Sunday, November 21, 2010

Giants: Gameday Eagles

Take a look at the comments and really good analysis that Doron submitted on the post titled "Eagles game preview". He made some really good points.

If you follow this blog, you know that I am a big believer in the importance of match ups in football games, or any athletic competition for that matter. In that context, while it is definitely true that Vick is playing very well, the game he had against the Redskins last week made him look positively unstoppable in part because of the match up against the Redskins defense.

First, the Redskins have a big, slow relatively nonathletic DL. They switched to a 3-4 defense this year and moved Brian Orakpo, last year's very good rookie form his position of DE with hand on the ground to stand up OLB in this 3-4. He still rushes the passer often, but is learning the nuances of the new defense. They have a well chronicled disagreement with Haynesworth who does not want to play NT in the 3-4, because he claims he is not good at it. He's right, he's not. He's huge and fairly quick for a guy 365, but he's just not good, nimble and quick enough to get after a mobile QB. The other DL-men the Redskins have are fairly ordinary players and their LBs are getting a little long in the tooth (aside from Orakpo) and are not that quick. If you watched the Monday night game, you saw Haynesworth fall on the floor and stay there rather than chase after Vick on one play. You need quickness to have a chance against Vick and Redskins don't have it in their defensive front.

Second, the Redskins DB-field used to be very deep at CB, but now is not as good as it was. Carlos Rogers and DeAngelo Hall are both good CBs, with Hall much better than Rogers. They have one very fast S in LaRon Landry, but they have no talent or depth beyond those 3 players. When the Redskins made the very questionable defensive decision of moving Landry up to the line of scrimmage to act as a spy to take away Vick's running game, they exposed their back end, with no deep S help. As we all saw, that was a bad decision.

By contrast to the two points above, the Giants have a very athletic DL and have to rely on them to do a better job than the overmatched Redskins DL did. Giants need a big game from their athletic DL and have to try to do their best at pressuring Vick without exposing their defense to big plays. I hope Fewell learns from the lesson of what the Redskins tried with Landry and does not do the same thing. I would rather give up 80 yards rushing to Vick than give up 330 yards passing and lots of deep balls all over the yard. 

With all the focus on Vick and how the Giants defense is going to stop them, we have not looked at the Eagles defense and what the Giants should do against them. A lot depends on who is healthy in the OL and what the OL does, but I would use Jacobs more today that usual, particularly running to the right, behind the healthy right side of the OL. try to punish the light-ish Eagles defense. However, if the the OL is really banged up, they need to avoid obvious passing downs and should think about passing early in the down sequence, to avoid Eagles blitzes on 3rd and long. Eagles defense is not great, Giants should be aggressive early in the game and give them a good dose of Jacobs later in the game.

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