Sack Exchange In Philly?

Nicholas LianosCorrespondent IOctober 31, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JANUARY 11:  Quarterback Donovan McNabb #5 of the Philadelphia Eagles scrambles in the pocket during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game against the New York Giants on January 11, 2009 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  The Eagles defeated the Giants 23-11. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

What to look for when the Giants face division rival Philadephia Eagles.

On Defense the Giants will try to bring back fond memories of two years ago when the Giants got twelve sacks of Donavan McNabb. That day rookie tackle Winston Justice was left all alone to block Osi Umemeiyora and he had a career night of six sacks. Flash forward to tomorrow afternoon and Osi should be liking this match up.

The Eagles offensive line has been a disappointment this year. So far the Eagles have tried four different line combinations, rotating the guards series to series and nothing seems to have worked.  The line has given up 15 sacks through six games and the team is struggling to get the ground game going. Look for Jason Tuck to move inside alot in this game attacking the Eagles guards. With McNabb struggling against the blitz and the Eagles line having issues look for the Giants to bring it from all angles.

The Eagles have found their go to guy in second year receiver DeShaun Jackson. Jackson is averaging 20 yard per reception and is a threat to go from any spot on the field.  First round pick Jeremy Maclin has also added more speed to for McNabb to throw at on the other side.  Add Brent Celek who is performing at an Probowl level with 33 recptions and 386 yards receiving.  I would look for Corey Webster to follow DeShaun Jackson all over the field.  Webster has been outstanding in coverage this year.  I would also be very physical against the Eagle wideouts who have trouble getting open in man to man coverage. 

Michael Vick will be deployed from time to time in the Wildcat.  The dual threat hasnt been asked to due much so far this season but with this game meaning alot dont be suprised if he gets alot of action to slow the Giants rush.

When the Giants are on offense Eli Manning will look to take advantage of an injured linebacking core of the Eagles.  After losing Bradley Stewart in camp, the Eagles then lost starting LB Omar Gathier for the season during the Raider game.  With Will Weatherspoon still learing the system the Giants will look to use Kevin Boss underneath to open it up for the rest of the receivers.  Eli Manning looking to improving his 4 game winning streak in Philadelphia will then try to get Brandon Jacobs going. Jacobs showed flashes last week of breaking out against the Cards, will try to match his 123 yard 2 touchdown effort last year at the Linc. 

The Giants will have Kareem McKenzie back for this game and will run right behind him and Chris Snee as the Giants will look to take advantage of the Eagles playing without Victor Abiamiri at DE. 

The Giants passing attack will have its hands full throwing at the Eagles cornerbacks. Asante Samuel is one of the best corners in the league, Sheldon Brown, Ellis Hobbs and Joselio Hanson are very good corners.  Missing this year is Brian Dawkins who has always hurt the Giants year in and year out.  Look for the Giants to first run a lot of quick slants and quick timing plays to set up the Eagles later on in the game. With the Eagle corners looking to make a big play double moves will be open as the game goes on.  A good pump fake will also get the corners to bite as we saw last week against the Redskins. I would look to throw at the Eagles safties.  With Dawkins departing for Denver, the starting Eagle safties of Harris and Mikel arent as good.  Harris is also questionable for the game making middle of the field wideopen for the Giants.

On special teams the Giants must have Jeff Feagles rebound from a poor punting day he had against the Cards.  Jeff will need to do a better job of directional kicking with DeShaun Jackson back to return punts.  Jackson has already brought one punt back for a touchdown and is leading the NFL in punt return average.

I expect this to be a high scoring game. Both teams are missing several key defense players and it will show.  The Eagles have been Jackyl and Hyde all year. After blowing out the Chiefs and Bucs,the Eagle were humilated out in Oakland by the Raiders.  The way McNabb goes so does the Eagles.  With McNabb now struggling look for the Giants to win a close one 27-24.