Breaking down the film on Eagles, Giants

December, 11, 2008
12/11/08
1:19
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

I've found the guys at Scouts Inc. to be a tremendous resource throughout the season. Gary Horton watches all the film and then provides some interesting nuggets each week:

  • "Without wide receiver Plaxico Burress , Eli Manning did not see many rolled coverages before the snap," writes Horton. "Instead, the Eagles played balanced coverages, which didn't allow him to make any pre-snap reads. He was forced to read the defense after the snap, which is a lot tougher."
  • "Philadelphia designed a game plan that caters to Donovan McNabb 's skills," says Horton. "Their passing game has become short and safe with shovel passes and screens. The coaches also seem to be designing more rollouts and bootlegs to take advantage of McNabb's ability to extend the play and break down defenses."

That's an interesting observation by Horton. In my mind, McNabb's always been more of a downfield passer. He actually struggled with his accuracy on some of the shorter passes. It makes sense that he's playing better, in part, because a healthy Brian Westbrook makes the offense 10 times more explosive. And Reid's commitment to the running game actually opened up some things in the passing game. The Eagles have been designing rollouts and bootlegs for most of the season. The only difference now is that they're working. On a sour note, there's a chance they cough one up on "Monday Night Football." These are the same Browns that took down the mighty Giants on MNF. They don't play well on Sunday, but on Mondays, the Browns are ready to go.

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