CONTINUE THE WIN STREAK!!! We ran the ball like maniacs last week. Our opponent this week, is weak, against the run. Ben Franklin is no fan of eagles, but he took a break from pimpin’ pimpin’ today to call Head Nick Sirianni and tell him “Bitch, y’all need to run the pig.”
Word, Ben. Even unto thine mother.
A win this week puts us at 4 – 5 , and keeps us just on the outside of the Wild Card picture. (Tomorrow I’m putting out an article that discusses our playoff chances. Don’t miss it!) A loss drops us to 3 – 6, but doesn’t really hurt our playoff chances that much. (Seriously. You need to read that article tomorrow.)
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 Chargers:
1) Run the ball: The Chargers are dead last in the NFL in run defense. That reason alone suggests running the ball down their throats. Add to that, the fact that it wears down their pass rushers.. Now add to that, the fact that it makes play-action believable. Then add, that it will attract 8-man fronts, thereby opening up the vertical passing game.
We need this game to start with 10 – 15 first half hand-offs. While offensive balance is great, the primary reason we want to run the rock is, to eat up clock, and limit the Chargers opportunity to possess the ball. Especially in the first half. BTW: I don’t want to knock RB Boston Scott, but I’d rather see RB Jordan Howard wearing down their front.
2) Lean, not Press: The Chargers starting WR’s are 6’2” 211 and 6’4” 218. Neither is a burner, but both are very good route runners, who can pull down a 50/50 ball. On one hand, it wouldn’t be smart to give them free releases and let them build a head of steam. On the other hand, having our CB’s get caught up in hand-fighting, will result in easy slants and broken tackles.
The call for the day is re-directing the WR’s. Lining up close and staying tight, without being too handsy. We want to lean into the receiver, not press them. The idea is to get the QB to see them as covered, then move to his next read. That combined with solid pressure, will severely limit the Chargers ability to push the ball downfield.
3) Get them on the ground: They don’t have a rep for it, but physically, the Chargers are a deceptively strong team. RB Austin Ekler is widely regarded as one the NFL’s strongest players, pound for pound. As a result they make a lot of their yardage after contact. Much of that comes from them dragging defenders who are holding up the ball-carrier, trying to strip at the ball.
How often has that worked? In 484 offensive snaps this year, Chargers opponents have made stripping at the ball, pay-off exactly FOUR times, which equals 0.00826% of the time. You will see better odds from a bookie, than from trying strip Chargers players. A few strip attempts are fine, but in general, just make the tackle. Get them on the ground, and don’t give away free yardage.
4) Completions in the middle: Too often QB Jalen Hurts is rifling the ball at or along the sidelines. Targets between the numbers and behind the LB’s, would be easier for him to reach and keep the chains moving. Especially if we can get the Chargers to buy our play-action.
If we do these Four Things,
The national media will be telling the world about how the Eagles have turned a corner, and that “Flower Power” must be working. If we do all four of these, the Eagles win this one in a walk. The story you won’t hear is that the Chargers QB isn’t as quite as good vs solid CB’s. He has his hands full this week.
That being said, the Chargers are a feisty team. They have four wins and three of them are 4th quarter comebacks, featuring game winning drives. We have to do things to take them out of this game. After which we have to stand on the gas.
PREDICTION: EAGLES 27 – Chargers 23
Check back in a couple of days for Four Things Reviewed, and we’ll discuss how it went.