Giants will be ready for Michael Vick

Updated: November 18, 2010, 1:08 PM ET
By Ohm Youngmisuk | ESPNNewYork.com

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin sat down and watched Michael Vick on Monday night, hoping to get a quick headstart on this week's opponent.

And like everybody else who witnessed the game, Coughlin said he marveled at the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback's breathtaking performance.

"Let's see, 35-0, 12 plays for Washington," Coughlin said of the Eagles' 59-28 thrashing of the Redskins. "Just what everybody else was -- put the pencil down and become a fan."

Of course, Coughlin would admit that Vick's historic game left him in need of a bottle of Pepto-Bismol more than a set of pom-poms.

"No," Coughlin said when asked if he really was able to watch like a fan. "I had indigestion, stomach ache."

Less than 48 hours after Vick became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for more than 300 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for more than 50 yards and two touchdowns, the Giants were peppered with questions about Vick. The Giants are next up for Vick in a Sunday night showdown in Philadelphia that could elevate the winner to NFC front-runner and serious Super Bowl contender.

The Giants were all impressed by Vick's masterpiece in Washington and they expressed great respect. But they made it clear that they are not intimidated by the man who wears No. 7 and a tinted visor and looks a lot like the best player in the NFL at the moment.

"I've never seen a quarterback do the things that Vick can do," said safety Antrel Rolle. "His pocket passing is more efficient and he has a bazooka for an arm and he runs faster than three-quarters of the receivers in this league.

"[But] you have swagger and confidence when you play anyone. It doesn't matter who you play. Vick, he's a guy. I understand what kind of weapon he presents but he is a guy. He puts his pants on just like each and every one of us put our pants on. Our swagger is going to be there, no matter who we play."

Safety Deon Grant has had a few battles with Vick over the years when the two were rivals at Carolina and Atlanta.

Like the rest of his teammates, Grant respects Vick, but he said the Giants aren't intimidated by what Vick did to the Redskins.

"It better not," Grant said. "A Pop Warner defense, a high school defense [maybe]."

Vick may have looked immortal in Washington but Grant did recall that the Redskins were the ones who injured Vick in the fourth game of the season, knocking out the quarterback for three games with a rib injury.

"Ain't nobody Superman out on that field," Grant said. "Vick is just like me, ain't won no Super Bowls yet."

The Giants (6-3) may have felt unstoppable after winning five straight games. But Dallas looked like they had the Giants' kryptonite in a resounding 33-20 upset that saw the Cowboys amass 427 yards of total offense against the league's top-ranked defense.

The Giants say their confidence is not bruised, and certainly not broken, insisting that their mistakes and defensive breakdowns all are issues that can be fixed. They will soon find out in what is their biggest game of the season thus far.

The two rivals will likely be battling it out for the NFC East title, with this being their first of two encounters.

Also at stake is possible NFC supremacy, as both teams try to stay close to Atlanta (7-2) and the top of the conference.

"Definitely a statement game for us," defensive tackle Barry Cofield said. "Hopefully they left a lot of that magic in Washington and don't bring it to Philly and hopefully this was a wake-up call for us last week. I think a lot of guys, and with good reason, had a lot of confidence and were used to winning. It is definitely jarring and a shock to the system when you lose the way we did."

And for some like Coughlin, Vick's D.C. demolition can leave one feeling nauseous. The Giants hope to soothe their head coach with instant relief on Sunday night.

"I am tired of hearing about him already," Rolle said after being grilled about Vick on Wednesday. "I just want to play the game on Sunday. He is a great guy and a great player but I'm a Giant. I am going to play Giant football come Sunday."

Ohm Youngmisuk covers the Giants for ESPNNewYork.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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