The Philadelphia Eagles are set to welcome the New York Giants to town in a NFC East showdown, but unfortunately for Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, the defending champs are easily the most dangerous team he will face all season.
Both teams have had their share of struggles early on this season, but both have identical 2-1 records. The Eagles have had a tougher go of it, winning their first two games by one point each and then getting embarrassed in Arizona in Week 3.
A major reason Philadelphia has struggled is the erratic play of Vick, and things will only get worse when the Giants come to town.
NFC East matchups are always brutal, and Vick will suffer mightily, because the Giants will capitalize on his mediocre play. Here's why the Giants are Vick's worst nightmare.
Vick's Early-Season Struggles
Vick has been horrible so far in 2012, and is on pace to set a record in terms of turnovers. While Vick has thrown for 905 yards, he has only three touchdowns to six interceptions with a horrendous 66 rating.
Outside of interceptions, Vick has had issues with holding onto the football, having fumbled five times, three of which he has lost.
Things will not get better for Vick against the Giants, who have an elite pass rush that will either force Vick to make horrible decisions leading to interceptions or disrupt him enough to force fumbles.
Giants Have an Elite Defensive Line
The aforementioned elite front of the Giants has names such as Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul. Overall, the front is as good at pass-rushing as it is at stuffing the run.
This means that if the front is able to shut down running back LeSean McCoy, Vick will be forced into even more passing scenarios—situations that play right into the skill set of the entire New York defensive front.
So far, the Giants have a Top 10 defensive unit against the run, but have only forced six sacks. What is not recorded on the stat sheet is the insane number of pressures Tuck and Co. put on opposing quarterbacks in each game.
The Giants may have the best defensive front in all of football, and Vick will suffer as a result.
So far, the Giants have done an outstanding job of taking care of the football, having a total turnover differential of +4.
The same cannot be said for the Eagles, who have a laughably bad -6 ratio.
While the majority of the turnovers can be attributed to Vick himself, that once again plays to the strengths of the Giants' defensive game plan.
When a quarterback is turning the ball over as much as Vick has, it does nothing but further motivate a line full of elite players. The turnover differential could only get worse after Week 4 is said and done.
Giants Have Embarrassed Similar Opponents
The Giants absolutely embarrassed the Carolina Panthers in Week 3 on Thursday Night Football.
Not only has that given the Giants extra time off to prepare for Vick, it has also given the defense experience against a opponent eerily similar to Vick—Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
New York held Newton to 242 yards passing and no touchdowns while forcing three interceptions and sacking the second-year player twice.
Newton is similar to Vick in that he can seriously hurt defenses on the ground or extend plays while running outside of the pocket. Unfortunately for Vick, the defending Super Bowl champs had a warm-up a little over a week ago, which does not look good for Vick.
Can Vick Beat the Champs?
Vick can beat the Giants, but it is going to take a season-best performance and more, which is not saying much considering his track record so far in 2012.
It is a safe bet to say that the Giants are going to have constant pressure on Vick Sunday night, and how he responds each time will ultimately decide the end result of the game.
Vick has a home crowd behind him Sunday, but we all know how that goes in Philadelphia. If he falters, we could all be hearing Nick Foles chants, which may only further fluster Vick.
It is unlikely that Vick will escape Week 4 with an Eagles victory, given how this season has progressed thus far. The worst news for Vick? This is not the only time he will have to square off against the Giants this season.
If he does not turn things around soon, he may be watching round two with the Giants from the bench.