Key Matchup: Eagles' Secondary vs. Burress

Plaxico Burress is a key part of the Giants' offense. He's got the size and athleticism to get over and/or past members of the Eagles' secondary and a quarterback who can generally get the ball to him. Both of Burress' 100 yard games this season were against the Eagles and there is no doubt that Burress is someone who the Eagles will have to watch.

A good chunk of the film that the Eagles have watched in preparing for the Giants this season has featured Plaxico Burress. The Giants wide receiver caught 339 yards worth of passes, including one for a touchdown, against the Eagles this season and the Birds will be looking for a way to limit his production Sunday afternoon.

The Eagles had signed former Giant William James earlier this season to help against taller receivers like Burress, but he's banged up and defensive coordinator Jim Johnson isn't sure he'll be able to handle Burress. "I'm going to have to see how he practices. I'm not sure he's quite 100% yet. I think we'll just see how he's coming along. If he's healthy, there might be a chance we might do that," said Johnson when asked if James might be the chosen one to cover Burress.

Johnson admits that Burress is an issue. "I don't think we've got anybody close to tall enough to match up with him right now. The guy is 6'6", so it's always going to be a little bit of a problem. I think there are times guys just have to make sure they've got great position on him. He's tough when he gets down in the red zone. There is no question about it and there are some things we've got to do. But, it's not an easy match up, there is no question about it."

As for Burress, he thinks that he's figured out the way to beat the Eagles' secondary. "They confuse you as a receiver and they try to give the quarterback different looks and bait him into making throws," revealed Burress. "You just have to trust yourself, run your routes at full speed and make the plays. Everybody knows they're a pressure football team. We made some plays into their pressure and that's something we need to continue doing."

Actually, containing Burress may come down to putting pressure on the other end of the passing game and trying to force Eli Manning into making mistakes.

Manning believes that he's ready for whatever the Eagles bring and isn't feeling pressure headed into Sunday. "I'm looking forward to the opportunity. I don't think of it as pressure. I look at it as a great experience. We're in the playoffs. We're playing against a rival team, in Philadelphia, a team we've already played twice this year and both of them came down to the last few minutes of the game and a tight situation. I think it's exciting and I'm looking forward to the game," said Manning.

No matter who is matched up against Burress or how the Eagles pressure Manning, Johnson thinks that Brian Dawkins will wind up making a big play or two for the Eagles. "He's always been a big play guy. Again, here's another guy that all of a sudden is kind of in a good groove now, making big plays. He's got the ability. Like I said before, turnovers come in bunches, sacks do too. All of a sudden, everything that is in the air now, he wants. So, he's playing with great confidence again, making plays. But, you expect that out of Brian Dawkins."


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