Dairy of a Giants Fan: Giants-Eagles Week 3 Preview
Well Giants fans, it's here - the first big test of the season (that Washington game was more of an unfair pop quiz that we had no way to study for!). The G-men will travel south and into the city of (anything but) brother love on Sunday to take on the Eagles. How will the Giants fair? What do they need to do to win? Can they win? Will the real Giants secondary please...well, sit down and let someone else stand up? I'll answer all these questions right here, in Diary of a Giants Fan.
I'm not going to say this is a touch matchup, but David just bet his house on the Eagles (Is that a lot to bet in biblical terms? I mean, that long ago his house was probably some mud and a flap of animal hide, right? David bet his first born on the Eagles? You get my point.). The bottom line is, on paper, it doesn't look like the Giants have a lot going for them in this matchup. The Eagles are clearly the more talented team and everything the Giants did seem to have going for them early in the weak has fallen apart like a cheap suit.
The offense which had looked to be improving, particularly in the second half of Monday night's game, has now lost its...well, a weapon in Domenik Hixon and may also have lost Mario Manningham to a concussion. The Giants pass rush, which was really the only bullet in their pea shooter of a gun looks to be without Osi Umenyiora again this week, who had hoped to play. And as if the poor, poor camel needed another straw on its back, Mike Vick, whom everyone hoped (even you Tuck, stop lying) would miss the game with a concussion, appears good to go for Sunday - though nothing will be certain until later in the week.
Nothing about this game looks great on paper for the Gents. But hey, David won, why can't we figure out a way? After all, the Giants do have an odd knack of getting up for these big time divisional games. It's in the meaningless week fourteen game against the 2-11 team when we get shellacked. If the Giants are to win there's a few things they'll need to do. First, let's throw out the idea that the Giants are going to pass the ball or defend the pass. Big Blue is down at least one wide receiver, maybe two, in what was a really rough passing game to begin with. Defensively, let's face it. I'm throwing for three hundred yards on this secondary and I can barely palm a ball. So what will they have to do well to win?
Running the ball must be the game plan for the Giants. With the speed the Eagles have at wide receiver they will put up points early and often on our beloved team. Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs must dominate this game and in so doing dominate time of possession. Keep the Eagles off the field! I'm not even sure DeSean Jackson and Mike Vick won't find a way to score from the sideline, but this is the best plan that we've got.
Defensively, the Giants have to rush the passer. The Giants have to rush the passer. Once more. The Giants have to rush the passer. With any sort of time, Mr. Vick and the un-Godly fast Eagles receivers will decimate the Giants. Justin Tuck and company need to come to play and consistently plant Vick on his back. They'll also need to do a good job in the contain game to keep Vick from escaping the pocket. Obviously, if Kafka plays the Giants have a much better chance of winning simply because he's not a moving target. However, I'm assuming Vick goes.
Even if the defensive line has a Super Bowl XLII type game, though, it's hard to see the Eagles not putting up a lot of points on the Giants, which makes it even more important for the Giants to control possession. I believe that not only winning, but crushing the Eagles in the time of possession battle is the only way for the G-men to get the win. This means that they'll need to convert third downs for the first time...ever, and not turn the ball over. If they can do that - hey! They can win this game! Like I said earlier, David won. Why can't we?
Well. Because the Eagles are just too talented and the Giants just too...decimated. I really think the G-men will play their best game of the season this week despite the tough matchup. But to beat the Eagles I think you've got to be capable of winning a shoot-out, they're just too skilled offensively. Sadly, the Giants don't have the horses capable of playing that type of game. They're weak where the Eagles are strong - the Giants are weak in the secondary, the Eagles have strong wide receivers. The Giants have a hard time throwing the ball, the Eagles have an all-star secondary. That's not a reputation for success. However, there is some hope. The Giants are also strong where the Eagles are weak. The Eagles front seven is far from world beating, the Giants have a great running attack. The Eagles have a very much maligned offensive line, while the Giants have one of the best pass rushes in the league.
Just looking at it that way you'd think that these teams are evenly matched. But you know what, let's face it. Right now they're not. The Eagles have taken six straight from the Giants and have gotten better while the G-men have gotten worse. Their biggest strength is the Giants' biggest weakness, a gap in ability so wide the Grand Canyon just blushed. Yep, I just gave an inanimate object personal qualities - we call that personification, people. Boom. Thank you eighth grade English. Anyway, I just can't see beyond that. I think the Giants will recognize the situation and play a big game. I look for them to go to the run early and have some success controlling possession. Vick will end up on his back quite a lot in this game but sadly, I just can't see that being enough. It may be close into the fourth quarter but the Eagles are just too high powered offensively and the Giants just too poor in the secondary. They'll pull away late and score a 31-17 win.
But God I hope not. Let's go Giants!