FanPost

The Eagles are better than the Giants.

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            There is a really simple argument as to why the Eagles are the better team than the Giants. The Eagles have beaten the Giants six times in a row, making it nearly impossible for the Giants to claim they're the better team.

Just for starters, lets looks at the team's records from the past two seasons:

New York Giants: 18 - 14, 0 Division Titles, 0 Playoff Appearances

Philadelphia Eagles: 21-11, 1 Division Title, 2 Playoff Appearances

That's another simple argument as to why the Eagles are better than the Giants, they've won more games and had more success, thus, they're better.

But, since I know that such simple arguments aren't going to settle this issue let's go position by position.

Oh and this post is in remembrance of our least favorite troll, The Real LT. If you're reading this (and I know you are), consider this a victory celebration of your banning. Hopefully I can get Ed to unban me so I can post this over at BBV as well.

Head Coach:

 Mediamanager_medium

I can see the responses now: "But Tom has the jewelry". This is a very valid argument but I tend to credit Steve Spagnuolo with that more than Tom. Coughlin has not made the playoffs ever since Spags left and it was Spags' defense that really won that game. Sure the Lombardi Trophy is cool to put on the resume` but when you look at the grand scheme of things, Andy Reid is the better coach and more impressive coach.

Andy Reid took a 3-13 team and has built a machine. Andy Reid has 128 wins on his career and is top 25 all time in wins. He is top 15 all time in coaching win percentage. He has the 11th most playoff wins in NFL history. Since he became head coach, no team has made more appearances in the divisional round than the Eagles. Only Bill Belichik matches Andy Reid in conference championship appearances since Andy was hired. Since 1999, Andy Reid has had players go to the Probowl 44 times, the highest total of any team in that same time span. The only coach in NFL history who makes the playoffs more than Andy Reid is John Madden, Andy has made the playoffs 9 of 12 years, John Madden made the playoffs 8 of 10 years.

As impressive as a Superbowl title is, the entire resume` of Andy Reid is more impressive than Tom Coughlin's. Tom has a lower winning percentage, has made the playoffs less, has sent less players to the probowl and has less playoff wins.

And in head to head matches, Andy Reid has Tom Coughlin's number. In head to head match-ups, Andy Reid has won 10 times and Tom has only won 6 times. Andy Reid has also knocked Tom Coughlin out of the playoffs twice.

Offensive Coordinator:

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This one quite clearly goes to Marty Mornhinweg/Andy Reid (who both run the offense).

For three years running the Eagles have set franchise scoring records. The Giants have an above average offense but it is nothing like the high flying, full court press offense the Eagles have.

Let's look at the offensive numbers from the past 3 years:

Philadelphia: 17654 total yards, 367.4 YPG, 1282 points, 26.7 PPG

New York: 17636 yards, 367.4 YPG, 1223 points, 25.4 PPG

The Eagles have better results on the field, thus they are better. This last season the Eagles offense was the best in the NFC in both scoring and yardage. The Eagles' offensive performance is better thus, Marty/Andy are better.

And it could definitely be argued that Andy/Marty are better at developing talent, Andy in particular. Andy Reid has developed a host of offensive talent in Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick, Kevin Kolb, Correll Buckhalter, Brian Westbrook, Tra Thomas, Jason Peters (who he most definitely developed under Andy Reid), Todd Herremans, Shawn Andrews, Brent Celek, Jason Avant, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin are the most notable. He has also utilized acquisitions like Terrell Owens, Donte' Stallworth, Kevin Curtis, Jeff Garcia, Jerome Harrison, Leonard Weaver and Jon Runyan with much success. But Tom Coughlin and his offensive staff have also done well for themselves with Eli Manning, Ahmad Bradshaw, Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward, Hakeem Nicks, Steve Smith, Mario Manningham, Chris Snee and David Diehl. As good as the Giants have done, they haven't consistently developed the type of talent that Andy Reid and Company have.

The Eagles offensive staff leads a more productive effort and develops more talents, thus, the Eagles offensive staff is better. 

Defensive Coordinator:

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Fewell is the winner by default but let's not pretend Fewell is some defensive genius, he led the 17th ranked scoring defense last year, hardly top notch. If anything he is mediocre.

And before you all chastise Juan Castillo I hope you all realize that he has done nothing yet, good or bad. You have no idea how he will perform and neither do I. Everyone who has experience with Juan speaks glowingly of him. Castillo has been praised by Spagnuolo, Leslie Frazier and Ron Rivera, all three of who are some of the best defensive minds in the game today. And for those who believe that being an offensive line coach doesn't translate to being a defensive coordinator I must ask you, what is the job of an offensive line? To stop a defense from disrupting an offense and in order to do so you must understand the opposing defense and what it's trying to do.

Neither coordinator is particularly proven, neither has a long track record and neither has proven to be a particularly good talent developer.

Special Team Coordinators:

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This quite clearly goes to the Eagles and by quite clearly, I mean it isn't close. Bobby April is the premier special teams coach in the NFL. Bobby April is fantastic at what he does. He is intelligent, he is vivacious and outgoing and he is a great teacher and motivator. Every year, Rick Gosselin ranks the special teams units around the NFL and from 2004-2010 his units were ranked #1 3 times and top 5, 5 of the 6 years. When he came to Philadelphia he took over the 17th ranked unit in the game according to Rick Gosselin and turned them into the 7th ranked unit in the NFL and the best punt return unit.

Tom Quinn never stood a chance in this category.

Quarterback Play:

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The Eagles have a superior starter, a superior back up and a young project with upside. Lets look at the main event, Michael Vick v.s. Eli Manning. First of all I know you're all going to pull the "Last year was an anomaly card and he his headed for regression" card so lets take care of that issue first.

1.     We must establish the parameters of the debate. We're debating which team is better at this point in time. We're debating what is current. We're not debating career achievement. Any attempt to bring up Michael Vick's caliber of play in Atlanta is irrelevant to Michael Vick's current situation here in Philadelphia.

