A healthy Jalen Hurts and the top-seeded Philadelphia Eagles begin their quest to send the franchise to its second Super Bowl in five years.
Enter longtime NFC East rival New York Giants, who Saturday night will take on the Eagles for the third time since Dec. 11.
The Eagles (14-3) drew the only bye in the conference by beating the Giants (10-7-1) in the regular-season finale Week 18. The Eagles swept the season series, though the Giants rested their starters for Week 18 with nothing to gain before starting the playoffs as the sixth seed.
“Every game’s a new game,” Giants coach Brian Daboll said. “One week really has nothing to do with the next week or one game has nothing to do with the next game, other than you take things from it. You learn from it. You try to grow from it. But it’s going to be how we execute on Saturday and how we prepare throughout the week.”
The Eagles locked up the No. 1 seed by beating the Giants 22-16 on Jan. 8. Hurts returned from a two-week hiatus and started that game despite an ailing shoulder to help Philadelphia secure home-field advantage.
The reward: Another week of rest for Hurts and his teammates. Hurts was officially removed from the Eagles’ injury report Tuesday as he was a full participant in practice.
Coach Nick Sirianni said Hurts was “better today than he was two weeks ago” after spraining his right (throwing) shoulder on Dec. 18.
Now the NFC’s best team from start to finish in 2022 turns its focus to the postseason.
“We put ourselves in this position by what we did all season, the consistency we had all season and the focus,” Hurts said. “The process remains the same … but the standard rises.”
The Eagles have held steady as 7.5-point favorites all week at BetMGM despite the Giants being backed by 62 percent of the spread-line bets and 68 percent of the money.
The spread was 8.0 points on Saturday at both BetRivers and DraftKings, where New York has also been the popular play with 67 and 60 percent of the spread-line action, respectively. However, the Eagles’ -340 moneyline has drawn 57 percent of the total bets and 53 percent of the money.
Giants QB Daniel Jones Over 42.5 Rushing Yards (-115 at BetMGM): This has been the most popular player prop for this game for good reason. In last week’s win over Minnesota, Jones became the first player in NFL history to reach 300 passing yards, two passing touchdowns and 70 rushing yards in a playoff game. He has averaged 84.5 rushing yards in his past two games as Daboll takes advantage of defenses keying on Saquon Barkley.
Eagles WR A.J. Brown Over 70.5 Receiving Yards (-130 at DraftKings): The third-most bet on prop at the sportsbook among Saturday’s two games despite the -130 line. The Giants do have cornerback Adoree Jackson back for the third meeting, but that may not be enough to corral Brown, who has topped 70 receiving yards in five of his past six games. The one outlier in that span was a four-catch, 70-yard effort in the first game against the Giants, although he rebounded with four for 95 in the Week 18 rematch.
Over 48.0 Total Points (-110 at DraftKings): The same total was -113 at BetRivers while BetMGM was offering 48.5 at -110. The Eagles rolled up 48 points on the Giants in Week 14 with a healthy Hurts and averaged 28.1 points per game — third-most in the NFL. Meanwhile, the Giants’ offense has hit its stride, averaging 30 points over the past three games.
The Giants had just player remaining on their injury report Thursday — defensive end Azeez Ojulari (quad), who is listed as questionable to play.
Eagles cornerback Avonte Maddox (toe) was ruled out Thursday.
Defensive end Brandon Graham appeared on the injury report due to illness but returned to practice Thursday and doesn’t carry a designation for the game. Right tackle Lane Johnson (groin) was a full participant Thursday and is good to go.
So much depends on the health of Hurts’ shoulder. He threw for 217 yards and two touchdowns while adding 77 yards and another score on seven carries in the first meeting. The Giants’ defense is far healthier this time around, and we’ve already seen in these playoffs that familiarity between teams can lead to tighter games than oddsmakers anticipate. –Eagles 30, Giants 26
–Field Level Media