Free NFL Pick: Philadelphia at New York Giants 12-19-2010

December 18, 2010

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Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants

Sunday December 19th, 2010 1:00 PM EST

Line: New York -3

Overview:

The New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles both appear to be comfortably on their way to the playoffs. Both teams also have a chance to make a statement once they reach the playoffs, which makes this matchup an important one for both teams involved. As they are both tied for first place with a 9-4 record, the winner of this outing will be launched into sole possession of first place.

Home field advantage or a first round bye could be at stake in this game. The Eagles took out the Giants by a double digit margin the last time these two teams squared off. Will the Giants be able to hold off one of the most exciting teams in football?

Keys to the Game:

  • The Giants need to pop in a tape of the Bears-Eagles game and try to replicate that game plan. The Giants run a similar style of defense. While the Bears rely more heavily on their linebackers, both teams rely on effective play from their defensive line to contain the quarterback. Julius Peppers made life miserable for Michael Vick. The Giants have multiple guys within their defensive line who are talented enough to reign in Vick. The Giants can’t turn this game into a foot race against Michael Vick. They need to keep him within the confines of the pocket in order to be successful.
  • The Eagles can screen the Giants to death. LeSean McCoy has been the centerpiece of the Eagles’ screen game. Vick has to be accounted for at all times and if teams get overzealous in their pursuit of Vick, it is easy for McCoy to slip behind the defense. McCoy is quick and has lethal speed, a combination that makes him perfect for the screen game. The Eagles perform the screen as much as any team in the league, and if the veteran defensive linemen on New York get caught up in corralling Vick, the more effective McCoy becomes.
  • Ahmad Bradshaw has not fumbled since he returned from his benching; however, he has kept up with his production. Bradshaw is one of the best running backs in the league this season and his 9.4 yards per carry against Minnesota allowed him to show why. Last week, Brandon Jacobs also netted over 100 yards, proving that the Giants have one of the best 1-2 punches in all of football coming out of the backfield.
  • Last time these two teams played, the Giants did a solid job at keeping DeSean Jackson in check. They will need to once again keep everything in front of them and limit his big time plays. This time, they need to account for Jeremy Maclin, who put up 140 yards the last time he faced New York. Maclin might not be the most dangerous man on the field in Philadelphia, but he certainly can’t be overlooked. He has more catches and touchdowns than Jackson does and losing him in coverage in fear of Jackson is a costly error.

Key Matchup:

Eli Manning Vs. Asante Samuel

  • Asante Samuel looks like he will be making his comeback this week after three weeks of sitting out with an injury, despite his questionable status. Samuel leads the NFL with seven interceptions this season. He is a huge part of the Eagles defense and his presence was sorely missed while he was gone. With Steve Smith out of the picture, the most likely matchup will be Hakeem Nicks and Samuel for most of the game.
  • Eli Manning has had to battle against the adversity caused from banged up receivers, something older brother Peyton Manning can certainly relate to. The last time Samuel faced Manning, he picked him off twice. Manning has to be cautious when throwing his direction. Samuel is an elite corner when it comes to baiting quarterbacks.

Wrap Up:

The Eagles have too many people that can score from anywhere on the field. Not only are the Eagles playing for the division, they are also playing to get Michael Vick an MVP. While it is unlikely anyone from the opposing team will run up to Vick after the game and request an autograph in this game –as Tashard Choice did last week– he still should have a big game. This is going to be a high scoring affair, but I think the Eagles are going to be too much too soon.

Free NFL Pick: Philadelphia +3


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