The New York Giants will make the short trip to Philadelphia this week to battle their NFC East rival Eagles. It will be a game with first place on the line and two teams that can well on both sides of the ball.
New York better have their defense ready to go because the Eagles have arguably the most explosive offense in the NFL. Quarterback Michael Vick is having an incredible season and coming off one of the best performances ever by a quarterback.
The Eagles are not an offense that likes to grind it out and run the clock. Vick and company constantly look for the big play.
Michael Vick is having an MVP caliber season, despite missing a few games due to injury and Eagles coach Andy Reid’s reluctance to name Vick the starter. The mobile quarterback has thrown eleven touchdowns this season withone throwing a single interception. He leads the entire NFL with a QB rating of 115.1.
21 of Vick’s 96 completions this season have gone for over 20 yards and eight of those completions have been for over 40 yards. The Eagles offense can score quickly as they showed last week against Washington.
Vick led the Eagles to a 59-28 victory over the Redskins by completing 20 of 28 passes for 333 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran the ball eight times for 80 yards and two touchdowns.
If the Giants want to have any chance at beating the Eagles on Sunday night, the defense can not allow the big plays. It’s a defense that will need to stick to their assignments and not turn their back on Vick.
The Eagles provide a stiff test for the leagues best defense. The Giants allow the fewest yards per game at 270.2. They are fourth against the pass and third against the run.
Despite the league leading numbers, the Giants have given up some big plays. Last week against the Cowboys we saw just that. Many times, the Cowboys were able to break a big play due to the Giants poor tackling. That will not work against the Eagles this week either. The Giants must wrap up Vick, Jackson, and McCoy and not let go. Those players are very elusive.
The Giants secondary will need to stay with speedy wide outs DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. The defensive line will need to get penetration and stop Eagles running back LeSean McCoy before he gets to the second level.
It’s hard enough containing Jackson, Maclin, McCoy, and Brent Celek. Trying to stop Michael Vick puts an entire new element into the game. Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell must stress to his defense to stop the big plays. The Giants have an offense that is balanced enough to sustain drives and run time off the clock. The key will be giving the offense the ball to do that.
That’s on the defense. Don’t let Jackson and Vick run wild and the Giants have a shot at winning this game and taking control of the NFC East.