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5 keys to victory for the Giants

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Since 'jrs' is moving this weekend he won't have a preview for us today. So, here is a quick '5 keys to success' for our New York Giants in Sunday's playoff battle with the Philadelphia Eagles.

  1. Get some pressure on Donovan McNabb: The Giants have barely laid a hand on the Eagles' quarterback in two meetings this season. That needs to change Sunday. McNabb is a streaky, rhythm passer and the Giants need to make him uncomfortable. Of course, how effective All-Pro Justin Tuck can be despite his leg injuries will have something to do with how the Giants fare in this department.
  2. Contain Brian Westbrook: This, of course, is always the case when anyone plays the Eagles. And, it is easy to say but difficult to do. The Giants have given up big plays against the run in each of their last four games, and that is a concern. Hopefully the return to health of defensive tackles Fred Robbins and Barry Cofield will help. The Giants also need a big game from Antonio Pierce, who has not played well in recent weeks. Hopefully, all the doubts about Pierce's performance lately will motivate him to have a big game.
  3. Run the football: This is what the Giants do best, and the return to health of Brandon Jacobs should be a huge boost. I contend that the Eagles have not stopped the Giants running game in their two meetings -- rather, the Giants just got away from it in the second game. When the Giants are the Giants they run the football, dominate time of possession and wear out the opposing defenses. Hopefully, Kevin Gilbride remembers that and doesn't go trying to impress Al Davis with some fancy trick plays or pass-happy game plan.
  4. Play a clean game: This, of course, means don't turn the ball over and don't commit stupid penalties. The Giants are the better team. If they don't mistakes to either hand Philadelphia points, or take points away from themselves they win. Oh, and it also means not dropping potential 85-yard touchdown passes.
  5. Special teams: I am hoping to see Domenik Hixon and punt and kickoff returns. He is the Giants' best weapon in the return game, and this is no time to be protecting him. One or two big plays could change the outcome, and Hixon needs to be given the opportunity to make those plays. Oh, and I don't care if John Carney or Lawrence Tynes kicks off, the Giants have got to figure out how to stop somebody inside the 30 on a return. The Giants have seemingly given the opposition short fields after kickoff returns all season. Sooner or later, that will kill them.