2.     While a regression argument may be well founded in statistics you would be ignoring real world facts in favor of some numbers. The fundamental changes that Michael Vick has made on and off the field will keep him from a regression to what he was in Atlanta. He has learned the West Coast Offense. He has overhauled his mechanics. He has matured both on and off the field.

Now that we've settled that we'll take a look at their performance on paper:

Michael Vick: 3,018 yards, 62.6% of passes completed, 21 TDs, 8.1 YPA, 6 interceptions, 676 rushing yards, 9 rushing touchdowns, 9 total turnovers. And all of that is despite missing 5 games.

Eli Manning: 4,002 yards, 62.9% of passes completed, 31 TDs, 7.4 YPA, 25 interceptions, 70 rushing yards and 30 total turnovers.

Per game numbers:
Per game numbers*:
Michael Vick: 269 passing yards per game, 1.9 passing TDs per game, .54 interceptions per game, 60 rushing yards per game, .82 rushing TDs per game, .82 turnovers per game, 2.72 touchdowns per game.
Eli Manning: 250 passing yards per game, 1.9 passing TDs per game, 1.56 interceptions per game, 4.3 rushing yards per game and 1.875 turnovers per game.

*I took out the Redskins game because he played 2 drives.

But as we know, the game isn't played on paper so we'll break them down.

Arm strength- Michael Vick
-Does anyone disagree?

Mobility- Michael Vick
-No need to debate this.

Elusiveness- Michael Vick
-By far the most elusive QB in the NFL, he forced 20 missed tackles according to FootballOutsiders, the most of any QB by 9.

Accuracy- Even
-They're accuracy stats from last year are nearly identical.

Deep Ball- Michael Vick
-Not even in question.

Intermediate Passing- Eli Manning
-As spectacular as Vick was the Eagles struggled getting the intermediate passing game going last year at times.

Decision Making- Michael Vick
-30 turnovers from Eli to 9 from Vick, it's clear that Vick is the better decision maker.

Pocket Presence- Eli Manning
-Eli Manning plays behind one of the worst offensive lines in the league but he still manages to barely be sacked and hit. Eli's pocket awareness and ability to manipulate the pocket is matched by few and it is far superior to Michael Vick's.

Mechanics- Eli Manning
-When the bullets fly Vick will sometimes go into backyard ballgame mode where he'll forget his mechanics. At their best their throwing mechanics are the same. Eli Manning's footwork is better than Michael Vick's.

Leadership- Michael Vick
-As much as I am sure that Eli Manning is the leader of the Giants it is my opinion that Michael Vick is the better leader. Eli Manning isn't a very demonstrative leader, he isn't a guy who is going to get on someone's case. Michael Vick is the clear cut leader of the Philadelphia Eagles, he gets on young guys when they mess up, he walks around the sidelines pumping up his teammates, he keeps the young talent in line, he has organized the offseason practices and he will soon be running the informal team meetings. Michael Vick is THE guy on the Eagles who the Eagles look to for leadership in all situations.

Clutch Factor- Michael Vick
-Michael Vick had more comeback wins than Eli Manning this past season.

Moving on to my argument against Eli:

Eli Manning is the most turnover prone QB in the entire league ever since he took over the starting job in 2005. Is that what you want in a QB? Do you want a turnover machine at the QB spot who out-turned-over the king of turnovers (Favre)? We always have it drilled into us that turnovers are bad, they're wasted opportunities, they're giving the game away etc. etc. etc. Giants fans know the drill because Tom Coughlin gives this speech all the time because he is always asked about his team's turnovers, most of which are attributable to Eli Manning.

Second of all, these Giants fans are trying to say that Eli Manning is some super clutch playmaker who owns the late gamez. But this simply isn't the case at all.

I wish people kept track of how many times Eli has choked because he used to be notorious for it and he choked in both games against the Eagles this year. He is part of the annual collapse of the Giants. He is terrible in December and January and his 4th Quarter Split stats are significantly worse than his other 3 quarter's worth of stats.
Just look at these 4th quarter splits from last season: 873 yards, 53.9% completion percentage, 6.8 YPA, 6 TDs, 8 INTs and a QB rating of 65
And look at his stats from December and January this past season: 1,181 yards, 57.6% completion percentage, 7.2 YPA, 8 TDs and 9 INTs.
He'z so clutchz!

What's that? One season is too small of a sample size? Okay, then take a look at his career December splits:
6228 yards, 55.3% completion percentage, 6.44 YPA, 38 TDs, 32 INTs and a QB rating of 74.3 And in games in December, Eli Manning is 14-17 which is a winning percentage of 45.16%.

And as for the theory that he is some sort of stat gawd at the QB spot who is only worse than Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning... Well... On Eli's career he is 10th in the league in percent of passes thrown for touchdowns, 30th in completion percentage, 19th in YPA, he is 12th in passing yards per game, his percentage of passes thrown for interceptions is 28th in the NFL (28th of 38 listed I might add) and his career QB rating is 23rd in the NFL.

Kevin Kolb > Sage Rosenfels

Kolb has shown NFL ability in game situations, John Harbaugh said he was very hard to stop in practices and anyone who has worked with him has displayed some type of interest. Tom Heckert said he would've given up 2 firsts for Kevin Kolb had he been available. To put into perspective how good people think he is, Andy Reid, one of the best coaches in football traded away a guy coming off a probowl season to give Kolb the starting spot. Andy Reid is not an idiot, you don't do that for a guy who doesn't have NFL ability. Kolb has made plays that you'd be hard pressed to see other QBs make (Look up his TD pass to Celek in the 49ers game or his TD pass to Chad Hall in the Cowboys game) He is a strong QB who is tough to bring down and can shed would be sacks ala McNabb. He is mobile and can move in the pocket, roll out and buy time for his receivers to get open. He is accurate and puts his receivers in good position to make plays after the catch. He actually does have the ability to push the ball down the field. He is tough and does not get happy feet in the pocket. When you build a game plan around him and he starts, he usually does very well, problems arise when you toss him in mid game situations when the game plan is built around McNabb/Vick.

