SUNDAY 4:25 Gillette Stadium Foxboro, MA
THE Eagles enter this game with a record of 4 – 7, and still mathematically in the hunt for the NFC East crown. A road win over a 10 – 1 Patriot team, would get a lot of fans believing in this team’s ability to win the division. Not every fan. Maybe not even most of them, but a lot of them. There is no team in sports that I hate they way I hate the Patriots, and a win in their house would be awesome, but to win there you need to find some weakness to exploit.
I feel like even the Phillies could suit up and score touchdowns on our Defense. Defensive Coordinator Bill Davis basically told every team in the NFL to put their #1 WR on our Defense’s right, because CB Byron Maxwell can’t be moved from the left side. Last week against the Lions, Davis sacrificed rookie CB Eric Rowe to save Maxwell from having to leave his comfort zone.
There are so many things so fundamentally wrong with this Defense that it would take far less time to mention what they do right. For instance in the last two seasons we ranked 32nd and 31st vs the pass. This year we’re only ranked 20th. Then again in those other season we were tough to run against. This year we’re the 5th worst team in the NFL vs the run. It’s why only four teams see more rushes against them. Why throw it when you can just run it?
This team is 20th in the NFL in scoring. (That statement has me itching to start laying blame, but that’s not a what Preview is for.) Our Offensive Line has allowed 13 sacks over the last 4 games, including the the one that injured QB Sam Bradford.
We’re 12th in rushing but it’s up and down. We not very good at throwing the ball, running the ball or blocking for the guys doing the throwing and the running. There really isn’t anything this team can hang it’s hat on as a rally point, and no player is stepping up and saying “It’s on me”.
Their 4-3 front is stable and sets the tone for the rest of the unit. The unit gets after the QB, as 20 of their 35 sacks are owned by the starting defensive line. They’re also ranked 11th in the NFL against the run, allowing only 97 yards per game. The Secondary has 10 pick to this point. While that’s not as many as we have, the Patriots more stable form of defense means they don’t need turnovers to perform well enough to help their offense.
QB Tom Brady has thrown 28 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions. RB LeGarrette Blount has almost 600 yards rushing and 6 touchdowns while averaging 4.2 yards per carry. That said, Brady enters this week missing his top 4 receivers due to injury. A few cleverly disguised coverages could cause communication problems between Brady and the targets he now is forced to rely on.
Right now not having his usual weapons means Brady has to take chances that he normally wouldn’t. A smart team should be able to exploit that weakness. Let me repeat that louder. A SMART TEAM SHOULD BE ABLE TO EXPLOIT THAT WEAKNESS!!!!
If the Eagles can find some weakness to exploit and win this one, great. But I’m not delusional. I have absolutely no reason to expect that they can beat a more talented team, with a better coach, on the road, after quietly laying down at our opponents feet for three straight weeks. I just hope the Patriots don’t break the scoreboard.
Patriots 54 – Eagles 13