SUNDAY 4:25 Lincoln Financial Stadium Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
ALL we have to do is win, and regardless of anything else that happens this week, we take over first place in the division. Even if the giants and ‘skins win this week all four teams would be 1-1, but we’ll have the head-to-head and be undefeated in the division. We’d get it by tie-breaker. Understand, it’s still early in the season, but better to play from ahead than from behind.
Last week was not our finest hour. Pass rush, run stopping and coverage all looked shaky. Considering how piss-poor Atlanta’s offensive line is, we should have come out of that game with 6 – 8 sacks. Instead we ended up with just one recorded by DE Fletcher Cox. We managed a decent 5 TFL (tackles for loss) against 35 rushes.
We might have gotten more sacks and pressure if our coverage was tighter. Last year that part of our defense was a spurting gunshot wound and this year so far looks the same. Prize FA CB Byron Maxwell said that he can fix his problems. DC Bill Davis agreed with that assessment then he threw Maxwell under the bus a little bit. No one said anything at all about whether or not CB Nolan Carroll can be better.
ILB Kiko Alonso nabbed us a great one-handed pick in the end zone to save a touchdown early in the game, but then some undisciplined play by him cost us another turnover later. Other than that our LB’s didn’t really make much of an impact in that game.
Right now this looks like last year’s unit. We’re big on making splash plays, but we allow too many yards and points to all but the most feeble of offensive units.
Some fans think everything is just fine and we just had to shake off some rust in the first half last week. That’s hilarious, because no one was talking rust in the preseason. In fact it seemed like some fans (mostly C-dubs), were already moving their cars (parked in the center of Broad Street) to clear the parade route.
Truth is, the play-calling (52 passes compared to just 16 rushes) was uneven. Our Guard play was pretty much abysmal last week. But like I said before, that game is a small sample size, let’s see how they respond this week before we make the jump from an impression of them, to an opinion of them.
QB Sam Bradford picked up for us where he left off for the Rams, playing the role of Checkdown Charlie even on downs where he had more time in the pocket. I have an article all set to publish about that on Monday, but I’m waiting to see if he improves any this week first.
I’m attempting to give my team the benefit of the doubt here, but so far they’ve shown a lack of balance and consistency. Aside from RB Darren Sproles no one on Offense looked like a difference maker last week, and we all know that we have better athletes than that.
Injuries and suspensions have depleted The Cowboys pass rush. Last week against the game of musical chairs that the giants call their offensive line, the Cowboys notched just one sack and let the giants run for a respectable 4.1 yards per carry. Against Eli “Turnover Machine” Manning this unit couldn’t manage even one.
So far despite all the accolades for their (largely overrated) offensive line, it looks like the Cowboys run game left town when Eagles RB DeMarco Murray did. So either Murray’s replacements or the offensive line isn’t up to the challenge. What that means is that the offense now lives and dies on the arm of QB Tony Romo. That wouldn’t be so bad if WR Dez Bryant wasn’t laid up for the next few weeks with a broken bone in his foot. The team will now rely on TE Jason Witten and hope for contributions from WR Terrance Williams and TE Gavin Escobar. Right now the team leader in receptions and yards is RB Lance Dunbar, but due to the Cowboys RB by committee approach, his reps will likely be limited exclusively to 3rd downs and 2nd and 15 type situations.
The Eagles have a leaky Defense, but against a virtually toothless Cowboys team, the odds of the Cowboys being able to mount a challenge are low. Dallas is of no consequence defensively, so as long as we can do what we did last week, this win is in the bag already.
EAGLES 28 – Cowboys 23