The Giants are looking for revenge against the Eagles. To do so, here are some things they need to watch for in order to win.
1. Contain Vick
This is every defensive coordinator’s nightmare, and I don’t pretend that I know the answer. What I do know is what has worked in the past. Take the last Giants Eagles game. For 3 and a half quarters, Vick was held largely in check. For the other half a quarter, he went wild. Well, what changed? Simple. Pressure.
For the first 3 and a half quarters, the Giants got a ton of pressure on Vick. Pressure from the middle, off the edge. Pressure, pressure and some more pressure. And it worked. Vick and the Iggles weren’t able to do too much on offense. So why, then, did Vick suddenly go off. Simple. Pressure
After the Giants went up big, with about 8 minutes left, they backed off. They were sending only 3 guys. Osi and Tuck were dropping back in coverage. Prevent defense, as I’ve said a million times, prevents you from winning. Vick was able to make simple reads. If the linebacker read run, Vick would pass. If the linebacker read pass, Vick would run. Pretty simple. And that’s why the Eagles got back in the game and won (that, and the ineptitude of the Giants offense to stall the clock and get a first down or two).
Vick is dealing with a concussion. It sucks. I’ve been there. I don’t know bad his is, but I know mine was mild, and it hurt like all get out. I couldn’t imagine taking a hit from a 300 pound monster. But that’s what’s Vick going to have to do. Pressure him. He’s going to be gun shy. Make him take a few hits. Blitz 5, 6 guys.
2. Passing Game
The Giants passing game is depleted. No Manningham, most likely. No Hixon. I think, technically at least, Victor Cruz is your number 2 receiver. He caught his first NFL pass last week. Doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. The Eagles also have fantastic corners. And trust me, they’re going to double, even triple team Hakeem Nicks. Cause why would you pay attention to Victor Cruz? Or Jerrel Jernigan? Or Brandon Stokley? Those guys are going to have to step up. Cruz and Jernigan are young and inexperienced, but they have talent and they have to use it. Stokley has to show some veteran savvy, getting open, holding onto the ball. Eagles are going to be expecting the Giants to run, and maybe rightly so, but Eli and the gang are going to have to prove them wrong.
3. Ball Control
What’s the best way to stop an explosive offense? Don’t give them the ball. That means long drives on offense. That means good special teams performances. Steve Weatherford needs to be on his game. Pinning the Eagles back is key. Making tackles on special teams is key. Not kicking it directly to DeSean Jackson is key. It means running the ball effectively, smash mouth football. Jacobs needs to be big. The less Vick, McCoy and crew have the ball, the better.