In 5 starts with starters around him that Kolb finished he has 1528 yards, 9 TD passes, 6 INTs (2 of which came on last second Hail Marys), 64.7% of passes, 7.91 YPA and 1 rushing touchdown. If you extrapolate those numbers that would mean he would've had 4889 yards, 28.8 touchdown passes, 19.2 interceptions and 3.2 rushing touchdowns.

People underrate him because of the high interception total on his career, most of which came in spot duty early in his career and a start against Dallas where his LT was Austin Howard (who gave up 3 sacks to Ware) and his #1 receiver was Chad Hall.

Kevin Kolb is the most coveted QB in the NFL, Sage Rosenfels is not.

Mike Kafka is a young QB who is getting the best QB coaching in the league. He is going to at least be a back-up for the Eagles one day (perhaps even a starter). In Kafka's senior season, he ran for 519 yards, 8 TDs, completed 65% of his passes, threw for 3430 yards and 16 TDs. He completed 64% of his passes in college and scored a 35 on his wonderlic. The only thing is that he is inexperienced and didn't get significant play time until his senior season in college. But he is a guy who has a moxy about him. There is a bit of a Brett Favre, Tony Romo type feel to Kafka, sort of a gunslinger, playground style QB. To quote Andy Reid, "He has some of the intangible things, the leadership, he's a tough kid; inner city, Chicago kid. He's got a little grit to him."

Who is the young QB on the Giants? Oh that's right. They don't have one.

Running Game:
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Philadelphia: 2,324 yards, 145.2 YPG, 18 TD, 5.4 YPC
New York: 2,200 yards, 137.5 YPG, 17 TD, 4.6 YPC

As a whole the Eagles running game is better and more productive than the Giants running game.  And yes, Michael Vick is a part of the Eagles running game.

Running backs:
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Make no mistake. The best single running back resides in the Philadelphia backfield but the New York Giants' 1-2 punch is better as a whole. LeSean McCoy is quickly becoming one of the best running backs in the entire league. Let's compare numbers:

Category

LeSean McCoy

Ahmad Bradshaw

Brandon Jacobs

Carries

207

276

147

Yards

1020

1235

823

YPC

5.2

4.5

5.6

TDs

7

8

9

Receptions

78

47

7

Receiving Yards

592

314

59

Receiving TDs

2

0

0

All Purpose Yardage

1612

1549

882

Broken Tackles

38

38

?

Broken Tackle %

13.3%

11.8%

?

YAC AVG

7.6

8.2

4.7

YAC Total

760

?

?

Explosive Runs

28

34

?

YPC Up the Middle

5.1

3.6

4.9

DVOA

17.8%

2.5%

18.1%

Receiving DVOA

20.0%

10.6%

-15.8%

Total DVOA

37.8%

13.1%

2.3%

As you can see that nearly every single statistic that measures quality of play rather than usage (YPC, Broken Tackle %, DVOA) favors McCoy. Obviously just comparing 2010 stats does Jacobs a HUGE favor because his 2009 season was atrocious. His 2009 DVOA was -7.8%.

LeSean McCoy and Ahmad Bradshaw are close IMO, but I'm giving the edge to LeSean McCoy. He was the second best third down back in the league last year, he led the league in yards after the catch, he was a good blocker (albeit Bradshaw is better), he was the best running back in the NFL against the loaded box, he was one of the best short yardage backs in the league and he led the NFC in yards from scrimmage last season. Ahmad Bradshaw's game is good, he is the premier blocking RB in the league, he shifty and slippery (not quite as elusive as Shady though), he is a good receiver but his struggles with fumbles, durability, third down situations and struggles running up the gut knock him down. I'm a bit down on Jacobs because of his low usage numbers, his complete lack of ability in any area of the passing game, his inconsistency, his age and lack of upside.

LeSean McCoy is the most talented, well rounded back, most elusive, best receiver and best short yardage back on either team. LeSean McCoy is one of the best backs in the league who would widely be recognized as such If he were given the ball more.

Wide Receivers:

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Comparing receivers is tricky because each one is used differently on each team. To compare players we need to establish what each player's role is and go from there because comparing DeSean to Hakeem is unfair for both players because they each are used in such different roles.

36% of DeSean Jackson's passes were of the deep pass/bomb category. 30% of Mario Manningham's passes were of the deep pass / bomb category. These two are the ‘playmakers', the guys who are sent deep the most on both teams. They're the deep threats.

40% of Hakeem Nicks' passes were of the ‘middle' variety. 36% of Jeremy Maclin's passes were of the ‘middle' variety. These two are the well rounded receivers, the two who can run all the routes but because of their respective skill sets (which are incredibly similar) they're used primarily on intermediate routes.

76% of Jason Avant's targets were short/middle depth targets. 75% of Steve Smith's targets were short/middle depth targets. Both of these players serve similar purposes for their teams but Smith is used at a much higher rate. These two are the reliable third down receivers who see action from the slot and are reliable check down options.

Comparing DeSean Jackson and Mario Manningham over the past two years:

Stat Category

DeSean Jackson

Mario Manningham

Targets

212

191

Catches

109

117

Yards

2,212

1,766

Touchdowns

15

14

All Purpose Yards

3125

1768

All Purpose Touchdowns

20

14

Receptions of 20+ yards

39

34

Receptions of 40+ yards

18

6

Yards After the Catch

7

5.05

2009 DVOA

9.0%

7.5%

2010 DVOA

2.3%

12.4%

Catch %

51.4%

61.2%

This actually ended up being a lot closer than I expected it to be. DeSean Jackson is clearly the more explosive player, I could rattle off a bunch of stats but I think that most of you already know and won't refute this. But as complete receivers I really have to give Mario Manningham his due, he is impressive.

