LAST week we lost, but we saw that Head Coach Nick Sirianni, is going to be committed to running the ball, thus balancing the Offense, going forward. Now that defenses have to defend against receivers who can stretch the field and a run game that requires a loaded box, QB Jalen Hurts has a real opportunity to be the x-factor in games. Games like this one.
(BTW: “receivers who can stretch the field, and a run game that requires a loaded box“. We won a Super Bowl with that set-up. IJS)
So far the Broncos have gone 3 – 0 vs NFC East teams this year. The Eagles are 0 – 3 vs AFC West teams this year. A win here, keeps the Eagles from being swept by a division, and more importantly, keeps the Broncos, the Broncos, from sweeping our entire division.
A win gives us a record of 4 – 6, and means that we’d hold onto second place in the NFC East for another week. It would also keep those 6th and 7th playoff seeds within our reach. We’d still be in the thick of it.
Falling to 3 – 7 with a loss, wouldn’t mathematically end our playoff hopes, but we’d be Apollo, out on his feet, waiting for the kill-shot from Drago. That can’t be how this one ends. They’re just the Broncos. It’s all flesh and bone. We just have to want it more.
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 Broncos:
1) Press Coverage: If we don’t do this, it’ll be another game where we allow a completion rate of 80% or higher. We have the CB’s who can do the job, they just have to be turned loose, where they’re allowed to. Both of the Broncos starting WR’s are 6’4”, so we can’t play around with those guys, and let them into jump-ball situations.
2) Play-action Inside: Now that we’re actually running the ball, play-action is a weapon that we can use convincingly. The ball can now, SHOULD NOW, come out quickly to the Slot and the TE positions. That will help us get WR Jalen Reagor and TE Dallas Goedert more involved, loosening up the opposing interior, and keeping our run game going.
3) Taylor-made Headache: Get OLB Davion Taylor in on a couple of blitzes. Walk him up between DT Fletcher Cox and DE Josh Sweat (if he plays), and actually send Taylor on a blitz a few times. He has the speed to drop in coverage, but also to get up on the QB quickly. We need to put him in positions to make plays.
More than sacks, what we want is to get QB Teddy Bridgewater moving his feet a lot in the pocket. We want to alter his usual throwing platform, and throw his mechanics off slightly. If possible, we want to make him beat us with his athleticism. See how I made a little joke there?
4) Get Howard In Space: Throwing the ball to RB’s was supposed to be a hallmark of this Offense, but we haven’t really seen it since RB Miles Sanders went down. RB Jordan Howard has been a bull running through defensive fronts, but to see him get a Screen pass with blockers in front of him… Hey, why not do something easy?
If we do these Four Things,
Denver’s banged up offensive line shouldn’t be able to put rabbits out of their hat for four straight quarters. We’re have more talent in the trenches than they do. So long as we address these peripheral aspects, we should be able to capitalize on our advantage up front.
PREDICTION: EAGLES 28 – Broncos 22
Check back in a couple of days for Four Things Reviewed, and we’ll discuss how it went.