|by Ryan Messick |
5. Shut Down Kevin Boss – With Steve Smith out for the rest of the season for the Giants and Mario Manningham a little banged up, there’s an extra focus on the tight end in the Giants’ passing game. The Eagles historically have had trouble covering tight ends, but expect them to mix up their coverages on Boss and give him an assortment of Ernie Sims, Jamar Chaney and Quintin Mikell.
4. Establish the Run – If the wind is a factor today, the Eagles will want to establish the ground game with LeSean McCoy. Philadelphia is 7-1 when LeSean McCoy runs for 70 yards or scores a touchdown.
3. Michael Vick Needs to Protect the Ball – Vick’s ball security has dropped off of late. The Eagles quarterback had seven fumbles in three games starting with the first meeting with the Giants. All four of his interceptions this year have come in the last three games. Today, turnovers will be critical, so Vick needs to focus more on taking care of the ball.
2. Protect Vick – The offensive line can also make Vick’s job easier by giving him time. The Giants blitzed a lot last time around, forcing Vick to roll out to the right. If the Eagles can pick up those blitzes, and that includes LeSean McCoy and Brent Celek, they can buy just enough time for Vick to burn the Giants by getting the ball downfield.
1. Stop the Run – The Giants are a running team, sitting fourth in the NFL in rushing yards per game. They’ve put an increased focus on it since their loss to the Eagles, making Brandon Jacobs the starter. Over the last three games, they’ve averaged 182 rushing yards. The Eagles need to slow them down, especially early, when the Giants are likely to pound it up the middle to test Jamar Chaney in his first NFL start.