But, since DeSean Jackson is the most explosive player in the league today (again, if anyone wishes to refute, I can rattle off stats) and is the best deep threat in the league I'm giving the nod to DeSean Jackson. DeSean Jackson is more explosive than Mario Manningham and he fits his role as a playmaker more than Manningham does.

Also. DeSean Jackson is the primary focus of coverage schemes week in and week out. Teams adjust to him because he can change the game at any given moment, teams slide coverage to him and game plan to shut him down. DeSean Jackson opens up the Eagles offense. Mario Manningham is not the focus of defenses and he does not demand special attention from defenses nearly as much as DeSean does.

Hakeem Nicks v.s. Jeremy Maclin:
Hakeem Nicks did play 2 less games (Mac played 1 drive in the Cowboys game) but he still had 13 more targets. They're nearly identical. There is no discernable difference between the two of them. Just check the stat sheet:

Stat

Jeremy Maclin

Hakeem Nicks

Targets

115

128

Catches

70

79

Yards

964

1052

Yards Per Catch

13.8

13.3

Touchdowns

10

11

YAC

4

3.9

Catch %

60.8%

61.7%

Yards Per Target

8.38

8.21

Touchdowns Per Target

.0869

.0859

DVOA

15.5%

14.6%

Nearly every single per and average statistic is identical and when you extrapolate the target numbers for either player their numbers are nearly identical.

Also keep in mind that Nicks is playing on a team where the second best option is Mario Manningham, the rest of the players are either stat whore players who aren't as good in reality (Smith) or mediocre in the passing game (or at least in comparison to the players on the Eagles). Jeremy Maclin is the #2 option on an offense where there is DeSean Jackson, Jason Avant, LeSean McCoy, Brent Celek and Mike Vick's running ability. The Eagles tend to target running backs and tight ends far more than the Giants do which brings down Maclin's target numbers.

Steve Smith v.s. Jason Avant:

I am not a Steve Smith fan, I think he is a glorified dump off option. He has no skill after the catch and he isn't explosive down the field. In terms of talent, Jason Avant is his superior. In terms of usage and statistics, Steve Smith is superior. When you extrapolate Jason Avant's numbers based on Steve Smith's target numbers you would see that Jason Avant, if used as much as Steve Smith would match and probably exceed the numbers that Smith puts up.

Despite the fact that Steve Smith only played in 9 games he still racked up 75 targets. That is 8.3 targets per game. Jason Avant played in 16 games and got 75 targets. Compare their numbers (and keep in mind that Jason Avant was the #5 option in the offense):

Steve Smith: 57 receptions, 529 yards, 3 TDs, 2.4 YAC
Jason Avant: 51 receptions, 573 yards, 1 TD, 3.8 YAC

And just to prove that this wasn't some one year thing, look at 2009 the last healthy season Steve Smith put together.

In 2009 Steve Smith had 157 targets, Jason Avant had 58. I'll extrapolate the numbers for this. If Jason Avant had gotten 157 targets his numbers would've looked like this:
111 catches, 1,587 yards and 8 touchdowns

Compare that to Steve Smtih's numbers on 157 targets:
107 catches, 1220 yards and 7 touchdowns

Jason Avant is bigger, stronger, better after the catch, has better hands and is a more powerful athlete. I fully believe that if you were to swap Avant for Smith you would be getting a player of equal or greater caliber but for objectivity's sake, Steve Smith is better because he is used more and has proven he can put up those type of numbers on the field.

If I had to rank them purely as receivers, these would be my rankings:

1a. Hakeem Nicks
1b. Jeremy Maclin
2. DeSean Jackson*
3. Mario Manningham
4. Steve Smith
5. Jason Avant

*As a football player, DeSean is the best because of his ability to return punts and run the ball

Tight Ends:

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This isn't a strong point for either team, both teams could use an upgrade and honestly this could go to either team. Brent Celek is overrated but Kevin Boss is overrated too. And the depth behind both of them is almost non-existent.

Brent Celek got lost when Michael Vick took over, he was targeted less and he was used to block more but his play didn't really drop. He is still a good route runner, he is still one of the best after the catch tight ends in the NFL, he has developed into an above average pass blocker and his ability in the passing game is superior to that of Kevin Boss. Kevin Boss isn't as dynamic as Brent Celek and is one of the worst receiving tight ends in the NFL, he caught only 50% of his targets and had the worst drop percentage in the NFL while also failing to stretch the field.

At this point, Travis Beckum and Clay Harbor are just about even. Travis Beckum is the better receiver of the two but Clay Harbor is the better blocker. Of the two I would say that Harbor has the highest upside as a complete TE. Clay Harbor is bigger, faster and stronger (serious freak athlete) than Beckum. Harbor is more equip to run block than Beckum is and he matches Beckum's athleticism as a receiver. Both are young players with intriguing potential who I wouldn't be surprised to find starting 2-3 years down the road for their teams.

This will clearly shift in favor of the Eagles if Kevin Boss leaves the Eagles and Beckum is the starter for the Giants.

Offensive Tackle:

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Jason Peters >> David Diehl
-Jason Peters is far and away the better player. LeSean McCoy averaged 7.2 YPC when running off the left side of the Eagles line due in large part to Jason Peters' run blocking skills. Jason Peters gave up 2 sacks last year and had a PBE rating of 4.19. The Giants averaged 3.44 yards when running off the left side of their offensive line. David Diehl allowed 7.5 sacks in 12 games and had the third worst PBE rating of all left tackles in the NFL and 5th worst of all tackles. Clear advantage Eagles.
Winston Justice << Kareem McKenzie
-Kareem McKenzie is better than Winston Justice who is quite simply one of the worst Right Tackles in football. Kareem McKenzie is one of the best run blocking right tackles in the NFL, Winston Justice is one of the worst. Kareem McKenzie had the 2nd highest PBE ranking in the NFL last year and Winston Justice allowed 7 sacks despite only playing 13 games. Also if you include the playoff game Winston Justice allowed 8 sacks and committed 11 penalties. Winston Justice is a joke.
King Dunlap = William Beatty
-I'm really tempted to put King Dunlap higher than Beatty but I can't. When he starts, King Dunlap does good things, he was the only thing that even resembled a good RT for the Eagles last year and he may very well end up the starter next year. When he is a sub, he struggles, I still have nightmares about what Richard Seymour and Justin Smith did to this guy (maybe the Eagles should bench him when they go to the Bay Area?). But all in all, King Dunlap had perfect pass protection games against John Abraham and DeMarcus Ware/Anthony Spencer and he had the 13th best PBE rating of all right tackles in the NFL. William Beatty is a guy with upside (but not as much as advertised IMO). Beatty has had health issues in his first two years in the NFL and he hasn't exactly performed very well when asked to play. He was drafted as the heir apparent at LT but has only started 6 games and has allowed 1.5 sacks and committed 7 penalties.

