At 8:30 PM on this Saturday night, the Philadelphia Eagles will square off with the New York Giants in the NFC Divisional Round.
It will be the third meeting between the two teams this year and the 183rd meeting of all time.
Philadelphia leads the series 92-88-2.
The Eagles are 7.5-point favorites in what should be an entertaining matchup between divisional rivals.
These two factors could be the determining factor in who comes out on top.
The Health of Jalen Hurts
Philadelphia swept the season series, winning 48-22 in week 14 and 22-16 in week 18.
Both matchups saw the Giants missing key starters.
The second matchup was Jalen Hurts first game back after straining his shoulder.
And his health could be the key to if the talented Eagles win big, or the scrappy Giants pull the upset.
Hurts was clearly restricted in the week 18 matchup, running the ball nine times for just 13 yards.
— EJ Smith (@EJSmith94) January 18, 2023
A far cry from his averages leading into that game of 11.1 attempts and 53.4 rush yards per game.
Hurts was also seemingly avoiding contact any time he ran the ball.
Hurts’s ability to rush the ball was a major factor in what made the Eagles’ offense so dangerous.
If he cannot run as effectively, it could hamstring the Eagles’ offense just enough to give the Giants hope.
Eagles Defensive Line
The other factor could come from the other side of the ball.
Philadelphia’s defensive line was arguably the best in the NFL this season.
Their 70 sacks were 15 more than second place – equivalent to the difference between second and 14th.
— NFL (@NFL) January 19, 2023
However, rushing the passer will not be the only job for the defensive line.
Stopping the run could be more important.
Saquon Barkley is one of the most dangerous running backs in the league.
And Daniel Jones had the fifth most rushing yards amongst quarterbacks this season.
The two players combined for 128 yards on 26 carries against the Vikings in the Divisional Round.
Stopping the run was not one of the Eagles’ strengths this season.
If they struggle against Barkley and Jones, it could spell trouble against New York.