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Defense must force Manning to move feet

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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Giants quarterback Eli Manning has thrown seven touchdowns and just one interception in his last three games since a zero touchdown, three-interception effort in a 23-10 loss to the Redskins in Week 15. He finished the regular season with 29 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. This after a 2010 season that produced 31 touchdowns and 25 interceptions. Manning can pick apart a defense when given the time to get comfortable in the pocket. He can makes plays on the move, but isn’t exactly Aaron Rodgers, who is just as dangerous of a passer on the run. “Just like a lot of quarterbacks, if you can find a way to get him off his spot, don’t let him just sit back there – he’s a big guy at 6-5, 6-6, big tall guy looking over the linemen – don’t give him open throwing lanes,” Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk said. “So, if we can get guys in his face to make him shuffle his feet, move around, you can hopefully force some bad throws. “Clay’s interception (in the regular season meeting) was great example of that. Last time we were there, DJ Smith got up in his face and (he) had to move around and make a quick thrown and Clay jumped it.” Packer defensive coordinator Dom Capers noted the Manning likes to move to his right more than his left. So, flushing him the opposite direction should help. “Eli doesn’t move to run, but moves to buy time for the receivers and they do a good job of adjusting their route,” Capers said. “He can still move and throw the ball with some accuracy. I think he’s doing a better job of that, certainly this year than last year.” That will be one of the top challenges for a Packers defense that has struggled to pressure opposing quarterbacks. Sacks aren’t necessarily needed, but pressing the pocket and forcing Manning to move his feet, likely, will be.

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