Offensive Guards:

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1.     Chris Snee
-I HATE this guy. He is dirty, he holds, he gets late hits and I just can't stand him but he gets the job done at RG. He was a top 10 pass protector at the OG spot in the NFL last year and when the Giants ran behind him they averaged 4.48 yards per carry, 6th most in the entire league.

2.     Todd Herremans
-A beast of a run blocker who along with Jason Peters forms one of the best left sides in the game. Herremans isn't a top notch pass protector but he is above average in that area, he is athletic in space, he is tough, gritty and mean, he gets after it in the run game and he is versatile enough to slide to OT when needed.

3.     Shawn Andrews
-Maybe I'm still being influenced by what Shawn Andrews did for the Eagles years ago but I still think that in terms of raw talent, Shawn Andrews is the best OG in the division and I could've sworn that I saw some flashes from him last year. The Giants need to get him a spot next year, I definitely think he should start over the wildly mediocre Rich Suebert. 

4.     Danny Watkins
-"Ur draft pickz on social security! LAWLZ!" I can see it coming now. Danny Watkins is going to come in and start at RG day 1 for the Eagles. Former pro bowl guard and the best offensive line coach in the NFL, Howard Mudd was gushing over Watkins. Watkins is a mean, blue collar player who has the right temperament for the OG spot, he has a solid base, has good, strong hands and is going to be very useful on screen plays for the Eagles. He has drawn comparisons to Logan Mankins, lets hope he is three fourths as good as Mankins is because Mankins is a beast of a guard.

5.     Rich Suebert
-Blech. Bad run blocker, good pass protector, old and coming off a knee injury.

6.     Max Jean-Gilles
-Nothing to write home about but he has always flashed the talent but never put it all the way together. He is a good back-up and that's about it, inconsistency and weight issues have marred his career.

7.     Kevin Boothe
-What the hell is in this guy's pants? Jello. Gross. Good enough back-up.

Centers:

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What a terrible spot for both teams. Jammal Jackson was the best player on both teams but that was before he had two season ending injuries in a row. He is coming back this year but who knows how good he is going to be after a torn ACL and a torn bicep. Shaun O'Hara is mediocre, coming off an injury riddled season and is getting older. Mike McGlynn got owned against blitzes up the middle, his inexperience combined with Michael Vick's inability to recognize the blitz led to big time trouble up the middle. And the Giants back-up to the aging center who had injury problems is coming off of a torn ACL. Both teams could use upgrades at these spots.

Defensive Ends:

Mediamanager_medium

If anyone argues for the Eagles they're retarded. Was that harsh? Yeah but it's true.

1.     Trent Cole
-The only two players who have more sacks than Trent Cole since 2006 are Jared Allen and DeMarcus Ware. That should begin to tell you how productive and consistent Trent Cole is. In the past 5 seasons, Trent Cole has 52 sacks and is consistently one of the NFL leaders in hurries and QB hits. Since 2006 Eagles stat keepers have Trent Cole marked down for 103 hurries, including a mind boggling 34 just last year. He had the 12th highest PRP rating in the NFL last year and over the past 3 years he has the 13th highest PRP. He is quite clearly one of the NFL's elite pass rushers. In 2010 he had 76 quarterback interruptions according to ProFootballFocus, third highest in the entire league. But that doesn't mean he is one dimensional, Trent Cole is the most well rounded DE in the NFL. Since 2006 he also has 331 tackles. Trent Cole has been rated as a top 5 run defending DE in every year of ProFootballFocus' existence and he is consistently one of the league leaders in stops. Trent Cole is a premier DE in the NFL that is still underappreciated even though he out produces nearly every single one of his counterparts and he has done so with little to no support.

2.     Justin Tuck
-Justin Tuck is a monster who has consistently harassed the Eagles over the past few seasons. He is a complete defensive end who moves all over the line and makes plays. He has 39.5 sacks since 2007 (Cole has 44) and he isn't as strong a run defender as Cole either. Plus as mentioned before he moves all over the line thus getting more favorable match ups and he has always had a very strong supporting cast. Justin Tuck notched 55 quarterback interruptions last season, a full 21 fewer than Trent Cole. He is a top 5 DE in the NFL and I would take him on the Eagles in an instant.

3.     Osi Umenyiora
-Soft and overrated is right. Osi Umenyiora is most definitely not a top 5 DE, he isn't even a top 10 DE. He is an effective pass rusher (not one of the best though) who is a bad run defender. He only managed 49 QB disruptions last season which is no where close to the top 10 and his run defense leaves a lot to be desired, just ask LeSean McCoy. Give him 2 years and he could be way further down this list as Kiwi, Graham and JPP could all pass him up easily.

4.     Mathias Kiwanuka
-He could start for almost every single other team in the NFL when he is healthy. He was off to an extremely fast start this past season with 4 sacks in 3 games but a neck injury ended his season and put his career in question. Kiwi is a disruptive presence on the defensive line who can put pressure on the QB, occasionally drop into coverage and defend the run far better than Osi can. Kiwi is one of the more underrated defensive linemen in the NFL because he is overshadowed by Osi and Tuck.

