FIRST quarter of the season is done. The table has been set. Now it’s time to eat! This is the part of the year when teams with a real shot at deep playoff runs, start to pull away from the teams that will fight for wild card spots or get early draft picks. No more measuring sticks.
QB Carson Wentz gets to dig his talons into the Vikings soft defense, this Sunday. A playoff team last year, the Vikings haven’t been the same team, since QB Nick Foles shelled them 38-7, in the place that still bears their chalk outlines.
We’re 2 – 2, they’re 1 – 2 – 1. Neither of us looks like the team we were in January, but we didn’t lose to a Buffalo team, led by a rookie. Correction: We didn’t get blown out by a Buffalo team, led by a rookie.
The Vikings come into this game coughing up nearly thirty a game. In fact, over the last 3 games, they’ve surrendered 31.3 per week. I feel a WIN coming on!
So let’s talk about the Four Things we need to focus on this week versus the Vikings :
1) Get chippy: RT Lane Johnson will draw LDE Danielle Hunter as a dance partner. Hunter’s 4 sacks leads his team, but at 252 pounds, it’s not like he’ll overpower Lane. So get a chip block on him from a TE. Negate any speed rush from him, and let him get tired, wrestling with Lane all day.
2) Do the obvious thing: Due to a lackluster offensive line, the Vikings not only give up sacks, but they have trouble running the ball. In fact, they are dead last in the NFL at it. Throw off the timing of the routes that their receivers run. That’s it. The entire offense is on the passing game. Their QB is reachable. They can’t run the ball. Don’t let the receivers get open easily. That’s it. One more time. Come out of the cushions, and don’t let the receivers have free releases.
3) Get vertical inside: That same TE that is used to chip, can be deployed over the middle between MLB Eric Kendricks (6 feet) and SLB Anthony Barr (6 foot 5), neither of whom is accomplished in coverage. Our top two TE’s are both 6’5”, and hitting them right down the hash marks, will draw the Safeties in more and open up the WR’s on the outside. Minnesota is strong against the run and weak against the pass. Let’s undo the delicate stitchwork holding their secondary together, and then stab them in their wound once they can’t stop the bleeding.
4) Do your job: Coming off of a close loss, the urge to get back on track, has to weigh heavy on the players minds. They need to just do their job, and trust the man beside them to do the same.
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:
We should man-handle Minnesota. They’re offensive line is pure trash. Defensively they’re without the teams best pass rusher in DE Everson Griffen, due to a mental health issue. If we cover the receivers, this game will be cake.
Like with the Colts, if this were an away game, I’d pick the Vikings. But since this is home, in front of a sold-out crowd of Eagle Maniacs, I’m sticking with the Eagles for the win.
PREDICTION: EAGLES 27 -Vikings 20
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