Sunday, September 30, 2012
How you feeling? Giants-Eagles
By Dan Graziano
PHILADELPHIA -- As the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles prepare to face each other in a key early-season divisional game at 8:30 pm ET tonight, here's one reason for Giants fans to feel good and one reason for Eagles fans to feel good.
Giants feeling good: The Giants believe they have found a formula for stopping Eagles quarterback Michael Vick. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Giants have blitzed a defensive backs on 41.5 percent of Vick's dropbacks over the past three seasons -- something they've only done 17 percent of the time against all of their other opponents. The result is that they get Vick to move out of the pocket, where they believe he makes worse decisions. When the Giants send at least one extra blitzer, Vick's completion percentage drops from 75.9 to 44.7, and his yards per attempt drop from 8.2 to 5.2, though he has thrown three touchdown passes against just one interception against the extra rushers. The Giants' game plan is not just move Vick around but also to hit him as much as they can, and sending extra rushers is a big part of that. Vick has turned the ball over nine times in his first three games, and the Giants will surely be trying to extend that difficulty and take advantage of it.
Eagles feeling good: As DeMarco Murray of the Cowboys showed in the opener, it is possible to run the ball against the Giants. In LeSean McCoy, the Eagles have one of the league's best running backs. Whether the Giants blitz or keep extra guys in coverage to compensate for injuries in their secondary, the Eagles have the ability (if not the desire) to attack them and gain yards with McCoy in the run game. With wide receiver Jeremy Maclin back healthy and expected to play, the Eagles have their full complement of offensive weapons and should be able to run a balanced offense, control the game and keep Eli Manning off the field -- again, if they so choose.