Well 0-4 it is. The makeshift offensive line did a nice job against the big Kansas City pass rush, Donnie Avery was shut down, and Jamaal Charles only put up 65 yards and a TD. After that, the Giants had a real tough time. Smith was out there running around, there were drops by receivers (cough cough Nicks), and of course there was the back breaking punt return.
Giants cannot afford to drop the game against Philadelphia if they want to make any run to the post season. The game is in our division, and with Dallas playing the Broncos, it is set up perfectly for the Giants to bounce back.
1. Punish Eagles Secondary
The Eagles are 30th in the league against the pass, giving up 325 yards per game. Good news for Eli, they only have 2 interceptions this season. To me, there is absolutely no reason why Eli Manning shouldn’t rack up over 300 yards this week. The top 3 receivers are healthy, the same 3 that put up over 100 yards each in week 1. Nicks is in need of a bounce back game with the lackadaisical play last week, going up with one hand, dropping balls, etc. Cruz is Cruz, but may be heavily focused on. Randle has an opportunity to have a great game with the attention going towards the big 2.
2. Protect Eli
The Giants are having a tough time this year protecting the franchise quarterback. Eagles are 18th in the league with 10 sacks of the QB so the pressure has a chance to get there. The O-Line this week will be the same as last week except for Diehl coming in and playing at RG. Seems as though Diehl is finally back from his thumb injury and will replace Brewer who actually played an okay game last week. Diehl is used to being shuffled around the line his whole career, playing every position besides center. Hopefully this 4th starting offensive line combination can hold back the Eagles so the ball can fly around all day.
3. Mike Vick
Vick has always had a good time against the Giants. 6-3 in 9 career games, has passed for over 1400 yards for 7 TDs and 4 interceptions. The rushing part is what scares me. In 9 games, he has rushed for 455 yards and 4 TDs. With a very banged up secondary, the Giants will be focusing heavily on where the wide receivers are down the field, which may let Vick run wild. This defensive line has to do its best job containing Vick. Possibly bring Will Hill out of suspension to spy him. Either way Vick needs to be stopped.
Shady McCoy is today’s version of Barry Sanders. The way he can cut back is mind boggling. The biggest thing the Giants need to focus on is limiting these cutbacks, as Shady has taken advantage of poor containment by Giants defensive ends over the years. Again this starts with the d-line stepping up and coming up big. Rookies Johnathan Hankins and DaMonster Moore should see a good deal of reps this week due to injuries and needed team speed. Watch McCoy out of the backfield as well. He is like a Jamaal Charles but a much better runner.
5. Weatherford vs Desean Jackson
I can’t believe I am bringing a punter into this, but it has to be done. 2 punt returns for TDs in the first 4 weeks is inexcusable, and has a lot to do with punt placement. The Giants and their fans know full well what Desean Jackson is capable of . I haven’t watched that play since and probably will never bring myself to do it. Weatherford needs to angle his punts to the outside of the numbers or just out of bounds all together. The last thing I want to see is Desean Jackson high stepping into the end zone in Metlife.
There it is, the way the Giants can win the game. Obviously, turnovers can play a huge role in deciding the outcome, so that is why I leave them out all together. Tall tasks for the Giants this week, but I feel like they can get it done. Crowd behind them, backs against the wall, season on the line? Recipe for the first win of the season… I hope.