The question of who the Eagles are has been a perplexing one since the summer. Are they this multi-talented dream team? Are they an underachieving bunch of over paid, over-hyped free agents? Or are they simply a poorly coached 3-6 team that believed all that was said about them? I surmise it is a combination of all of the above. As they come to face the Giants for the second time this season, many feel this is a must win for the Eagles, and many others feel it doesn’t really matter as their 6 losses might be too many already to make it to post season play.
The offense: Michael Vick appears to be out for the game tomorrow night, as does WR Jeremy Maclin. In steps Vince Young who has thrown a total of one pass this season, and that was intercepted. Which Vince Young do you get? The one that can break open a game at any moment with his strength and speed? The one that doesn’t go down so easy when hit? Or the depressed, once great, washed up, indecisive Qb that was shipped out of Tennessee? I believe the Giants will see both Vince Young and Mike Kafka tomorrow night if Vick indeed is inactive. That leaves LeSean McCoy as the main weapon for the Eagles, and he is a formidable one. On a team with Vick, DeSean Jackson, Maclin, Avant, and Celek, McCoy has managed to rush for 900 yards and 10 TD’s. The Eagles LEAD the league in rushing averaging over 170 yards per game. The Eagles are 3rd in total yards, but only 11th in scoring with a Net Point Differential of only 17.
The Defense: Basically the lack of defense has been the story in Philly all year. A once great defensive team with outstanding lineman and linebackers has failed to do the job this season. All the linebackers that were re-arranged before the previous meeting with the G-Men have been benched at one time or another and re-assigned again. The secondary seems to always be out of place, and the scheme of the wide 9 for the d-Lineman seems to be ill-conceived. The Eagles have playmakers on defense, they just don’t seem to be able to play as a unit and close out an opponent.
The Giants will be missing Ahmad Bradshaw for one more week, and Michael Boley has joined the injured list. Look for Mark Herzlich, the undrafted Linebacker from Boston College to make his first start. Herzlich has been outstanding on Special Teams all season and Tom Coughlin has nothing but praise for the learning ability of the rookie. Let’s hope he doesn’t see too many things he hasn’t seen before. All the young linebackers will have to contribute tomorrow night to step up and stop the run, while watching for screens, seams, and dump offs to the RB. Paysinger, Jones, and Williams along with Herzlich may hold the keys to this game.