Week 4: Philadelphia Eagles Vs. New York Giants
- QuarterbackMichael Vick has been under significant pressure this year. While the Eagles have a 2-1 record, the two wins were by one point and the loss in Week Three to Arizona was a blowout. Vick has been battered by opposing defenses – he was sacked five times by the Cardinals – and he has been shaky in his execution.Eli Manning is probably the best fourth-quarter passer in the NFL. He has had so much success that he now expects to come through in every game. This game against one of the Giants’ most bitter rivals is likely to come down to fourth-quarter execution and that works in Manning’s favor.
- OffenseThe Eagles want to take some of the pressure off of Vick by getting a good push from the ground game. LeSean McCoy is one of the most versatile running backs in the league and he will have to be excellent against the Giants. Wide receiver DeSean Jackson will have to make one or two key plays. Tight end Brent Celek could be an effective third-down weapon.The Giants were battered on offense going into their Week Three game against the Panthers, but backup running back Andre Brown ran for 113 yards and wide receiver came off the bench to catch 9 passes for 138 yards. Victor Cruz figures to be Manning’s top target against Philadelphia.
- DefenseThe Eagles’ defense had a poor game against the Cardinals, allowing former Philadelphia quarterback Kevin Kolb the time to find open receivers. They must pressure Manning and force at least two turnovers to have a chance. Linebacker DeMeco Ryans is one of the best and most sure-handed tacklers in the NFL.The Giants are all about putting pressure on the quarterback with the defensive line. Look for Jason Pierre-Paul, Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck to go after Vick with reckless abandon. If they are not successful, the Giants secondary is vulnerable.
- Special TeamsThe Eagles may want to use Jackson as a returner if this game is tight in the second half so he can break a play that could be decisive. Young placekicker Alex Henery provided the only points for the Eagles in Week Three, making both of his FG attempts.The Giants don’t have to take a back seat to the Eagles on special teams as they did for many years when Philadelphia trotted out booming placekicker David Akers. Lawrence Tynes has made too many clutch field goals over the years to not be considered a big plus for the Giants. Steve Weatherford can kick for distance and also place the ball inside the 20.
The Eagles were taken apart on the road against the undefeated Cardinals and Andy Reid is sure to get an emotional effort against the Giants. However, it won’t be enough if Michael Vick continues to make mistakes. The Giants are going to put on plenty of pressure and they get the edge in any game that is close in the fourth quarter because of Eli Manning’s excellent play in crunch time.