5.     Brandon Graham
-The fact that some people are calling him a bust is a complete joke. Did those people watch him play? Because if they did they would've seen a guy who got consistent pressure and even made some plays that resulted in turnovers for members of the secondary. He dominated Ryan Diem and Mark Tauscher. He led all rookies in QB disruptions and had the highest PRP rating of any rookie DE in the NFL. When Graham fully recovers from his ACL injury he is going to be a force to be reckoned with.

6.     Darryl Tapp
-Darryl Tapp is underrated. Turn on the tape late in the year and you'll see a guy who was playing very well. After Graham went down and Cole started to wear down he was the only DE worth a damn on the Eagles. He is a very strong run defender who was the top rated run stopping DE in the league in 2009 by ProFootballFocus. And in 2010 he quietly had an effective year for the Eagles. While getting limited playtime for the Eagles he still managed to get 28 tackles, 4 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 3 fumble recoveries, 4 passes defended, 4 stuffs and 29 QB disruptions. He could be in store for a break out year under Jim Washburn if Brandon Graham isn't ready to go by the start of the season.

7.     Jason Pierre-Paul
-I HATED Jason Pierre-Paul as a prospect, I DESPISED him. I can't even explain to you how scared I was that the Eagles were going to get him, I was terrified. Thankfully the Eagles didn't get him and got Graham instead. I realize he has upside but he is still really raw and was one of the least effective pass rushers in the league last year. He only had 24 QB disruptions last year and had the 20th lowest PRP in the NFL, he disrupted the passer on 7.9% of his plays. He had no sacks where he wasn't blocked into the QB and he has yet to beat a 1 on 1 block in the NFL. But I will admit that he is pretty good at knocking down passes, that is pretty annoying. I still maintain that this guy is going to amount to absolutely nothing.

8.     Juqua Parker
-He needs to go. He is old, he is completely ineffective in the second half of the season, he struggles against the run, he struggles to redirect (see the Vikings game) and right now I'm convinced that Brandon Graham and Darryl Tapp are better players who also have more potential. Hopefully he gets cut.

After that it's basically a cluster of average back-ups (Toffelson) and unproven young guys (Hunt, Sapp, Te'o-Neshiem).

The Giants could lose this advantage if Kiwi leaves NY via free agency or can't play because of his injury and if Osi forces a trade (which seems realistic).

Defensive Tackle:

Doc4cda1878cbe5e319798672_medium

Giants fans know Antonio Dixon very well, he is the guy who played a big role in absolutely shutting down the Giants running game this past year. I remember in 2009 I was parading around saying that Antonio Dixon had the highest upside of any DT on the Eagles roster. I also remember shouting at my TV during the Dallas playoff game to "Put Dixon in the game! He can stop the run!" And when Bunkley went down I was more than ready to proclaim him the best DT on the Eagles roster. Hell, I even said that this guy is the kind of guy you can build a defensive line around. Dixon is a stud, an absolute stud that somehow slipped through the cracks and found his way to Philadelphia. Turn on the tape against Chicago and Tennessee and you'll see that this guy has all-pro potential, he can wreck offensive lines. ProFootballFocus ended up having him graded as the 8th overall run stopper at the DT spot in the entire league surrounded by studs like Antonio Garay, Haloti Ngata and Kevin Williams. Last year according to Football Outsiders he had the highest stop rate of any DT in the entire league, allowed only .8 yards on plays he was directly involved in (again, best in the league). When he breaks out this year and is considered one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL under Jim Washburn, don't be surprised.

And behind him, the Eagles have three other starting caliber players in Mike Patterson, Brodrick Bunkley and Trevor Laws. The DT spot is one of the strengths of the Eagles roster. Against runs up the middle the Eagles ranked second in the NFL in defending them, allowing only 3.36 yards a carry. Mike Patterson and Brodrick Bunkley are proven starters who have anchored a top 5 run defense since 2007, you might remember them as the guys who shut down the Giants' run game before Dixon did it. Trevor Laws burst out last year as an impact player too, Giants fans might remember him as the guy who sacked Eli Manning on third down and forced Matt Dodge to punt. Trevor Laws had 4 sacks, 1 FF, 1 INT and 5 passes defended and he did it largely as a situational pass rusher.

Patterson, Bunkley, Laws and Dixon in 2010: 102 tackles, 8 sacks, 10 TFL, 1 INT, 8 PD and 3.36 YPC up the middle (2nd in the NFL).
Bernard, Canty, Cofield and Joseph in 2010: 110 tackles, 7.5sacks, 6 TFL, 0 INT, 11 PD, 3.91 YPC up the middle (16th in the NFL).

The Eagles group of defensive tackles is better established and they perform better on the field. Also, Marvin Austin is all hype, he wasn't even a good player in college. The best DT on the Giants is Chris Canty and quite frankly, letting Cofield go and giving Linval Joseph the starting job might end up being an upgrade.

Strong Side Linebacker:

Moise_fokou_philadelphia_eagles_v_new_york_exhgkg5psfpl_medium

This one clearly goes to Fokou and the Eagles. The Giants situation at SLB is abysmal while the Eagles have a young player who is a lock to start at his spot and has improved each year he has been in the league. He plays with a ton of energy. In his rookie year that got him into some trouble with penalties but in his rookie season when he was able to harness it he played a huge role in turning the Eagles defense around. Fokou is an enthusiastic run supporter who has no qualms with taking on blockers and getting to the ball carrier, his run defense is very impressive. Fokou registered 22 stops last year. He had mores tops than Sintim and Blackburn had tackles and was clearly superior to Keith Bulluck, he had more sacks, hurries, hits, tackles and stuffs, all while maintaining a 64% success rating against the pass (Bulluck's was higher).

Keith Bulluck probably won't even be back with the Giants this coming season so Sintim is going to have to step up big time which is asking a lot considering he is coming off a torn ACL. And if he doesn't the Giants are going to have to rely on Blackburn or Adrian Tracy and that isn't any better for them.

