WE shit the bed Week 1, and rolled over in it Week 2. On the upside, finding our run game led to our QB not being sacked once, behind what is STILL a makeshift Offensive Line. That sort of stepping up is why injuries can never be used as an excuse here.
This is a battle of two 0 – 2 teams. Some say that something’s gotta give, and so an Eagles win won’t be much of a big deal. Those people are dead wrong. This team is currently just a single game behind. We have two losses, and are still just ONE game behind. We aren’t exactly chasing the ‘72 Dolphins here. A win mean means a lot.
A win gets us to 1 – 2, and back in the national conversation with regard to who wins our division. A loss puts us at 0 – 3 and in the basement with a jackhammer.
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 Bengals:
1) Give the rush time to get home: Everyone is talking about how disappointing the Defensive Line is, and it drives me nuts. Are we being shredded by numerous deep, accurate throws? Nope. Opposing QB’s are getting the ball out of their hands quickly. Which means that opposing receivers are uncovering quickly. Which means the coverage is shitty. (This is the same coverage that had GM Howie Roseman boasting about WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside during Training Camp. So keep in mind that our Secondary may be trash.)
2) Trust the Offensive Line: After taking an 8 sack beating during Week 1, QB Carson Wentz’s Week 2 accuracy came into question (despite receivers getting two hands on some of those “errant” passes). He was clearly rushing passes, forcing passes, and (in my opinion) seeing ghosts.
After a week of being able to run the ball and not getting beat to shit, he’ll have some reason to trust his Line again. If he does, he should look more like himself, in terms of his processing and delivery mechanics.
3) More balanced play-calling:
Week One (42 passes, 17 called runs) 71.1% passing.
Week Two (43 passes, 24 called runs) 64.1% passing.
So far this season, we’ve thrown the ball 67.4% of the time. No one will buy play-action from a team that never hands the ball off. We’re telegraphing to opponents that they can unload the box, and pin their ears back. That makes it harder to utilize all the speed we added this offseason. Even a 34 pass to 26 run ratio, would change that.
4) Do the hardest thing: Dear Eagles, Right now the hardest thing for this team (or any losing team, trust me, I’ve been there), is remembering to have fun. Remember why you compete. Remember that you love to show off. Are you better than the man across from you? Then PROVE IT TO HIM. Prove it to his woman watching at home. Prove it to his mother, who’s hoping you don’t kill her boy. Prove it to his father, who this week can’t say “I taught him that!”
This is just Week Three. This is no time for the ‘Dig Down Deep!!!’ speech. It’s too early for the ‘Who Wants It More?!’ speech. This week’s speech is the ‘Trust Your Brother, and Have Fun’ speech. Don’t go to work this week. Don’t “practice your craft” this week. Just go out there and play football. Let’s see some joy out there. Let it be infectious. Just don’t get Covid.
If we do all these things we should win, with a score looking like:
PREDICTION: EAGLES 27 – Bengals 23.
Check back in a couple of days for Four Things Reviewed, and we’ll discuss how it went.