Eagles Wake-Up Call: Giants Looking To Take Vick Out

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael VickDuring the first Eagles-Giants meeting last season, Chris Canty delivered the blow that knocked Michael Vick out of the game.

After a play-action fake, Vick delivered a beautiful pass to Jeremy Maclin for 23 yards, but Canty nailed him, and the quarterback suffered a bruised right hand. Mike Kafka came in and threw a couple interceptions. The Eagles were outscored, 15-0, in the fourth quarter and were on the losing end of a 29-16 decision.

Tonight will be the first time Vick faces the Giants since that Week 3 matchup in 2011 (he was sidelined for the second meeting). And Jason Pierre-Paul indicates that the Giants are looking to knock him out of the game once again.

From Jorge Castillo of The Newark Star-Ledger:

Pierre-Paul quipped this afternoon that the Giants “need to get him some more” hits like the one that knocked him out of the game last season.

“As a quarterback who runs a lot, you should expect to get hit even more even when you stand in the pocket. You’re going to get hit,” he said.

“We’re coming; we’re going to hit you regardless so whether you throw the ball or you run the ball, we’re going to hit you. If you throw the ball and release it, as long as we get there before he releases the ball, we can hit him. The ref’s the only one who can tell us no.”

Pierre-Paul added that other teams have copied the Giants’ plan of attacking Vick in the pocket, saying he “needs to get rid of the ball faster.”

There’s a good chance that tonight’s game will be decided by whether or not the Eagles can protect Vick. That means running the ball so the Giants can’t just tee off on him. Setting up the “home run” plays with short and intermediate throws that require less involved protection. And giving Dallas Reynolds and Demetress Bell help in the form of running backs and tight ends who stay in to block.

DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Brent Celek should be able to get open all game. But the Eagles need to give Vick time to find them.

WHAT YOU MISSED

The second cheat sheet provides 10 things to know about how the Eagles’ offense matches up with the Giants’ defense. All-22 analysis included.

And in case you missed it, the first cheat sheet looks at how the Birds’ D matches up with Eli Manning and the Giants’ offense.

Everyone has a Brian Dawkins story. T-Mac shares his. Great stuff here.

The Eagles got a break when the Giants announced that wide receiver Hakeem Nicks won’t play.

Is anyone picking the Eagles to win? Here’s the national media roundup.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

ESPN.com’s Ashley Fox chimes in on Vick and the Eagles’ quarterback situation:

His margin for error is slim. He essentially is playing for his football future and for that of his coach. Vick knows this. He gets it. He is driven to succeed and motivated by the goal of making a Super Bowl run, but the results so far have not been what he expects or what his coach demands. And the criticism, at least from the Philadelphia fan base, has been withering.

“I don’t care,” Vick said, standing in a hallway at the Eagles’ practice facility Wednesday. “I don’t care. Words can never hurt me. It’s just people talking and listening or saying what they want to say, people who’ve never played the game before. But obviously they’re going to comment on what they see. It’s cool. It is what it is. It’s a part of the game.”

Vick isn’t one to lack confidence or acknowledge publicly a problem, but it is fair to wonder what’s going on with him. Are the hits and knockdowns getting to him? At 32 years old, has he lost the burst he showed in 2010, when he dazzled after essentially not playing for three seasons? Is Vick pressing, trying to do too much, because he knows this is such a huge year for him and Reid? Is the offensive line, which is without its starting left tackle and center and its backup left tackle, simply ill equipped to protect him?

Bucky Brooks of NFL.com takes a look at what’s wrong with Vick:

The biggest responsibility for NFL quarterbacks is getting the offense into the proper play call based on the look of the defense. Quarterbacks are expected to decipher the front and coverage at the line of scrimmage, adjusting the play and/or protection based on what he sees and anticipates. In breaking down Vick’s play this season, it appears that he is having difficulty cracking the defensive code prior to the snap, and his lack of anticipation has led to free rushers bursting into the pocket.

COMING UP

We hear there’s a game tonight. Tim and I will have it all covered – from the Brian Dawkins festivities to the action on the field. And, of course, we’ll be chatting during the game.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.

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