The back-up situation isn't entirely clear for the Eagles, Akeem Jordan was the back-up and he is a free agent now and just had a run in with the law so it doesn't look like he'll return. The Eagles signed Rashad Jeanty but he is coming off a serious injury and could be the odd man out because of crowded situations at WLB and MLB.  

Middle Linebacker:

Jamarchaney7_medium

This is much like the running back situation, the best player is on the Giants but due to depth on the Eagles at MLB the Eagles get the nod.

I was completely prepared to give this to Jamar Chaney and Stewart Bradley but after trying to ready arguments against Goff I realized that at this point there is no way I can argue that they're better than Goff. Personally I think that Jamar Chaney is going to be a damn good player for the Eagles one day but Goff is already a damn good player for the Giants.

Jonathan Goff's story is remarkably similar to Moise Fokou's. Goff was initially given a shot at the job only to fail to impress and then the following year he made a big jump. Jonathan Goff is a tough, stout linebacker who is a man in run support. Check his stats:

-37 stops

-7 tackles for a loss

-A 75% stop rate against the run (15th best in the league)

-On run plays he was directly involved in the play averaged 2 yards, 5th best in the entire league.

The guy is the best linebacker the Giants have by a mile and a half but we'll have to see if he can repeat his success again next season.

But as I mentioned earlier, I think that Jamar Chaney is going to be a damn good player. Jamar Chaney in 2010 (including the playoffs) played in 15 games but only started 3 and racked up 52 tackles, 6 stuffs, 2 FF and 1 PD. In the 4 games he played significant time in he had 40 tackles, 4 stuffs, 2 FF and 1 PD. Extrapolate those numbers and you could say that Jamar Chaney would've had 160 tackles, 16 stuffs, 8 FF and 4 PD if he were to play in every game last year. Jamar Chaney just exploded onto the scene last year for the Eagles. Brian Baldinger jumped the gun a bit and said that Chaney is "already one of the best 4-3 middle linebackers in the game". I'm not prepared to say that but I will say that he is definitely primed for a break out year after his performance down the stretch. ProFootballFocus has him projected as a top 20 LB in the NFL next year. Jamar Chaney is going to be a hell of a player.

Stewart Bradley is mediocre, always has been. He never was a probowl caliber player and he never will be, durability issues have made him even worse. At this stage Stewart Bradley is a nice veteran presence in the locker room but he is mediocre in every facet of the game.

I'm sure someone is going to throw praise on Phillip Dilliard but I'll stop you now, he has 4 tackles in his entire career and the Giants just drafted Greg Jones who is going to beat Dilliard out IMO.

The comparison between Casey Matthews and Greg Jones is really interesting to me. They're incredibly similar players but I tend to think that Casey is more instinctive, hits harder and moves better in space. There is really not any area where one player is much more impressive than the other and both should fill similar roles as rookies.

The Eagles also have Greg Lloyd, a big, strong run supporter.

Overall, the Eagles have 2 players who are capable starters while the Giants only have 1.

If Jamar Chaney takes the steps I expect him to take then I believe the Eagles could take this spot.

Weakside Linebacker:

I-dunno-lol_medium

I really don't want to choose. Ernie Sims and Michael Boley are similar players, both of them are just bad, overrated, mistake prone players who aren't nearly as good as name value would suggest. I think members of the Eagles still have nightmares about Ernie Sims in training camp (he probably knocked out more Eagles than he did any other team's players in the league) and I think Michael Boley might shudder at the sight of LeSean McCoy.

Michael Boley has failed to live up to what he did in Atlanta and Ernie Sims has failed to live up to his top 10 pick status. Both players are disappointments.

Upside definitely goes to the Eagles though, Keenan Clayton, Jamar Chaney, Casey Matthews and Brian Rolle are all options at WLB for the Eagles and they've all got more upside than replacement options for the Giants (Wilkerson).

Cornerback:

T_owens_081102_wide_medium

 

1.     Asante Samuel
-38 targets (2nd in the NFL among starters) 76% success rate (#1 in the NFL), 3.2 Yards a Target (#1 in the NFL), 1.9 YAC allowed (#1 in the NFL), 21 receptions allowed (2nd in the NFL), 7 interceptions (2nd in the NFL) and 21 passes defended (9th in the NFL).

2.     Corey Webster
-69 targets, 55% success rate, 44 receptions allowed, 3.9 YAC allowed, 4 interceptions and 12 passes defended.

3.     Terrell Thomas
-112 targets, 50% success rate, 76 receptions allowed, 4.0 YAC allowed, 5 interceptions and 21 passes defended.

4.     Trevard Lindley
-23 targets, 52% success rate, 4.9 YAC allowed, 1 interception and 1 passes defended. 

5.     Aaron Ross
-35 targets, 45% success rate, 4.7 YAC allowed, 4 passes defended.

6.     Prince Amukamara
-Some Giants fans are going to be shocked but they really shouldn't be. I've made my opinion clear on Amukamara, I didn't like him. But my bias against him doesn't hurt him in these rankings, his status as a rookie hurts him. Rookies at the CB spot rarely start much less make an impact. Give him a year or two before he makes his move up the rankings.

7.     Joselio Hanson
-A one trick pony. He is the best slot corner in the NFL but that is the only thing he does well. He isn't a special teams player and he is terrible when asked to play outside.

8.     Ellis Hobbs

-36 targets, 52% success rate, 2.8 YAC allowed, 1 interception and 4 passes defended.

9.     Curtis Marsh

-The only corner left on the two squads who is worth a ranking. The athletic differences between Marsh and Amukamara are minimal, both are about the same size and speed and both are converted running backs. Marsh has big upside, is a fluid athlete and he has long arms and big hands which make him an ideal press corner.

Strong Safety:

Quintinmikell10_medium


We've done the Giants the favor of including Ahmad Bradshaw, Steve Smith, Kevin Boss, Barry Cofield, Mathia Kiwanuka and Keith Bulluck, so yes Mikell does count.

Stat Category

Quintin Mikell

Kurt Coleman

Kenny Phillips

Tackles

88

36

77

Missed Tackles

?

