We have done 'Five Questions' segments with rival blogger before many of the games this season. If you remember last season we did several 'chats' with writers from opposing teams. Well, Bleeding Green Nation's JasonB is the first rival blogger I have been able to get to do one this season.
The result of our chat is below. I like this format because of the inter-activity. I think it lends itself to a better discussion. Hope you enjoy.
Ed: Umm ... I could make some disparaging and rather uncouth jokes about that, but it's a serious question. Vick is a problem. Playing like he did Monday he is unlike any quarterback the NFL has ever seen. Can throw lasers on a line 60-70 yards down the the field, can kill you with his legs both behind the line of scrimmage and running with the ball and he's making better decisions now. I think you have to contain the weapons around him, first of all. Which means you can't let DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin run free or get behind the defense. You have to shut down the 'non-Vick' running game. You probably have to play mostly zone so that the linebackers and DBs can see him if he takes off. Make the Eagles go 12 plays to score instead of one or two.
Jason: So shut down every other skill player on the field? Sounds like a plan...
Ed: as best as you can. I mean, if you let these guys run free you make it easy. And if you are blitz-happy I think you ask for trouble. I kind of like Tom Coughlin's idea ... petition the league for the right to play with 12 guys!
Jason: I think the thing that has made this game so odd for me is how the Giants played last week. I think we're all wondering if they got exposed or they just had a bad week?
Ed: Well, it's the old 'you're never as good as you look at your best or as bad as you look at your worst.' That game set up well for the Cowboys with Jason Garrett taking over, the Giants looking toward Philly a little (whether they will admit it or not). For me it was a bad game played by a good team, but there are some things to be concerned about if you are the Giants.
Jason: I just can't buy the fact that the Giants would overlook the Cowboys. I don't believe a division game can be considered a trap. Plus, I think some of the things that killed you guys in that game were problems that have been there all year. Namely turnovers.
Ed: Yes. As good as the Giants offense is, and it is very, very, very good they are their own worst enemy. The turnovers have been there all year (Giants are -5 in that area). There were two interceptions last week, both of which might have really been on the receivers, to be honest. There were two penalties that erased touchdowns. The Giants have piled up 480+ yards of offense three weeks in a row. The only thing that has been stopping them at all is their own mistakes. Scary how good they could be if they could get out of their own way.
Jason: Speaking of the Giants offense... it's not the healthiest unit coming into this week. You guys appear to be at the point where you're ready to hold "Invincible" style open auditions for offensive lineman and WRs.
Ed: Yep ... Steve Smith, Ramses Barden, Shaun O'Hara, David Diehl, Adam Koets, Madison Hedgecock and a bunch of other guys down. Now maybe Shawn Andrews, too. It undoubtedly contributed to some of the mistakes last week.
Jason: An Eagles fan might argue that it was just a matter of time with Shawn Andrews.... But yeah, how many points did Boothe take off the board himself?
Ed: A question for you. I know Shawn Andrews did not leave Philly under great circumstances. But, over at BBV the Andrews hatred has been plain to see. Why sooooo much hatred for the guy?
Jason: Well, for one because he was just such a disappointment. This was a guy who looked like he was a franchise cornerstone type lineman at one point and just crash and burned. The depression and emotional stuff really put it over the edge though. You can somewhat forgive a guy for being hurt... But what if he flat out tells you he can't handle being a football player and doesn't really care that much about the game? You would see that as a guy who quit. And is there a worse offense to a fan? And to almost add insult to injury, the guy is missing games due to depression and yet he's still twittering and posting his awful music videos to youtube. That's the last thing you want to see when a guy making millions is supposed to be too depressed to play football.
Ed: Got it. So, another topic for you. Fifty-nine points Monday. Do you see anything about the Giants defense that concerns, or for you is it all just about the Eagles continuing to play at a high level?
Jason: I think it's all about the Eagles continuing to execute well. Let's be honest, no one is surprising anyone Sunday night. The Eagles know virtually everything the Giants will throw at them and vice versa So it really comes down to execution. I think we've got a favorable matchup with the Giants secondary, but it;s going to be war with a really good Giants D-line and a resurgent Eagles O-line
Ed: I think you are right. I believe the Giants have to get pressure with four and try to keep receivers in front of them defensively. Offensively, I have no doubt the Giants can go up and down the field as well as anybody -- even with their injuries. It's just a question of not giving away opportunities. Should be a great game.