By Brandon Pemberton
The Eagles face the Giants tonight, the same night the #20 that Brian Dawkins wore will be retired by the franchise. Yes the place will be full of emotion, but it will have no effect on the outcome of the game, Dawkins isn’t suiting up tonight.
The Eagles offense was a disgrace last week versus the Arizona Cardinals. Two turnovers, both fumbles by Vick and scored only six points. This week they face a Giants defense with a great pass rushing front four, but overall their defense isn’t as good as the Cardinal defense the Eagles face last week.
Okay, I said it last week and I will say it again, the Eagles have to take care of the ball and not turn it over if they plan on winning tonight. Also Mike Vick must do a better job seeing the blitz pre-snap and getting it out of his hands. Head Coach Andy Reid must also realize that Vick can’t be trusted to drop back and throw it 40 plus times and get the ball in Shady McCoy’s hands often, then use play action to make things easier on the QB and offensive line.
Keys: Ball Security,Heavy dose of Shady McCoy, Run/Pass Balance, Pass Protection
The Giants offense has been on fire lately, Eli Manning has been playing out of his mind. His number one target, Hakeem Nicks is out for tonight’s game, so look for Manning to spread the ball to Victor Cruz inside, Ramses Barden on the outside and Martellus Bennett down the seams. Backup running back Andre Brown has been a breath of fresh air, giving them the run balance that they’ve lacked. If he and Ahmad Bradshaw can pose a threat running the ball, it will slow down the Eagles good pass rush and make things easier for Manning to operate.
Keys: Pass Protection, Establishing a running game, Big plays in the Middle of the field
The Eagles defense had a subpar performance last week, the Cardinals attacked the Eagles in the middle of the field heavy with Larry Fitzgerald, who took rookie cornerback Brandon Boykin to school. The Eagles will have to be much better this week as Victor Cruz and Martellus Bennett work exclusively inside. The Eagles run defense was pretty good last week and will need to stop Andre Brown and Bradshaw, forcing the Giants into long down and distance situations, allowing their pass rush to wreck havoc.
Keys: Force Manning into turnovers, Make tackles, not allowing RAC yards
The Giants defensive line is one of the league’s best, good vs the run and pass, but they are weak in the secondary and can be exploited. Expect the Giants to blitz Eagles quarterback Mike Vick frequently, attempting to make him fumble, or throw interceptions. They also must be ready for a dose of Shady McCoy in the running and passing game. The Giants must maintain discipline and not allow him those cutback runs that he loves to do.
Keys: Make the Eagles turn it over, Stop McCoy, don’t allow big plays down field
My Prediction: Eagles 24 Giants 23