THURSDAY 1:00 Ford Field Detroit, MI
IF we don’t move to 5 – 6 tomorrow it’s time to pack the season in and start doing some house-cleaning. Detroit is a 3 – 7 team on a 2 game win streak (both 18 – 16 outcomes). They’re pretty bad at pretty much everything; and a loss to them would pretty much be the ultimate humiliation.
Our unit is fatigued. If you doubted me when I told you that last week, you should be fully on-board with my assessment now. Our pass rush is almost non-existent and as a result the turnovers this team needs to survive are not forthcoming. We’re at a point now where we’re going to start needing some Special Teams guys to get a shot playing more than a few downs here and there. Guys like NT Beau Allen, LB Marcus Smith, LB Bryan Braman, and CB Eric Rowe (remember him?) need to start spelling the starters for longer stretches. LB Kiko Alonso can be given more minutes inside so that LB Mychal Kendricks can be moved around the formation to maximize his effectiveness on the downs he does play.
We have too many problems with readily available solutions to them that we just aren’t instituting.
Mark Sanchez is the QB, because starting Thad Lewis is the equivalent to waving the white flag. Behind Sanchez the team can move the ball. That much can’t be disputed. What we don’t do well (regardless of QB) is move it consistently and finish drives. We need to find something to hang out hat on. We need to take the weight off of Sanchez’s shoulders. We need to lean on our run game. Specifically in the form of RB DeMarco Murray.
Fortunately we get to go against a team that’s just awful at stopping the run. If we come out (like I said last week) running the ball with an up the gut, power concept, this game should be a cake walk. If we come out trying to force 5 yard crossing routes, it’ll be a loooong day again.
Also for the last two weeks there’s been way too much of our interior Offensive Linemen (Guards and Center) being driven back into the QB/RB. This far into the year that’s not liable to stop, but I’ll have my eye on it.
They have a good pass rusher in DE Ezekiel Ansah, but they’re not much to look at besides him. They don’t top the run (24th), the pass (19th), or scoring (29th) worth a damn; so there’s really nothing here that they’re going to come in to this game hanging their hats on.
They have 4 interceptions (between 3 players) to this point in the season, but that number will likely be 6 by the end of this game.
QB Matt Stafford is the offense. Most people thing Lions and immediately think about WR Calvin “Megatron” Johnson, but injuries in recent years have added some slack to what used to be his tight game. However he’s still big and can run and can make catches,so putting a CB on him one-on-one in a Single-High coverage concept could be fatal for some poor defense out there one day.
If you’re worried about the Lions running on us like Tampa Bay did, DON’T. We may still be fairly easy to push around, but Detroit has problems already with running the ball, as they are ranked DEAD LAST (32nd) in the category. Part of it is bad scheme, part of it is injuries and part of it is that they simply lack the talent to be really good at it. Put the “Snow Bowl” out of your minds. This is indoors, in a dome.
The bottom line is that I hope my team doesn’t spoil my dinner. If we lose tomorrow the season is effectively over.
EAGLES 18 – 16