Phil Simms joined Mike Francesa on WFAN this morning from Chicago, where he will do CHI-SD. His comments on the Eagles and Gmen are noteworthy.
1) HOU– Leinart will takeover for Schaub, who is out for the rest of the year. Can Leinart do it adequately? Yes. Too many good components to the team to not make the playoffs. Still has concerns about Leinart, because what Simms saw in preseason was not encouraging.
2) CIN-BAL. Probably w/o AJ Green today. The rookie WR was used in the same sentence as Calvin Johnson. Dalton as a young QB is not a drive-it-down-the-field QB, a younger version of Brees, who took a few years to get better in the league. BAL, when it was crunch time vs SEA, could not stop them.
3) SEA. Tarvaris Jackson is VASTLY improved from earlier in the season. Seattle is improved.
4) MIA-BUF. Phil is not looking for BUF to bounce back from the past two losses to DAL and NYJ. MIA has a scheme defense. Matt Moore is more decisive. Give him time, has more confidence and conviction. Brandon Marshall, like him or not, is the real deal. BUF does not have a great WR, they went to the well too many times on deeper routes. BUF does not have a pass rush. Best thing about the Bills is that they have YAC, their receivers can break tackles and get more yards after the catch.
5) SD-CHI. Early in the year the ball did not bounce Rivers’ way. And now of late, the WRs are not as dynamic. Gates is not the same, Tomlinson gone, Sproles gone. Winning today would be like winning 3 games for the Chargers. Rivers admits he has to change the way he plays. Without Rodgers in the discussion, you have a hard time finding a better QB in the league than Jay Cutler. 6 TDs 2 INTs in the last 4 games, but those stats cover up the fact that Cutler has been outstanding. His OL is poor too in pass protection. They are good run blockers. The Bears were the Chargers 5 weeks ago. But the difference is that the Chargers do not have a defense. Cutler is not in the Hall of Fame, but he puts the ball in a lot of tough spots for some terrific throws, get hit, get up and do it again. Francesa points out that the Chargers are terrible on specials coverage, and today they face Hester. 3 New starters on the OL for SD.
6) PHL-NYG. No Boley and Bradshaw, “huge” says Simms. Young the backup QB. Francesa points out how the Giants traditionally have trouble vs backup QBs, a valid observation. Simms points out the scheme that teams have used successfully on defense vs the Eagles this year: Man up and be physical vs the Eagles WRs. When those Eagles WRs get zone they find the holes and do much better. The Giants pass rush has to get more consistent. The DL needs to be great. The Giants WRs are the most underrated in the league.
On Showtime, Phil Simms on PHL-NYG: “I like the Giants. The Eagles? What makes us think now, do we have enough evidence that the light came on on and now they are going to make it happen?”
UltimateNYG here. Is everyone paying attention to Phil Simms? That the Giants have to use man coverage vs the Eagles WRs? Fewell? Fewell? We want more Man coverage, this week and every week.