LAST week we absolutely shat the bed! Instead of complaining about that, I’m focusing on the upcoming game. Please. Step into Week Two with me.
Lost in all of last week’s wreckage, was the fact that the Eagles showed an ability to start fast. Given that this week’s opponent still looks like their slow-starting 2019 edition, there’s a definite advantage to be had. If we jump on it.
The return of RB Miles Sanders with his knack for running routes and snagging passes, also gives us a decisive edge over the Rams Linebackers. In fact, the 3-4 scheme that they run, is similar to the system that Washington just abandoned. (After we swept it for three straight years.)
There are no rivals playing each other this week. That means (in the most extreme cases), we could all win, or we could all lose. A win over the Rams gets everyone realizing that our loss last week, was a fluke. A loss doesn’t bury us, but it could give teams the impression that we’re past our prime. That’s not a stink we want on us.
The point of Four Things isn’t to predict a winner, it’s to discuss which tactics will practically guarantee our Eagles this win. CAUTION: I don’t have the faintest clue as to what a point spread is, and I know even less about how it works. I know football and that’s IT. If you use FT as a gambling tool, you are trying to lose your money.
So let’s talk about the Four Things we need to focus on this week versus the Rams:
1) Run the football: At least 22 handoffs to RBs, have to happen. This line cannot pass protect for intermediate and deep routes, without threat of a run. Last week’s play selection (71% passing plays), will not get the job done. If we get off to a fast start again, the run game will help us sustain what we’ve built. Even if all it does is slow down pass rush on early downs.
2) Play more man coverage: The Rams like to employ WR Screens. Those are hard plays to execute with a CB shadow. It doesn’t have to be press coverage, but when the ball is in the air, the CB has to be ready to make the tackle (not hit) for a loss. Send the message early, that they have to throw away a large section of their playbook.
3) Get outside and play: Sprinkle in some play-action bootlegs with QB Carson Wentz, to open up quick underneath routes.
Instead of complaining about him not giving up on a play, why not give him options to salvage that play? Seriously. Why waste downs? The object of a drive isn’t to avoid a mistake, it’s to make enough plays to score points. QB Nate Sudfeld didn’t throw a single interception last week. Did it help? Nope. Not at all. This week, the coaching staff needs to help Carson make plays.
4) Capitalize on their punting: We need punts to come out fast and flat, or short and high. Either the ball needs to reach our PR before the coverage can get there, or it basically needs to be shanked. In either case, Special Teams would be back to being a contributing factor, and not just a daycare for back-up players.
If we do all these things we should win, with a score looking like…
PREDICTION: EAGLES 28 – Rams 17
Check back in a couple of days for Four Things Reviewed, and we’ll discuss how it went.