LAST week we started off strong. A balanced march to a score. Then a red zone interception. Then a turd hit the fan. Hey, hopefully Head Coach Nick Sirianni learned some valuables lessons from getting publicly mushroom stamped last week. By an interim head coach, no less!
This week we get the ultimate gimme, vs an 0 – 7 Detroit team. They have a couple of decent RB’s, and solid young TE, but other than that… Their best LB is a Dollar Store version of LB Alex Singleton. Their top defensive lineman is a guy who used to be Michael Brockers. Their NT wears 54 as his jersey number. They’re just a mess. Just a hot– They’re like a pocketful of boiled pizza.
This is as close to a gift wrapped “W” as you get in sports. Which is why I’m TERRIFIED. A win here won’t mean much to us. A loss though… We can’t take a loss. Not after Sirianni’s “Flower Power” speech on Wednesday. There is only so much I can take in one month.
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, and will deserve it when you do.
So let’s talk about the Four Things we need to focus on this week versus the Lions:
1. Physical Coverage: Not being physical early in routes, we’re not even disrupting timing, so opponents are executing plays as if they were in practice. The result has been us allowing completion percentages of 80 or higher in 4 of the of the last 5 weeks. The one game where we didn’t, was at Carolina.
If receivers aren’t allowed free releases, and we play Man coverage, instead of these loose underneath zones, our pass rush will magically reappear. So will turnovers. We played heavy Man vs Carolina and picked off 3 passes and got 3 sacks. In every game besides, we’ve been in Zone. This isn’t rocket surgery, folks! We have to be more physical in coverage.
2. Hands Under Balls: This Offense is based on being in the Shotgun. That won’t change this week. What we can do, is get the QB under Center for more than just Sneaks and kneel downs. The run game and play-action are going to be far more effective from Under Center than in the ‘gun. There’d also be fewer chances for bad snaps, which QB Jalen Hurts has proven poor at corralling.
3. Run the Ball: How did the Eagles look last week when there was balance? How did the Eagles look last week once that balance was taken way? (By our coach!) There can’t exist a starker example.
Hurts might be good as part of an NFL team, but he isn’t capable of carrying an NFL team. Don’t hand me what percentage of our Offense he is. That shit is meaningless. Even 100% of not enough, still comes out to not enough.
Get that man some help!
4. Find Our Ego: This week’s opponent is 0 – 7. That’s not just their record, that’s what they are. That’s who they are. They are a trash team. As bad as we’ve been, they are clearly worse. Knowing this, seeing this, our players need to ask themselves: “ Is the man across from me, is better than I am?”
Body language, and physicality. Chippiness, and winning at the line of scrimmage. Those are the things that will tell us if they asked that question. Does it still take 2 or 3 Eagles to tackle a single Lions RB, or do we have to chalk any outlines after a hit? If our guys ask themselves “Is he more man than me?” they will find all the fuel they need to not just defeat, but dominate this inferior opponent.
If we do these Four Things,
There is no way the lions are supposed to win this game. They outright lack the firepower to fend off any sort of coherent attack. If we do TWO of these, we should win this game. All four should result in a nasty blowout.
HOWEVER, after Sirianni’s Flower Speech, I’m concerned that he may have lost the locker room. Whether he already has or not, if they lose this game, I can’t imagine that he’d still have them in any capacity. He’d almost have to be fired. Sirianni can’t afford this loss.
PREDICTION: EAGLES 28 – Lions 13
Check back in a couple of days for Four Things Reviewed, and we’ll discuss how it went.