YES. The Eagles can beat New England. I’m not saying that I think the Eagles can beat them. I’m saying that I know we can beat them.
In fact, we beat them the last time we faced them 35 -28. We went on the road as a 4 – 7 team, while they were 10 – 1. And we won. In their house. We started QB Sam Bradford, and they started the fella they’ll start Sunday We were playing in an ill-fitting 3-4 defensive scheme, vs the stifling 4-3 front that we play today. We were also being coached by an idiot.
Everything about us is better than it was when we faced them last time. So we can beat this team. That’s not a wishful opinion, that’s a matter of fact. Banish from your minds, ANY other notion.
Just ask Dawk:
During the playoffs, our victories have been 15 – 10 and 38 – 7. Our margin of victory has grown, indicating that we are getting stronger as our opponents have gotten tougher. Conversely, New England’s victories have been 14 – 35 then 20 – 24. That trend indicates that things are getting tougher for them as they move forward.
The media wants to frame this as a battle of two QB’s, but it isn’t. This is a battle of two teams, and the Eagles are the better balanced, deeper, more talented, and hungrier team. Keep in mind, no amount of media sycophants, verbally polishing the knob of New England’s quarterback, will put a single point on the board on Sunday. New England will have to earn any point they score. And our Defense isn’t known for giving points away. (8.5 per game. IN the playoffs).
So let’s talk about the Four Things we need to focus on this week versus the Patriots:
1) Work the middle: New England is solid at CB, but everything else about their pass defense isn’t very good at all. They’re going to want to take away anything quick and easy for QB Nick Foles, which has a way of opening up down-field passing, if we can protect long enough. If they want to put their Safeties against WR’s Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith, let’s make them regret it.
2) Destroy the pocket: New England’s interior offensive line is on the small side. Technique and raw brute power should be used by DT’s Fletcher Cox and Timmy Jernigan, to invert the pocket and ensure that we don’t have to pass rush with more than four players. Every ounce of effort must be left on the field at this position.
3) Blount. Force. Trauma: RB Jay Ajayi is the starter, but we need RB LeGarrette Blount running behind RG Brandon Brooks and RT Lane Johnson this week. New England likes to start 2 LB’s and 3 DB’s, because their LB’s can’t cover for shit. If they want to play small, then we should use 12 Personnel (2 TE’s) and run off-Guard at their smallish DE’s.
4) South Paw Switch: New England does a good job of making adjustments at the Half. So DC Jim Schwartz should throw out the first half gameplan and switch it up entirely in the second half. Fake a number of front-side blitzes in the first half; then bring them off the blind-side in the second. Single-high, with 8 man fronts in the first; Man-press Cover Two in the second. Start out Tyson, then switch to Ali. Let them out-think themselves. Turn their greatest strength into an insurmountable liability, before they can even realize what’s happening to them.
If we do all these things, we’re just about guaranteed to win. Now that we’ve covered what should happen, let’s get into what likely will happen:
Head Coach Doug Pederson is gonna hunt these fuckers. If you don’t think he’s going to come out swinging, then you haven’t been paying attention this season. Expect aggression. This game is unlikely to be decided by the foot of rookie K Jake Elliott.
New England will attempt to take away anything quick and easy for Foles. When they do, they’ll have to drop guys into coverage instead of sending extra rushers. If they can make Foles hold the ball, they’ll expose LT Halapoulivaati Vaitai, and push Foles to his right all night.
If I know this, then our coaching staff knows this. So look for that to be built into the game plan. We’ll find ways for Foles to deliver the ball down the field, and eat up chunks of field inside with WR Nelson Agholor and Zach Ertz, vs those LB’s that can’t cover. I’m also keeping my eye out for a backside Screen to RB Corey Clement, which could prove devastating to New England.
In order to tone down our pass rush, we’ll probably be tested with a couple of middle screens and delayed hand-offs early on. That’s fine. Even if we get gashed a couple times, it’s important to pick up on how they want to key those this week. If we see them early, we’ll know how to shut them down later.
Middle Screens be damned! We’ll need that penetration from our DT’s. I expect DE’s Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry to set hard edges, while playing the run first. That will keep the RB’s inside the box, where all the help is. While the opposing QB can scramble, he’s no match for the speed of OLB’s Nigel Bradham and Mychal Kendricks.
Facing pressure, New England’s QB is as human as anyone, and so can be be forced into making mistakes with the ball. That’s bad news when you’re facing a Safety like Malcolm Jenkins. Or a CB like Ronald Darby (4 picks). Or a CB like Patrick Robinson (3 picks). Or a Safety like Rod McLeod (3). Or a CB like Jalen Mills (3).
Don’t be fooled by the media hyping up a QB and TE. Step back and look at their WHOLE team. Not two guys, but all of them. Overall, they’re an average team that plays great against inept teams, and not nearly as good against decent-to-good ones. Only two teams in the league gave up more yardage this year. That’s not the mark of a champion. That’s the mark of an average team. Hell, maybe even a bad one.
Look, who told you IN 2014 that we needed to fire Bill Davis for a Super Bowl? This guy.
Who told you IN APRIL that we were going to win the East this year? This guy.
Who told you IN DECEMBER that there may be a QB controversy next Fall? This guy.
Who told you IN THE FIRST ROUND not to worry about Nick Foles? This guy.
Who’s telling you NOW that the Eagles will win the Super Bowl? That’s right. THIS GUY.
EAGLES 28 – Patriots 17