Excecrpt: "The Giants and Eagles, who are both 2-1, will meet in Week Four, but they are heading in opposite directions, it appears based on what we saw this past week. The Redskins might lead the NFL in scoring, but the defense has become a major problem, and the Cowboys scratched out a narrow win in Dallas that answered few questions about the viability of this team.
What we learned: You can’t count the Giants out. They might lose a head-scratcher game at some point in the next few weeks, and you know they will have to face some major adversity again at some point. But Thursday’s exclamation victory at Carolina — down three offensive starters, plus another key contributor — shows just how dangerous Eli Manning, this defense and a Tom Coughlin-led Giants squad can be. Reserves Andre Brown and Ramses Barden were the heroes in this game, but what we’ve learned under Coughlin is that “next man up” truly does pertain to almost anyone residing on the 53-man roster. They count on every one of them.
What’s in store next: It’s a big week, heading to Philadelphia in a showdown of 2-1 division-leading teams. The Giants took a big step forward with the victory over the Panthers, their second in a row after the season-opening loss to the Cowboys, while the Eagles were losing their first game — a blowout at the hands of the Cardinals — after a pair of one-point victories to start the season. Eagles-Giants is always a slugfest ripe with emotion; expect little different this time. It will be a big week for the health of the wide receivers, as we find out if the Giants’ Hakeem Nicks (foot) and the Eagles’ Jeremy Maclin (hip) are good to go for this Sunday-night game.
What the heck? The Giants struggled to defend the pass the first two games of the season. They were getting some pressure (four sacks) but not as much from the defensive line. So how did they come up with a plan to maximize their pass defense against the Panthers? They blitzed with a specific plan in mind. It wasn’t a breakneck, blitz-at-all costs approach at Carolina, but rather a smart, calculated attack of Cam Newton, who struggled to find his primary reads and get loose for his signature runs. The same approach has to be in the offing against the Eagles’ Michael Vick. He was hit 13 times Sunday by the Cardinals, sacked five times and lost two fumbles, and the numbers show that pressure has gotten him off his game. If the Giants’ rushers can be vigilant and maintain contain vs. Vick, they could put the opening two games’ memories tucked away deep in their banks." Read more...