Not that anyone would have (or should have) disagreed with the matchup stuff, but, gah… I’m embarrassed looking back at this:
Sunday 1pm, Giants-Eagles: I look at this game and I see an overwhelming number of matchup nightmares for the Giants, which I’ll list here:
– The Giants secondary vs the Eagles receivers – Redskins’ and Rams’ receivers were running wide open in each of the Giants’ first two games. Sam Bradford threw for 331 yards to guys like Danario Alexander, Mike Sims-Walker, and Brandon Gibson Week 1. Rex Grossman threw for 305 yards to a group of receivers that aren’t exactly striking a ton of fear into defensive coordinators. Meanwhile, not that much needs to said of the explosive weapons the Eagles have an offense. Obviously, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin present all sorts of issues with their speed, and if the Eagles decide to spread the Giants out with 4 WR sets (bringing Jason Avant and Steve Smith onto the field), the Giants’ depleted secondary simply doesn’t have the man power to match up. It could get ugly.
Maclin – 5 catches, 69 yards
Avant – 4 for 33.
Jackson – 2 for 30.
Smith – 2 for 27, and a horrible drop that led to a pick.
Celek – 2 for 9.
– The Giants receivers vs the Eagles’ secondary – We all know by now that Hakeem Nicks is an excellent player. Unfortunately, he’s pretty much the only viable weapon for the Giants in the passing game. Eli thinks highly of Brandon Stokely, but Stokely is solely a slot receiver, and will be used as such, which means that the start on the outside will likely go to Victor Cruz. On paper, that trifeca of WRs is grossly over-matched by the CB trio of Nnamdi Asomugha (the most overrated player in the game, to some), Asante Samuel, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. One area where the Eagles have been deficient for years has been their inability to cover TEs. Fortunately for the Eagles, that’s less of a concern this week, as they’ll be facing the likes of Jake Ballard, Bear Pascoe, and possibly Travis Beckum (if healthy). Those three players aren’t exactly Tony Gonzalez.
Victor Cruz obviously abused the Eagles, with 3 catches for 110 and 2 TDs, including a really impressive catch in the end zone over one Nnamdi Asomugha. Gah.. What else you got, Jimmy?
On defense, the Giants seemingly would have 2 choices. Do we blitz heavily and leave ourselves susceptible to the big play on the back end, or do we allocate more personnel to the back end and only rush four? Obviously, we’ll see both approaches from the Giants’ D, but I would expect Perry Fewell to more often than not just say “screw it,” and send the house at Vick, hoping for the Eagles to make a few of the kinds of big mistakes they made last week in Atlanta.
D’oh. Way off. In fact, the Giants barely blitzed… at all. Instead, they loaded up in coverage, dared the Eagles to run (which they did), and tightened up in the red zone, holding the Eagles to FGs instead of TDs. Kinda reminded me of what they did to the Bills way back in the day in the Super Bowl. Want to run Thurman Thomas all day and not go K-Gun? Go right ahead. Well played, Perry. Thanks for making me look like a dick.