Thursday, September 22, 2011

Look forward to Eagles

There's no denying that the loss of Hixon is a bad blow, but the way to beat the Eagles is not by passing against them. The Eagles built their defense like the Indy Colts of recent vintage did, with Manning at QB. The Colts theory was that their offense will score a lot of points, the team will often find themselves in high scoring games, will be ahead early and will be forcing the opponents to pass the ball more often than they would like. Consequently they built an offense that is light in the DL, not particularly geared to stopping the run, but is very fast and can put on a big pass rush. The Eagles defense seems similar to me. They are not good against the run and have a bunch of fast, pass rushing specialists in the DL. The Eagles even doubled down on this strategy by loading up at CB by signing Asomugha and trading for Rogers-Cromartie. By the way, the Eagles paid no attention to their LBs and are having trouble at that position. The way to beat the Eagles is to try to take away the big offensive play, don't let them get ahead and try to run the ball at them. Eagles are near last in the league in run defense and are shuffling their LBs this week.

The problem with the Giants is that the running game has been spotty, with mediocre work from the FB and terrible blocking form the TE position. The OL run blocking has been good, but when the defense loads up the line of scrimmage with an extra S (or two) you absolutely need the TE/FB to block. Playing an extra OL-man doesn't help that much, because it frees yet another S to drop down to the line of scrimmage, because the 6th OL-man is one extra eligible receiver who does not have to be guarded. I would still try to pound the ball in the running game against the Eagles and put the burden on the group up front to win the game.

Of course, you need some balance in the offense, you have to take some shots down the field, and if your running game is not successful, you may have to pass a bit more. But throwing the ball too much against the Eagles with their 3 very good CBs, their fast pass rushing DEs and their propensity to blitz a lot is not a good formula. Run the damn ball!

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