The Opponent: The New York football Giants, a.k.a. the Jints. Again, I have never heard anyone from New York pronounce it “Jints,” except when doing so deliberately. Where did it come from? What New York Post editor gleaned this way of saying it? I’m at a loss.
Record: 6-3. Same as the Eagles. For the division lead!
The Line: Eagles by 3.
Last Game: An embarrassing home loss to the formerly dead Cowboys, 33-20. The Boys got interim-coach Jason Garrett his first win thanks to three Jon Kitna TD passes and three Giants turnovers, one of which was a 101-yard pick-six. The loss snapped the G-Men's five-game winning streak. Only one of those wins came against a team with a winning record. They might only be Giants on paper.
The Coach: Tom Coughlin. Coughlin told the press this week that Michael Vick makes him “sick.” Hey buddy, just because you like torturing your own players instead of dogs doesn’t give you the right to be Mr. Judgmental (NOTE: He was actually referring to Vick’s speed).
The Offense: It seems to me that team yardage stats grow more and more irrelevant by the year in the NFL. The Giants are a good example. They lead the NFL in yardage defense, and are second overall in offense. But the Giants rank 25th in turnover margin (minus 5). Twenty-fifth! That’s awful. This is a team that will drive 70 yards on you and then hand you the ball without compunction.
The Defense: Again, stats are misleading. This is the top yardage defense in football. But they rank only 14th in points allowed (it’s hard to give up a lot of yards when the other offense starts at your 5-yard line), and a lot of their gaudier defensive stats have come against weaker opponents. The awful Chicago game alone accounted for 10 of the Giants 25 sacks this year. You can move the ball on Justin Tuck and company.
Key Matchup:Michael Vick’s feet versus Tuck. Vick’s speed has negated much of the lousy pass protection he gets from Philly’s offensive line. But the Giants have the speed on the edges to chase Vick down and drag him to the turf. This defense has also knocked scores of quarterbacks out of the game this year. If Vick wants his miracle season to keep going, he needs to keep away from those rushers.