It’s the Manning Bowl on Sunday night, and while the hype will be on Eli and Peyton, there are a lot of other matchups that bear analysis.
1. The Loss of Bob Sanders
Bob Sanders has a torn bicep and could be out for the entire year. A huge blow for the Colts. But, an opportunity for the Giants. Arian Foster went off last week, rushing for 231 yards. Can Bradshaw and Jacobs do it? Yeah. Especially considering the fact that the Giants have a better passing offense than the Texans do. Colts will have to respect the pass. And now, their best run defender (Sanders) is out. Giants have to run the ball this week, and run it a lot. Once the Colts start to creep up towards the line, then go deep to Nicks. I’m excited just writing it.
2. Dallas Clark
Who is going to cover Dallas Clark? I’d seriously consider putting Kenny Phillips on him. Our linebackers have trouble with guys like Clark. If the corners can lock down Wayne, Collie and Garcon, then why not put Phillips on Clark? Clark is their biggest weapon, offensively, and we need our best defensive player on him.
3. Pass rush
The best way to beat Peyton? Pressure him. Get him out of the pocket. Make him uncomfortable. Tuck, as always, will be key. The Giants did a good job in the 2nd half of last week’s game of getting to Matt Moore. Can they do it this week? I think so
4. Catch the ball!
Receivers, hold onto the damn ball! Two of Eli’s three picks were off of tipped balls. Just catch it! Easier said than done, I know. But giving possessions to a great team like the Colts is a recipe for disaster. You can get away with it against the Panthers. Can’t do it against the Colts.
5. Special Teams
I’m looking at you, Matt Dodge. Giving away good field position is killer. Give it to the Panthers, you can get away with it. You can’t get away with it against the Colts. Coverage has to be better. Can’t have line drive kicks. This, in my mind, is the biggest key to the game, and to the Giants’ season. IF they can’t get consistent special teams performances, they won’t make the playoffs.