Balance. It seems that is all we hear when the talking heads and self-proclaimed experts drone on with their prognostications and self promotion. And I guess a balanced attack is preferable, in an ideal world. In an ideal world Eli would never throw off his back foot and refs would never miss interference/defensive holding calls (see the last play of the 49er’s game). But of course the ideal is a far distance from reality, although this game may present the opportunity for the Giants to attain a degree of balance. The Eagles are not particularly adept at stopping either the run nor all that intimidating in defending the pass. Well, as long as you get bodies on Jason Babin and Trent Cole. Victor Cruz made toast out of Nnamdi Asomugha and with the injury to Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, the Eagles must be concerned. The Giants will enter tomorrow nights game boasting a full compliment of receivers and will look to exploit the situation. They need to go vertical, early and often as the Eagles will employ blitz packages leaving a great deal of man coverage. Running, which is what the Giants presumptuously refer to as their ground attack , must stay inside the tackles, exposing the Eagles linebacker’s season long deficiencies. Cut back runners have victimized the Eagles all year. Sadly, with Ahmad Bradshaw spending another week tending to his cracked foot the Giants don’t really have that type runner. Or do they? Could Da’Rel Scott be a revelation? We won’t know unless Coughlin gives him a chance.
I believe Andy Reid of the Eagles is a truly transcendent coach of this last decade plus. He has taken lessons learned from Mike Holmgren (who learned from the late/great Bill Walsh) and
forever changed the way the game is played. OK, you might argue that is not the case and Reid, although a good coach is not transcendent. Fair enough but suffice it to say that Andy Reid will have his team ready to play. They will come out with an intensity and chippiness that should the Giants be unable to match, they will be run right out of their home park. This is the Super Bowl for the Philadelphia Eagles, their Alamo, their Last Stand. And should they prevail, their march for the playoffs will still be real and even attainable. I had eulogized the loss to the Seattle Seahawks as a blip on the radar, an opportunity to look inside themselves and decide what they wanted. I went on to suggest that the Giants could still be a contender in December. They are now in position to make it so. And though a loss would not end the season, the damage to their psyche might be insurmountable. This is the game to finally assert their dominance, to mark their territory, from opening kickoff to the final gun. For should the Giants come out victorious, this game will be remembered for launching the Giants as true contenders and a force to be reckoned with.
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