Beating the Philadelphia Eagles: Five Keys to a New York Giants Victory

Richard ReschCorrespondent IOctober 29, 2009

LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 26:  DeSean Jackson #10 of the Philadelphia Eagles trips over Chris Horton #48 of the Washington Redskins to score a touchdown in the second quarter of the game at FedEx Field October 26, 2009 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Win McNamee/Getty Images

1. Pressure McNabb

Yep, for probably the 40th time in a row, the No. 1 key is blitzing the quarterback. Donovan McNabb has been one of the worst passers this season when blitzed, with a minuscule 39.6 rating.

The Giants are hurting in the secondary and it is more important than ever to have an effective front-four. They have been a disappointment given the amount of talent they have, but they will eventually find their stride.

This defense is built on pressuring the quarterback, and until they do so effectively, they will not be the dominant unit we were all expecting.


2. Pretend McCoy is Westbrook

Although All-Pro and Giant-killer Brian Westbrook is not expected to play, it doesn’t mean that the Giants’ defense is off the hook.

Rookie LeSean McCoy is a more-than-capable running back. He was compared to Westbrook during the NFL draft.

If the Giants take the Eagles’ running game for granted solely because Westbrook is out, they may get severely burned.


3. Figure Out the Secondary

After a terrible performance against the Saints, the Giants did a better job defending the Cardinals’ passing attack. But the New York secondary is still not where it needs to be if their defense is going to be great.

This week, Terrell Thomas, Corey Webster and Co. will have to deal with one of the best deep threats in the league, DeSean Jackson, who accounted for most of the Eagles' offense last week. The Eagles also rely heavily on tight end Brent “Magnum” Celek, who leads the team with 33 receptions.

Receiver Jeremy Maclin is also putting together a strong rookie campaign and whichever running back plays will be used as a receiver out of the backfield.

Thomas and Webster should be up for the challenge, but CC Brown is going to have to step up or the secondary will continue to be a liability.


4. More Nicks

Hakeem Nicks is so good that even when Eli Manning decides to throw to another receiver, Nicks ends up scoring a touchdown.

Yes, he’s a rookie and its tough for a rookie wide receiver to make the transitions and understand the intricacies of the NFL and yadda yadda yadda.

Nicks is this team’s best receiver. Period. Get your playmakers the ball.


5. Hold on to the Ball

Drops, fumbles and interceptions did the Giants in last weekend.

Eli Manning threw three interceptions to a team that came in with four on the year. This week, the Eagles come in having intercepted 12 passes. Needless to say, Eli must be careful with the ball.

The Eagles have also recovered 6 fumbles, so Ahmad Bradshaw and the rest of the Giants’ must to a better job securing the football.

Steve Smith and Kevin Boss did good jobs making tough catches in traffic, but Mario Manningham again had a huge drop. It also seemed like Domenik Hixon and Steve Smith could have done a better job battling for the ball on Eli’s first and third interceptions, respectively.

And while we’re on the subject of Manningham…

Why not use him more like the Vikings use Percy Harvin. Manningham is great after the catch thanks to his ridiculous shiftiness. Get him involved in more situations where his suspect hands are less likely to fail him. More slants and quick hitters, more screens and maybe even an end-around. If they are feeling extra sneaky, they can even line him up in the backfield. The point is, with the ball in his hand, he is one of the most dangerous weapons on the team, and you have to find ways to get your playmakers the ball.