You're getting this week's Op-An a day early. I won't be near my computer tomorrow, so Friday becomes Thursday. Which actually is okay since the Rams Sunday has become Monday for this week.

But I digress. Here's the unit comparison....

O-line vs. G'men pass rush:

Let's get this one out of the way first, since it bothers me the most. The G'men have been a great pass rushing team for several years, but they will be w/o Osi, and may well be w/o Tuck. Still the same, they will be applying pressure at a better clip than the Eagles did last week, IMO. JPP looked like a reborn freak last week, and the combo of Canty and Tollefson did a fine imitation of the Tuck-Osi show. I feel good about our interior, but if Saffold's back isn't good to go, JPP could be wearing him out. And let's say I'm less than optimistic about Goldberg's exterior protection capabilities. The unit better come together, and/or McD calls up more TE staying home to pass pro.........or Bradford might bruise more than a finger this week.

D-front vs. G'men O-line:

The G's O-line is not great, but their not horrible either. I think they're much better on the inside than outside. Couple that with Manning's "less than Vick" escapability, and I think it's time for the Mighty Quinn to make his debut. This D-line got good pressure last week, but they didn't contain Vick. Well, odd as it is, just do the same this week. Eli's not gonna outrun you; shatter the pocket and get him moving. Long, Hall, Quinn.....I'm talking to you.

DBs vs. Manning:

Best news of the week.....Nicks may not be good to go. Ballard is promising, and Manningham is decent, but they are razor thin behind that (sound familiar?). If Nicks can't go, it will at least help to even the playing field with Bartell sidelined for the year. Maybe King's baptism-by-fire won't be quite so scalding.

Bradford vs. G'men DBs:

The G's DBs are struggling right now. They're missing some parts (T. Thomas being the biggest) and so their subs are being forced into action. On paper, they look to still be a solid unit, but they allowed Rex Grossman to look like a pro-bowler last week. If they're still reeling and Bradford keeps his head about him, he could have some success. But do it quickly, cause there won't be a lot of time from that pass rush. Hopefully, Kendricks et al. remember to pack their catching hands this week.

KEY OF THE WEEK --- Bradford HAS to able to recognize the zone coverage. The G'men have a zone DC, but a lot of personnel built for man coverage (Webster & Ross). If Bradford can recognize when the coverage is zone pre-snap, he could have success. Zone has its advantage, but there are holes. Recognize it, get receivers to sit down in the gaps, and zone coverage can be beaten. But it's all about Sammy's pre-snap recognition.

S-Jax/Caddy vs. G'men run D:

The G's run D was solid last week against the skins. As in less than 3.0 ypc kind of solid. A lot of that comes from some excellent run D play from their two Safeties, Phillips and Rolle. They're not great in coverage, but they play the run like two extra LBs. If the G'men are bringing good pressure with their front 4, then I expect to see 8-in-the box all day. They will force ol' 9-finger Sammy to beat them in the air.

Which he might, if....that is IF the Rams receivers hang on to the ball. If S-Jax and/or Caddy are hitting the holes hard enough to keep the G's front 7/8 honest, Bradford can move the ball.


Well, there you have it folks. The G'men aren't as talented as the Eagles, nor are they as fast on either side of the ball. But they have more than enough to beat a depleted Rams team if the receivers don't catch and the D is as undisciplined as last week. I guess we'll see Monday night.