Giants vs. Eagles: A How-To Guide for the G-Men Stopping Michael Vick
Even though it's only Week 4 of the NFL season, Sunday night's game on NBC is a big one.
Beating the Eagles has never been an easy task for the Giants, as they have only won one game since the 2008 season, which was back in September of 2011.
In Week 3 of last season, the Giants went to Lincoln Financial Field and upset the Eagles, 29-17; a win that sparked the Giants' season early on.
Over the next couple of days, we will all talk about the keys to the Giants knocking off the Eagles.
At the top of the list will be stopping No. 7.
If the Giants want any chance of beating the Eagles on Sunday night, they have to be able to contain Michael Vick and not allow him to be the playmaking, superstar quarterback that causes havoc on a defense.
How can the Giants do that and send the Eagles to a second straight loss? Let's find out.
Keep LeSean McCoy Under 100 Total Yards
One of the biggest keys to stopping Michael Vick is containing LeSean McCoy.
Of course, trying to stop one of the premier running backs is easier to do on paper rather than on the field.
In both games against the Giants in 2011, McCoy rushed for over 100 yards and 20-plus carries.
If McCoy is breaking through the Giants defense, it gives head coach Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg a lot of flexibility to call different plays for Vick.
But if you take away McCoy and keep him under 100 total yards, it forces Vick to attempt to put the offense on his shoulders and "be the hero."
When that has happened, Vick has a tendency to force the ball into spots, which creates turnovers for the opposing defense.
The Cardinals limited McCoy to 78 total yards in Week 3—70 of which were rushing.
If the Giants can do the same, it'll definitely increase their chances of winning.
In three weeks, Michael Vick already has six interceptions.
Vick hasn't exactly been the model of accuracy either in 2012 with a 55.2 completion rate.
The Eagles are 2-1 but could easily be 0-3, because in the first two weeks, they had nine turnovers. Against the Cardinals, they had three turnovers but only scored six points in their 27-6 defeat.
The Giants have to create turnovers and force Vick to make mistakes.
In Week 1, the Giants caused one turnover; an interception on Tony Romo. In Week 2, the Giants caused two turnovers, which were two Josh Freeman interceptions. And in Week 3, the Giants caused five turnovers, three of which were Cam Newton interceptions.
That puts the Giants at a plus-4 in turnovers, which is a good number so far.
Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell will be looking for his defensive unit to force Vick to throw picks and create fumbles.
Force Vick to Go to the Right
This isn't a new theory on how to stop Vick. But it has worked for a lot of teams in the past.
Make Michael Vick force himself to roll out to his right. It's something he is not comfortable with, and it's a time where the Giants can force Vick into a sack or a potential turnover.
Teams in the past have overloaded their defense to the left and forced Vick to his right, which caused the offense to not get first downs and forced punts.
In his story, he talked about how the Bears forced Vick to his right, not allowing him to roll to his left or run left.
I'm sure somewhere in Perry Fewell's game plan for the defense will be forcing Vick to the right.
Knock Vick Down Every Chance You Get
If there is a game where the Giants' pass rush could get going, doing so against the Eagles and Michael Vick would be that game.
Jason Pierre-Paul has two sacks, Osi Umenyiora has one and Justin Tuck has yet to record a sack. Those are all very low numbers for this group who can usually put up double-digit sack totals.
In the game last year at Lincoln Financial Field, JPP was the only one who got to Vick with two sacks, but the team brought pressure all game.
In fact, the Giants' pressure led to Vick injuring his hand, and he had to be taken out of the game—forcing Mike Kafka to come into the game. The Giants forced two interceptions against Kafka.
The Giants need to make Vick strictly into a passer and not a playmaker who uses his feet to create plays and throw on the move.
Even if Vick gets a throw off, a Giants defender needs to be in his face and knocking him to the ground.
Vick needs to feel the turf and know the Giants defense is on him every time, which will make him think about them coming after him.
The Cardinals did it last week, and they ended up with five sacks on Vick.
The Giants should use Arizona's blueprint in Sunday night's game.
The Best Defense Can Be the Offense
Some used to say keep them on the sidelines.
And that's true in this case; keep Michael Vick and his offense on the sideline for as long as possible.
Tom Coughlin will want Eli Manning and his offense to stay on the field as much as they can, wear out Philadelphia's defense and control the clock.
It's a philosophy that Coughlin learned while coaching for Bill Parcells, and a big part of that will be with the running game.
Ahmad Bradshaw is going to play and will split carries with Andre Brown, and they will need to get positive yards every single time they touch the football.
The offensive line will also need to get the type of push and create time for Manning to make decisions; just like they did against Carolina.
Vick can't make plays and get the ball to LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson from the bench.
As long as Eli doesn't turn the ball over and give the Eagles opportunities, the Giants should look to use the same game plan they used in the second half against the Buccaneers and all game against the Panthers to get a victory.
If the Giants are able to accomplish these tasks on defense, I don't see why they can't improve to 3-1 and beat the Eagles on Sunday night.
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