal. I mean, he's limited. I would guess that he ends up going. Avonte Maddox is out with a toe, and Jalen Hurts no longer on the injury report.
Yeah, to me, this game, I don't know, I just-- I would be-- if Brian Daboll pulls this one out, I mean-- I think even if the Giants play really competitively and keep it really close in this game, that's a hell of a job by Brian Daboll. The Eagles, to me, I think we got a little lost in the soup of what they looked like when Jalen Hurts went down and forgot, really, how dominant this team actually is.
And I think this is sort of when there's an opportunity for them to, kind of, put it on the Giants and us to go, oh, yeah, that's right. This is why we looked at Jalen Hurts and we were like, that's possibly the MVP this year.
JORI EPSTEIN: I do think, though-- I'm like, one, that's great that Jalen's not on the injury report. By no means, to me, does that mean that he is not still injured. I think it just means it's the playoffs and he's practicing anyway. And so how capable is he of making some of the throws we saw him making before?
How willing is he going to be to run, which I do think he'll be willing to run? How much-- is he 70% of what that offense was during the regular season, before he got hurt? Is he 90%? And if he's hampered at all, like, a guy like Dexter Lawrence is not who you want coming at you when you're already struggling to feel comfortable.
Because I know he played that week 18 game, but I don't think that's, like, oh, he's totally back in rhythm. So he still played, what, one game in the last five or so weeks? So I still think the Eagles, as you said, are the far better team, and if Jalen can play like he did, they will win. But I think that the Giants are rolling in a way that the Eagles haven't been in recent weeks, and I don't think you can discount that.
CHARLES MCDONALD: Like, we look at-- we talk about Brian Daboll and the job he's done with the Giants, and obviously, he's done a great job. But, you know, the Eagles, they have guys who are up for head-coaching candidacies, too, and that their roster's a whole lot better than the Giants. I think there's a world where the Giants can keep this close, and it will probably feature a heavy dose of Saquon Barkley, and maybe some uncharacteristic bad play from Jalen Hurts.
But just, top to bottom, I don't know if we're going to see, like, a blowout like we did earlier this season when these team played. But I'm, kind of, with C. Rob. If the Giants can keep this within the spread or even get close to winning this game, that will be one hell of a job by Brian Daboll because this Giants team, to me, they feel like a team that's, kind of, like, a year ahead of schedule in terms of how they're performing this year and where they've gotten. Because there's still a lot of holes and areas in the roster that they can, kind of, clean up to be more consistent, and I think this is one of those games where it, kind of, feels like a College Bowl game, where these two teams meet in a Bowl game, but one team has players that were four and five-star recruits and another team has players that were three-star recruits and you, kind of, see that play out over the course of the game.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Georgia TCU, basically.
JORI EPSTEIN: I was gonna say--
CHARLES MCDONALD: Yeah, no. No, no, no, no.
JORI EPSTEIN: --this sounds like a very hypothetical situation.
CHARLES MCDONALD: No, no, no. I'm not talking 65 to 7. You know, the mighty Georgia Bulldogs and their back-to-back national championship run, but, you know-- but to that effect, like, an SEC team against, you know, one of these teams that's not in the SEC--
CHARLES ROBINSON: Big Ten.
CHARLES MCDONALD: Big Ten. Well, not even Big Ten. This is the "power two" conferences in college football, so--
CHARLES ROBINSON: This is the only other game, I think, so far that we've seen in the playoffs other than Dallas-Tampa where I look at the two rosters and I'm like, this-- every-- pretty much every unit or if I look at every area of the depth chart, this team is head and shoulders better than the team they're playing right now. So what happened with Dallas and Tampa, it wasn't close. I don't think this is--
I'd be surprised if it's close. I really think that-- I think that the Eagles probably cover the 7 and 1/2 and maybe win by more than that. The only thing, I think, that could affect it, obviously, is that it's still in division teams with that familiarity. You never know how that's going to really shake out.