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Giants playoffs: Big Blue ready for dangerous Eagles defensive line

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Giants
New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) is sacked by the Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J.
AP Photo/John Minchillo

There’s no denying just how good the Philadelphia Eagles defensive line is going into this weekend’s Divisional Round matchup between the Giants and Eagles. The Giants have already had to go up against it twice this year and they’ve seen just how deadly it can be. 

Giants head coach Brian Daboll didn’t mince words when discussing Philly’s defensive line on Tuesday. 

“They’re really good. They’re hard to block,” Daboll said. “They can stop the run. They got a lot of really good players. They use them well. They’re a challenge to block. On the perimeter, they’re a challenge with the tackles. And inside, they’re a challenge. So, that’s where – like I talked about before – the offensive line and defensive line, that’s where usually the game starts.

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“And they’re pretty much All-Pro or Pro Bowl at every spot.”

Daboll wasn’t being hyperbolic when discussing the Eagles’ defensive line this season. Philadelphia became the first team to have four players with 10 or more sacks, as a team they recorded 70 sacks and the Eagles led the NFL in pressures.

The sacks were also a franchise record and two away from a league record. 

“I mean they have good players all across the board. So their coaches let those guys rush,” said Evan Neal, who will line up opposite of them on Sunday for New York. “They run some Switch games, they pressured, but really they have good players.” 

Saturday will be the third time in roughly a month and a half that the Giants have seen the Eagles. New York has dropped both games, but their Week 18 loss was much more competitive than many had anticipated with the Giants resting a lot of their starters. 

In the Week 14 meeting at the Meadowlands, the Eagles sacked Giants quarterback Daniel Jones four times. 

It shouldn’t come as a surprise how good the Eagles’ line has been with the likes of Haason Reddick, Josh Sweat and Brandon Graham causing havoc on the field. Neal had been one of the few Giants regulars to play in the final week of the regular season and he felt it was a good experience to face Reddick. 

“The more snaps that he rushed against me was a better opportunity for me to understand how he rushes and how he’s going to approach going against me, for sure,” Neal said. 

Even with a very challenging matchup ahead for the Giants, the mood was very relaxed on Tuesday. New York did a walkthrough and is slated to have a full practice on Wednesday. 

And when it came to Jones’ faith in his line’s ability to protect him against one of the best pass rushes in the league, he seemed very confident in their ability. 

“We’ll have a plan for those guys and we have a lot of confidence in our guys up front. They’ve played really well the whole year and they’ll be ready to go,” Jones said. 

For more on the Giants, visit AMNY.com

The Giants quarterback referenced Second Team All-Pro Andrew Thomas and how his confidence has grown in the offensive tackle. 

“I’ve always had confidence in Andrew,” Jones said. “I think he’s been rock solid. Like anybody playing that position early on, there’s some things you gotta learn, but I thought he learned them quickly and there’s no one playing at a higher level right now at that position in the league.”

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