-

5

Interceptions

3

1

1

Passes Defensed

15

2

5

Forced Fumbles

1

0

0

Fumble Recoveries

3

0

0

Sacks

1

0

0

Hurries

2

1

2

Hits

1

0

0

Stuffs

5

2

1

Success Rate (Pass)

61%

49%

49%

Stop Rate (Run)

55%

25%

44%

Yds/Play (Run)

5.4

8.1

6.8

As you can clearly see, Mikell is far and away the best SS on the two teams and Kurt Coleman isn't that far off of Kenny Phillips.

Also, obviously Jaiquawn Jarrett is on the Eagles after being drafted in the second round and he is a stud.

Many of you know my good friend Matt Alkire from our work together at ScoutsNotebook.  He is a recruiting guru for Scout.com.  Matt spoke to an assistant coach for a team that faced Temple multiple times in the last four years.  Matt asked the coach his thoughts on Jarrett.  To paraphrase it as nicely as possible, "Thank god he's gone."

The coach gave Jarrett the ultimate compliment for a Safety.  He said that his runners/receivers hated crossing the middle because they knew Jarrett was back there and could unleash some brutal hits.  The coach had seen Jarrett really pop some of his guys and wanted Jaiquawn to graduate or get locked up (purely a joke because of the hits), but that he was tired of facing him.

Jarrett was the best run supporting safety in the draft by some measure and he was probably also the biggest hitter available in the draft. I hope Giants players are ready because this man can lower the boom and he plays dirty (just ask the UConn receiver he knocked out of the game). And I dare you to watch his hit against Jordan Todman and not make that ‘Oooooo!!" sound.

It'll be interesting to see how Chad Jones comes back from that catastrophic car accident for the Giants. Jones is a supremely talented player who had athletic ability to spare. If he is healthy and back to the point he was at before his accident he could provide a big boost for the Giants secondary taking over for Deon Grant.

Also on the Eagles is Colt Anderson, special teams master who wasn't terrible when he took defensive snaps.

If you asked me to rank them now it would be:
1. Quintin Mikell
2. Kenny Phillips
3. Jaiquawn Jarrett
4. Kurt Coleman
5. Colt Anderson

Free Safety:

Antrelrolle2_medium

Antrel Rolle is dumb as hell, annoying, whiney and he really has a habit of putting his foot in his mouth but he is a good player who at this point is better than Nate Allen and there is no debating that. Antrel Rolle was used extremely well by Perry Fewell last year as a weapon on defense. Despite his background as a corner (a failed corner I might add) he isn't a good cover safety, he is at his best in run support and on blitzes. Last year he had 87 tackles, .5 sack, a FF, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 interception, 4 passes defensed, 5 stuffs, 7 QB hits, 13 QB hurries, a run stop rate of 50% (17th best amongst safeties) and he allowed 5.1 yards per play on run plays he was directly involved in (15th best amongst safeties). There isn't all that much substance to his game as he can struggle in both pass defense and run defense at times (see LeSean McCoy's TD run) but the guy makes plays. Rolle makes plays on the ball in run defense and in pass defense and he is a very effective blitzer and if you need anyone to attest to that, just ask Michael Vick.

Nate Allen had an interesting rookie year, on one hand he looked like one of the best safeties in the league early on and then you have his level of play after the Kenny Britt incident coupled with injury issues. The upside is clearly there and he did look like a potential impact player in his rookie year. He had 48 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 FF, 3 interceptions, 8 passes defended and 2 stuffs. And he made plays at key times for the Eagles, he had a sack and FF to end the Texans game, a pass deflection that saved a game tying Frank Gore TD and 2 momentum shifting interceptions. But rookie mistakes, Kenny Britt and injuries ended up plaguing his rookie year. There is definitely upside here.

And then Deon Grant puts the cherry on top in favor of the Giants. His season last year and the way he was used was remarkably similar to Antrel Rolle and his year. He made plays on the ball, was good in run support and on the blitz but he wasn't all that good in pass coverage.

Kickers:

4dbcd16eaf781

David Akers & Alex Henery > Lawrence Tynes

Stat Category

David Akers

Lawrence Tynes

Alex Henery (at Nebraska)

Field Goal %

84%

83%

94.7%

Field Goals Made

32

19

18

XP %

100%

100%

100%

Kickoff Averages

64.7

62.5

N/A

Touchbacks

23

6

N/A

Successful Onside Kicks

1

0

N/A

And for the people that thought Alex Henery was a reach, you're going to be a witness this coming season. Alex Henery is the most accurate kicker in the history of football and he has a giant leg to boot (he made a 57 yard field goal). He has ice in his veins and he is the all time scoring leader at Nebraska. The guy is going to be the Eagles kicked for a long, long time and I have no doubt he is going to deliver some daggers to Giants fans everywhere.

Punter:

Desean_jackson_philadelphia_eagles_v_new_york_eswyn_eg88hl_medium

 

I love Matt Dodge but probably not for the same reasons a Giants fan would love him. This is really all that needs to be said.

Special Teams:

Desean_jackson_philadelphia_eagles_v_new_york_eswyn_eg88hl_medium

 

(Man I love that Picture)


Is anyone really going to argue in favor of the Giants? If you do, you're quite clearly inept because the Giants are bottom 4 in nearly every special teams category.

Here is how the breakdown ends up for all of you who are too lazy to read:

HC: Eagles
OC: Eagles
DC: Giants
SC: Eagles

QB: Eagles
RB: Giants
FB: Who cares?
WR: Eagles
TE: Eagles
OT: Toss Up
OG: Giants
C: Toss Up


DE: Giants
DT: Eagles
SLB: Eagles
MLB: Eagles
WLB: Toss Up

CB: Giants
SS: Eagles
FS: Giants


K: Eagles
P: Eagles
KR: Eagles
PR: Eagles
Special Teams: Eagles

Eagles win 15 - 6 with 4 toss ups. Eagles beat the Giants, again.

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