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Giants vs. Eagles Preview

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How in the world are the Giants going to stop Michael Vick?

This is the question that’s been all over the media all week and if I knew the right answer I’d probably be making a few hundred thousand dollars per year as a defensive coordinator.

The old adage was that if you could contain Vick and force him to throw from the pocket then he could be beat.  That has proven to be a myth this season as Vick currently has a completion percentage of 62.7%.  To put that in perspective, his career high for a season is 56.4% back in 2004.  He currently has 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions.  That’s no interceptions, for a guy that used to throw about 12 or 13 per year in Atlanta.

Despite all of his time away from the game, Vick has somehow come back a more accurate passer.  He also has more weapons than he’s ever had before.  Two deadly speedsters on the outside in DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin plus a reliable tight end in Brent Celek and a playmaker with him in the backfield in LeSean “Shady” McCoy.  This offense is pure danger; I wouldn’t want to be the one charged with the task of stopping it.

We will all just have to wait until tonight to see how Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell deals with The Flying Vicks.  I suspect he’ll try to get after Vick with the pass rush and probably double cover Jackson.  McCoy isn’t that concerning in the running game, but I fear that the Eagles will try to catch the NYG over pursuing and call some screens to Shady.

The key for the Giants will be the play of the linebackers.  First year starting middle linebacker Jonathan Goff will need to step up and have a big game.  He’ll be charged with the responsibility of getting everyone in position and making sure they maintain their gap assignments.  Michael Boley, the team’s fastest linebacker, will need to be all over the field chasing down Vick and McCoy.  The NYG defense may not be able to completely shut down the high powered Eagles offense, but they surely can slow them down.

The best way to help out the D will be for the offense to have a big game.  This may be tough with the losses at receiver and on the offensive line, but Eli still has enough playmakers of his own to take advantage of the Eagles secondary. 

A matchup to watch out for is Shawn Andrews/Will Beatty vs. Trent Cole.  Whoever starts at left tackle for the Giants will have their hands full with the Eagles’ top pass rusher, although you have to assume that Andrews would have the advantage over Beatty after seeing Cole in practice every day for so many years.

Make sure to tune in to Sunday Night Football tonight at 8:20 on NBC to see just how the NYG handle Philadelphia’s impact players.  Don't forget to check back tomorrow for a running diary of tonight's game, and if you have a fool proof way to stop Vick I would love to hear about it and so would about 31 NFL general managers.



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