Every defense which faces the Eagles experiences the feeling of having a loaded gun pointed at them for four quarters. The defenders know that if they miss a tackle or get out of position for a split-second, the Birds can explode for a long touchdown each and every time they snap the football.
At the same time, the Eagles will have their work cutout for them when they try to move the ball against the Giants playmaking front four because of the way that they can attack and put pressure on the quarterback. Pro Bowl defensive ends Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora lead the league in forced fumbles, so the Birds must concentrate on protecting the football.
Remember that turnovers decide football games this time of year. I want Michael Vick to focus on getting the ball to DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, but maybe even more importantly Vick had better focus on hanging onto the football.
Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg has made it a point to stress taking care of the ball to Vick.
“[DE Justin Tuck and DE Osi Umenyiora] are the leaders in forced fumbles, and their team’s the leader in forced fumbles as a unit, as well. So, they rely on that, they go after it. They do a heck of a job. Well, the statistics show, [they are] the best in the league. So, that’ll be important, not only with [Vick], but with the other [players] that get the ball in their hands, as well. That’ll be a big part of this game. We gave them one last time, and that could’ve been a turning point there.”
The turnover category is the number two statistic which predicts the winning team and that stat is second only to the score on the scoreboard. The Birds are likely to make some big plays and get into the end zone, but if they turn the ball over and give the Giants some easy scores, they’re probably not going to win the football game.
The coaches must emphasize protecting the football to Vick, who has a habit of holding ball loosely in the pocket and when on the run. He’s got to be conservative on Sunday in his decision-making. Number 7 should take what they give him and throw the ball away, if there’s nothing there.
Remember that it was a fumble by Vick which was caused by Tuck, that put the Eagles in a trailing position in the fourth quarter of the first game. The offensive line must give Vick enough production to allow him to throw the ball effectively and accurately, but if they do miss their block, they should follow the Giants “D” lineman to Vick, so they’ll be there in case he fumbles.
I want to see the Birds run the football effectively and more often. They can’t let the Giants defensive line up and tee off on Vick. LeSean McCoy and Jerome Harrison should get the chance to slow them down with quick traps up the middle, along with some draw plays.
A one-dimensional game plans will get Vick beaten up.
I would also like to see the Birds employ a no-huddle attack to tire out the Giants defensive front. A hurry up attack would allow Vick to use his speed against Tuck and Umenyiora, while they’re sucking wind.